too young to stop too old to start

9-5

I hate my job. I know everyone says that. If you liked it, it wouldn’t be your job. The doctor dreams of a living where they can serve coffee exclusively. And the Barista works 70 hours a week to put themselves through med school. In the end we are all after what we don’t get in our lives. I heard it’s like an evolutionary imperative that we are hard wired to pursue what we don’t get in our lives in order to continue to drive for what we want. But in this regard I think it’s warranted. I’m generally bored with the whole thing. The irony is I actually work one of my fantasy jobs from when I was younger. Used to kill time at work wondering how cool it would be to kill zombies for a living and now that it’s exactly what I do, I can’t stand it. You see, in my head this job was all about the fighting. Dodging and weaving through hordes of snarling hunks of rotted flesh as I deftly maneuver my sword (or what ever other weapon I chose) into their soft bodies, killing them in droves. I would return to a small but warm group of survivors with a loving wife or girlfriend who would sit with me by the fire at night as we laughed and exchanged stories of our day over earthy home-cooked meals. The reality is I spend 6 hours burying a pike into the heads of the walking undead and another 6 hours patrolling long rows of traps for stragglers or those who could not hack it, so to speak, through them. Bottle necks are probably the deadliest thing to zombies, but if pushed too hard they might flood and just bad things happen then. That said though, as long as you follow the routine and keep your head down, it’s ok. When the pike is full the bodies get dropped into a furnace room where they deal with the stragglers or crawlers and burn the remains, after stripping clothes and anything else that might be of use off of them. For the most part undead clothes are just used for things like incendiaries and such as no one wants anything to do with them, but some times if you’re cold enough you’ll take a jacket. No matter where it’s from. Open warfare with the hordes of undead is way too expensive and deemed wasteful and pointless. Their strength is their numbers and we almost literally don’t have enough bullets for them. But we do have a lot more sharpened metal rods and ability to pull a lever. At the end of the day I go home. To a warm fire and boring food. Flat bread (apparently yeast is not a commodity we can find) with beans and a modest amount of water. We exchange conversation around the fire (that part I did get right) but don’t talk about interesting things. Mostly just make up stories about tv shows or gossip. And when I say “make up stories” I can not undersell this fact. It’s not the great days of recanting the adventures of Hercules or Odysseus. No, this is making up boring things about our day. To inject some spice to things. Or just discussing things like the past tv shows, but people try not to delve too much in the past. Better to keep your eyes forward than risk feeling sad about humanity’s current disposition. I can see where they are coming from in some ways but it’s still hard to be around. Like living in a Lifetime horror movie. I miss fine things though. Coffee, for example. I used to never like the taste of the ones that weren’t flooded in sugar and flavors but I still liked it. And hot showers. The current showering option is every other day I get a bar of incredibly painful lye and have to cause massive systemic skin irritation all over myself. And cartoons. I don’t even care about making them fun any more. Would watch something like a cat and mouse chase each other around and try to murder each other. Tex Avery’s greatest achievement (may he rest in peace…dear god please let him be too dead. I don’t want to be the one who killed zombie Tex). I wonder if I’ve dispatched any celebrities actually. I thought I saw Jon Stewart once but someone shot him before I could check. LA amiright?

It’s the same thing every day though, and to most that’s a comfort. The average survivor wants to be just a survivor, but I have loftier goals. I still insist that there is more to humans than numbers. My opinion is not a popular one though, and gets me…looks some times. Mostly I suspect because of my…condition…but we’ll get into that one later. I’m not eager to turn you against me as well just yet. I end the day in a small ramshackle…um…shack where I try and remember which of my 3 books I have read the least and read using a small piece of the fire pit that I stole with me. I can hear families either fighting or fucking just tents away from me. The two Fs that can keep a group together. Try to tune it out or pretend it’s just a set of particularly aggressive crickets or something and focus on Dragonspear Tales volume 14: The Aggressor of Count Barony Lord and pretend I don’t have every plot device memorized by now. It’s not that bad, really. I don’t want to sound so condescending. It’s just after the 84th time, no book can retain the original entertaining nature.

