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Inter Alia

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Inter Alia

K.E. Walter

Copyright © 2016 Kyle Walter

All rights reserved.

ISBN:
1532861877 

ISBN-13:978-1532861871 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INSCRIPTION / APRIL 2016

THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER / DECEMBER 2014

VALENTINE / FEBRUARY 2016

DRIVE / SEPTEMBER 2015

ELUSIVE / DECEMBER 2013

SQUALL / FEBRUARY 2016

ZZZ / MARCH 2014

THE PILOT / DECEMBER 2015

7:43 P.M. // BANGKOK / OCTOBER 2015

SKANE / JULY 2014

COMPLACENT / MARCH 2016

TIRED EYES / FEBRUARY 2016

FREE SPEECH AS A DISGUISE FOR IGNORANCE / JANUARY 2015

THE NIGHT SKY / DECEMBER 2015

RELIGIOUS MATURATION: ISLAM|CHRISTIANITY / FEBRUARY 2014

TEMPERUS ET LOCTUM / APRIL 2016

INSCRIPTION

A journey I could not have survived without the help of my family and friends, the last four years have allowed me to explore myself, my sense of understanding, my physical and emotional limits, the extent of love I am the bearer of, and I am eternally grateful to each and every person who has played a role in creating this time for as a period of growth and reflection. Forever you will be loved, forever you will be with me, no matter where the thoughts on these pages may take me in the future. Creation is a burden best shared with the Creator, and for those unlucky victims of my wild attempts at creating, I both extend my apologies and appreciation.

THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER

I’m not sure exactly why it is that I’ve decided to start writing right now. There seems to be no grand conclusion which can be derived from this myriad of experiences we’re all exposed to and, at times, this feels helpless. More so than times, even. Time. Time is a consistent reminder of the flaws of human nature and how these flaws are perpetuated onto our daily lives. Instead of being presented with a coherent and evident solution to the problems we face, we are handed a deck of cards which all have the same number and suit on them. This illustration is a regurgitation of the phrases we are privy to hearing on a daily basis. “That’s the way it is”, or, “it is what it is”. Well that’s fucking bullshit. It is what it is, as it simultaneously is what it isn’t. Nothing comes from nothing, everything comes from everything. In the grand expanse of the world it’s unfair to claim that we have a divine right to knowledge and a holy understanding of the world we live within. Many have come before and many will come after. The emotions we exert and the relationships we build seem to last a lifetime and burn with the passion of a kerosene fire, but, in reality, they are short lived and the bad ones of both seem to be most fulfilling. There’s always talk about the sad things in our lives, the things which we considered the dark pallet of our living collection of colors. But, inherently, these things are what give us the greatest sense of validation. They feed us with the basic and very valuable nutrients which we strive for. That feeling deep in the pit of your stomach is something we strive for. The tears which slowly roll down our faces are the liquid representation of the joy we feel from pain, the joy that’s found in sorrow. We cultivate it, harvest it, use it to our advantage and manipulate our situations in order to most change our position in the community. Therefore sadness isn’t sadness at all. Sadness is a manifestation of happiness. Sadness is happiness wearing a cloak that only slightly alters its appearance. We appreciate sorrow as much as we appreciate happiness and that is the paradox which plagues human life. The things we deem the worst and most undesirable are the things our hearts and minds seek more than anything else.

VALENTINE

Reddened bark waterlogged acrimoniously,

Casting hatred to the icy pendants falling atop its tree,

With a bluster and a bending winter wind to howl,

Forfeit the comfort of a couch to stand in three degrees,

Warmth is merely what we envision, it seems to

Clutch tight to a wool-lined seam,

Perforated edges break bread with who you pretend to be,

All the while, reminiscence manifests in light fixtures,

Provisional glance leads to inevitable rolled dice pleas.

DRIVE

Blood orange clusters of cumulonimbus fluff conform to the shape of the horizon ahead, riding in perfect synchronicity with the spine of the mountains.

8:17 P.M.

An alarm sounds in the passenger seat, but you let it ring, its hollow repetition a comfort alongside the bustle of the city.

Westward looks appealing, its sweet serendipity beckoning from afar. Blades of grass grow high scattered throughout the fields along the highway. The concrete turns to wooden fences and the open air breathes new life into the open car windows.

8:29 P.M.

The sun sits even lower in the sky now, its blood orange magnifying to magenta as the final seconds of light trickle through the light cloud bed. Crickets sing all around, but the bass from the speakers drowns them out in their entirety.

Feet push down as pistons chirp to life and the speed limit which was once a means of protection and enforcement now fades in the distance. There’s no price tag on the feeling of jubilation achieved from merely living, but you’ll try to find it anyway.

8:46 P.M.

Blue lights flicker far ahead, as is the case when you disrespect the law of the open road. Foot eases from gas and the speedometer descends at a continuous pace until it finds itself hovering in the 5mph safe zone above 45.

Passing a face seems familiar, but ignoring it, the pistons hit a staccato once more. Normally, that face would bring trouble, but instead it leaves as quickly as it enters.

It seems like the further from home you get, the less things you see. Where there once was a convenience store and gas station, you just see cows and horses. The mountains draw you further in like an oversized magnet in an almost uncomfortable attraction.

Careening down the pavement, void of intention, a car passes in your side-view mirror that looks like it’s in need of repair, but again, vanishes into the night. “There’s no time for stopping”, you think to yourself, as you lower your center of gravity in your seat and rest your forearm on the console.

9:12 P.M.

The last twenty minutes feel almost like a blur. Not a single car has passed, just boundless empty space on all sides.

Eyes begin to flutter and movements begin to stutter, but the rumble bar brings you back to full consciousness. A quick shake clears your head momentarily, but soon you fall into the same pattern.

9:16 P.M.

Lights, like a baseball being thrown to you as a kid, grow larger and larger, but very slowly at first.

9:17 P.M.

They’re the size of grapefruits now, but no matter how hard you try to move they follow your every step.

9:18 P.M.

Blinding.

9:19 P.M.

You wake up.

ELUSIVE

On Happiness

In life, few things are provided without extensive effort mechanized in a specific direction with an ultimate goal in mind. From conception, humans are bred in a manner which discourages monotony and lax behavior, and encourages an active pursuit of one goal, or a collection of goals set forth by each individual. The pursuit of these goals is a function of human behavior that is seemingly inherent, and from a young age we are taught to aspire for greatness.

Within the sphere of happiness, a tangible representation of the term is, in itself, elusive. Because of its presence as an agile, highly alterable entity, happiness is, by nature, both absent and present in each person’s life. A seeming paradox, happiness can be perceived by different individuals as completely antithetical aspects of a single object. While one person may find solace in the pattering rain falling upon their roof, another will find desolation in the cloudy horizon put forth in front of them.

