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10:38am 13/06/2007
  This music transports me from one feeling to another, but it's the beat I crave.  The consistent melodic pulse which guides the body into a trance; a light-headed splendor slowing down each and every beat, until time seems to lag in anticipation of the next sequence.  Time tells you when to think again, only this time you surrender yourself willingly.  Each building upon the next, the beats within the sequence change into something different, but resonant of the past.  The maturing melody makes itself known by multiplying the beats, new understandings in life -- until they aspire to culminate in one melodic burst.  The deep beat of death aggressively approaches, pushing the melody into a state of controlled chaos.  B- flat black hole, the song ends.  Transportation complete.  And then the next song begins, a new feeling, a new train of thought.  
09:59am 08/06/2007
  The emptiness of the moon wanes away
taken by the tide of eternity,
resilient against the shimmering sun--
mandating a succint sparkle upon its whim
Why can't it always be Spring?   
10:49am 05/06/2007
mood: restless

Shakespeare was always placing seasonal undertones in all of his works.  The seasons have a direct connection to the cycle of life and the transitions that we all face wandering through aimless and praiseless days.  The one constant:  whether we like it or not, the seasons are going to change.

My life is currently in the dark of winter.  Sometimes it's hard to avoid seasonal depression, but unlike the real seasons, everyone in the world is entranced by the effects of a particular season.  

Some of us live in fall, a time of transgression and change, where the world leads us towards winter.

Some of us are caught in winter, the period of loneliness and isolation; a cold, boorish world where life is enmeshed, buried in a hole.

The fortunate few live in the period of Spring, where happiness and comfort are abundantly supplied.

The goal of anyone's life is to eternally live in the sunshine of summer, where the elements of spring dominate, but teeter on the necessity of fall.

I like to find people who cherish an internal summer, who are constantly enjoying the outside world because they know that tomorrow might not bring such a beautiful day.  I truly want to progress to a feeling of summer, but know that I must endure the seasons of life, because without winter -- the splendor of summer could never be fully appreciated.

09:56pm 29/05/2007
  Dice in mid-air, long odds.  How did I let mathematics get the best of me, the probability of my downfall.  Gamble, gamble:  I do not breathe as my jaded hopes and dreams tumble through the same air that Jesus inhaled, and Hitler spewed the remains of the Jews into.

Antipodes, bi-polar classification, right and wrong, whatever happened to the gray zone?  Or are we all stuck in the middle, unable to take a chance without forever feeling the repurcussions of our curiosity.  

Sadness dominates the periodic scale of emotions, it's atomic weight bearing down on the world.  Humans are upsetting the cosmic scaling of the universe; the lightest matter, supposively the most abundant, is no match for the amount of heavy, heavy sadness created by the human race.

We try to avoid sadness, creating our own little worlds that shield the hatred of our ancestors.  Marriage, kids, friends -- the repetition of life missing a beat here and there, but the track of life continually repeats itself in a different octave.  

How do you pray to a God?  Are you that stupid?  Do you want to allow yourself to feel that stupid?

The hatred in this world is so vast, so pervasive, that it makes me feel guilty for being a human being.  

What would i put on the fridge of humanity
Maybe a picture of a baby, a fresh soul
with excellent participation scores
A marriage announcement
A magnet promoting consumerism
Pizza is always tasty
Maybe a starving child with worms
Or a child raped in Darfur
No, how about a sex slave from Bangladesh
Or a happy drug abuser
Maybe a smiling crackwhore
Or a child with a cleft lip -- they always look happy
Or a young Iraqi with an AK-47 -- so talented
A gift certificate to reality
On the fridge of humanity

And so I roll the dice of life, hoping for the best, but knowing the odds are against me...
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Thoughts trickle in...   
09:49pm 29/05/2007

My emotions are trapped in a faucet
The handle is broken and I am left,
with nothing but the unspoken.

Sailing Away   
09:15pm 29/05/2005
  What say we to forgotten soldiers
Open graves, dispered amongst the unknown
Buried in secrecy, shrouded in time
Ghosts of the eternal night
Slaves of the ebb and flow
Pirating emotions
Conjured by saints, demonized by reality.
The Forgotten Soldiers   
09:06pm 29/05/2005
  If you knew the secrets, you wouldn't love the ignorance. The only bit of wisdom ever passed down to me.

I had read the books, I understood how it once was, how it could be; however, never had I imagined the feeling in the pit of my stomach as I left that day. The fight was not about the moment, about the past, it was about the future--how I would go down in history. How I would be judged at the pearly gates of heaven as I requested a dismissal to the realms of Hell.

Never, never, would I endorse a God that had deceived my every intention from the first moment I could fathom his existence. Who was he to look over all of mankind, uneventfully dictating ultimatums that he could never fathom in his infinitness.

People are too complex, too many, to decipher their intricacies and tendencies. I vowed, on that day, that I was not fighting for a country, nor for God, but myself, in the ultimate pursuit of knowledge--that of death. I knew that I wouldn't be coming home alive, albeit a fractured nature might persist, but myself as I have known me, was long forgotten.