The morning sun finds me groggy and annoyed at its light. I rise to a comforting breakfast of beans and flatbread (someone changed up the order, I see) and it’s off to my incredibly fulfilling job of pushing metal. Today is Tuesday and I’m actually lucky to know that. My watch is pretty accurate and solar-powered. Aside from the eventual degradation of the band, it’ll run pretty much forever. Tuesdays are my second favorite day of the week. For two reasons. One, they make the most interesting use of vowels, and the second is I get to work next to Thomas Z. When I ask him his last name he just says “Z,” and stares off into space. But Tom’s a good guy and I figure everyone in this world deserves a chance to be just who they want to be. I know I would love that chance. We some times talk to each other as we shove sharp objects into zombie flesh and sometimes we even joke. Tom is probably my best friend in that we share the fewest awkward silences. He’s a bit of an outcast in that he’s gay, both happy and sexually attracted to males. Most of the group are uneasy about it but I don’t mind. He’s funny but there’s an edge of sadness to his remarks sometimes that I don’t pursue. Some sweaters don’t deserve to be unraveled. He sometimes helps me pick out good outfits, and in that we mean, which beat-to-shit t-shirt and one of my 2 pairs of pants do I wear today. But I digress. Today we talked about flowers. Tom used to be a gardener and when I ask why he wasn’t on farming detail rather than head-sticker detail he just shrugs. He taught me a lot about plant cycles and how to properly water and rotate the crops to ensure longevity of the soil. I suspect he’s making most of this shit up but he sounds pretty legit about it so I let it go. Besides, he’s the one dude who will still talk to me and look me in the eyes so I can’t complain too much.

The day progresses as normal. I will say that the apocalypse has had me in the best shape of my life so I can’t complain there really. But still boring. I take my shift and walk long treks around the fenced trap area watching for Snaggers, as we call them. Everything appears to be ok and, in fact, quieter than normal. I whistle lightly to myself. We get in trouble if we are too loud on the guard sections. Don’t want to lure them to the wrong section of course. That would be a tragedy. We might have some blood-quickening action and I might just have to look like a productive member of the group and not just a member of the group that everyone can say, “Well at least he does that.” Like the roommate that never pays rent on time and almost never does dishes, but occasionally scores some good weed. I finish the rounds with little activity. Only had to put down one, got two others untangled. Putting down one always looks bad though, and might end up getting me latrine detail (I haven’t checked my numbers lately). That’s the worst part. Even in the apocalypse there are still “stats”. How well we do our job is used to measure whether or not we have to continually do our job. Can you believe that shit? I can’t completely blame them on that one. Every time a zombie is put down we have to send in a group to burn the corpse and they have to babysit the fire to make sure it burns down the majority of the body. Usually it’s only one Molotov, but not necessarily all the time, and they are particularly grumpy if it is more than one. Like the fact that they can’t aim is my fault. I offered to do it. I’m actually a pretty good shot but they don’t want me anywhere near the weapons, which I find appallingly offensive, but they don’t care. At all.

Same dinner, same book, same sleep, same wake up, same dawn, same job of making amateur zombie skewers and practicing crudely effective lobotomies. Wednesdays I’m next to Gus. Gus is jovial but takes a little too much joy in his job. It’s off-putting. He claims he’s just freeing angels but I don’t know. He’s not a bad man but he always looks at me like he’s aiming at me. I can’t describe it but it’s unnerving. I get the feeling that so many animals must have seconds before black consumed them. We spend the majority of the day in silence except for the occasional hymnal he sings or mutters to himself. I count the thrusts and try to remember a good song that would match its tempo.

