this isn't about you. nonetheless, you can find consolation in it if you wish. suffice it to say, i'm really very sorry for the way i've behaved. i think first and foremost of my needs. i've been told, by those who would deign to psychoanalyze me, that it's my upbringing of catholic repression or something that makes me insecure; that makes me so guarded. be that as it may, i have always taken some solace in the fact that at any moment, i can be on my own team again by hating myself. whenever people get their fingers between the shell and the underbelly and start prying, thinking i'll start pushing from inside (and why not? everyone should be so open and honest about every little thing as those who find no fear in full disclosure), i clamp down all the harder, push away, roll over and dig in. it's one of my many faults. i'll be the first to admit and the last to deny that i have gaping character flaws, ranging from my tendency to smack my lips to the fact that i have rarely, if ever, been able to focus on one person (self not included) long enough to open up in the slightest. instead, i lie. i lash out. fuck it. this isn't good writing. i'm done



so, check it, there was this squirrel right. he was like the runt of his litter or some shit. so like he was small, right, so the story goes that he was also really plucky. yaknow. scrappy. a fighter. its archetypal. so cool, right. so scrappy lived with his brothers and sisters in this tree. and when the winter was coming one year they were all like 'yo. lets get some food together for the long winter so we dont starve.' and then there was like a story about a grasshopper and an ant. yeah, i know, like squirrels know those stories too, right. so they all started harvesting. but scrappy was like 'fuck that shit.' i'm gonna go piss on people walking past the tree. cuz he was a badass, yaknow. so winter came and he mooched. and that was cool sorta. cuz like in a family, you often get that crazy uncle or whatever who just sits around and yells at the tv. and you're like 'why we gotta put up with that shit' and your moms cuffs you in the head and's all like 'language. he's my brother and he's your elder. you show some respect.' and you's like 'damn moms.'
so like he ate all their food. and everyone did alright. but then it was like the coldest day of the whole winter. they didnt know it, right, but like looking back on the event and all, that's like how it was. word is bond. and so like this weasel comes by the tree and knocks on the door. i know right, a door? and comes in cuz the other squirrels are pussies, but scrappy's like 'yo, that dude's trouble. look at his eyes, yo.' but no one listened. and later that night, like the weasel fucking ate the other squirrels. and he came by scrappy's room and was like 'yo, i just ate your family and you're next.' and scrappy's like 'shit dog. why's it gotta be this way. why's there so much hate in the rap game. cant we just sip some thug passion and collaborate on some fat tracks?' and the weasel had like a change of heart, cuz he was like an alcoholic or some shit and liked drinking and dropping rhymes. and they went into the booth, but then when the beat started in and scrappy was like 'yo, what the hook gon' be?' and the weasel was like 'i don't need no motherfucking hook on this beat. all i need is a...' and then scrappy capped him through the glass with his tek. and stood over the weasel and was like 'yo, this one's for my moms' and put two in the weasels head and dropped the gun and walked off and the camera was like close-up on his eyes. and he had this stare like you looked at it and you was all 'shit dog' only slow, like 'shiiiiiit dooooog.' and then it pulled out to an aerial view of scrappy walking slow-mo through a plaza smoking a cig and he puts on his glasses and then it goes to black and there's like fucking guitar riffs or 'kashmir' or something. and its like 'directed by barry sonnenstein, produced by marty lefkowitz....' and then you walk out of the theater and light up a cig and put on some glasses and the camera pulls out as you walk to your car. and then scrappy wakes up in a cold sweat and goes to the door of the tree and the weasel is standing there and he's like 'nooooooooo' and it zooms in down his throat and goes to black and the credits roll again, but this time the names are different. and you sit there and you're like, that was lame. and then the theater explodes and you're flying out of the wreckage onto the hood of a camaro and you look inside and its will smith and martin lawrence. and they're like 'bad boys for life, yo' and you're all 'that movie sucked my left nut.' and then you wake up and your left nut is missing. and you're lance armstrong and you fuck sheryl crow, maybe or something.



nobody liked bernice. she was a nice person, if you got to know her, but she had a shell of animosity you had to get past. she used to sit in the lunch room facing the wall away from everyone else. everyone thought it was because she was just a jerk, but she really sat over there thinking of all the things she'd say if someone would just come over and talk to her. she knew things. she was really smart. she read books all the time and wrote fantasy. she was in fourth grade. everyone was learning geography and long division, but she was just sitting there. she didn't want to grow up because she didnt think anything was going to change. she had no forseeable reason to look forward to more of the same depression and loneliness, but in her stories she was older. it was an odd internal conflict that although she envisioned being a woman, she couldnt conceive of process of aging. on a day-to-day level, the transformation was too surreal. her body was constantly shedding it's cells and producing new ones. she read a book on anatomy and biology. she read einstein and it blew her mind. she wanted to travel at the speed of light, leave this earth, find new worlds and when she stopped, come to the realization that if she went back, everyone she knew would be dead. but for the time being, until she re-entered that frame of reference, they were alive. what was that called? schroedingers cat, right.
nothing much ever became of bernice. she's one of those old ladies who work at libraries now. she hates it when people brush against her in the elevator. she hates alot of things. she's really old now. how did that happen? she thinks sometimes. against the collective will of her constituent parts, she had aged. it didnt matter though. because everyone died eventually and if her body could keep changing without her insides being affected, then what was the death of the body other than a loss of a hull. an escape of creative energy from this frail, fragile box we walk around in. she knew better, really. knew that there were two realities. the reality her body and the reality of her soul. science vs. romance.