It is because of this state of being that happiness manifests itself within, that striving for its acquisition frequently leads to despair. Attempting to achieve a state of being which transcends the physical, tangible world, leads to existential crises in many people. This ever “elusive” feeling, state of consciousness, or physical representation of happiness, is elusive for the very reason that you cannot acquire something which does not exist within the laws of this universe.

For comparison, think of happiness as if it were a slab of iron. If you reach a certain temperature, the iron will melt and turn to a liquid, capable of being molded and formed into any cast you desire. In its natural form, it is a solid, capable of withstanding an incredible amount of force. Now imagine if iron, this industrial bastion which has crafted weapons and homes for hundreds of years, were capable of being both a liquid and a solid at the same time. It seems farfetched, does it not? That an element located within our own sphere of reality could be found in two different states at a single time. Now return to the initial comparison, change the variable of iron into happiness. Happiness as a solid is family, beauty, nature, tangible visual representations which are conceived differently by each individual. As a liquid, happiness becomes much more difficult to attain. The liquid representation of happiness comes in the form of cliché butterflies, euphoria, and inexplicable feelings that come as a result of achieving happiness.

Iron has a finite, known melting point. At a certain temperature, Fahrenheit or Celsius, that iron will melt into a liquid. Where the predicament begins when trying to comprehend happiness, is the fact that the “melting point” for happiness differs for each individual. There is no defined “temperature” that will materialize the tangible, physical, representations of the world into a “liquid” that can permeate your body in the form of euphoria.

Humans fail to discover their “melting point” for a variety of complex reasons. Most have been bred into the very fabric of our being, from parents, friends, and other external factors. The elusive nature of happiness manifests in our daily lives because we believe that a complete form of happiness is unattainable, we crave sympathy, and we believe that happiness is most prevalent in the things that are the most difficult to acquire.

When attempting to quantify happiness, a veritable roadblock is erected in the path of whoever is taking on the daunting task. How can you quantify something that is only reified through individual perception? Therefore, with this “roadblock” erected, the possibility of reaching a state of complete happiness starts to appear as unrealistic. You are then confined to utilize your mental space as a prison where you are locked away as an inmate in a perpetual series of increasingly defeating events.

Reaching one hundred percent completion of any goal in life should be looked at as a reputable feat. Our lives are spent fighting uphill battles, trying to sustain sanity and occasionally wellbeing. To look at happiness as something which is capable of being transmitted into every aspect of your life is the first mistake. There are some aspects of everyday living that are simply not conducive for happiness to thrive in.

Long gone are the days of silver linings and finding positivity in every moment of our existence. As humanity has progressed, the futility of life has made an impressive and prominent mark on the psyches of many. This existential viewpoint on our position in the universe is one which has been adopted by a majority of people at the crossroads of childhood and adolescence. A voice which you may feel is prevalent and inspirational may be viewed by the rest of the world as menial and unimportant. Facing this rejection is a part of maturing as a human being.

Sometimes in this rejection, a bemoaning response is to cower in fear, away from the response uttered out of the deep recesses of the world. The last action anyone wants to take is to face this rejection head on. Humans are reliant on a fight or flight mentality. When the battle is a fight over your importance in the overall existence of the world, it can seem best to use evasive maneuvers to avoid this complication.

In this rejection, as in any negative aspect of life, we wish to feel as if our sorrow is well rewarded. Attaining sympathy from others is an essential part of life. Without others sympathy, we feel alone in a world which we may believe will go on spinning with or without us. Although a much less effective form of happiness, the feeling unearthed when we receive sympathy with others is happiness’ distant cousin. It allows us the freedom to wallow in our own situation, while indulging others simultaneously.

This insatiable desire to have others’ attention and sympathy is a result of the elusive nature of happiness. Because we feel we are incapable of reaching a totality of happiness, we settle for the next best available option. This “option” is provided in the form of sympathy. Sympathy allows us for, even just a second, to feel as if our place in the world is justified and worthy of someone else’s compassion. With this sympathy exerted, humans feel as if their existence has been rewarded. Their reward comes in the form of a sixty-five percent pure form of happiness. It has many of the same initial feelings, and can be drawn out in similar fashions as happiness, but in its very essence, it is not as fulfilling as pure ecstasy.

Perhaps the most daunting issue with our current perception of happiness is that we believe it is only accessible in its most inaccessible forms. Our dreams and aspirations are filled with images of fame, fortune, and other unrealistic goals that only few have been lucky to acquire in their lifetime. Happiness is a completely individualized feeling which means that every person has a different perception on what it means to be “happy”.

While the man who wanders without burden may feel that he is happy, is the absence of stress and uncertainty truly the purest form of ecstasy? If a person is removed from their own reality through ignorance of their situation, they can be claimed to be happy, because they lack the understanding to be unhappy.

A system which encourages immediate gratification for our every action, modern relations and emotions placate an equally polarizing reaction. For if happiness is afforded momentarily through social acknowledgement, then it is meant to disappear after only minutes have passed. Therefore, it would seem that the only happiness of importance should be that of sustainability. Such as the diet changes which cause relapses upon their completion, happiness must be treated as an adjustment in lifestyle.

Folly as it may be acknowledged, the nature of happiness is a fickle deity, asking for your worship, but offering little recompense in return. Even the most content of individual may lack the credence or faith to claim a position of happiness. There is an adage which draws water from this idea, that “doing fine is not the same as being happy”. This holds particularly true for most lives, as the existence of stagnation pervades creative difference and motion, forcing conscious thought into a dull drone of monotony.

This creativity is something which is meant to be nourished; current understandings of creativity aside, the benefit of creation is one which is, in turn, inherently religious by formation. If man was created by God, in his like image, then man’s creations on Earth are also in his image. Each piece crafted a piece of a larger project, the art of creation through word, image, dance, and expression should be treated with more weight in the realm of serious discourse. Far too often, the notion of creation is dismissed as childish and unproductive.

In order to truly master happiness, a level of comfort must be reached with the inevitably self-image connected to our individual consciousness. Before this comfort is achieved, it is impossible to create in a positive manner. Though therapeutic, strongly encouraging signals sent into the world are often met with strong positive signals in response, allowing for further proliferation of these bombastically happy sentiments.

We strive to be minutes where seconds exist, yes, and this is the ultimate conundrum of happiness. Because of naturally identifiable reactions caused by things we deem happy, we conclusively pursue larger and better versions of the happiness we currently withhold. Therefore, as a tenant of modern life, happiness can never be reached, it can only be sculpted to your given situation.