The days are slowing up for zombie incursions, which is sad to me. One or two might shuffle in per hour. It is incredibly boring now, but two people have to be watching the perimeter. I can remember when I spent the day literally just jabbing in and out of faces with my hard rod. A euphemism that used to make me giggle, but now I just sigh uncomfortably. Walk the perimeter (only one Unstuck and no Put Downs). Yes, that last Put Down put me over my limit, and now I dig and move latrines. Someone thankfully found a shit-ton of chemical latrine cleaner and the job is now quite likely going to kill me faster than the hordes of undead. I can’t stand that thought. I do it…because…I don’t want to be that guy who whined his way out of latrine detail, but I hate it even more than my other job. Trade a shit job for a shittier job. Sounds so much like my life I can’t stand it. After the eighth hole is dug and prepped I decide I need to go speak to the Magister of the group.

Thursday finds the same events following me around. Thursday is slightly more interesting though, since I’m with Gladys who loves to talk about her puppies. But in the future tense. That’s right. She likes to talk about the dogs she will get. She’s sweet and very nice and polite but steers, violently some times, the conversation to puppies every time.

Don’t bother

It’s my fault. I’m lonely. I wish I could make that feeling go away but sadly I don’t have the ability. I know what my problem is. I know why girls want little to nothing to do with me but it helps very little. Knowing that your shirts smell bad rarely cures a nic fit. I’m alone by my fault. I’m alone because I am not something that is worthy of company. In short I don’t even want to spend time with me so I can’t in good conscience ask someone else to do it. I won’t be preachy or weepy or beg for compliments. I don’t want the tumblr fairy to come magic my pain away I want fire. I want fury and passion and chaos and destruction. I want the dramatic haircut and the montage of destruction as my old life crash’s around me. I want to grow from this pain and these ashes. I want to come thundering down the mountain all hell and elephants as the world can only stop and stare at the man I will be compared to the boy I was. I want the change and the growth but in the end it’s…hollow. I try to keep in mind just one small step at a time but…silence. If I could I would apologize to young me with one hand and strangle him with the other. I miss young me. Not because I was particularly great as a young person but he had a light in him that…was impressive. But I disregard him too. His light was born out of ignorance. I want to shine brighter despite being jaded. If my light is green then so be it but I will burn. I WILL FUCKING BURN.

not thinking about it

It was raining. Jack Mcguill loathed his smoking habit on days like today. The wind was freezing and the water soaked his shoes. Not the best of days to wear tennis shoes to work. He cursed silently at the thought of his warm boots at home nestled snugly in his closet. The shorts were not helping either. Needless to say he was sick of the weather and this bullshit summer pointing out to him how infuriating it was to be wearing pants in the middle of June. The embers of the cigarette glowed extra bright as he sucked them in pretending he was much MUCH cooler then he was. Cigarettes always had a romantic appreciation for him. He could imagine the lone gun man about to make a valiant but ultimately failed last stand some where. Or letting the smoke curl around himself and achieving some ironic sense of finality in things. But in truth it was cold and it was lonely and it was off putting. He hated it as much as he wished he could. The rain picked up in intensity and he finally abandoned his pointless vigil of addiction. Returning to work with 4 minutes left on his break he trudged up the stairs. Life had been particularly stressful for Jack lately. And it was not something that was getting easier as time went on as well. Failures seemed to have this unique tenacity to stick around in life that success did not. No matter how good you were at building something it would break. And that was what he seemed to be having a hard time with. He was so busy trying to think of a good way to rectify this that he utterly failed to notice the man in the trench coat approach him. By the time that he did notice it was too late and 4000 volts were passing through him rendering  his entire body as effective as trying to use splashing as a defense against a shark. He collapsed in front of the man barely able to understand what he was seeing but that might have been in part because the man looked exactly like him. Only 20 years older.

You know how this ends

I’m sorry. I’m sorry I let though down enthusiastically and consistently. I’m sorry that your dreams didn’t matter to me. Most of all I’m sorry so very sorry that I don’t know how to fix it. I promise that I’ll try but I know it’s all just flowers on a grave. Too little too late.

