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Oh, she probably really liked "Working Class Hero" then

I don't know how much she liked it, but she did say "At least Working Class Hero was okay".


It's almost like you see right through her. Do you happen to know people who store their beret's too close to the litter box too?



minds his own damn business
It's almost like you see right through her. Do you happen to know people who store their beret's too close to the litter box too?
It's like half the girls I dated in college. Tip your waitress.


I don't want to derail your thread by talking about music. But I do sense a strong, let's say, primal quality in your writing here. The fact that much of it is set in your childhood is part of it, but the most illuminating aspect is in how much your writing seems to evoke a certain dream-like quality of memory, as opposed to actual memory. For example, my grandparents have lived in the same house since 1965, so in other words well before I was born. I've lived in a number of houses before I was an adult. My grandparents' house is a totem of stability for me, it's always been there, more or less without any radical change over the years. Is it a coincidence that I frequently dream of my grandparents' house? I dream of all of my homes in various states, usually in some concoction. Wak from one room to the next, and be in a different blueprint, the yards are never quite congruent. You know, typical dream distortion. But my grandparents' house is usually pretty faithful in integrity. But different, in dream-like ways. The people I've known show up differently in these ways, mingle in these ways. Sometimes I'm not always sure who they are. But there they are, chiding me for revealingly personal reasons, feeding into emotions that may not be clear until I'm pondering them in the shower the next morning.


Anyway, these things (and I'm complimenting here) seem to be reflected in your writing, a kind of personally palpable but somewhat cartoonish ballooning of the reality at hand. Or foot. The extremities don't much matter.
__________________



It's like half the girls I dated in college. Tip your waitress.


I don't want to derail your thread by talking about music. But I do sense a strong, let's say, primal quality in your writing here. The fact that much of it is set in your childhood is part of it, but the most illuminating aspect is in how much your writing seems to evoke a certain dream-like quality of memory, as opposed to actual memory. For example, my grandparents have lived in the same house since 1965, so in other words well before I was born. I've lived in a number of houses before I was an adult. My grandparents' house is a totem of stability for me, it's always been there, more or less without any radical change over the years. Is it a coincidence that I frequently dream of my grandparents' house? I dream of all of my homes in various states, usually in some concoction. Wak from one room to the next, and be in a different blueprint, the yards are never quite congruent. You know, typical dream distortion. But my grandparents' house is usually pretty faithful in integrity. But different, in dream-like ways. The people I've known show up differently in these ways, mingle in these ways. Sometimes I'm not always sure who they are. But there they are, chiding me for revealingly personal reasons, feeding into emotions that may not be clear until I'm pondering them in the shower the next morning.


Anyway, these things (and I'm complimenting here) seem to be reflected in your writing, a kind of personally palpable but somewhat cartoonish ballooning of the reality at hand. Or foot. The extremities don't much matter.

Thanks for the feedback. I think primal is, at least partly, what I'm going for here. I've spent a lot of years sort of aping the very deliberate paragraph constructions of guys like Dickens or Thomas Wolfe, and while I like that kind of writing, and I find trying to write like that an ever intriguing kind of puzzle of how to make everything fit together, it seemed to be diffusing any kind of emotional directness I was going for. Ever since the pandemic though, I've slowly been trying to limit these influences. I've been deliberately erasing more and more connective tissue between sentences, not worrying so much about everything being tonally the same, embraced the notion that sometimes the reader might not know where they are. These are things that go against every instinct I have, but I think the over all affect is better, regardless of whatever other limitations they bring about.


I also had hoped a certain dreamy quality would materialize as a result of this, since I don't want too many of my descriptions to be too concrete. I want them to be floating in space somewhat, with some amount of work being required of the reader to assemble them. I think this has to do with the unreliable quality of memory (which I'm obviously working through here). But also, allows me to sneak in exagerrations and fabrications that probably clearly aren't true, but that I want to be accepted as seeming true enough.



