RSS

Campfire Tales Part 1: Chris, Ben and the Infinite Boredom

Campfire Tales Part 1: Chris, Ben and the Infinite Boredom

Hey Gang!

So, it is getting that time of year where being outdoors becomes a life-goal. I have decided to tell a few stories of literally the only times I have been camping. It is funny, my best friend Ben and I have this saying: We can never be normal. It does not matter how boring the activity we do is, we never have a genuine normal experience. There was one time where we hung out, went to best buy, scoped out chicks with our 17-year-old eyes at the mall, grabbed lunch, and started our way home. Nothing abnormal happened. It was a beautiful sunny day with the windows rolled down and the breeze coming in through the small s10’s windows. Once again, it was completely normal, until a huge yellow jacket flew into the cab at about 55 miles per hour. We swerved and screamed as it landed on us and around us. After what seemed like an hour, the bug flew away and we breathed a sigh of relief, laughed, and yelled “Why?!”

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

These are some more (s’more, get it?!) of our stories that should have been a relaxing or uneventful tale, but took a sharp right. I think it makes for a better story anyway.

We found this great little place off a major lake a few years back. It was great and we wanted to spend the entire weekend camping in my massive tent that is bigger than my dorm room in undergrad. We get there and it is probably a hike of about an eighth of a mile in to where we camp. The walk way is beautiful and green. The path laid flat by lawnmowers. It had a natural elegance to it that I couldn’t put my finger on.

We put the tent up and went for a short hike along a path. We wound around and found a small two-person boat someone had repurposed as a bridge. The earth showed signs of recent flooding. The trees bent over the river in towering ways. It was quite beautiful. Until we got lost. I am not sure how it happened. Maybe it was the boat that threw us off or maybe our imaginations that ran wild when we saw cigarette butts and old, empty beer cans. Whatever it was, we got lost. I guess “lost” is a harsh word. We could see houses about a mile away and we could hear traffic but we could not find a way out of the wooded area or where our campground was. We felt crazy and slightly embarrassed.

“What if this is how we die?” I remember joking but not.

We found our way out as the sun began to set. We went fishing at a little pond about 100 feet downhill from where our tent was. We caught small sunfish most of the day and finally gave up on catching the big ones. We walked back to our tent as the sun set. I don’t really remember what we ate for dinner or anything like that. I do remember one thing….

We were so bored. I mean the bored that sent you into crazy fits. I remember at one point we were gathered around the fire as the pink sky faded into night. It was quiet except for the buzzing of insects and the croaking of frogs. Orange and black alternated around the foliage near the fire. I remember looking up at Ben, as he carved something out of a large branch, and thinking about how much he looks primal. It was all so very primal. I too was carving wood; a wooden shiv because what do you do with empty time.

We grunted and laughed every once in a while. We eventually found out that we each had been creating shivs; his more brilliantly crafted than mine, I admit.

END OF PART 1

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

A Brief History of Time

A Brief History of Time

Hey Gang!

I feel like it has been some time since I posted. I truly missed writing. My mentor, or former mentor, once told me something I live by.

“Chris, what did you write today?,” he asked.

“Nothing today. I have been crazy busy (excuse…excuse…excuse…),” I said, rambling on.

“You know, that means you are not a writer. At least not today. You must write every day to consider yourself a writer. Tomorrow, be a writer,” he said.

For the first time in quite a while, I am a writer.

I had to stop writing as my schooling was completely consuming my life. I would try to write but it was from darker places. When you have something that is all business, it becomes oppressive. This looming creature that contains you. My school work has consumed me as well as my thesis and teaching, but they were gratifying. I defended my thesis, which makes me the first person in the history of my university to graduate using documentary as thesis. This fact has yet to set in and people praise me but I still have the creature by my side. The oppressive feeling still looms.

I have never been one for office environments and such, so my internship is really my nightmare. The fluorescent lights, artificial and washing. They penetrate everything with their sterile white glow. The dry wall confines seem to close in and claustrophobia becomes my new home.

There the creature looms.

Fast forward months as I complete my defense with its ups and downs. I have a new outlook on everything.

Time is relative.

It seems so long of a time. One hundred hours-worth of time was devoted to editing, shooting, and writing my documentary. It seemed to go so slow, yet so fast at the same time. It was an amazing and nightmarish experience. However, it was an experience.

Time is relative.

The larger the mass of a body, the higher the gravitational pull. The higher the gravity of a body indicates a slowing of time. Time becomes relative to the gravity of each body.

The gravity here is the being, the creature. It slows time and creates a repetitive nature. Every day is exactly the same. It used to be at least. I am now incredibly happy with how things are going. I search for new jobs and the future is uncertain but I feel as if life is just about to begin. Those trials and tribulations are wanted. The vast emptiness of my internship made time relative to the vacuum of nothingness. Time simply stood still. My brain atrophied from excel spreadsheets and closed mindedness.