On Wealth

“May your time upon the Earth be filled with the most bountiful of monetary compensations, laden with golds and jewels of the most precious of categories” seems to be a rather precocious and naïve wish for the life of another person. However, this stated duly, we pursue wealth with a keen eye, acting as the pelican who swoops from above to claim its meal.

Sleep is regarded as things such as unnecessary and “for the weak”, because time spent in your dreams is time that is not spent pursuing them as realities. We place particular stigma upon vacation, for if time is sacrificed from work, then it is truly wasted in its most basic form. The $180 dollars I could have made on Wednesday, January 18th in a given year is paramount to relaxation and human connection. Though it could scarcely afford a new vacuum cleaner, it is afforded such precedence over sanity that we force ourselves to remove thoughts of such blaspheme as “lounging” and “thinking” from our vocabulary.

The modern human is one of much do, rather than much thought. It is better to engage in action, then it is to contemplate reaction. A lack of motion is tantamount to regression, where the only thing assisting your plane of direction is a massive blue orb beneath your feet. No single person takes heed over another, yet we leapfrog competition in a concerted effort to arrive at a, somewhat, meaningless mark of completion, a slave to our own conceived existence.

Wealth is very much as subjective as the concept of happiness in rhetorical thought. Though tangible fiat currency exists to put physicality to idea, what was witnessed in Greece should be lesson to us all when contemplating the nature of good and service. What was once deemed a powerful unit of consumption was reduced to near worthless; a victim of the ever volatile structure surrounding it, which preys on weakness and ill planning.

What of reading? Is a four hour read of fantastical literature worth the time spent indulging in its pages? There are many who would argue not, just as there are many who would argue in favor of this position. Reading prose could, in theory, be a supplement to the given situation, its words supplanted on paper a veritable tome of amplitude, giving each step more spring, and each thought more conceptualization. Should philosophy be considered in either of the aforementioned categories? An argument against any tacit value of philosophy would hold great weight; the idea that we can begin to grapple with the large weight of presented qualms is, at best, misguided, at worst, masochistic.

Is it possible to quantify a good time? Take a three hour period of leisure with close friends. Assume that, because you are inclined to use this time otherwise to make an income, that base pay is around $20/hour. In order to meet your bills, you are required to hold onto twelve of those dollars. Left with eight dollars of discretionary income, you are faced with a dilemma: sacrifice it for time with peers, or use it to amass greater “wealth”. What if you truly dislike the people who wish to spend time with you, leading to a net negative? Or, given that these are your closest of friends, you net a positive three dollars hourly from time spent with them, relative only to employment, of course. This would assume, that you would only make the sacrifice of spending time with them if there were urgent bills to be paid, or other expenses to cover.

Can all of life be commodified? In economics terms: yes. There is a wealth which has been codified and represented with market signals and trends, giving otherwise valueless items value. We know the parables of oil, as well as others in reference to overnight value being created, but what if the same could be done internally? If thought could be manifested and manipulated to convince us that our otherwise foundationless thoughts are just that, we could assign a different value to a great number of things in daily life.

The psychology of healthy living is heavily reliant upon a deviation from things which invoke fear, sadness, and otherwise unpleasant emotions. If we could simply evoke joy from said experiences, then the perpetual motion device which we so desire becomes incredibly apparent.

SQUALL

It snows in the most northern depths of my heart,

The salt I lay bears no fruition,

Hoping for thawing, I travel into ultraviolet rays,

But instead they simply burn my inhibition,

Apply a layer of lotion,

Save the allergic disposition,

To escape December cold for autumn,

I travel on my own volition.

ZZZ

Why do the tired refuse to sleep?

There comes a point of exhaustion in which respite is merely a pipe dream, once held delicately in the palm, now caressed by external nothingness. For the sleep which once seemed paramount has faded into obscurity. Lines in faces carve a harrowing river bed through a soul which hath seen no rainfall for quite some time. Crevasses on hands deepen with every blow, stricken against the harsh door frame. Though knuckles swell, there is a sickening sense of satisfaction knowing that control is still a viable option. You hold the key to your own well-being, but have tossed it into a river of despair. Fuck scuba gear, you say, you’d rather it not be found. If I could guarantee that the breaths taken underwater were never administered back to me, I’d tie concrete around my ankles and dive in with a smile on my face.

Why do the tired refuse to sleep?

Whilst the clocks strikes 3:37 again, your eyes barely feel the twinge of true, total, rest. You can feel the weight of your lids struggling to keep open, but your eyes long for more of the same sorrow they’ve seen. It seems as if this stretch of time is a futile attempt to pretend that there is an obvious escape. Or an easy escape. Or a fire escape. Or a Ford Escape. You know, like the one you used to drive with the friend you no longer have because he refused to sleep as well. Or the time you ate chicken cacciatore made with the love of a mother’s hands. She used to look into my eyes with the same weight that mine feel now.

Why do the tired refuse to sleep?

She’s been sick. Odds are, she’ll be sick again. It’s a shame, her five hours away, me without the time to even call her during the week. She deserves better. We all deserve better. Why don’t we get it?

Why do the tired refuse to sleep?

Consciousness is fading fast, I reach for my tin to sustain myself on nicotine yet again.

Why do the tired refuse to sleep?

Because the dreams have turned to nightmares, but the world rotates without recognition in the slightest.

Why do the tired refuse to sleep?

I’ve caught myself again. Asleep, but not wanting it. I shake myself out of it. The cold sweats are almost comforting now. I like the idea of being in pain.

Why do the tired refuse to sleep?

Because the ramblings of a mad man mean more than the good deeds of a sane one.

Why do the tired refuse to sleep?

Because then they’ll have to wake up.

THE PILOT

FADE IN

OUTSIDE OF DORMITORY BUILDINGNIGHT

Running backwards while laughing, a GUY (20s) is being chased by a GIRL (20s) around the outside of a student dorm building on campus at a university.

YELLING as she runs after him, he only LAUGHS in response, as he rounds the corner and juts out of sight.

The GIRL stops running and yells out after the GUY.

GIRL

For fuck’s sake, Brandon. Why are you so fast?

IN FRONT OF CAMPUS COFFEE SHOPNIGHT

Three men, one girl, stand outside the coffee shop smoking. It’s a Thursday night, so it’s not as crowded as it typically is.

MUSIC BLASTING as car pulls up, SAMIR exits his car after parking it in front of the shop.

People standing in front of the shop SHOUT as he nears the entrance.

ALI

Ayo, Samir! Keif hek?

SAMIR goes in to shake his hand, entering into a full on embrace.

SAMIR

Tam am. What’s up, guys?