I think this overwhelming tendency I have towards articulating dream states is strongly related to my own personal issues, mostly in my past, where I felt extremely detached from my own life. Much of my teen years were spent dealing with depersonalization disorder, which creates the pretty awful sensation of not even living inside of your own body. You end up watching your own life as a passive observer. While these episodes have seemed to have long passed, the effect it had on my way of relating with reality, was probably permanently altered. So for there to be any truth to my writing during these years, a certain detachment is necessary.



All in all, everything you wrote is important to hear. Appreciate.



minds his own damn business
I also had hoped a certain dreamy quality would materialize as a result of this, since I don't want too many of my descriptions to be too concrete. I want them to be floating in space somewhat, with some amount of work being required of the reader to assemble them. I think this has to do with the unreliable quality of memory (which I'm obviously working through here). But also, allows me to sneak in exagerrations and fabrications that probably clearly aren't true, but that I want to be accepted as seeming true enough.
The mythology of memory, which I feel is what the purpose of dreaming is all about, translating these experiences into sublimated archetypes. These myths can be far more revealing of "truth" than a more precisely accurate account of factual details.


Unfortunately, it's been a couple of years since I've been unable to discuss Jungian psycholgy without getting pestered about Jordan Peterson's feeble misunderstandings of the subject.


Keep it up



THERE’S NO GOD ANYWHERE, ESPECIALLY DOWN HERE

1

The girl who pushed Tony Ruda teeth first into the water fountain was the first one I remember telling I didn’t believe in God. Her bowl cut hung into her eyes. Her eyes stared at me like a cat watching a television.

She didn’t believe me and neither did any of her friends sitting on the floor with her. They shook their heads and insisted I must. Everyone believed, they said. They even got our teacher to come out into the hallway and tell me it wasn’t possible. Ms. Wallington. The deep wrinkles of her face clenching all the bible verses she’d memorized close to her skull. She could feel them lodged in there like crumbs when she moved her mouth to frown down at me. Explained how I did believe in God after all, I just didn’t know it yet. Then she went back into the classroom, leaving me with these girls laughing at me and calling me a liar. Telling me I was going to Hell for what I had said. As I walked away, I kicked one of Tony Ruda’s teeth down the hall. The sound of it just as tiny as I imagined God to be.

During recess, I stood on a park bench half buried in snow and looked out at everyone huddling against the cold, hobbled in galoshes, slipping and cracking their knees on the glistening ice. From far away, their struggle seemed much too lonesome for God to notice them all. But I stood watching them for a long time. Found myself shivering along with those who’d been left to perish unsaved in their snowsuits. Just like me.

Jumping to the ground I took a handful of snow, and packing it tightly between my mittens, began using it to write on the red brick wall of the school. One simple word to draw them near. Written only in lowercase letters, but big enough for them to be read from far away. I let it glitter in the winter sunlight long enough for them to crowd around, and when they began to ask why I had written God on the wall, I knew what I had to do. With two violent strokes of my arm, I crossed it out. Told them to forget everything they’d ever heard about him. Soon he would melt from the wall and wouldn’t matter to any of us anymore.

And so commenced the first ever meeting of The No God Anywhere Club. Membership was limited only to those who would step forward and join me at the wall. Grab themselves a handful of snow and get their fingers cold with blasphemy. But as I stood waiting, it seemed those I had been calling to me had not made it across the howling tundra of the schoolyard. My fellow disbelievers had all sunk beneath the snow without a trace. Leaving me to be stared at by only those with faces like angry Gods. All of them now close enough to begin hurling enormous chunks of ice at my head.

As this winter shrapnel began exploding all around me, I ducked. Felt the sensation of melted snow running down the back of my winter jacket. Bits of parking-lot asphalt became caught in my collar, against my bare neck, and stung cold like lost teeth thawed loose from the snow. When recess ended, only my best friend Garrett remained with me as everyone else went back inside. They were all content to leave the heretic I’d become collapsed in a snowbank.

“I was outnumbered. I didn’t have a chance. God has already got to them all.” My words were mumbled. I hardly expected them to be heard.