I regret nothing, however. Isn’t this this story we tell? The bridge to the chorus? The semi-colon of the sentence? The breath between speech? The blink between each sight the eye takes in?

Isn’t this the end of a beginning?

Time is relative to the task but it is fleeting. Time slows but never stops.

Time is relative and I am present.

I am present and look forward but it is prudent now to reflect on this brief history of time.

-Chris

 

Tags: , , , , ,

The Inoculation

The Inoculation

HEY GANG!

I have been absent recently, for which I apologize. It has been strange, this infection. Maybe a series of them. Not in the typical sense, but in the metaphorical. For the past few months I have been incognito because I have been working on my thesis. The huddles to jump over, just in paperwork, is staggering and daunting. I have been locked up for so long and bogged down with the pressure that I forgot some things about life. About living it and enjoying it. About how to do it.

I was in this tumbling vortex of nothingness. Absent of light. Merely tasks. I truly enjoy graduate school, but after the past few months, I feel suffocated by it. It changed me. Molded me. I didn’t know peace until I was beginning to write this (kudos if you get the Dark Knight Rises reference).

Sometimes, we get infected by something. It attaches to cells and lives in our blood as it propagates.

I was down for a long time. It was strange. My house was in disarray, literally and figuratively. Worst of all I lost the will to write. I consider myself a writer but what happens when a writer does not write?

They cease to be a writer.

Look yourself up in the dictionary. Define yourself and delete it. You are no longer what you were; you are the absence of what you were.

So, call me Absence.

Absence continued to slug its way through life. Working out drifted away. It merely cared for one sweet, tiny Chaweenie named Eleanor Rigby. Absence moved through the motions as the virus of a muted life took hold.

This became even more prevalent when Absence was used as a punching bag for his mentor. A trusted individual who destroyed the white blood cells of gratitude. Absence was troubled by this. Absence drifted away for a long time.

Absence secluded itself and began to think of all the possibilities of anything else but what has occurred. What if it had continued at Habitat for Humanity, What if it had chosen another form of school, another mentor? What if this? What if anything?!

Anger raged in Absence. The virus spread even furthers as it consumed Absence. Every waking moment was devoted to hate, fear, and sadness. Unable to define itself, its motives, or its place in space and time, it began to devolve.

This was until Absence got perspective. It realized that it was no longer going to be affected by the words of another. It was going to strive to get better. He was going to remember what it was like before the viral catharsis of a hypocrite. Before became now and It became he became me.

Absence faded and with this simple blog post I fill the absence with six letters:

W

R

I

T

E

R

This is my inoculation. I will refuse to be torn down by others or anything in this world. As you should say to yourself. I no longer accept the virus of others. That is theirs and theirs alone. Love yourself because you are the only you that will ever exist…but that is another post.

Best regards in your own inoculation,

-Chris

 
1 Comment

Posted by on January 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

The Ass In The Field

The Ass In The Field

Pinwheel, Mallorca, Metal, Wheel, Wind, Wind Energy

Hey Gang!

I was driving home and listening to music at an unreasonably high volume this weekend. I saw multiple things around me that caught my attention: I saw a woman picking her nose, a flock of geese narrowly miss a semi, and the poor mangled body of an old deer. I saw these things and really took no notice expect if they were funny, sad, or cringe-worthy but there was one thing that stood out so strangely to me that I have been holding on to it for the past few days.

I looked to my right and there was this small farm. A large, gated pasture was on the hill as it sloped down beyond the horizon. The sun was setting and it gave the verdant grass a shimmer that was breathtaking. Patched with white and brown, cows grazed looking in different areas. They all had their backs turned towards one central character: an ass, or donkey for the lay person. The ass stood there completely still. His statuesque nature bewildered me. What was he doing there? Among the sea of cows where they took no notice, what was he to gain from being there?

I went home and began helping my mother with moving. Unfortunately, she fell and broke her arm. I called 911 and they took her to the hospital, which brings me back to the days when hospital visits were an everyday occurrence for me. That same sterile smell, the back hall conversations nurses have that you overhear, the way nurses chew their gum like rabbits chew their cud. It was all so similar, yet different.

I sat with my aunt while my mother wept from pain. I tried to be there for her but she has become so different from the woman who told me not to cry when I get hurt, to be tough. Now she is so fragile and I realize that maybe we are who we pretend to be to others but in our depths that surface when pain and pleasure are at stake are the realities.

I wonder when I will break as my aunt yammers on about her issues. It is a repetitive damning thing to visit with her. It is hell at its finest as she repeats the same story over the past five years: My cousin is in treatment for another breakdown, he has tried [insert highly addictive drug of choice here] and is now unable to control his bipolar, she is having a nervous breakdown because he doesn’t think about her and her feelings, her body aches, she is a godsend, she helps everyone, she is a martyr, she is going to have a seizure, she forgets to have a seizure, she lies, she cons, she is.