LAUGHING is heard as BRANDON rounds the bend toward the coffee shop and enters the scene.

BRANDON

Ooooh, shit. What’s good, guys?

ALI

Are you drunk? Why you out of breath?

BRANDON

Oh, I’m plastered, thanks for asking. Whoop, gotta go.

GIRL enters shot and BRANDON is seen running away from the group, into the night somewhere.

GIRL

What the fuck, man. Why does he have to make me chase him?

SAMIR

Just, eh, let him run Maya, eventually, he will tired himself out (thick accent).

MAYA is seen running off in the opposite direction.

INSIDE OF COFFEE SHOPNIGHT

Sitting in the corner of the shop are two GUYS and a GIRL. The one GUY stands up in the middle of talking and starts smacking his hands in the face of the girl.

GUY

Tell me why, you gotta be so bad, though! Just, tell me why!

GUY 2

L.P., just chill man. We’re in public.

L.P.

Don’t give me that fu fu lame shit, my guy. You think just because you got that fancy ass, Calvin Klein shirt on, you can stop my finesse? Nu uh.

GIRL

Haha, you guys are so funny. Alright, well I gotta go finish my paper. I’ll see y’all later.

L.P.

Damnit, Pranav, you see what you do? (LAUGHS profusely)

GIRL walks in and looks to the back of the shop and her face widens with a smile.

GIRL

L.P.! Oh my god, I’m so glad you’re here. Do you and Pranav want to come out to Super tonight? I’m working the door.

BRANDON walks in after her and begins yelling.

BRANDON

Yea, my G! You trying to come thru to Super?

L.P. stands up and begins dancing toward BRANDON, who in turn does the same.

L.P.

Bruh, bruh! What’s good! Yea, turn up, Super finna be lit.

PRANAV

Truuuuuue, let’s go smoke a cig, though.

IN FRONT OF CAMPUS COFFEE SHOPNIGHT

2 out of the 3 MEN who were smoking cigarettes outside of the coffee shop before have left, it’s now just ALI and SAMIR.

As they stand there talking, MAYA returns to the scene, with a look of EXASPERATION on her face.

BRANDON, PRANAV, L.P., and the GIRL walk out of the coffee shop.

As they are saying hello to SAMIR and ALI, MAYA begins slapping BRANDON.

MAYA

Are you fucking serious? I’ve been trying to find you for like 20 minutes. You’re such a fucking asshole.

7:43 P.M. // BANGKOK

Sweat drips from your brow, lightly at first, but torrents into a full monsoon by the third round.

You feel a pressure building on the bridge of your nose where a strong left dealt a blow just a few minutes earlier.

It doesn’t feel broken, but it doesn’t feel quite comfortable either.

The bell sounds, and you meander towards the side of the ring where a crisp shot of tequila awaits you.

Throwing it back, you see flashes of the last twenty minutes or so and cringe. You’ve taken quite a few shots that weren’t as beneficial as this one, and now you just hope you can make it out of the fight without being knocked out.

Around your right eye, swelling has begun, but not anything serious.

Your “trainer” applies a cold rag, wrapping it around your head to alleviate all pain in the region. Though you may not have the best hands, you have something the others don’t: resilience.

It’s not abnormal for you to be hit, it’s been a thing for a while at least.

People have always looked at you as out of shape, or not tough enough, but what they didn’t know is that no matter how many strikes landed on the bridge of your nose, or the side of your head, you would be hard pressed to give in.

And so the bell sounds again, ready for the round to begin. One more shot of tequila soothes the parchness in your throat, if only for a second.

Welcome to the world of underground Muay Thai.

SKANE

My eyes were red.

A pain that I practically begged for throbbed with every pulse of blood that coursed through my body as I lifted my head from the hard plastic back of the Ryan Air seat which had been promptly leaned backwards in front of me. Gazing across the aisle I noticed two friends, who for now will remain nameless, both of which were awakening from their short-lived rest as a baby sang a song of agony in unison with their belabored yawns.

As I looked out the window of the cargo plane turned cheap commercial airliner, it wasn’t what I saw that surprised me, but rather, what I didn’t see. A flat plain protruded beneath the wing of the plane and upon it may have stood a handful of trees so small that I could cover it with the width of my thumb.

My side hurt.

Curiously, an elbow had ended up lodged in my rib cage, and I shook the passenger next to me until they came to consciousness. With a slight smile she affirmed her thanks and I returned my eyes to the head of the plane. When you pay 20 pounds for a flight, you don’t expect to have all amenities offered on a luxury liner. From the moment they administered the menus which comprised of a selection of delicacies similar to those offered at a Waffle House somewhere in the Catoctin Mountains, it was clear that this, merely 90 minute, flight to Sweden would be less than sublime. However, with 19 years of fairly sheltered life under my belt and a slight buzz lingering in the cool, salty air, I stepped off the plane and into a world anew with two friends, for now we’ll call them Moist and Wicked.

My stomach rumbled.

Shockingly, catching a red eye on no sleep and an expended source of covalent bonds processing within my phospholipid bilayer (food) left me rather disoriented as I proceeded toward Swedish customs. Yet, with a bold spring in my step I bounded toward the surprisingly empty line into Malmo Airport. For me, I was in heaven. The great yellow and blue flag which flapped in the wind above the hangar gifted me a sense of adventure and absolute bliss as I slid my passport out of its asinine holder and into the hands of the middle-aged man who began to handle it.

My ears piqued.

His English was perfect. With all of my naivety I guess one thing I had never considered was that, perhaps, there were people in the world who were better at my own language than myself, but I found it on a rainy day in Malmo. With Moist and Wicked following close behind, I received my passport from the “handler” as he asked me “Why have you decided to come to Malmo?” My American (slightly New Jerseyian) attitude proceeded a calm, yet collected, “This place looked pretty cool, I guess” With a slight glare he administered the required stamps to our documents and we were on our way.

Unfortunately, we weren’t aware of exactly where we were on our way to. A few steps past customs showed us that the small Swedish airport was rather barren. Who would have guessed that a 20 pound flight would go to a small airport? Well, as it turns out, every taxi driver in the region had guessed just that. As three of approximately eight arrivals to the airport, we looked around sheepishly until we found a currency exchange where we cashed in our British pounds in favor of the Swedish Kronor. Within minutes, partially due to our bewildered expressions, a taxi driver who seemed to be the most adept at the English language, approached our disheveled party with a proposition:

My brain was hurting.

I never liked math. Nor did I like the prospect of being ripped off by a Swedish taxi driver within a mere few minutes of arriving in the country (again, take into account New Jersey). However, the proposition the driver made successful managed to bamboozle every synapse that had ever fired or was planning to fire in the near future within my head. Like a defeated sheep being herded by a shepherd, we put our heads down and headed for the cab.