How can one collect their thoughts in the face of death? The answer is simple, they cannot. They can only forget. I thought of my Mother, of Texas where I had grown up. I missed the fields, the simpleness; never would I regret the idleness and patience. Appreciating tranquility is a trait that grows on us as we grow older. Well, I suppose I have received my wish--boredom has been usurped.

As I look around, I do not see or sense fear, only silent strength manifesting itself. Tears are not weak, they show that we are human. It is our humanity that will save us. But what about the rest of the world; their humanity means nothing to us. They could never understand our struggles, our sacrafices. They could never understand our friendships, or recognize the laughs and smiles of our comrades that would dwindle with time. These are the happy memories that will persist, the backbone of our existence, fighting the bane and mutiny that will inevitably follow. I cannot think of such things, but it is impossible.

Someone once told me that war is a necessity. I believe that someone forgot that not all problems have a remedy. Mankind, with its track record of perfection and domination, does not recongize the hubris of its existence. I suppose on the one hand the faults of man keep things interesting, but on the other, it stifles equality and freedom--those very principles which I am sworn to protect and fight for. I fight for the equality of life, knowing that my life is not worth more than anyone elses, but I know that worth is subjective, and the fact that I know equality exists puts me at a disadvantage.

Freedom, such a relative term; I live the antonym, and know not why I am sworn to protect it. I am facing the repurcussions of the founding fathers sales pitch. Freedom. I feel so trapped. Honor, I know I must sacrafice it in order to survive.

If I knew your secrets, I wouldn't love the ignorance.

Now I understand what my Grandfather was telling me. How can we paint war in an image of courage, or bravery. No language is dark enough, anachronistic enough, to tell the story of war. It must be experienced, lived, understood, not in colors--but constellations of blackness shrouded in light.

This I see, on the faces of my friends, the forgotten soldiers.
09:19pm 11/02/2005
mood: annoyed
Do you know where this country is heading? It is definitely not a good direction and I for one am ashamed of the way things are going. While we declare Islamic terrorist followers to automatically be religious fanatics, I propose that the average American Republican is just as bad, if not worse--indoctrinated with the capitalistic ideals that are destroying the rest of the world.

Look around, our world is quite comfortable here in America. The benefits of capitalism are privatized by those countries at the forefront, but the socialized losses are spread across the third world country. People are laboring away in meager conditions, sending their products back to America, and receiving a marginalized portion of their worth, while corporations reep the benefits.

Is it fair to declare Americans "Little Eichmans"? Well, not really, but the analogy holds true if you think about it. Adolf was acting under the ideologies of Nazi Germany, which basically meant the eradication of the Jewish people. He was working on behalf of an engrained ideology to benefit Germany as a whole. Similarly, those working in the World Trade center base their actions around the premise of capitalism and democracy (HA!). Do THEY see the negative effects of globalization? Do they care about the development of other countries? If they really gave a rats ass, maybe we would do something every now and then to help out the rest of the world.

People all over the world are living in poverty. State-led terrorism in Rwanda, which claims millions and millions of lives, is WAY more destructive than the 3,000 people lost in the World Trade Center, or even the rest of the lives claimed over the last 30 years by all types of terrorists. It seems the the prerogatives of the government are skewed in the name of self-interest; it isn't really a war on terror, it is a war on Islam. If we really cared about terrorism, maybe we would go to Rwanda and help out a little bit. It is actually quite interesting why the United States has not intervened in Rwanda. Under international law, countries are required to commit troops and resources if their is a genocide. Obviously, a billion people dieing in a short amount of time would constitute genocide in most people's minds--yet why haven't we intervened? SIMPLE. The United States government has not intervened simply by refusing to label the atrocities in Rwanda as "genocide," thwarting responsibility because there is no U.S. interest involved with a bunch of crazy Africans killing themselves---DUH STUPID!!!

Iran and N. Korea are definitely going to be a problem in the near future as well. I for one am going to run to Canada or claim insanity (somehow) if they try to draft my ass to fight in the war. Hell, I will move to Iran and fight the fucking U.S. government if they really want to engage in such a silly war. Obviously, other countries should be allowed to develop nuclear weapons if the United States already has 200. If we wanted to set a real precedent for other countries to follow, we would diminish our MASSIAVE stockpiles in order to say, "Hey world, we are commited to reducing the threat of global annihilation," instead of investing a large portion of our GDP to defense spending and the military. It's like the United States is Barry Bonds taking HGH in the weight room and we are going around to all the scrawny guys in the gym and making sure they dont put any weight on the bar. Well, that analogy sucked, but you get the idea. We can't set a double-standard.