A toast before we jump?

Benjamin Catterwal hated these functions. His suit was pressed and itchy and too cold in the wrong areas and too hot in others. The band was playing something soft and ignorable. What you would want to hear at a party like this. He had retired himself to the balcony to watch the snow fall on the city. Staring over the edge he could almost feel the gravity of it. Hundreds of feet below dotted lines of white and black and yellow crawled through the city like slightly more organized ants. He watched his breath curl out of his lips in curious vapors and pretended he was cool and smoking for  a second. With a burst of warmth and sound she joined him on the balcony. Wearing tight black pants that rode strangely high on the hips and a tight red vest buttoned to wrap her curves covering a white shirt that seemed to both hide and highlight her breasts she looked at him with a mixture of curiosity and disapproval. Digging a cigarette out from her cleavage, an act that required her to undo 4 buttons and loosen a bow tie, (not nearly as sultry as she had imagined) she withdrew a cigarette from between her comfortable love bags. she looked at him curiously and extended the cigarette with a quizzical look remembering her lighter was hidden in her sock. Benjamin shrugged his shoulders apologetically and patted his pretended to search his pockets for a non existent lighter. The waitress glared and dug the lighter out of her sock which now made her ankles momentarily cold. Behind them they could hear a particularly strong laugh and Benjamin turned to see the host of the party standing next to Benjamins girlfriend. He sighed as he caught the “subtle” movement of the host who shall be hence forth known as Mr. Grabby squeeze his girlfriends enviable derrier. Benjamin couldn’t be roused to anger about it though Grabbers was half the reason they were here. The other half was his money. He glanced over and the waitress whom we should really name was bracing against the wall trying desperately not to be seen. Benjamin smiled awkwardly and placed himself between the wall and the rest of her to cover the excess. Tipping an invisible hat to her to say sorry for the lighter. They stood until Benjamin gave a nod that it was all clear and proceeded to walk to the ledge again. Watching the steam roll off his lips he tried to hold and extend his breath to make it look more like, clumsy girl? No that’s a terrible name. Soft eyes? Too boring there’s no depth to her that way. Looking at her one could be tempted to go with amazing rack but let’s keep it classy. Lady cigarette (still working on it bare with me) Joined him at the ledge and let her smoke curl and envelope his steam. She giggled slightly at the image and looked at him honestly for the first time that night. Her eyes were a deep blue and her teeth were perfectly straight like a military cemetery but one had a slight chip like a Vietnam military cemetery. She stood on her toes leaning against the railing breathing in cold and breathing out hot. Benjamin noticed one of the buttons that was dangerously close to being in dereliction of duty but while trying hard to stop staring at her slight side boob he noticed something else. The edge of a tattoo peaked out from behind her bra. He could only contemplate what it was before his eyes snapped toward the black horizon just in time to avoid her looking at him disappointed. they continued to stare out at the stars and the city around them. Wind made the snow fall up for a while and Benjamin pretended that he and little wing? closer but still not right. Were some how upside down. Perhaps as bats. Watching the flakes behave in a slightly un flakey manner made him smile a bit though and he decided that he needed something. Returning the noise and the warmth he retreated into the party. Navigating a maze of laughter and wafting music he found his way to the bar where he requested 2 flutes of champaign. Sparkling gold danced above his hands as he watched millions of bubbles climb to freedom. Bubbles always made him smile. Something about them always caused a conflict. They very clearly wanted to be out of the water and as a freedom loving American he could never bring himself to deny the little things desire to shake off the yoke of the oppressive liquid. But at the same time he had to admit that things always tasted better bubbly rather then flat. And that was what made him true. Returning with 2 flutes of freedom fighters he handed one to confused look? No wrong direction, and smiled. Clinking a glass with her he downed it all in one drink. And in an act of wild abandon strongly thought about throwing it over the ledge before thinking about where it would likely land and maim some poor pedestrian. He gently sat the glass down on the opposite end of the balcony. Lest some wayward breeze turn him into a monster. Looking out at the skyline he could feel a cold tear make it’s way down his cheek. In an act of defiant desperation he looked over at….Molly her name tag said. In a flash there she was. Curly brown hair. Long summers spent on a farm dodging chores and boys. long winters of work boring school days and skinned knees. Molly hated the phrase tomboy. She was a girl and proud but she also loved stick ball and running. Mud never bothered her and her baking was always a gamble. There was a carnival there and a rakish young lad. They snuck off to a hay pile and she invited him in. A week later he was gone. Lost to ravages of time and carnival attrition. 9 months later she was holding her life in her hands. Tiny blue eyes and thin blonde curly hair changed everything for Molly. Chasing the money she moved to the city. Taking jobs as a dancer (clothed) Waittress and on one occasion had cut off a man’s thumb for 500 dollars. Molly would cut off a thousand thumbs for Lucy Would try to sleep through a thousand imagined screams and beggings for Molly. Benjamin sighed as it happened again. Reaching into his coat he handed her something he knew he would find. Smiling he pressed his wallet into her hands and smiled. Molly felt a mixture of confusion and rage rise in her. Charity was the second to last thing she wanted but he shook her head at her look and pointed at the cigarette. Confused she hands it to him. Watching the smoke rise off it as a thin red orange line slowly over whelms the white he puts it in his mouth. Never in haling he tastes the acrid tar as it washes over his tongue. retching he flicks it over the ledge. Tiny potential for burning someone be damned. Smiling for the last time at Molly Benjamin walks to the ledge determined In his course focusing on the conclusion of it all this would be it. This would be his last moment. A rush and cold and it’s done. Become one with the pavement or a cab and never have to know another life again. Staring at the moon and the stars and the snow and his breath he could feel his mind straining against his muscles that refused to move. Just as his brain wins the battle he feels a soft hand tangle in his left hand. Looking to his left he sees Molly standing there looking very scared and confused. Tears pour down his face as he smiles at her. Together they raced to the pavement as fast as they could carry them. But decided to they should take the stairs rather then the wind. And in this humble story tellers opinion that was the more pleasant choice.