You never realize how helpless you can be until you’re thrown into a foreign country without doing any prior research (this will come into play later).

A short (thirty minute) drive to the city center (strip mall) left our downtrodden party in front of a McDonald’s that offered something called a “McFeast” with limited phone battery and free wi-fi. Apparently something that sounded like the “Backpack Haven 7” would be housing us for the next week or so, but the only problem was we had no idea where that actually was. Alas, our brilliant (read, American) minds believed that it would be in our best interest to walk to the city center, a mere three miles from the Mobilia (all hail the Mobilia).

At this point I’d like to give all of my condolences to Moist and Wicked who have, up until now, graciously accepted my offer of a trip to the Skane region of Sweden and Denmark in order to see … well, what, we weren’t exactly sure, but we were going to see it.

It didn’t take long to realize that Malmo, Sweden had about as much aesthetic quality as abandoned Pripyat post Chernobyl meltdown, but alas, we were mesmerized. Giant apartment buildings with seemingly no one in them, burned out cars, graffiti, it was as if we had transported to East Berlin in the late ‘80s and we were loving every second of it.

We found a pizzeria which also doubled as a shawerma stand and I decided to drink something that appeared to be liquefied carrots in a bottle. Nearly 50$ in the hole at this point and craving sleep, the merry band of gentlemen departed the shawermaria and headed for the Backiavagen.

Again, you would assume that a hostel which costs about the equivalent of a McFeast a night may not be the most appealing, but as young, wide-eyed Americans, it only added to the allure. We strode past industrial stacks and an abandoned car, onward to our safe haven where we were greeted by a nice Swedish woman … and no other people.

I think at one point we counted six other guests, but for the most part, we had the hostel to ourselves. Stone gray, concrete floors, bunk beds, and a communal shower that would make those from freshman year of college blush, the Barackiavegan was the perfect accoutrement to our romanticized visions of Scandinavia and Europe in its entirety.

The Somalis have a word, “qashinka” which is essentially garbage, but it comes to mind when thinking of Malmo for some reason. It was as if all of Sweden’s destitution and violence had been subjugated to the confines of the city, never to escape. Unfortunately, we learned this after we had already landed in the homeland of PSG striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Upon researching the local clubs, we stumbled upon the fact that most had been closed or didn’t open very frequently because of a spate of violent attacks on religious, ethnic, and socio-economic minorities within the city limits. Everything from automatic rifle shootings to makeshift bombs had rendered the night life of the southern Swedish city immobile. As we peered out the window onto the highway below, we realized we had come to what had dubiously been dubbed “the Scandinavian terrorism capital”.

My feet were sore.

It was six in the afternoon and we took to sleep. As we rested, our new roommate had entered the space and set up his lodgings across from us. We would later find out he was a drug dealer, making trips to Copenhagen each day.

Welcome to Malmö, the most “moist” city in Sweden.

COMPLACENT

Do your tears still run?
Parched from months of arid dismay,

Does your heart still ache?

Or has blood red become muted in your palette,

Shake your fists to the screen,

Denizen and conscious artisan,

No part in this scandal of human bartering;

While they sell your world on hope,

We trade your names for martyrs’,

So consistent in the hate,

We’ve created a Holy fodder,

Father answer my prayers,

What should we go and tell our daughters?

Nigerians, Yezedis,

Mountains, villages, cities,

Deplorable sounds defeated;

Are we so out of options that Obama’s even conceded?

When your Facebook post, or tweets, are so conceited,

Do your tears still run?

Or is a second all you needed,

To move on.

TIRED EYES

Contacts lucid, my fears exist the same,

Let my eyelids droop beneath the horizon,

Disappear my bones from pain,

There’s an aching in my heart to wander,

There’s a lust in my feet to yearn,

To the furthest corners of land I venture,

To the sea I belong sojourned;

See I was a takeaway package,

All but lost to the doldrums of York,

Anew in a city with waters so brackish,

Waning tides bid my journey concurred;

Then I came to a perilous steppe,

Adept at avoiding the sounds of sorrow,

Borrowed lines from Joyce and Poe,

If I awake in the warmth of tomorrow,

Maybe my eyes will return to a rest,

Simple bravado a motto behest;

To the sea I belong sojourned,

Crossing the Rubicon just to burn,

A bridge ablaze at dusk,

Caesarian pupils struggle to learn.

FREE SPEECH AS A DISGUISE FOR IGNORANCE

The days following the attack on the office of Charlie Hebdo have seen an enormous show of support based in downtown Paris and have extracted reactions from every person of credibility who wishes to weigh in on the argument which can only be labelled “terrorists vs freedom”.

You see, the outrage expressed over the murders of 12 innocent people is completely justified and it is a deplorable act that could only have been committed by the most heinous of individual. However, the reactions steeped in free speech grandeur and unfound claims of righteousness in relativity to the employees of Charlie Hebdo have sparked another, more interesting conversation.

To what end will the people of the Western world defend our right to free speech? It would behoove us to look back at the necessity for free speech in its first form before answering that question. When the first amendment was being drafted, the thought in mind involved a perceived tyrannical government which could spring up in the future, and therefore would need to be spoken out against. By enabling the people of the United States of America with the ability to speak freely, they hoped to stunt any progress that would be made by a burgeoning, ineffective government in the future.

Yet, when we glorify a cartoonist office which has produced such offensive works as a naked depiction of the Prophet Mohammed being filmed from the rear and an image of an Afghani man holding a sign claiming that he still has time to “give gifts” (attack), I can’t help but wonder if we have lost the plot.

The response to the massacre within France has been appalling and something that should be making more headlines than it has. As of last Thursday, there had already been 15 attacks on Muslims within French borders, seemingly in an act of retribution for the acts committed by two terrorists. Recently, Fox News anchor Jeanine Pirro began her show by saying, and this is a direct quote, “We need to KILL them; we need to kill THEM”. As if something out of an absolute farcical portrayal of what you may expect from Fox News, she confirmed my worst fears for the situation. We have been drawn so far from what the idea of free speech has been in the past, that we are unaware of where any line should be currently. If your free speech isn’t assisting a person who is underrepresented, shedding light on a critical issue, or being used to speak out against injustice, then no one else is entitled to defend your right to use it.