Here is my stupid livejournal prediction: N. Korea and Iran will provoke the United States without fail, forcing military action. While still bogged down in Iraq, we will try to reposition more troops in either N. Korea or Iran, but the logistic support simply isnt there. A draft will be enstated (through some stupid congressional approval, which are often prone to happen during times of peril), I will run to Canada. Meanwhile, the United States will try to assert itself all over the globe and the end result will be similar to conquesting nations of past. Inevitably, they fail, they get too ambitious, too large, and think that there isnt a force strong enough to oppose them. There is no force strong enough to oppose the United States on our soil, but in a foreign land, where we don't even speak their indigenous language, we are pretty much fucked. The Hamaratia of U.S. diplomacy is our underestimation of the degree which we are despised abroad, for obvious reasons; BUSH, just keep telling yourself you are freeing the world and bringing democracy you dumb FUCK.

I am getting sick of this government!! I will use this as an avenue to vent; feel free to join in on the BUSH BASHING TRAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Kerry will win   
09:05pm 01/11/2004
  Okay people, if for some reason President Bush actually wins the election tomorrow, I am seriously disappointed in everything that democracy stands for. Maybe factions are good, because if President Bush wins, it will prove that more than half of Americans are absolutely stupid. Here are my predictions:

If elected, President Bush will continue his offensive stance towards Osama Bin Laden, and he will carry out that war via Iraq. Iraq is a hotbed, attracting every radical Muslim, but Osama and his buddies know that they also need the appeal of the average Muslim. He still hasn't attained that, but if Bush keeps meddling around in Iraq, eventually the Muslim world is going to react against our presence. Saddam didn't necessarily need to go, but he is gone now and we mustn't concern ourselves with his presence.

If you think that America can afford this war, you are absolutely ignoring the facts. President Bush has ran the largest deficit in years and we are never going to be able to pay back the money we owe if we keep wasting our resources on a war that benefits no Americans, only harms our few soldiers and shatters the lives of a culture we know nothing about. Over a third of our government works for the national defense while many domestic spheres continue to weaken because a lack of funds which are allocated towards building more missiles.

While Bush is so concerned about protecting our precious America, he lets in over thousands and thousands of immigrants run across the Mexican border. That makes an easy entrance for pretty much anybody who wants to come into this country. I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't have the capabilities to carry out a large scale attack. And they WILL carry out a large scale attack if we do not meet their demands, which will escalate as soon as a President is chosen. You better hope it is not Bush, there WILL be an attack within a month if he is elected. If Kerry doesn't back down, there will be another attack. Kerry is the only chance we have of salvaging our relationship with the Muslim world and the rest of our allies who we have befriended. We should be concentrating on making our economy stronger and not asserting ourselves in places that we have no right being in. We should have stuck with Osama. He is the current problem. He is the one who wants to make America go bankrupt. How is he going to do that? Simple...drain our resources in an elaborate game of cat and mouse while we drain our economy and permit the death of men and women who are forced to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I'm afraid. If Bush is re-elected, a new chapter in history will emerge. If Kerry is elected, U.S. dominance still has a few more pages.
Well, I suppose I'll start blabbing again   
03:09pm 03/01/2004
  It has been a long time since I have felt the compelling urge to actually write my thoughts down on this silly little journal occupying a silly little cyberspec of the world I know. I used to write on this journal because I was trying to work out my problems, but what I've found as I've gotten older is that problems are never really resolved, they only mutate into new and oftentimes more complex problems.

I use this stupid idea to springboard towards a concept I have pretty much complete. Yes, you guessed it, the meaning of life.

Think back, what does anyone remember about history? The conflict, the emotional tidbits, the random awe-inspiring facts, the devilish women who have caused so many wars, and the polite antics of men as they engage in mortal combat with a variety of escalating weapons. As a species, we have come up with some damn good weapons to cause chaos and kill each other in the most efficient, inhumane methods.

With that in mind, think what garners the most attention in today's consumer-driven society? The media. We thrive around the happenings of the world, controlled by the media outlets that construct and direct the way we view the world. Despite the fact that we can't stand what they stand for, we are instinctively drawn towards the notion of, "What's going on?" "What are you up to tonight, world?" It drives me fucking insane watching the world try to conform to the world that the magazines, television, and everything else fashions themselves around--well, I do appreciate the unattainable goals that women must strive for these days, but aside from that fact, I pity the world. I too am guilty, because it is sooooo easy to just fit into the mold, instead of being that god damn gummi bear in the ice cream cone.

Part III of my observation towards the meaning of life: sit-coms. Oh my god, the dialogue in the scenes is absolutely ridiculous, they might as well just change every line to "I didn't sleep with him. I love you." Deception, deception, deception, the single factor that creates the tides that shake the ebb and flow of our planet.

Okay, a long time ago, an alien species fabricated the planet earth. They started out by putting dinosaurs on the planet (we will skip the eukaryotic bastards!), tweaked them throughout time, and eventually decided that they werent satisfying their intended need. In come humans, the most unpredictable, utterly fascinating creatures throughout the entire universe. What makes us so unique is our hearts, or feelings that are so intertwined with our being, which we falsely label our spiritual side. The side of us that strives towards some purpose, some meaning. We want to be something, do something, wake the world up.

