The Last Day

Though like the wanderer, the sun gone down/Darkness be over me, my rest a stone/Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee” Nearer, My God, to Thee – Sarah Flower Adams

 

They stopped taking garbage about two weeks ago. There was still a Public Works Department in the sense that the building they house the garbage trucks is still standing, and if you really wanted your garbage collected you could probably figure out how to get the truck started and if you were really lucky enough, no one had thought to siphon the gasoline from the trucks, so you just might make it to your house and back provided you didn’t hit a skid of garbage juice and careen the truck into someone’s home. They, the public works people, weren’t coming back. The summer kids, all fresh out of high school, were making $8.50 an hour at best and the salaried workers weren’t doing much better. And yet people had still put their garbage out, though some rebellious types neglected to put on stickers. It was the little things you missed. You didn’t realize how much you needed sanitation workers until the streets filled with garbage ooze; an olive-green liquid squeezed from spoiled meat, cat food, and baby shit. To add to the list of things you take for granted; your nose. These smells never went away, you just get used to them.

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The Eye

I remember it well because it was the last thing worth remembering and, of all days, it happened on a Tuesday. The sky was impeccably blue, and it was finally cool enough to go outside without being wrung out like a gym towel. I saved my breaks for the second half of the day so as to make the day go faster, and I used those breaks to go to the designated smoking area to make all of this go a little faster. I had a few left of my third Last Pack of the year and I was torn between savoring them or burning through them. I went to the corner of the little fenced in area where smoking was permitted and in no way would any of this bad smoke trickle through the many gaps in the aluminum fence and pollute the FitBit types who used their breaks for walking or even jogging. I was on my phone catching up on everyone. The usual; someone is pregnant, someone is engaged, someone isn’t engaged, someone hasn’t died, someone did. I didn’t or haven’t interacted with any of these people in years. I just flip through them occasionally like a bathroom book. I don’t need to really focus, I just need the gist.

What snaps me out of it usually is the time, ever present at the top of my phone. And I am sure to milk every last second until, under seemingly no control of my own, I find myself back at my desk with earphones in. This time it was a scream, the kind of scream that matches your body’s frequency and melts through to your core. No one screams at work. It’s an activity reserved for home. By the time I found the screamer all the blood in her body pooled to her shoes and she was crashing to the ground, several people rushing to break her fall. The whole time, the woman’s eyes were fixated to the sky. I followed her line of vision to the sky, when I saw the sky blink. Above us, all of us, I could have only presumed, was a planetary eye. It matched the color of the sky, though when I tried to get the story straight later on some people claimed it was brown, green, and even pitch black. Some people remember it eclipsing the sun, casting Earth into darkness. Some people didn’t see it at all, but wanted to latch their claim to the event early on so they would have something to talk about. To me the eye was blue. My eyes are blue. It had a pupil that dwarved the moon. There were shimmering, squiggly bands that seemed to encompass the pupil and everything blue in the eye seemed to gravitate toward it. It stared at me, at all of us. It was overbearing. It didn’t move and yet it felt like it was crushing me. I almost couldn’t look at it. I tried to comprehend a body to go with the eye. It was a sensation that paralyzed me to the bench I had been sitting on.

“Cut it out.”

The voice rang across the Earth, coming on a strong wind, shaking trees and bones alike.

And just like that, the eye was gone, disappeared, and who knows when it would come back again.

I took the afternoon off work. Most people did, I think, for the loss of productivity ended up being newsworthy. The unthinkably large eye dominated news outlets for a few days before it was certain that there would be no why, that sometimes these things happen and we’re left asking more questions than getting answers. It happened, and then it wasn’t. Was it God? Was it a mass hallucination? Was it the collective unconscious? I don’t know, but a lot of us are very worried about the whole thing, and we’re hoping that whoever needed to cut it out, has.

But if it thinks I’m cutting smoking, well…

New Year’s 2017

2016—>2017

Here it is
The egress

12:01
The after party
You, me,
Two boxes of Fettuccine,
An apple pie cooling
And Hot Fuzz on DVD.
Loki flees
Explosions he can’t quite shake,
Galloping between
TV Room and Kitchen
Only stopping to
Eat
Drink
Use the litter box
Play in said litter box
And mew for mom
Who treated tonight
As any other night
Falling asleep
at 11:15

“Wake me up,”
Your shut eyes said,
“In the morning”
Well, it is morning
But I can read your mind
And I know
A sleepy you
Cares not for
Technicalities.
I predict
The new year
Will be around
For sunrise.

Strange, the neighbors
Aren’t screeching.
I had them for the
Drummer-boy types,
Taking stage to
Bang pots and pans
On their porch
In broken Morse code.