Now, I’d like to take an opportunity to use the benefits of my own free speech in response. What makes the Western world different from the likes of Al-Shabbab, ISIS, and Al-Qaeda is our empathy and compassion, in combination with our spirit of equal representation. The morality we fight for and the value we place on our own constitutional rights cannot stand idly by as we attempt to fight terrorism head-on. There is a claim of “democracy for all” and an unencumbered liberation from the atrocities which plague the people of the Middle East every day, yet we attempt to enact this liberation through a morally blind compass that only further exacerbates the issue.

There is no responsibility on Muslims for the actions of heathens, just as the Christians of the world claim no responsibility for Neo-Nazi rallies that currently inundate the streets of Germany and the Netherlands in response to the terrorist attacks in Paris. It is time that we consider that the man who lives in Erbil is not the man who lives in Beirut. The man who lives in Tripoli, is not the man who lives in Damascus. There are real, codified differences, as well as, unfound claims made by people who claim to live in “advanced, civilized” nations in the West of barbarism that somehow plagues an entirety of 1.6 billion people. There is no excuse for a democratic nation to espouse such feelings of disdain and hatred for people that have been haphazardly thrown into a pile to be confused for terrorists everywhere they move.

I have no qualms about the actions required for the members of the aforementioned terrorist groups. Everything in our power should be done to work with the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria to help eradicate this filth from their lands. But until we can recognize our own transgressions, I would refrain from doling the banner of freedom to every person you see, because they may just have a different version of it in mind than you.

THE NIGHT SKY

120^th^ and 2^nd^

The rusted green fire escape cascades down the side of the building like a runaway waterfall, long forgotten, carving its own path along the brownstone’s brick and stone mortar.

Not much of an escape, I guess; unless you consider falling thirty feet to your death a reasonable way out of catastrophe, but, hey, to each their own.

Barking pit-bulls come together in harmonic resonance to create a deafening overture of impending danger as they bustle out of the apartment entrance and onto the street, their owners preoccupied with a Marlboro Red in one hand, and a Budweiser in the other.

Inside, a man fiddles with the elevator which had probably required maintenance for the last twenty-five years, alas, it remains inoperable.

In a way, it tells the parable of the neighborhood quite well. Some things have been broken for so long that you convince yourself if you hold on a little longer, they’ll magically get better.

A few blocks down, the distinct late night chatter of El Barrio can be heard, emanating from each orifice, amplified with a certain fervor that could only be found in New York City.

The bodega across the street seems to be closing up for the night, but an assortment of locals project their laughter high into the cold winter air with defiance. Elongated smiles and echoing cackles do their best to compensate for the blackened teeth and lungs beneath them.

Next to the store, a basketball court, abandoned months ago when the temperature began to plummet, now sits eerily silent in the early hours of the morning.

A man thrusts his key into the front door of the apartments above Mama’s, but struggles to open it swiftly. The chartreuse color of his cheeks meets the desperate ballet of his feet as he wriggles and writhes his way to his ultimate goal of unlocking.

Even in such cold, the city speaks a soft hymn of adoration for all those whom find solace in her streets. The homeless alongside the homed, hungry and the satiated, gathered together for special moments like this, under the blanket of a full December moon.

Morning trudges towards them like an injured horse in battle; once capable of stealthily approaching, now reserved to a defeated trot which can’t arrive soon enough, the effervescent hue of the Sun on dirty snow beckons.

And when it arrives, it brings a new day, which for some is the last thing they would have asked. The hope and optimism which reigned supreme for eons replaced with dejection and despair, humanity inches forward with trepidation at the thought of moving faster.

Minute hands tick in favor of the top of the hour as the noise outside comes to a standstill. The five o’clock shadow that the early rising sun casts upon East Harlem is picturesque; in fact, if used in a listing, it could probably bring up rent prices.

What had previously devolved from a Neolithic gathering of men in the cold, transformed into the early Shakespearean sonnets of a community preparing for the workday.

 

But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou oust, Nor shall death brag thou wandering in his shade”

BUREK AND CHAI

He never slept in, but the sub-zero temperature outside made his thin woolen blanket feel as necessary as a shot of heroin to a junkie on the street.

Separating himself from its warm embrace felt like removing a limb, perhaps that would have been a more fortuitous option today. His cat curled up beside him, clearly the work of a Devil so clever that he would use those closest to him to deter him from work.

It was about a seven minute walk from his apartment, but Samir knew that it would feel as if he were meant to race the Iditarod three times over to arrive on time.

Throwing his sheets off of his body, he jogged to the thermostat to raise it a meager four degrees.

“66 should do it, at least I don’t need a freezer in the winter,” he said to the cat who now scampered out of the room.

In one acrobatic moment, he gathered his things and ran out the front door to the staircase beside him.

The winter air hit him like a late ‘90s Tyson blow, but luckily his ears were covered by his obnoxiously colored orange beanie.

Outside, the neighborhood appeared vibrant, with rings of smoke rising above the crowds, created by exhalation of cigarettes and carbon dioxide.

Weaving his way in and out of the foot traffic, Samir stutter stepped a woman carrying two coffees in the opposite direction.

“Watch where you’re going, marica!” she yelled.

Within a few minutes, he arrived safely at the job site, a construction route which was working on the face of an old church on 117th St. He had only started working on it a few weeks earlier when he saw a flier for an opening, but this time of year he would take anything he could find.

As a younger man, he had come with his family to New York City from far away. The Bosnian crisis of the 1990’s left many people without homes and protection, forcing a large refugee movement out of the country.

His father being a construction worker himself, Samir acquired the necessary tools of the trade at home and went to work at 18.

Now, at 28, he had survived the throngs of the economic recession and was hoping to be able to attend school soon.

As the midday sun rose higher in the sky, he chuckled to himself at the thought of these same notions.

School, no matter how much small or inexpensive, was many miles out of his reach at the current moment in time; it would be better to focus on making it through the day without frostbite.

Lunchtime arrived to his own beleaguered prayers for warmth, and he headed a block down to Habibi’s, which, strangely enough, served American and Latin food.

It wasn’t often that he thought about his parents and the life he once had in Sarajevo, but today was one of those times. He missed the feeling of burek fumes filling his nostrils as he sat in his room; his mother preparing a full course meal in the kitchen for hours on end.

But, quickly, he was forced back to reality as the server appeared to be pressed for time.

“Andale, mi hijo, what can I get for you today?” the older gentleman behind the counter barked.

“Just a tea and a bagel, please,” Samir responded meekly. His own daydream had taken him out of place and disarmed him against the world surrounding.

Forfeiting the little bit of cash from his pocket and receiving a small meal in return, he headed for a table sat beside the window looking out onto the street.

The passerby’s of New York made for great entertainment; their short strides and general look of disdain could make for comedic relief in times of stress or discomfort. No one ever seemed to know why they were unhappy, just that the unhappiness was all consuming.