We, as a species, are the universe's soap-opera. The point in all this chaos is to create as much drama and come up with as many stupid ideas as possible! Unfortunately, we began to conquer the world we lived in and now man has the upper hand. We are all sitting on the stage, jam-packed, saying to ourselves, what next? Let's all do something stupid!
Short Story   
08:28pm 07/03/2003
  Matthew Bickmore
I Came First

At the ripe age of ten my Father gave me the only concrete advice on life that I can remember, "Don't you fuck up...and have fun". Unfortunately I've never gotten to the second part; I've been too busy trying not to fuck my life up. In a world revolving around perfection, conformity, and living life to its fullest, I feel like a two-legged dog stranded on the side of the road. The hardest thing in life is learning how to accept yourself; once that is done, you begin to accept the people and world around you.
My bout with manic-depression probably started the minute I was born, but I never acknowledged it until I understood the concept of mortality. From then on out, life was a downward, melodramatic spiral that could only culminate in death. On a day to day basis my emotions fluctuated on a scale ranging from euphoric happiness to suicidal depression. I tried earnestly to maintain the highs with my bong "Whoa". It wasn't a mutually symbiotic relationship, in fact, it was probably unilaterally predacious. Simultaneously I was wasting my money and promoting lung cancer. I justified my behavior by relying on the notion that you only live once, which was pretty hard to argue against now that I think about it. I'm pretty sure that I was hiding behind the fact that I was lazy and unmotivated--scared to take on the world.
My disposition with society buttressed my naturally introversive personality. I spent countless hours by myself, content with just my ranting conscious that had a predisposed inclination to wander off on tangential tirades. My conscious was ambitious, innovative, and full of vigor. My body...it just wanted to get high. The everlasting struggle between mind and body, ambition and pleasure, made up the ebb and flow of my existence. There was always something wrong with my life, myself, or the world around me. An answer, a meaning, was all I was looking for.
"Beep, beep, beep," I sat up immediately and projected my right hand towards the neon "9:47", wishing that the incessant noise from hell would finally cease. God, I fucking hate alarm clocks. If the opportunity arose, I could definitely see myself hibernating if I had a bear to snuggle with. Now that I think about it, maybe being a human isn't such an advantage after all. Sure, it has its perks, but I don't see any other animals committing suicide.
I lethargically stood up and stretched my arms skyward, straining every muscle in my body, preparing to face another day. I scanned the room hoping to find a pair of semi-clean clothes. The search was futile. I sought an answer to my dilemma by burying my face in my pillow, for just one minute...
The next thing I knew the alarm clock read, "2:34". The rest of the world was finishing up their day, but it was morning to me. I could hear the television blaring from downstairs and knew that Chuck must be home from school. Chuck was special to me, even though he was partly deaf and listened to the television at an absurd level of volume. Hour upon hour he sat two feet in front of the screen, legs crossed, with large beady eyes, absorbing the hyperreality while his other eight year old peers played and socialized in the park down the road. Chuck never really said much, so everyone figured he was stupid, but I knew that he was just shy--a lot like me, constantly trying to shut out the world. I usually made sure that Chuck had eaten in the evenings and helped him with his homework when I could (our parents were usually either working or drinking with their friends). Chuck and my best friend Ray were the two people who meant anything to me in my life.
I finally gathered the strength to get out of bed and begin my day. After rummaging through the drawers in the room, I located a clean shirt with an alligator on my shirt-pocket, a pair of Foley's Dockers, and a raggedy old pair of loafers. Ironically, my Grandpa would have approved of my wardrobe for the day. Despite my motley appearance, I was comfortable, and that was all that mattered.
When I got down to the living room, Chuck was planted in front of the television, vegetating just as I had imagined.
"How was school Chuck?" I waited a few seconds, but received no response. "Chuck!" I continued. Having woken from his trance, Chuck twitched his head over his shoulder and acknowledge my presence.
"Hey Trent," he mechanically replied and then returned to his primary interest.
"How was school today?"
"I hate school. I hate my teachers. I hate my classmates," he slowly proclaimed while watching the Smurfs. I didn't respond for quite some time; there really wasn't anything I could say. We found comfort in our mutual dislike of the educational system. "Did you go visit Ray this morning?"
"No, I meant to, but I was too tired. I am going to head over there right after I get something to eat," I said.
"Can you make me something? Mom forgot to pack me a lunch for school today and I am hungry," Chuck asked.
"Sure, anything for you buddy. I'll make some chicken nuggets and french fries." I knew I wasn't the greatest cook in the world, but I found a unique pleasure in cooking for people, especially Chuck. It made me feel appreciated.
Growing up, Ray was my best friend. Ray's personality was exactly opposite of mine; always outgoing, positive, energetic and most importantly, understanding. He never fought with anyone because he could always consider both sides of the situation. Quite simply, he was the most Jesus-like person that I had ever gotten to know. Not because he was a religious zealot or anything, but because he was always unbiased and compassionate.
When we were younger we used to sneak into Farmer Murphy's land and play in the forest just outside of the apple orchard. We used to build forts, play knights and wizards, and when the time came, discussed girls (he usually talked, I listened). One day, when we were probably ten, we were building a tree house high up in the oak trees when a sparrow's egg fell out of a nest as we were hammering. As far as I can remember, it was the only time that I ever saw him frown for an extended period of time. He climbed down and carefully put the shell and what was left of the yolk in his pocket, as if he was saving it for some later purpose. After staring at the ground for a few moments, Ray looked up at me and simply said, "The chicken came first."
Nine months ago, during the spring semester of our senior year in High School, Ray was diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukemia. I never understood what lymphoblastic leukemia was, but I knew that it had something to do with the white blood cells and was potentially lethal. Physically, Ray lost his once defined physique and a head of hair that Grandmas would kill for, yet his spirits never seemed to falter. The treatment was going well at first, but something went wrong; nobody could explain it, not even the Doctors. Ray had to leave school and spent the majority of his time drugged up and sleeping at home or in pain on the way to the hospital.
Things had grown particularly grave a couple of weeks ago and Ray was forced to stay at the hospital, slowly dieing, with nothing that could be done. He knew it, the Doctors knew it, but I couldn't grow to accept the idea. For the past couple of weeks, I had been trying to make it over to Frankfurt Children's Hospital in order to visit him on a regular basis. Plenty of other people visited him and I usually felt like I was crowding him, but he always insisted that I am his favorite person to talk to.