the "self-help" section of any bookstore is full of the depressed and as a corollary, the depressing. the sad members of society who have admitted that they have a problem, or haven't, in which case they are in denial and have admitted to that, who are convinced that by recognizing a fault in their mental or physical composition, they have compounded their flaw. clearly, in such cases, asking anyone else for help would only constitute a further sign of weakness and so, in a show of utter madness, they turn to the words of other raving lunatics for solace. luckily for me, i suffer from mild schizophrenia and one of my personalities fancies himself a shrink. matter of fact, it was he who told me i was schizophrenic. at first i wouldn't have believed him, but he assures me that the other voices agree with him by a two-thirds margin.




every morning is a process of rationalizing the improbability of your life. the mind pops. synapses arc. a toe wiggles. surprised by this, the mind takes three great strides and assumes the now-obvious: "i'm not dead." a foot reaches out into the abyss and lands on the thread-bare rug by the nightstand. pleased by its new domain, the mind performs a somewhat foolish act. it assumes that 'god' meant for this to be. some ultimately benevolent force put the body here, enshrined the mind within its walls and returned to the heavens to watch bemusedly at the wonder of its creation. "my god put me on earth in possession of all these wonderful playthings, some of whom, inconsequentially, appear to possess similar faculties of speech and motion," the mind intones. this is the mind's mantra, which properly produced at moments of indecision and doubt allows it to maintain its unsteady grasp on the body's reins.

now the body, because we've been distracted by the showy man at the wheel of the war-wizened camaro that is the semi-functioning human body, is still standing bare-assed in front of the window scratching its unmentionables. the mind is fairly certain it had nothing to do with this present course of action, but, these things being of little or no consequence in the face of such vast and incomprehensible philosophic quandaries, the mind abides.

twenty minutes later, still bare-assed, the body is at least clean. this excites the mind, as did the wetness and the tingle of contact with the sleek porcelain and delicate fixtures. "i am ready to face the day," says the mind.

"well i'd rather be in bed," the body murmurs in a grumbly voice from behind the kneecaps, which is echoed by an angry upstairs tenant between the eyes who often forgets to turn off the radio when he goes away on business.

"you shouldn't have stayed up until four in the goddamn morning listening to all those asinine eddie murphy records if we were due at work at seven," whines a voice in the ears.

"alright, alright!" the mind shouts, by means of quashing the mutinous rabble. for shame, should the creator happen to be tuned in and watching at this moment. the biggest problem with omnipotence is getting good reception and god, though tech-savvy, has not treated his rabbit ears kindly. "perhaps i'll be relieved of my position," thinks the brain. "my expertise is in management. i'd never make it among the grunts." Straightening his chapeau and throwing back his shoulders, the mind embarks on a campaign to retrieve the wayward dissenters. "enough of this nonsense. we've all been put here with very specific duties. Each of us forms an important component of the whole, and..."

"oh, not the clock speech again," whines the earvoice more insistently, standing full-up now and shaking away the remnants of sleep. "if we're such a well-oiled bit of mechanized nonsense, and i'll remind you that you sound like a very stodgy officer in her majesty's royal navy when you get off on the subject,...were you watching the history channel again?!...if we're supposed to be so precise and wonderful, then just how in the hell did you end up in charge?!" unbeknownst to the world outside the confines of the skin, the mind suffers innumerable such rebukes from the ears, who rent out a studio loft in the head and are often the first to hear the gossip regarding errors in judgment committed by the mind.

a hand snaps to life and tugs on the earlobe. the hands dated the mind in college and, though it didn't work out between them, they're still very close. silently, they've been pulling open drawers and selecting appropriately coordinated shoes and belt from the closet. the feet, like faulkner's manchild, are guided hesitantly and whimpering into socks. in moments, despite objections from various extensions of the self, the body is out on the street and stumbling towards the car. the day is long; the night is short; the mind is tired, but resolute. it continues to heed the call of some higher power. what strange bedfellows the agnostic body and the zealot mind make. in countless apartments, alleyways, houses and hotels across the eastern seaboard, the same scene plays out.

the day begins.