Making each bite last as long as possible, it still only took mere minutes before Samir had finished.

Warm vapors from the tea melted the inside of his nostrils, and his hands unthawed at the touch of its miraculously well controlled, tepid container.

Stepping back into the harsh reality of winter drifted further and further from his thoughts, as he was again transported to his mother’s home.

His father entered the foyer with a handful of cookies and a teetering hat which precariously perched itself atop his head. From the other room, the sound of boiling water could be heard as it whistled to fruition to alert the house of its completion.

As his mother followed behind him, she carried her finest set of China that she only reserved for special occasions. This being the last night of Ramadan, it most certainly was fitting.

In a different life, Samir would have been a more religious man. The tidings and well-wishes of the texts and teachings were more than admirable, they set forth a guideline for the righteous person to follow. Unfortunately, as he would learn later in life, this path would be filled with landmines and roadblocks, both physical and mental that would force him to shy away.

A bell rang lightly as a person entered the deli. Upon raising his head, he realized who the person was and his heart sank.

“Samir, what the fuck are you still doing here? You were supposed to be back on the job fifteen minutes ago, let’s go,” his boss shouted in a demeaning tone.

Shuffling behind him, his cup of tea was left vacant atop the table nearest the window: no one to watch over it, no one to enjoy its respite.

PABELLON AND PARICO

The view from the fourth floor of apartment 2347 was dismal at best. Jose rolled around aimlessly trying to keep the Sun out of his eyes, but his efforts were for naught as the early morning peek of brightness broke through his drapes.

Below him, a woman slept motionlessly.

Once attempting to rid himself of the natural light of the most plentiful energy source known to man, he now sprung up and reached for a shirt which hung above his door.

Buttoning the final of the eight remaining buttons, he skipped toward the woman on the floor and began to speak softly.

“Oye, chica, levantate por favor,” he said with haste, but an intriguing amount of patience.

Leaving her to her own devices, Jose bound toward the kitchen, which may as well have been an extension of the living as the stove nearly touched the back of the couch.

In a small pan, he spread a modest portion of butter and set the flame alight beneath it. As it began to sizzle, he rubbed the sleepiness out of his eyes and brushed his hand across his chain.

The Star of David he wore around his neck had been given to him when he was only nine. As he ran through the streets of Caracas, he remembered counting on it as his means of safe passage and benevolence.

Smoke filled the air above the stove and he flipped the switch of the fan on which came alive with the deafening roar of a thousand semi-muted sirens.

Clearly, it was enough to wake the sleeping woman who now strolled toward the sofa placed directly central of the living room.

Sizzling and crackling burst the already noisy kitchen into a crescendo of life, bubbling at each pique and fall.

“Good morning baby, how did you sleep?” she asked sweetly.

His head failed to move from the focus he intended to adhere to his eggs, but he responded just as affectionately.

“Real good, but why did you end up on the floor again?” he asked.

She rubbed her stomach as she gazed upon his worn face. Jose would spend most of his day doing what it was he was doing now, cooking for others, and she couldn’t help but smile to herself.

“It’s the pregnancy, you know, makes me do crazy things,” she quipped.

“Si, claro, yo se,” he chuckled.

The atmosphere was very warm to say the least. Though the last few months had been difficult for them, learning of Maria’s pregnancy and the decline in business, the two seemed to be fully content with each other’s love.

With a final toss of his wrist, the omelet came sliding off the pan and onto a plate as he sprinkled it with salt and pepper and handed it to his fiancé.

Fiancé was a funny word to use, being that he hadn’t proposed and wasn’t sure if they’d ever get married. But, he didn’t know what else to call the future mother of his child and women he’d been with for nearly fifteen years.

“Okay, honey, I’m going to be late to open if I don’t head out now, te quiero,” he closed the conversation with a kiss and ran out the door.

He had managed to get out before most people; the early morning in East Harlem tended to be somewhat of a calamity, what with people meandering their ways to their respective jobs and obligations.

As he strode down the sidewalk, he saw Fernando, an old friend of his that he met when he first moved to New York.

“Que pasa, hombre, I haven’t seen you around in a while,” he jested.

“If you want me, you know where to find me,” Jose shot back.

The morning chill felt better than normal on his face. If nothing else, it seemed to wake him up more so than the coffee he had drank before leaving.

RELIGIOUS MATURATION: ISLAM|CHRISTIANITY

While new fears seem to surface every day about the threat that Islam poses to the Western world and our ideas of free speech and individual liberty, the religion itself is undergoing a maturation process not dissimilar to that of Christianity at a similar age.

An actively changing entity, the current day in Islam shows a largely benevolent archetype of people cast into the shadows due to the actions of a loud minority, who believe that conservative, radical values are the best way to ensure the survival and flourishing of Islam.

In order to put these things into perspective, however, it’s important to understand the timeline in which we are working to further develop a context for conversation on the matter. Most scholars believe that the prophet Muhammed died in the year 632, after which his followers began to spread his teachings, and so started the religious movement which we now refer to as Islam. Contrasted with the beginning of Christianity, which took place following the death of Jesus Christ in approximately 29 A.D., Islam has had six centuries less time to evolve and progress.

So, exactly what was Christianity like in the year 1415?

For all the discussion of the brutality exhibited by the government of Saudi Arabia and their treatment of supposed “reformers of Islam”, there is a striking similarity between their behavior and that of the Christian clergy in the 15th century. John Huss, a prominent member of the Protestant Reformation, during which he supported the teachings of John Wycliffe in an attempt to progress the Christian faith, was burned at the stake on July 6th, 1415 for heresy against the doctrines of the Catholic Church.

Remarks made by President Obama at the beginning of this month reflected this commonly held problem, spanning religious views across the world, even going as far as including the justification of slavery through Christian doctrine in his comments. Speaking specifically to the fact that religion is sometimes “twisted or distorted”, he acknowledges the issues that can result from interpretation in its various forms.

So how does Islam avoid the same problems that plagued Christianity for the better part of a few centuries?

There is a lot of evidence to show that the emergence of the [+ industrial revolution+] helped push Christianity over the edge into the more liberal, secular edition which is published to the masses today. The end of a period of prolific turmoil happens to coincide with the beginning of the industrial revolution both stateside, and in Europe.

As technology advances and information becomes more available, a more secular Islam is increasingly more likely.

Something that is overlooked by most supporters of the idea of the “radical minority myth” in Islam is that there is concrete, empirical data which dismantles the argument that the majority of followers of Islam support extremist, radicalized views of their faith.