I entered the musky hospital and asked the clerk which room Ray was in because the Doctors usually moved him around. "216," she replied, "Chemo recovery.” Jesus, how many times were they going to try and save him?
To my surprise the room was empty when I entered. Flowers surrounded his bed which lay in the corner of the poorly illuminated room, barely allowing any light to shine through. The walls were pure white, creating the impression of enclosure. Ray was motionless, positioned in a state of drugged-up slumber. He didn't seem like the Ray I had known my entire life. His body was hairless, there was an IV positioned near his sternum, he looked extremely emaciated and his skin was pale as a cloud--it was if he was a balding albino. I thought better of waking him up and decided to write a note with the pencil and paper on the desk a few feet to my left. Before I could grab the pencil I heard Ray's voice.
"No need, I'm awake Sky," he said in a barely audible tone. "I'm just resting my eyelids. The drugs take away all my strength. Do you remember when we used to take vikadin for fun? If I only knew I would get my fill at a later date maybe I wouldn’t have wasted so many nights just sitting around, stoned out of my mind.” I sat down in a blue hospital chair right next to his bed. I usually let him talk when I came to visit, figuring there was something I could learn from him.
“Ya, but we had fun, didn’t we?”
“Best times of my life,” he replied with a grin. "It's funny how all our whole lives we take things for granted, always hoping for more. It's not until there is a danger of losing everything that we realize we should have taken the time to smell the roses. All things considered, it's the little things in life that make it all worthwhile."
"What do you mean by the little things?" I asked.
"Look around you Sky, the world is so beautiful," he began.
"Ya, but I feel so ugly," I interjected.
"No! Why do you have to be so hard on yourself? Think about it. What good are you doing yourself, the people you love, or the world around you, by moping around and feeling sorry for yourself all the time? Ever since we were kids, I've never seen you excited or happy. You are always looking at the negative side of things. I just wonder why. Why do you do it to yourself Sky? You are young, intelligent, and have a long life ahead of you, yet you aren't happy. You are sick in the mind. There won't ever be a magical solution to all of life's problems, but you can't keep poisoning yourself. Sky, sometimes I think that you are sicker than myself. "He paused for a moment, staring into space and then he looked me in the eye. "I'm gonna miss it."
"Come on, Ray, you are going to be fine," I tried to assure him, knowing that I wasn’t being honest with him. Ray didn't respond, he only smiled and let out a slight chuckle to himself. I couldn't figure out what was so funny, so I decided to try and shift the focus of our conversation. "The Doctors want me back on Paxil, they say I am too prone to suicidal tendencies."
"Drugs aren't the solution Sky. What are you hiding from? It makes me sad to see you give up on the world." He paused for a moment and collected his thoughts. "Ever since I was a kid I wanted to be a Doctor. I wanted to help people, to feel like I've made a positive impact on this world. It won't happen. I'm just going to wilt away in this fucking hospital bed. Still, I don't feel like my life was meaningless. I'm thankful for every last minute of life that I've been granted on this planet. You can't control everything in life. Certain things are beyond our control, the Greeks called it fate. Death is concrete, assured by the boundaries of mortality, yet life is abstract. For the most part, you have the ability to control your own destiny, as long as you are living." Ray paused to regain his wind. "Can I ask you a question?"
"I think I already know what you are going to ask, but sure," I offered, knowing that he was going to continue his lecture on how I shouldn't waste away my life. I listened because I felt like there was a certain amount of wisdom that a person acquires when they are nearing death.
"Do you think there is life after death?"
"You mean like heaven?" I asked, confused by the gravity of the question.
"If that's what you want to call it." I sat for a few moments, collecting my thoughts, but Ray continued before I could begin. "I don't think heaven could be heaven as long as humans are humans. What could possibly exist to alleviate all the worries in the world? But you have to consider, what is the basis of heaven: being happy, reuniting with loved ones, and coming to peace with oneself. I don't see why we can't accomplish this on this earth. I think that earth is heaven, we are just too blind to see it. The key to life is living in the present, here and now, and letting the elements out of your control to happen, knowing that there is nothing you can do to prevent it. Who knows, there might be something after this life, but what does worrying accomplish? That's why it makes me sad to see you downtrodden yourself Sky. The world is yours for the taking, but you are too afraid to stand up for who you are--fuck the rest of the world if they don't accept you. It might be your only chance." Tears began to trickle down Ray's face. The passion in his voice made the urge to resist tears myself too great. "You can never truly live until you accept death." He paused for a moment. "Ironically," he continued, "lying in this death-bed, contemplating the meaning of life, I think I've lived more than I have my entire life. Why?" Ray sniffled and wiped away the tears with his right arm, "Because I've come to terms with death and I am no longer scared." For some reason I believed him.
"You are right Ray. Think about all the people that have lived before me, contemplating some form of afterlife, scared by the unknown. Death is an eternal sleep. The only existence I know is in the present, so I should savor every minute of it." Ray smiled and laughed out loud. His laughing was stifled by a loud cough, followed by blood that trickled down his mouth. Just then the nurse came in and informed me that Ray needed to take his medicine and sleep. I cupped my hand over his and sat in silence for a moment. Though we said no words, I believe that our souls communicated through touch, words were not needed to say goodbye. I slowly nodded farewell then stood up and walked towards the exit. I experienced an emotion that I can't really explain; it was one of content acceptance; of everything, life, death, and most importantly, myself.
I left the hospital knowing that I had probably seen my best friend for the last time. There was no reason to cling to every last moment; the memories were all that I needed. It's funny how I'm always searching for answers in life, but they always seem to allude me when I try too hard to figure them out. I like to think that Ray is in a better place, but I know better now.
When I arrived home, Chuck was sitting in front of the television. I walked up behind him, wrapped my arms around him and gave him a hug. "Chuck, get your baseball mitt from the closet, we are going to throw the baseball in the park." Chuck's face lit up as he quickly dislodged himself from the floor.
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11:04am 03/02/2003
  Imagine feeling as if there was nothing in life that has meaning, all was for nothing, and happiness was an intangible goal. You feel as if the only way out is to kill yourself, as absurd as it seems, but it seems logical at the moment. You look outside into the cold darkness and find no helping hand from nature. You cry, you cry because you don't know why--why things are the way they are, people, it all just seems too complicated. The sadness lingers and the virus spreads, eventually you are weak and wilting away. You try to stay positive but it is impossible, the world is doomed to corrupt you with its sickening sadness. The only way you can get away from it all is to sleep, to find solace in dreams.