Garrett didn’t care, one way or the other. He was still under the impression he would live forever, and so shrugged at my insistence that there was nothing after death. He was similarly unmotivated to encourage any hopes regarding the future of the No God Anywhere Club. When I asked who might ever join, instead of volunteering himself, he brought my attention to Tony Ruda, who had spent his recess inside with the teachers, applying paper towel to his toothless mouth. When I pointed out I had once caught him praying by himself in the boy’s washroom, Garrett offered Chloe up for my consideration. While he couldn’t speak for anyone else’s dog, he didn’t think Cocker Spaniels were a particularly religious breed, and so maybe I could have her as an honorary member.

“Or something”, he said with a shrug and a shiver, indicating he was ready to go back inside.

As I sat at my desk later that day, still wet from the slush of melted ice that had infiltrated my parka, I realized I was alone. And even worse than this, everyone surrounding me was now possessed with the divine purpose to shove snow in my face as soon as the school day ended. As the clang of the school bell rang out, I could feel all of their eyes turn to me. And with the heavy hands of a condemned man, I slowly pulled my snowpants back on, preparing myself for whatever punishment would greet me beneath that cold and Godless winter sky.

2

I could hardly expect my townhouse friends to be any more understanding. Tough, mean kids, all of them, they went to the Catholic school at the other end of town and believed in God deeply. Sometimes would even talk about him during their crimes. While harassing the balding, old woman in unit 17. Or when climbing trees and spying through the windows of neighbours.

“I hope last night everyone prayed for naked girls”, they would confer between each other, as they dangled from branches.

They assumed I went to church every Sunday just like they did and I didn’t dare tell them otherwise. They had never even considered the possibility that someone might not believe. Sometimes they even made me go into closets with them to pray and all I could do was kneel next to them and pretend I knew the words they were muttering. Tell them I thought God had been listening, even though I knew he wasn’t.

“Isn’t Jesus the best”, they would say, thumping me on the shoulder. Then, because they were all much bigger than me, they would want to go upstairs to the bedroom and wrestle. Throw me headfirst off the bed into the corner of a dresser. I would crumple on the carpet. Touch my hair and see my hand come back bloody. I’d look up to see them trying to lure me back to the mattress they stood upon triumphantly, ready for another round.

“Hey, David, get back up here, we’re not done with you”

“But...I’m bleeding”

“Chicken goes buk buk buk buk buk

That would be when I told them about monsters. Usually, one I had seen in a neighbor's window on the way over. It was the only thing I could say which would interfere with their need to toss me into furniture. They would grow quiet and seem anxious. Tell me they didn’t believe in monsters. That I was just as bad a liar as I was a wrestler.

When the Gazardzik Brothers inevitably demanded I swear to God that what I had said was true, I would do so eagerly. Over and over again and as loudly as they needed me to prove it. And with every new detail I thought to add to my story, I would swear to God all over again. Swear that this monsters face had turned into a puddle of blood. That its eyes popped out and rolled down its cheek and its mouth was full of cobwebs. How it had even said both of their names before disappearing into the shadows.

As they grew increasingly worried, I would even show them my hands to prove I hadn’t been crossing my fingers to protect myself. Would let them follow me outside where I would look up at the sky, right at the cloud where they had told me Heaven was, and mouth the words ‘****’ over and over.

“We believe you, we believe you,” they would cry out, scrambling to get me to stop. Pin me to the ground. And I would begin to laugh, now knowing that along with God and the Devil, they now had to contend with whatever monster I had just made them believe in. A monster I could make exactly as bad as I wanted it to be. Because they thought I was on God’s side. Just like them.

3

At bedtime, my grandmother would always watch to make sure I didn’t pray before I fell asleep. Sitting in a chair at the end of my bed, she would wait for the nightmares sure to come. She alone would protect me from them. There was no need for me to bring God into it.

I never said anything to her about how all those scruffy kids from the townhouse were into wrestling and Jesus. Or that Ms. Wallington read the Bible to us in class, and always locked eyes with me when she spoke of King David. I didn’t want to give her reason to look too closely at me laying there beneath my covers. I could still remember the disappointment in her eyes when I told her about the time my mother took me to church. Held me in a pew and told me about how demons get into little boys. Splashed holy water into my face, scooped it down the collar of my shirt.