Afterwards we come back to the city where I currently am and it is a major ordeal. My mother is high on pain meds and wants to drive, my aunt is upset because I won’t chauffer her around the middle of the state to get my cousin as well as drive her to my mother’s new house. My aunt becomes huffy. My mother cries out in pain, my aunt somehow becomes ill as well. She has an asthma attack and begins to dry heave because a breeze blew, or something of that nature.

I finally get home and Eleanor Rigby, my puppy, has violently chewed on my shoes, Blu-ray of “Funny People” and “Where The Wild Things Are”, and somehow managed to turn the house into a disaster area. I believe I saw a guy from FEMA in my back room but I can’t be sure.

The funny thing about “Funny People” is that it was about people who were funny not being funny. People that are supposed to be one thing but violate our expectations and act like someone other than whom we thought they were: funny people.

I get my mother to lay down and she drifts to sleep. I go to my room as well and begin to drift, but I have a realization. I am an ass, probably in more sense than I mean here. I am not an ass, I am THE ass. The one in the field. I get why he was unnoticed by the cows and didn’t do as the cows do. It was because he realized that they do cow things and he was an ass. However, what is an ass to do when there are no other asses around. What happens when an ass is surrounded by cows?

You stand still.

You stand alone.

You think.

You drift.

You lament.

You realize that you completely and wholly exist but outside of this fenced in yard with all the cows that graze.

You just are.

In the middle of the weres and going-to-bes, you just are.

-Chris

 
3 Comments

Posted by on November 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I’ll Bet

I’ll Bet

Hey Gang!

I was walking home not too long ago and I couldn’t help but be incredibly frustrated. I had multiple papers due in a few weeks, my house was in disarray thanks to my rambunctious puppy and I had little time to do anything but attend work, class, and sleep. I was spent.

I couldn’t help but think what life would be like had I taken the road less travelled, so to speak. I imagined if all those years ago I had moved on with the silly thoughts of college.

There is a concept of a multiverse, which basically says that when you pull back out of the cosmos there are parallel universes that we tend to inhabit. So right now there is a different version of me somewhere out there.

I’ll bet he is wearing a heavy flannel jacket somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. He is standing at the edge of a wooden dock that sways and creaks with every swirl of water beneath it. Trees reach into the sky all around the large hidden lake. This secret kept so well by time and nature. He looks out and takes a sip of his coffee early in the chilly morning. The smell of dark roasted coffee beans stinging his nose. He seems so small compared to his surrounding but he understands that they dance for him. They sway for him.

His own private show in these quiet hours.

I’ll bet he finishes his coffee and goes back inside where his wife is finally up. She sits reading the paper in one of his old shirts and a pair of shorts. She is concentrating so hard on whatever it is that she is reading that she doesn’t even realize he has come in.

He kisses her on top of the head and wishes her a good morning as she turns her face towards his with a smile.

I’ll bet he puts the cup in the sink and begins tip-toeing through the old log cabin that he bought years earlier. I’ll bet he is looking for someone.

He turns each corner cautiously until a tiny figure jumps out and screams, “BOO! I got you daddy!”

“Yeah you did, bud,” he exclaims as he hoists the tiny young man up on his hip.

I’ll bet he takes the young man into the kitchen and sets him in the chair next to his mother. There is a window above the sink where he sees out over the placid lake where fog creeps slowly from the warm water into the cool morning air.

I’ll bet he makes a quick breakfast for his family and then they all go outside.

The young man plays in the yard with a chocolate lab. They run together in zig-zag patterns.

The mother and the other me walk through the woods talking about whether or not they should go to town today, what the weather is like, how it used to be, and maybe about how much they want to have another baby.

The sun rises and sets on this day. The man enjoys a meal he prepared and they all go out onto the same wooden dock as before. The young boy throws a tennis ball into the lake, which signals the dog to sprint off the dock. He retrieves it over and over, always coming back to his tiny companion.

The mother gets cold and decides to go inside. She kisses the other me and heads towards the illuminated log cabin that peeks through the wooded fortress around the home.

Their shadows blend into the dark night and he hears the front door creak shut and latch.

The sounds of bullfrogs croak from somewhere distant. Crickets chirp ethereally from all around. It encompasses him.

He is surrounded and enveloped by nature.

He looks up into the night where millions of stars shine in the sky. Planets cast their technicolored twilight down. Cosmic dust swirls in the depths of space.

After a while, his mind wanders away from this beautiful place filled with such interesting flora and fauna. He begins to wonder what life had been like if things had turned out different.

He loves his family and his life but what if?