You awake and you feel great, the day is fresh, and you start the day with a smile. The beautiful morning light, radiating every degree of earth, the squirrels hopping around (every time you see them, you wonder if you will ever get close enough to touch one)--things are great. Your life seems so perfect, it is good to be alive. Here and now. The day should be fine, little homework to do, only two classes--the smell of optimism is in the air. You smile for no reason, simply because it is fun.

The life of a manic-depressive is hard to describe. Being one myself, I know for a fact that it is impossible to keep myself in tune with the rest of the world. Sometimes I am sad, sometimes I am happy, but never with a regular cadence. I know this fact about myself has caused distress in my life at times; sometimes it is too hard to pull myself out of the lows, but it is too damned easy to ruin the high. I find that the only way to control it is to use my mental strength, to find moderation in all emotions, and take the world on one step at a time. Baby steps. Sometimes it is just too hard for me to handle, and in these moments of weakness I find a sadness that is indescribable--only known to those who have experienced chronic depression. By no means is it fun, healthy, or beneficial, but it is a regular pattern of my psyche. If I am ever to be truly happy I will have to learn to concur myself and my own emotions. Money, friends, and family can only do so much, but this battle is different, this battle is personal, from within.

The whole concept sort of reminds me of the scenario in a fighting movie when to the surprise of the protagonist, he is pitted against himself. I know my own moves, I know how to block my own moves, but every now and then a punch or kick from the sneaky depressive side of my personality takes a cheap shot. It leaves me crawling on the ground, all my thoughts focused on the pain--the pain of life. Everything that matters in the world drowns out and I am left with myself and my inner-hatred. I have had to learn to train myself to battle with depression.

I notice that nature has a strong effect on the ebb and flow of my emotions. It is oftentimes hard for me to become depressed or sad whenever it is sunny outside, spring or summer, or whether I am outside in nature. Whenever I am inside, it is dark and cold outside, or winter, the tables turn and depression maintains the head-and-shoulder stature above all other emotions. Maybe I am one of those people who is chronically controlled by the flow of the seasons--which makes absolute sense to me.

When I was younger I had a pretty bad first experience with depression. I struggled with the sadness, took out my anger on myself, and in the end was left with nothing but my ranting conscience, who wasn't the greatest critic in the world. My life went down the drain--friends, family, school, everything. I was depressed, had an eating disorder, and felt like nothing mattered in the world...until one day I just said FUCK IT. I stopped taking all medications, turned my frown upside down (cliche, but it happened), and attempted to battle the world with a little more vigor. So began my new and chronic battle with manic depression.

I doubt I can say "Fuck It" and get myself out of this one. This one is different, this is a battle of a lifetime. I just wish I could convey just how high the highs are and just how low the lows are. They have gotten to the point where they can get out of control. I suppose Aristotle was correct in his presumption that everything must be in moderation, and this includes emotions. I need to learn how to control the way I feel and project myself in a much more respectable manner. It is okay to be sad, but for the right reasons, and searching through the catalog of my emotions, I can find none that warrant respect. I am 20 years old in college, doing well in school, have family and friends, an awesome girlfriend, am healthy. When will it ever be enough? Why can't I just be happy and set aside all those lingering emotions of guilt and sorrow. Probably never, but then again, the battle with depression and boredom seems to be the cancerous plague of our generation. Our battle is not with fighting the enemies, securing our realm, or fighting in the name of an absurd cause--our battle is with ourselves, conquering the anomaly that is life. It's time to fight!
Short Story   
08:54pm 27/01/2003
  Unfortunately my last name is Bickmore and my short-story was due first for workshop...I wrote this one in one night

Lee lay as silent as possible as the flashing lights and sirens whizzed by. His heart thumped to an alarming rate and his palms sweat profusely as he inwardly prayed towards his new found need for God. The branches were quick to greet his face, the morning dew dampening his hair, and the thorns entrenched themselves in his palm; he had to think, yet he lay silent in one of those rare instances in person's life when their conscience shuts up for a moment, scared into silence. He closed his eyes, hoping the world would just go away.
Eventually the sirens faded into the distance as Lee regained consciousness. He slowly stood up surveying his damage and brushed off his tattered blue jeans in one defiant effort. The sun was rising over the suburban neighborhood causing the oak trees that surrounded the house to encapsulate Lee within their ever-growing shadows. An awkward ray of light caused Lee to wince and burry his face in his forearm. He watched the ever-present light shift around behind the blackness of his eyelids which always seemed to amaze him, even in his current predicament. When Lee felt brave enough he opened his eyes; a frown emerged as he noticed the tear on the sleeve of his sweatshirt, it had been his favorite since he was a teenager. Lee brushed his wavy brown hair back with his right hand and then he reached in his pocket to grab his switch blade.
Lee slowly walked towards the greenhouse which attached to the house, sticking his head out in front of his body, sure that the extra foot would increase his hearing capabilities. He slugged his way forward and came to a halt as he opened his eyes as wide as they would go. The silver point of his knife was the first thing visible from the inside, followed by two glaring eyes that emerged twice as high up. Lee stepped into the doorway and noticed that he was in what appeared to be a greenhouse, except there were no plants, and there was no ground. He wiped the sweat off of his now damp forehead. The entire greenhouse was covered in dirt and barren, except for a plow laying face down in the corner. After surveying his situation he decided to venture further into the house. Lee opened the door to the main portion of the house in a similar fashion, hiding behind a blade of metal, only to be greeted by the roar of the television set. Lee concentrated as he attempted to drown out the deafening sounds. The room was a mess; there were lay's potato chip bags laying all around, a bean bag with a large tear in it, spilling its beans, a carpet with enough stains to make it a post-modernistic work of art, and the room smelt like the hallway of an old apartment building. The most vibrant aspect of the room was a large television set sitting on the ground in the corner. Lee became alert when he noticed that a woman was sleeping on the couch a few feet away.
The woman on the couch looked to be in her mid forty's, yet she was probably much younger. She was wearing a fancy dark black dress and her body was slumped over the right side of the couch, yet she subconsciously made the effort to keep the open bottle of Captain Morgans upright in her left hand. Her long brown hair covered her face, hiding the majority of her facial features. Lee moved forward until he was a few feet away from the mass of life and stopped in an offensive position.
"Wake up Lady," Lee declared while brandishing his weapon.
The shape on the couch stirred for a brief moment, grunted a few lines, and fell back to sleep. Lee was not amused at all. He walked over and grabbed her by the side and shook her a few times with his free hand--she still did not move. Lee noticed the bottle of vikadin with an open lid on the table beside her head.
"Listen here lady, you better tell me where your jewelry is, or I'm gonna stab ya," Lee emphatically remarked towards the lifeless corpse. Lee remembered that he had passed an open closet where he had spotted some masking tape and went to grab it. Upon his return he noticed that the body had shifted positions. Lee closed his knife and placed it on the defunct beanbag. He reached over towards the woman's body and slowly grasped the Captain Morgans bottle. Lee tugged slightly to dislodge the bottle.
"What the hell is going?" the now living woman remarked rhetorically in a raspy voice. Lee jumped backwards in shock. "Gimme my fuckin Cappin," she continued. The woman opened her eyes to the site of Lee and kicked instinctively, sending Lee flying back. Lee got back on his feet and reached for his knife.