“And how’d that bit of nonsense make you feel?”, she asked from her place at the end of the bed, leaning forward, the chair beneath her wooden and old.

“I didn’t feel any different,” I answered. “It made me wet.”

“Well, I hope you remember that next time she tries to spill something on you.”

I said I would. I closed my eyes. Bad dreams were already there, even though I could still hear the creak of my grandmother’s chair as she leaned back into it. Even when dreaming I knew she was still there with me. Always willing to wait until I had settled into my sleep. Wait until my legs stopped kicking at the long arms and long fingers I believed were reaching out for me. Until my lips stopped moving and I was no longer pleading with my nightmares. She would not go anywhere until she was sure I was out of danger.

Then, when everything grew still, she would slowly get up. And even though I was asleep, I could always tell when she finally walked out of my room. Leaving me feeling like a small shape in a big bed. In an even bigger house. Somewhere in the center of an enormous amount of nothing.



(I LOVE) HAVE MOICY












Simple songs that sound like they were recorded next to a sink full of dirty dishes. Simple lyrics that seem transcribed from the forgotten scribbles on the back of a barroom coaster. There is a looseness to the cuts on this record that allow any of its songs to never be treated as a sacred text. Never so committed to any one vision that they can't be littered with non-sequiters, inside jokes, outright nonsense, pithy observations and existential dread if you suddenly start not taking any of this seriously. There is a sense of camaraderie and endlessly discovery in the sound of this record. It's both warm and standoffish. Perfection that never showed up for rehearsal.


Have Moicy further instilled in me the notion that great art does not need to be fastened to a gallery wall. It can be a domestic and private thing. Something to do in the empty spaces between cigarettes. And no less profound or immortal because of it.



UNCLE JOHN TALKS OF MY FUTURE UPON THE HIGH SEAS

As I get tangled in my fishing line, he tells me I will never be a real fisherman. If anyone can foretell my fate upon the briny waves of Lake Otter, it is my Uncle John. He knows what it takes to kill a living thing.

Only just days ago, he bashed out the brains of a porcupine he found dying on the side of the road. And before this, much to my Aunt Andrea’s displeasure, he has disappeared untold numbers of cats he suspected of peeing on their rug.

He can tell I am not like him, though. Pulling out a small pocketknife, he does not look happy as he moves to the back of the boat to cut me loose from the disgrace I’ve made of my fishing rod. “You’ll never be a fisherman”, he says again, as if he thinks this is the most terrible thing he could ever say to a boy my age.

I have no reason to disagree with him. It hardly matters since I don’t want to catch any more fish, anyways. It's become clear to me there are bad things to be found in this lake and it seems I have the kind of lures that attract the worst of them. On the first night I caught something, and no one was sure what it even was. It was long and black and everyone had been afraid to touch it. The sort of thing that made us think twice about believing this was a good place for families to swim.

Holding what I’d just caught as far away from me as I could, I didn’t know what to do with it as I stood on the rocks. Everyone was motionless as they watched it twitch in the open air, dripping with slime. I waited for someone to take it off the hook for me. Throw it back into the lake where I had found it. I had been excited all week to catch a fish, and now that I had, I didn’t want to even look at it.

Uncle John had been no help. He just wanted to kill it. He stood on the beach, drinking from his can of beer and talking about how angry it looked. Laughing, that it might bite me if I didn’t watch out. Suggested I should smash it on the rocks as hard as I could before it got the chance. Then, once it was dead, he could show me how to cut out all its insides. This is what he came with us to the cottage to do. To make me plead for him not to kill things.

I told him I didn’t want to do that. Instead, I waited for my father, who I could see slowly approaching, and who I knew would not kill it. He had put his cigarette into his mouth to free his hands and was now reaching towards me. Even after its razor-sharp gills sliced open his thumb, he still was gentle as he lifted it from the hook, and threw it back into the water.

I could remember watching my father bleed all over the rocks, as Uncle John made fun of us for letting it escape. He thought it might have been edible and we should have at least tried to cook it on the barbecue along with that evenings hamburgers and hotdogs. He would eat almost anything that gave him half the chance. But we had let it get away. Just as I would let everything I caught that week get away.