1:00
No fireworks
No sirens
No one stumbling,
Fumbling for their keys
The sound of the great many
Settling in
Again

2016 In Review

2016 was a bad year for a lot of people.  A gorilla became the Smells Like Teen Spirit of memes,propelling meme culture into the mainstream, meaning any day in 2017 we can expect to see Harambe or Pepe The Frog on a t-shirt in Wal-Mart, countless celebrities were ruthlessly murdered by a cold gang of mostly even numbers, Vine is dead, and we learned a Pennsylvania driver’s license is no longer a valid form of federal identification.  I can’t think of anything worse than those things.

pepe

Nope. Nothing

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The Chips Fall Where They May

74 years ago, a man by the name of Bob Middleswarth started making potato chips in his home, a sort of comfort food for a particularly uncomfortable time in human history.  The potato chip auteur grew from making them in a kettle to owning a 40000 sq foot building in 30 years.  You can find Middleswarth chips throughout the eastern side of Pennsylvania. There are 11 different varieties, the most popular being their barbecue chips.  Middleswarth(pronounced Middles-worth or Middle-swarth depending on who you ask) barbecue potato chips are the second most sought after thing by people who move away from Eastern PA, next to the low cost of living.

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Here’s Janny!

Hey everyone!  It’s been a minute since my last post. I’m sorry about that.  I have been away for a few reasons.  The first being that my girlfriend and I decided to move in together and out of our respective parents’ homes.  We just moved in to a nice two bedroom apartment not too far from my work.  I am currently typing this in the office, our office.  It feels great.  We’re still setting up but I look forward to getting into the swing of things.  Adulting, you might say if you had the originality of a paper bag.  We have the majority of our things moved in and set up.  We just need some miscellaneous kitchen and cleaning supplies and we should be all set.

The second reason I took a break was to get a jump on writing.  In previous posts, I have mentioned that I am writing a novel in my spare time.  My break from blogging as well as a change of writing time (evenings instead of mornings.  I’ve had too much trouble getting up early as of late) was enough to push me to the finish line.  I am currently on the last chapter.  I want to churn it out so I can work on editing it.  I need to work on fleshing out characters as well as balancing the tone of the story.  I hope to have a readable draft for Summer 2017.  In the meantime, I want to write a couple short stories as well as plot a second book I’ve been itching to write.  I may even attempt to fit a screenplay in there as well.

The final reason for my hiatus is, truth be told, the 2016 Presidential Election.  A lot has happened even in the past month, but people more informed and more interested than I am covered it better than I ever could.  I didn’t want to shoe-horn in a Trump or Hillary gag, but I felt as though it would have been weird for the reader to read my blog posts as I try my best to tiptoe around the only news story America cares about(until Wednesday, November 9th).  I’m not the political type.  I think it’s a special form of masochism to be “into politics.”  I’m a registered Libertarian, but I find a lot of Libertarians off-putting because they’ve somehow managed to take a very neutral political stance and make it extreme.  I like the idea of third parties.  I like the idea that you don’t have to choose the lesser of two evils, and you should feel as though you have an option.

I’m writing this post at approximately midnight.  In a few hours, polls on the Eastern seaboard will be open.   I hope everyone votes and that they vote for a candidate they like.  Soon, the election will be over, and someone will be our next president, but the unrest won’t end tomorrow.  Like it or not, we have to live with each other.  Social unrest won’t end with Hillary winning and, win or lose, Donald Trump’s supporters won’t vanish overnight.

You And Your Other You

In my younger years, when I talked to less people and entertained myself by walking around my town, I used to wonder if I ever came up in conversations I would never hear with people I didn’t associate with.  This was not too long before literally everyone had a smartphone.  In the years following I have a social media presence.  I probably post on social media a few times a week, whether by me actually posting or sharing something, between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and this blog.  Because of this, I imagine it’s something of an infinite-monkeys-with-infinite-typewriters scenario, and there is a more than likely chance that something I have posted has been screencapped by someone, and they have sent it to their friends.  Maybe they liked what I said, or maybe they think I’m naïve.  Maybe they like me or maybe they don’t, and everything I add to the Socialsphere adds to their derision.  I think most people, whether they know it or not, exist as a screenshot on someone’s phone, as a brief topic in someone’s messages.  And maybe it is flattering to you or maybe it isn’t, and there’s something terrifying about that.

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On The School Protests

Last Friday students at my alma mater, Wyoming Valley West, took to the streets in protest of the school’s oppressive heat and ever-restrictive dress code.  After outside temperatures got into the high 80s, indoor temperatures rose past 100. There were reports of students fainting in class.  Schools around the area with faulty air conditioning were let out but WVW had not.  Seeing this as an injustice, students left school.  The protest garnered local media coverage that Friday and was the hottest local story that day.

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The Sad Truth Of Most TV And Movie Universes

I binge watched Season 6 of Game Of Thrones this weekend, and while doing so I was reminded of those quizzes that flood Facebook where they ask you what GOT character you would be.  And countless people take these quizzes or else they wouldn’t appear on your Facebook and countless people come to the same conclusion.  They like to believe that they would be a Tyrion Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, or Jon Snow when in reality, if they were plucked from our world into theirs, they would be nameless farmer #347763, destined to be slaughtered by rogue Wildlings, roving gangs, or one of the many conqueror families that are bound to happen upon their little hamlet.  I’m not saying this to be insulting, because it would be the same for me and just about everyone else.

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