In fact, a Pew poll from July 2014 showed that the majority of Muslims in 11 out of 14 countries exhibited fear either often or very often, in relativity to the rise of radical Islam within their nation. In Lebanon, the fear of radical Islam rose 11 percentage points within a year, likely in response to the rise of ISIS just next door. As pointed out by the United Nations Security Council last November, it is clear that the majority of the people in the affected regions reject the viewpoints of the burgeoning false caliph in the Levant.

Though we cannot afford Islam the centuries necessary to fully reform, it is encouraging to see that the radicalized sector of its population is significantly less than Christianity when comparing them in a sense of maturation. With the rapidly progressing availability of technological and educational resources, the strides which Islam has already made will only grow exponentially in the near future. Together as an international community, our role should be one of facilitation for further creation of advancement, in order to render fundamentalism obsolete.

TEMPERUS ET LOCTUM

Dear _______,

If I wrote your name, it would defeat the purpose I was so asininely aiming to realize. When we “met”, we were much younger than we are now, but when we met, I felt the same sense of youth and frivolity I’ve longed to recreate since I left the malleable walls of Mrs. Andrusin’s 5th grade classroom.

Does that seem over the top? That’s because it is. As a person, meandering his way about the Pandora’s Box of 21, striking tripwires at each corner, bobbing and weaving through the bullshit which another year brings, I fought off attraction as those who guarded Jerusalem during the Crusades so valiantly vowed to. And, just as successfully, I again and again was knocked flat, a true torture, save the structure and process.

Claim my rambling to be privileged and a nuisance; I pray that one day I may see it as such, but for this hour, under this so vibrant sun, my heart pangs like an impaled head, atop the spike wielded by a love so callous, that it displays my psyche as a trophy, rather than a casualty. Yes, I continue dismayed, my words scarce more than hot air in an already tepid sky, laden thick with the early spring humidity which sparks beads atop my forehead, trickling slowly in descent, pursuing an untimely death in the concrete caverns of the sidewalk below me.

Shall I stop?

If I could, why, I would, however, I may write until my hand is rendered ghastly, the only semblance occupying life a morbid shadow of unfulfilled potential, which markedly reflects in the luminescence of the twelve watt bulb above. Quickly I scribble, as if a cancer may claim the few moments of sanity I have left, in favor of some more rewarding psychosis. Hallucinations of a future so elegantly crafted, that God himself may have laid the framework to support a ninth wonder of the world, only to exist in the pillars of love created by our conjoined consciousness.

I apologize, I do seem to have gotten off track. You see, the thing is, the track I once set sights on was relocated by your altitude. Where my once naïve lungs could have lived so thin in O2, they now develop emphysema; bulbous masses leave me breathless in your atmosphere. Am I coming on too strong? I found strength in the distinct echo of your footsteps, so calculated in their strides. Never fearing where they lead, I glide softly toward the dull voids of your eyes. Clay and winter root give way to mud and lilac bliss, as the over determinate sentiment pushed forth by pointed ears whispers steppe breezes in my direction.

It seems I may have lost my place. Cliché as the statement may be, the heart is where your true home resides, but a vagrant Mongol horseman my romantic alter-ego has been, nomadic and flexible in a village to village quest for fulfillment, forever cursed to discover dying grasses where I ride.

Ah, yes, back to the love I believe I’ve encountered. Sacrifice me atop your funeral pyre, the Viking within me rejoices. For emotive response I will perish, for idle sadness I pledge to fight against. The strings of my own sinews pull taut in the face of complacency. Set a river alight with the petrol of our forefathers, decomposed and liquefied, a reification of the dead soul I used to carry within me being disposed of in the waters of the world.

But, to me you came, somewhat quiet and meek in your gaze. Your eyelashes tickled a certain fancy I thought was lost in ’09, and it danced a calypso inspired step into the ether, where only Queens had been before it. As you took over my daily worries, you inhabited my nightly remiss, blessed to find you alone in the chapel, but to Him you were already betrothed.

Oh, don’t mistake me, for God has made his way to my pen again. I did not mean engagement, or him indefinite, but for now it may as well be eternity. Only weeks where we need near a decade, it simply isn’t worth the pain of approach. How I look to the moon for advice! Yeats offers me no respite! Am I doomed to a devilish dictation? Where the paper is my truest audience? Part of me prays this is false in totality, part of me prays that I stop this today. For in a lack of acknowledgement is a remnant of peace, but in the same is resolve left astray, determined by nothing but a fleeting mind, injected with the steaming stimulation of caffeine and its brother in the finely rolled paper of cigarettes.

I have half a mind to tell him, and half a mind to leave him be. In my own right, I am destructive, as I strive to so wholly see the consecration of life’s greatest mysteries in some gallant procession of mariachi and fife & drum.

Can you tell I’m writing this in class? What good is a degree if it does not afford me a position beside you? While one person tells me of love’s historical origins, the other tells me of love’s humane basis. May I bother you for a minute of your time? Or are these sixty seconds so transformative, that you’d rather pass me by? Please, pass me by. Bipolar, binary, a bicycle controls the pace of my mind. I think until I threaten combustion, from within I’m volcanic in every facet. See my igneous rock harden over what were once wounds in the flesh of my Earth. See how the magma slides into the salty abyss and is turned charcoal at a moment’s notice.

Yes, I think I’ll have to stop. Like a ballad which consumes far too much of your time, I have sucked life from the day you so carefully planned. Time flees from me in my classroom, and I do believe my professor grows aware of my transgression.

Do you think I refer to writing? No! I refer to the transgression of love! Where my one tells me how she’s so jaded, the other grafts prose from his own heart, so decadent in its own construction that it fears the cavities it possesses.

Sometime soon, I believe we’ll speak on it, maybe a year or four at the least. I have plans to be bound for Europe, while you stay here to ponder away. I cherish the time we have handled, like pebbles along sea sides, we skip the seconds by recklessly, aiming for some far away shore which escapes us, but lingers in the distance to torment.

Should I say it torments me? After just two hundred minutes, I believe I speak rhetorically. This question I pose is for me, more than you. Nothing I could write would budge you from your stance, and I hope this remains the case for an extended period of time, the end date of the contract established unknown. Rather than happiness, I wish you comfort, in the world which defiles and deters you from greatness.

I long ago decided I would choose self-immolation over a long-winded smolder. If you are to see me depicted like Betelgeuse, the star so inflated, know my heart was first lit in the nebula of my youth, and to supernova has always been my only destination. Though I move about a constellation, I sit fat in my own right, and if the days comes where I must sacrifice my pride, a pulsar beam away from you I will guide.

Kyle


Inter Alia

  • Author: K.E. Walter
  • Published: 2016-04-21 14:50:11
  • Words: 11303
Inter Alia Inter Alia