The worse they looked, the faster I wanted to put them back in the water. Even the fish I had blinded, whose eye I had seen dangling from the end of my hook, and who my father said would never survive. We had let it go, even though its eye had stayed with us on the rock we fished from, and I could see it stuck there, drying under the sun. It seemed as if it was looking at me whenever I thought of this poor fish under the water, swimming in circles forever.

Uncle John had eventually become fed up with the thought of all these fish he had been deprived of eating, and early one morning, rowed me out into the middle of the lake where I couldn’t escape from his efforts to make me a man. He said this was the place where all the good fish were. The ones that were too big to throw back.

But I did not want to fish anymore. I was finished. After casting my line out into the water, I let it unspool. I just sat watching as it tangled around my arms and legs and the bucket of tackle we kept at the bottom of the boat. He begun to curse as soon as he saw what I'd done. Grew angrier and angrier as he was forced to come towards me and cut yet another pitiful thing loose from my fishing line. He realized he had no choice but to set me free, even if I would never become a real fisherman.



minds his own damn business
(I LOVE) HAVE MOICY




Grrreat rrrrecorrrd.


My favorite from the family is Michael Hurley's Armchair Boogie, which is a hard one to come by. I was lucky enough to find a copy in a pawn shop a long time ago. A couple of the better songs were later covered by Cat Power, who obviously must have a copy as well. I've long felt a sister-kin affection for Miss Chan, and this is one of our many shared joys.








(I LOVE) MUHAMMAD ALI





Are athletes artists? Maybe, maybe not, but who cares. While I don't particularly relish watching people get punched in the head (it always gets in the way of my almost primal love of boxing), the fact that it was not only the fists of Ali which stirred peoples souls, but his words and his convictions and his personality and his grace and his unorthodox talent, allows room for him to be considered as something more than just a boxer. And I'm fine calling him an artist.



Ali shaped the way I believe a human can manifest themselves. If I ever aspire towards greatness (don't worry, I won't) he is the template for how a mind, body and spirit can commingle and rise towards becoming a living myth. Something that is almost impossible to properly articulate. I can watch him dancing in a ring. I can listen to him **** talk an opponent. I can just let him stare fiercely through a camera towards any and all who doubt him. Pick any moment from his life, and if witnessed, I can feel that spirit of his deep in my bones. There is something almost supernatural about him. A high watermark for humankind. As vital a symbol of American greatness as any founding father.



Does any of this mean he was a model of perfection, or without his legitimate controversies? Of course not. A quick skim of his history might find some statements we cringe at. Behaviour that is unbecoming. But much like the notion that there can be no such thing as bravery without fear, I do not believe a hero can ever really be a hero unless they are searching. And searching implies they are not there yet. But at least they are moving. Are not settling for their imperfections. And thank god for those imperfections, since it will be those very flaws which ground a hero to the rest of humanity. Without them they would have long floated away without us having noticed they were one of us too.


So, for those who take issue with Ali's less than ideal moments, have fun searching for someone better. I've already got The Greatest in my corner. And the greatest is just about good enough for me.



THE UNTAMED TREES OF HENRY HOOLIGAN

There was no telling what the trees on Henry Hooligan’s yard had been up to. They’d always been big and rather mean looking, and so when unpleasant things started happening all up and down Crowder’s Street, there was good reason to be suspicious.

During the evenings, the sound of windshields being smashed could be heard. Car alarms would go off but no one went to their windows out of fear of what sort of things they’d see. In the morning, as early risers crept out onto their front lawns to survey the damage, they found that nothing in the cars had been stolen. When they opened up their glove compartments, handfuls of acorns rolled out onto the floor.

Women also began to have a terrible time as they walked down Crowder’s Street. They would often find their skirts catching on errant branches that hung over Hooligan’s fence. As they fought to free themselves, their skirts lifting higher and higher, the birds that lived up in the trees would begin to whistle wildly.