I’ll bet he wonders what if he had decided to go to college. I’ll bet he wonders what all of his friends that went off to college are doing right now. Are they married? Are they alive?

I’ll bet he wonders what life would be like to be a little freer. To be able to expand his mind and wrestle with concepts that seems so foreign to most.

He ruminates on this for hours until the cold night sinks to his core and he saunters back into the warm cabin.

I’ll bet he thinks about this until he begins drifting to sleep.

I’ll bet, just before he lets his mind rest for the night, he wonders if I wonder about him as much as he wonders about me.

– Chris

 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Fabulous Damned (Part 2)

The Fabulous Damned (Part 2)

We are all high.

I think there is a truth about myself and about some others. I would like to think, to some degree, that this is true about everyone. I believe we all want to be natural disasters. We want to be seen as beautiful and ethereal and monstrous at the same time. Ladies, call a fella a ‘big teddy bear’ or some other simile. Gentlemen, call a woman ‘dude’ or ‘man’. These terms set us away from that goal of what we want to be. This is not what I want. Cute names and checking boxes on Facebook delineating our relationship status are far from the perfect, proverbial “one”.

This is far from what we want, I believe. We want what the movies refuse to show. Reality. The fact is, we all want to be beautiful and flawed to someone. No god or goddess. We want to be more than an object or a sedative. Who gets high on us?

I think some people, I finally see this in me, want to be the destroyer and the destroyed. The haunter and the haunted. We crave relief from the banality of Netflix and idle conversation. We want someone with the power to destroy us…but doesn’t.

Why? Why would someone with all this power over you not destroy what you have built? Such power is infectious and dangerous.

So, why?

I believe the answer is because they would destroy themselves. You have as much of that “power” over them as they of you. This symbiotic beauty with breaking and regenerating becomes its own drug . After a while these static things: food, sleep, making others feel so that you can, the ability to emote again; all of that fades. Finally, the chasm fades and you are left with two entities that blessed and cursed with each other. That is what it means to find the one in my eyes. When you realize how much it would destroy you if they left and how much you would destroy them if you did the same.

We believe this does not exist but I still sit at my table. I see all of the patrons around me and I know I am impatient but I still wait. I will always wait until she comes. My great disaster sitting before me.

For those whom this resonates with, you know this all too well.

We are damned to wait. Damned to yearn. Damned to wither without it.

Behold, the Fabulous Damned!

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Fabulous Damned (Part 1)

The Fabulous Damned (Part 1)

Hey Gang,

My chrysalis breaks as I emerge from a mental, artistic, and physical slumber. I awake to my own ruin. I have taken a step back from this person I have been over the past few months. I have been on auto pilot. I moved through life and never lived for the longest time. I was just doing what I should do. My writing fell and the entity that craves a voice was lost. I shut myself away from friends and family. It’s funny. Some of the individuals I used to hang out with were asking, “where have you been?!”

I initially shrugged it off by saying how busy I was but now I know that I am not able to say where I have been. A void would be the best way to put it. This chasm, this black hole of nothingness. Depression of a sort. It is this new existence that I find myself in. For the first time in my life I am left with myself. The real me, and it is scary. No isms to speak of around friends or inside jokes. It is an awakening like I have never had before. To look into yourself and see the terrible things that lurked beneath the surface.

I realized some things. I get high quite a bit. No, not on drugs as we know them, but other drugs. Making people laugh, personal success, pleasing others, achieving this, helping with that. I am addicted to a lie. A lie of who I am. I could never be honest with myself until this key stroke. I get a high from a sordid lie that I have bought into my whole life. When I see that this is so blatant, I lament. How could I have not seen this?

I notice something in me that is like the longing for a former love. However, it is in no regard for an individual. More like the yearning for an entity that does not exist. At least not yet, right? In my own little universe, she is not here yet. It is the feeling when you are meeting a friend for lunch and you have your table but your friend is running late. You think, “Where the hell are you?”

I put this into some lock box deep down. I have been on a few dates over the last year that have made me feel more than jaded. It seems like people are so lonely now. I have fought against it because I always thought that if I felt lonely I should not be with someone. It is toxic. In the end, I am lonely but the worst is the void. I enter the void with open arms and willingly. In this vacuous place I call my own there is no room for a beloved. Some narcissistic splendor of wallowing. I am sadist and masochist. I lover and loved. Hater and hated. Two hemispheres that were never meant to interlock have done so.

I separate and I see the reality. I am afraid of being happy. I love this tortured feeling that I feel now. The angst, the wild curiosity that comes with it. I love emoting. These are feelings I have not felt in months. I was carefree. This is a sickening condition. Apathy bathed me and cleansed me of the impurities of emotion. I feel more alive now than ever and what I have realized after speaking with some friends is that my condition is not mine alone.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: