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Raised by Wolves

Gaki: writing myself Real

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Sunday turns to Monday

Originally published at . You can comment here or there.

A Side: Caffeine

I slug hot caffeine from the metal canister-mug in my hand as I drive, and it sinks its’ sharp little needles into my stomach lining. Like furry little Gotham the cat, standing up ferret-like on his hindquarters to sink sharp little knives into my leg, gaze questing, pointedly seeking mine.

“Where are you? Don’t go to the human spectre place. There’s nothing there, it is made of nothings. Be here. See me. Be now. Wake up.

Wake up.

Wake up.”

At work on the front desk, there’s a large wooden hourglass filled with sand. I cannot explain the neurotic compulsion that forces me to turn it over, every time I see that the top half has run out of sand. It’s extremely important to my subconscious for some reason, that slow inexorable drip of sedimentary time, the tick-tock-ticking of the clock. Where is the time going, when it’s not flowing? Slipping through my fingers, away into the nothing land?

Night-time, front stoop, orange streetlights humming away in the dark, noise of the powerlines snickering under your teeth. The wind is biting, but for some reason I’m invulnerable tonight. Spectral is asking what my questions… no, Questions are. What am I looking for, what drives me, what is the Thesis? It will take me a full 24 hours to answer; at the time, it’s a question in a language that has no meaning to me. I can’t answer, and it doesn’t quite bother me that I can’t answer, but almost. I want to say that more significance lies in the question than the answer, but I cannot properly articulate the why and wherefore. Is it important to have goals? Is it uplifting to not have them? What price do we pay for all our illusions?

Morning. There’s a pileup on the exit ramp off the 80. Needle claws in my stomach. A woman in a skirt, looking lorn and helpless, talking to an officer who looks like he’s being as helpful as a man with no help to offer can be.

Meters away, a car lies twisted and broken by crossed intentions and too much velocity, lying on its’ hood. Meters past that, a figure lies prone on a stretcher. The paramedics are working. The figure’s not moving. Time tick-tock-ticking, and meters past that, bare untrammeled asphalt. On my way to find that hourglass. On my way to chase that Thesis.

It’s important to flip the hourglass, not because of the continued flow, but because it is important to act in that non-moment, that time without time. That is the place where goals are found, and decisions are made. I want to inspire that in people, I want them to have a timeless moment while they consider what I’ve written, or said, or created. I want them to trade one back. I want to give to somebody else what those who inspire me have given to me.

The needles under the skin, the tick-tock-tick of the clock. Just to remind me to act, not freeze, not stay and live there in spectre-land.

Is this how you’ll die? Under a ton of twisted metal, fallen hard from your tower of creature comforts, staring sightlessly at the sky?


B Side: Lift Me Up

Here, listen.


“Cool To Be You”

I don’t believe in unity
it’s just one more abandoned dream
once the people get together it’s easy to see
it’s just a matter of time til they come after me

but it must be pretty cool to be you
with your brothers at your back, protecting you
it must be pretty cool to know you belong
isolated my whole life counting scars in the land of the smiling knives
yes I’m envious it’s true, but it must be cool to be you

you got a loving family to give you everything you need
my family loves each other so much
we live a thousand miles away and never stay in touch

but it must be pretty cool to be you
with a home and a family to go home to
must be pretty cool to know you belong
isolated my whole life counting scars in the land of the smiling knives
yes I’m envious it’s true but it must be cool to be you

what can I do? I know this bitter jealousy is wrong
maybe i’ll move, and find a brand new place I don’t belong
some friends I’ll never know (I’ll never know)
New places I can’t go (I can’t go)
Cause everywhere I’ve been
Is on the outside lookin in…

You got a deep sustaining faith,
a lord who listens when you pray
I was raised in a church and I was taught to believe
I wonder if god believes in me…

It must be pretty cool to be you
with your holy faith sustaining you
must be pretty cool to know you belong
isolated my whole life counting scars in the land of the smiling knives
yes I’m envious it’s true but it must be cool to be you

Must be cool to be you

Must be cool……………….


It’s childish punk music.
It’s trite and immature.
It’s three chord pop.
I fucking love the Descendents.

I mean, I don’t expect anyone to like punk. You’re not really supposed to, you know. And this, it’s melodic and poppy and some generations removed from the root of the stuff.

But it’s sincere. Sincere, uncomplicated, and even hopeful. (If you can’t hear that without me having to explain it to you, then I don’t know what to tell you, and maybe it’s better that way.) The Descendents describe my emotional reality so perfectly, sometimes. And I admit to you freely that some parts of my self will never be older than teenaged. The kid in the corner, alone at the show he walked to get to, eyes half-lidded and waiting to be lifted up, waiting for apotheosis, waiting for the moment that the Pit will beckon and he will fall in, grinning manically and throwing elbows.

In another life, one of the many, I was working at one of my office monkey jobs, complaints department and managerial aide for a cruise line, sweating in the Century City early evening sun, dragging the black office tie-noose looser by a few notches, (no coat, too hot) shirt sleeves rolled up, stomping along, faceless in the crowd.

“Walking in the shadows of
The buildings in the city
Through reflective windows I
Can’t see anybody.
The businessmen wear sunglasses
To cover up their eyes
It seems like I’m the only face
In a sea of suits and ties.”

– Crimpshrine, “Left Outside Again”

Standing on the corner, I remember taking a step off the corner and into the street when the walk sign went green. I was in the crosswalk. Apparently my opinion vis-a-vis the appropriate relative positions of cars, pedestrians, and crosswalks differed from that of the driver in the beat-up Lincoln waiting for a right turn. He gunned it forward, leaving me to contemplate a sartori of brown paint and rust for an infinite second. The vehicle grill went right into my knees; possibly in that instant I had started leaping forward instead of back, because instead of falling under the car, I ended up splayed facedown on the vehicle’s hood as it came to a quick stop again.

My knees were numb, hands and face stinging from heat, friction, and impact. Everything stopped. I was still blank with shock, and so what happened next was as much a shock to me as anyone else. I’ve never considered myself among the very brave in this world, nor determined, nor resilient. I have my moments, but objectively speaking, I am a small person in a large world. I don’t know what shocked me out of my stunned state; maybe it was the completely vacant unconcern of the mustached and bearded driver, slouched in the driver’s seat. I guess a responsible adult would have gotten the guy to write down his insurance, taken a license plate, whatever it is that responsible adults do.

But it just seems like sometimes the proper thing to do when hit with a car, is to hit the car back.

I drew breath from somewhere, and in the next movement brought the heels of both already-bruised hands down on the hood of that car hard enough to lend another buckle to the metal surface, and used that breath to scream through the windshield,

“WATCH WHERE YOU’RE FUCKING GOING!!!” Held eye contact. He still hadn’t moved.

And then heaved my self off the car’s hood, straightened the tie, and limped on my way, and held up only by post-shock adrenaline, and a chorus of blaring three-chord guitars living only in my mind. For months after that, whenever I rested full weight on my left leg, it would go into fully-locked position, so that my options were either to limp slightly, or to keep the muscles in that leg always slightly flexed and consciously bend the knee a little bit with each step. Sadly, this did not produce super-heroic steely-tough leg muscles, but for the most part it doesn’t happen at all today.

You’re not the same person as me, and there might be nothing in this music for you. No biggie. There are enough write-ups and music samples around for the asking — I don’t need to waste your time telling you things about the Descendents that other people are paid to write down for you. This was just to let you know what they are to me — teeth-gritting under the heel of adversity, defiance in the face of overwhelming opposition, the little voice in the back of my head that comes forward sometimes.

To lift me up.

–KB 070907