Children began to claim that, when up in their branches, the trees would start to shake as if to be rid of them. As they fell, baby birds would sometimes fall alongside them on their way to the ground. Screaming at the pain of their broken bones the children would find themselves unable to stop staring at the small grey featherless bodies that lay dead next to them.

Over time other trees, smaller trees, soon left the neighbourhood. Every day there seemed to be less of them. It wasn’t long before new trees soon began coming to Crowder’s Street to replace them. No one knew where they came from but there they would suddenly be in the mornings, looking strange and out of place. Their roots would hardly be tucked properly into the ground and jutted up out of the earth, eager to trip those that passed by.

These new trees, while never at large as Hooligan’s, were nevertheless intimidating enough to cast their own black cloud over the mood of the street. They were wrinkled old ugly trees, and were always hunched over as if about to scoop up the dead leaves they cast all about the sidewalks. They never did any such thing though. They were thoroughly unhelpful trees.

When people now walked past these villains of Crowder’s Street, they would keep their gaze cast down to at their feet so as not to get caught looking at them. It had become a superstition amongst the neighbours that to look at them in any way suspiciously would bring about bad fortune. When Spencer Turnip-Flatley died one evening in his sleep, it was immediately assumed by the neighbours that he had been caught giving dirty looks to one of the trees. Spencer had always been a rather unhappy, confrontational sort and so would hardly have been able to help himself

As time passed no one saw Henry Hooligan any longer. Occasionally, there would be movement behind the curtains in one of his windows but it was just as likely to be one of the cats who came and went as they pleased through a small hole that had broken open in the foundations of the house. No one knew just how many cats now lived inside of there,

but there were often at least half a dozen sitting up on the roof at all times, peering down over the eaves troughs like gargoyles.

Eventually things came to a head the evening that Henrietta Cowbloom claimed that she had been peeped on while in a state of undress. She had said that the open hollow of a tree trunk had been at her window, and swore that she saw something looking at her from inside of it. A search began the next morning for the tree that was responsible. The culprit was soon found with Henrietta’ initials carved into its bark. It was immediately cut down with an axe.

Over time it soon became public knowledge that Henrietta herself had been the one to carve her initials into the tree. Clancy Bowen had seen her do it the morning that she claimed to be peeped on and had wondered what it was she had been doing. Clancy had never been in love before so he thought it a strange thing to do, spending one’s precious time carving initials into a tree.

To everyone’s relief the terror of Crowder’s street was not to last. When the winter came, the reign of the trees came to an end. They were found the morning of the first snowfall curled up on the lawn, quite dead. The snow fell undisturbed around them.



CAT DEATH PICNIC

There is a spot up the road from my grandmother where there aren’t any houses, and it gets me talking about picnics. My grandmother tells me the grass there is too tall and wild for such things. It’s not a place for sandwiches. You don’t want to sit down in grass like that. She lets me eat my lunch in the backyard instead. Peanut butter and crackers and bees in my hair.

Sometimes, she brings me to this place that has no name and we walk together on dirt paths that seem to go in circles. On all sides of us the weeds are taller than both of us. They are the color of sunlight that’s been stepped on and pushed into the dust. A muted golden glow that gets us coughing. We walk in circles. We get burrs caught in the collars of our shirts. Can see the glimmer of puddles through the brush, making sounds like they are swallowing footsteps. Puddles deep enough to drown small dogs.

This is a place where boys who are older than me come with their bikes. Sometimes I look up and see them hovering in the air and wonder how they got there. When they come down, they disappear behind the tall grass. My grandmother says that’s a good way to get yourself killed. I never see the same bike in the air twice. I imagine piles of them on the banks of those dog drowning puddles.

When we leave to go home, I never see anyone else come out. All the bicycles and the boys who came on them stay until the sun goes down and everything gets quiet. Sometimes the noise of traffic slips in and out of the grass, but nothing else makes a sound there. The only things that ever escape, besides me and my grandmother, are the cats who show up on our doorstep every morning asking for milk. My grandmother says they come from there. You can tell because their legs are covered in burrs just like we had once been covered in. Sometimes the cats look mean and unhappy and have scratches across their noses from the claws of other cats. Or possibly from falling off of bicycles like I imagine they may have done in a previous life.

I get sad when I think of how short their lives are too. We’ve had so many of them. Crazy and Fatso and Humphrey and Orangebelly and Pamela and Howard. Most don’t even wait for names before they disappear. They sleep on our couches during the day. We let them out at night. Eventually they don’t come back. They always return to this field with no houses anywhere, as if called by the bodies of the boys they once were. But never making it all the way. Found in the middle of this road I am not allowed to cross on my own. Not moving anymore. Flattened after we fattened them up on tuna.

“Such a dangerous road. A sure way to die”, my grandmother says whenever she sees me looking across the street, towards the field, hoping just once to see a boy with the head of a cat flying up towards the sky on his bicycle. Meowing.







FIRST LOVE AT DUMDUM’S

Dum Dum had a daughter, and I suppose this particular story begins with her. She was an unlovable lump of a child. Maple syrup crusted in the bangs of her hair after every breakfast. Her fat belly always being unpleasantly exposed whenever she lifted the hem of her shirt to suck on until it was damp. Her face was a long rectangular canvas of white, buttock-like flesh that was nearly featureless except for the occasional eye, which gave it the illusion that it was looking back at you. Sometimes a nostril, which would seem equally watchful with its lively glisten of snot, gave an eerie sense that it too was observing the world around her. But it was only her mouth which truly seemed to investigate the apartment she rarely left, putting whatever she found within reaching distance against the loll of her tongue. She would drop to the floor and continuing to suck if the taste appealed to her, or move forward to find something better to chew if it did not.

She was a nuisance to everyone who knew her. She had a habit of always running towards anyone sitting nearby, her arms outstretched and looking for a hug that no one wanted to give. It was understood, even by Dum Dum herself, that pushing this child away with a few kicks of the feet was entirely acceptable, since she seemed to enjoy this just as much as proper human contact. She would roll onto her back, laughing hysterically as spit and happy tears lathered her face into a sticky glisten. Sometimes it would appear that she had been hurt after being kicked away. Once she even hit her head on the corner of a coffee table as she fell back. But as everyone stood to see if she was alright, her injury seemed only to have caused a short delay in her eventual mirth, and as she began to giggle, it became clear the tradition of knocking her to the floor could safely continue.

Tammy had been born only months after me, the result of a conspiracy Dum Dum and my mother struck upon as children to get pregnant at the same time. They wanted the two of us to be lifelong friends, just like they had been. It would be forced upon us if necessary, and so much of my childhood would be spent in her company that, when I think back to those days, they are always accompanied by the sound of the farts she carried around with her like a song she couldn’t get out of her head and was always unconsciously humming.

Regardless, we became close. And while she may never have been much of a conversationalist, she had a tremendous closet full of toys, which had piled up over the years, ignored, as Tammy hardly had enough of an imagination to make good use of them. All she ever required for her playtime was a comfortable seat and a bag of sugar to eat from to make herself completely content. But I had set my eyes on them. Would peek into the closet when no one was looking, hoping to find the inspiration I needed to take as many of these toys home with me as I could manage.

Since she wasn’t particularly good at coming up with things to do, it was always up to me to invent games to pass the time. A favourite of ours was a clever inversion on hide and seek I had invented, where Tammy would hide all of her toys about her bedroom, and those that I was able to find, I was allowed to keep. I was very good at this game, and it wasn’t long before my mother had begun to wonder why it was that my suitcase always bulged so heavily whenever we left from one of our visits to Dum-Dum’s. I was too clever to brag about my talents though. She would think that I was taking advantage of this child she called Dum Dum Jr and might have had an issue with how persuasive I could be in getting Tammy to introduce even the most coveted of her toys into the game.

“Come on Tammy, just hide it”, I would coax, “You’re getting better, and if you do a good job, I’ll never be able to find it. Then you’ll be the winner”

I began to look forward to my visits there, especially the plunder I could bring back home with me. But over time I soon realized that it seemed Tammy had been allowing someone else to play our game with her when I wasn’t around. I felt betrayed when I noticed toys I had set my eyes on, vanishing from her room before I had a chance of winning them from her. I would have been angry, if I hadn’t soon met the girl who had taken over this grift of mine. Her name was Dina and I immediately had nothing but forgiveness for this girl who was so pretty, and already so fully developed in her sociopathy.