Words

I’m an idiot. I know this to be true I have tested this theory repeatedly and it has proven to be nearly 100 % accurate. And yet I continually take my own advice on ideas. It’s as bad as the blind leading the blind only you know the stupid leading me. I’m sick of it. This feeling inside the self doubt the absolute and utter conviction that I am completely wrong in everything I do. And yet the moments of utter bravado just lead to times where I make a creative fool out of myself. But I’m sick of all of that too. I need to get smarter or wiser or what ever it is that idiots are lacking. Smarsdom. Read more video game less write more porn less. Basically stop satisfying the base easily bored parts of my brain and become better. Ugh I hate writing self serving tripe too. hate it all going to bed.

digging

Sand danced between my toes. In the distance I could see the waves rolling in on the shore. Blue as far as I can see and it’s nice. I missed the beach so much. Even the painful burning sand and the awful salty taste of the water. Even the fact that my 220 pound fat ass can’t float like my 80 pound child self could isn’t in my mind. The sun just bakes the pain away even when it burns different pain to unprotected limbs. No one looks charming when they smile and have to squint at the girls but I try. They are beautiful in their bikini’s. The day seems to wind forever. I forced myself to only bring 2 books plenty of food and water and that’s it. Leaving phones and games at home. Let time take care of me as it will. I love the beach. I love all of it. Even jellyfish stings which almost never happen on the west coast I can take. Even the copious amounts of cigarette butts I love. I haven’t felt like this in I can’t remember how long. Like I can let go. Just be no details no past or future just be.

If I’m honest…

I would probably kill to have some girl send me flowers. I wonder what kind of hitman that would make me?

Wait…

Wait wait wait…wait. travels in a device that is bigger on the inside then the out. Battles with out killing. Changes forms over the years works better in a group….is the doctor a pokemon?