I had met her one afternoon mid jump from Tammy’s chest of drawers. I had spent that particular day throwing myself from all of the steep furniture in her bedroom to the floor, and as I came plummeting down to the ground from my most daring dive yet, Dina came into the room. She locked eyes with mine just as I crashed with a barely muffled thump into the blankets that I had lain on the floor to break my fall. I did not introduce myself, since I was distracted by hiding the pain in my twisted ankle. I did not want to make a sound as she stared down at me in those first few moments of our meeting, and so did my best to awkwardly smile from the bedsheets I had crumpled into. Realizing that no words were coming from me, she grew bored with my silent grinning and quickly turned to Tammy, immediately accusing her of ****ting her pants at school last week.

“Did not”, Tammy protested between mouthfuls of her shirt.

“Sure, you did. And now only Dougie will sit next to you, and since he also ****s his pants, I guess you two will get along great”. This girl wandered about the room, taking trinkets from her friend’s bookshelves and plastic jewellery from inside of her drawers, stuffing whatever she could into the pockets of her jeans. It seemed she had evolved into a spectacularly unapologetic thief, one who clearly had no need for the illusion of innocence my hide and seek game provided. I felt like such an amateur, and bearing witness to such sparrow boned delinquency, I could not help but become smitten with this girl as she circled around me, thieving, while my ankle throbbed in a way I to this day still associate with falling in love.



minds his own damn business
Just beginning to get acquainted with Moon Pix.


It feels like an important thing.
It's a special record.





(I LOVE) PSYLOSSIPIN




These come with a sound, which I can hear now.
It's over on the under shelf
Fell out of your shoe
Dump them on your head
And please
Remove your banana.



At one point I started getting Facebook ads for magic mushrooms. I have no idea why. I have never done drugs. I barely even drink. The only thing the algos have to go on is my compulsive clicking of menswear ads.



At one point I started getting Facebook ads for magic mushrooms. I have no idea why. I have never done drugs. I barely even drink. The only thing the algos have to go on is my compulsive clicking of menswear ads.

Personally, I think it's important that people who internet shop for menswear also know about the possibility of travelling in other dimensions.


You can even do them both at the same time!



minds his own damn business
Psilocybin is a perfectly acceptable introduction to psychedelics. Smooth, fruity, just a taint of cinnamon.


But I'm glad that John Waters called out these microdosers. He called them pu**ies. Pedal to the metal, bastards.



Psilocybin is a perfectly acceptable introduction to psychedelics. Smooth, fruity, just a taint of cinnamon.


But I'm glad that John Waters called out these microdosers. He called them pu**ies. Pedal to the metal, bastards.

I don't really use them anymore. I'm prone to spiralling into alternate realities when given the chance, and so its best I limit my exposure to this stuff. But have to admit, I can't even admit to understanding what life is supposed to be if it isn't for at least losing a couple of years on psychedelics. No one needs a full dose of reality from top to tail in this life. Blasting that to pieces from time to time is all that kept me even partially sane.


That said, I also think people should tread at least somewhat cautiously towards experimenting with these things. They definitely don't mix well with some personalities. I nearly scared myself off of them since I have a pretty tenuous brain chemistry to begin with, and taking 12 grams for my first ever dose was a very poorly thought out introduction. And, no, cutting back to six grams on my second dose was hardly much help.


Gently wade into the deep end, my kiddies. No need to crave for the permanent brain damage as poor crumbly here did.


EDIT: and in regards to microdosing, I don't quite get the point. I briefly dated a girl about two years ago who was microdosing on all of our first dates, and while she hardly seemed to experience any kind euphoric or distorting effects, it seemed to warp her sense of how one generally behaves around someone they just met. She spent the first date staring at me blankly and not responding to anything I said, and the second date yelling at me in a crowded Chinese restaurant. She was definitely a keeper.