"Lady, I ain't playing, this is a robbery, now shut up and tell me where your jewelry is or I'll stick ya."
"Oh heavens no! How can you do this to me, I am a poor old lady," she remarked while helping herself to some Captain. Her facial expressions puzzled Lee, she did not seem alarmed the least bit.
"Say, that’s a nice shirt ya got there kid! Never thought I'd be robbed by someone with Scooby Doo on their sweatshirt. But then again, this sort of shit always happens to me and if you think...," she continued on staring ahead as if she was talking to the wall. She concluded her monologue with a swig of the Captain.
Lee stood still, holding out his knife, surveying the room for the tape that had fallen when he was bludgeoned by the lady’s foot. He bent down to pick up the tape and attempted to stand back up but was greeted by the muzzle of a Browning .25. A "What the fuck" look appeared on Lee's face.
"Who the hell do you think you are kid?" She had another excursion with the Captain and told Lee to sit down on the couch while she herself stumbled back to the couch..
"The Cappin and I don't get many visitors," she mumbled. She put down the bottle of rum and tied Lee up with her free hand. After she finished taping Lee’s hands together behind his back, the lady sat down on the couch, popped a vikadin in her mouth, casually crossed her legs, and pulled out a cigarette. She left the cigarette in her mouth and reached for a book of matches. She shook her hair away from her face and with one hand she lit the match and subsequently her cigarette while cupping the match with the gun in hand. Lee couldn’t help but notice the beautiful diamond ring on her left-hand ring finger. Afterwards, she picked up the remote for the television and turned it off and proceeded to stare at Lee. For the first time Lee noticed her face, she was strikingly beautiful, yet a look of sadness dwelled in her eyes. Lee continued his circumspection and couldn't help but notice that only one of her feet had nail polish on it.
"You forgot to paint your other one," he remarked point towards her naked foot.
"Maybe I'm not done yet," she said.
"Seems pretty silly to me."
"Who are you to be the judge of silliness. Robbing a lady who is unconscious and intoxicated sounds pretty silly to me," she replied with a slur.
"I wasn't gonna hurt ya or nothing, I just needed some money--it ain't easy these days."
"Who the hell gives you the right to take it out on others? You don't see me taking it out on others, I take it out on the Captain! Say, what's your name kid?"
"I ain't gonna tell you," he remarked with defiance. There was a long pause.
"My name is Summer Silverton, and this is my friend Captain Morgan," Summer proclaimed. "We get along just great;" Summer took another swig.
"Lee, Lee Matthews," the young boy remarked.
"Say, how old are you? And if you don't mind me askin, what are you doing runnin around with a knife in yer hand, robbing people who are passed out cold? Are you stupid or something?" she concluded while drinking again.
"twenty-four years old and I was just trying to run from the cops," he remarked.
"It was just convenient to drop in and rob me then?"
"I didn't plan on it, but money is money and I figured I might as well try," Lee sad squirming around in the chair.
"I should of just shot you," she said.
"No! That would be a bad idea--you scared the hell outta me with that gun."
"Sometimes the fuckin raccoons crawl in here and I gotta shoot em," she replied nonchalantly.
By now, Lee could tell that Summer was becoming even more intoxicated. Her head swaggered like a stick with too much weight on the end. The door leading from the greenhouse room shut with a bang and Lee turned around startled. In came the most out-of-place, awkward looking boy that Lee had seen in his entire life. His hair was combed back like Mr. Rogers and he wore a small suit that looked about 2 centuries out of fashion, followed by the largest, clankiest clog hoppers that he had ever seen. His dark black dress socks crept dangerously close to his knees and he wore a little bow tie underneath his vest.
"Prithee, Miss Summer, who is this gentleman?"
"Pap, meet Lee the vagabond; Lee, this is my neighbor Patrick, but we call him Pap for short," Summer said while introducing the two. Pap outstretched his hand while Lee was forced to sit still, with a stupid grin on his face.
“Why is he tied up?” Pap asked.
“Lee was dropping by, but I decided that he should stay and chat awhile,” Summer remarked with a confident tone. The questioning look on Pap’s boyish face did not subside, but he pushed the matter aside, turned towards Lee, and proceeded with the conversation.
"I'm of great expectat...," Pap began
"I met Pap two years ago when he was eight years old,” Summer began. Pap’s eyebrows became more acute and his face turned red.
“His parents decided to home school him instead of sending him away. He has always been an intelligent boy, but as soon as he read Great Expectations he insisted that him and Pip were exactly alike and ever since then he has fashioned himself after Pip. First the mannerisms, then the clothes, and now he wants to go to the city and become an apprentice," Summer began to sob and laugh at the same time. "All the other kids are in this world want to grow up to be an astronaut, the President, or Babe Ruth, and silly old Pap is fashioning himself after a fictional character. Patrick, err, Pap, asked us if he could use our garden so we gave him permission to plant his "crops" in the greenhouse, it's not like we use the damn thing anyway," she continued on. Lee noticed a change of heart in her eyes, her face brandished a melancholy look.
"I can't get anything to grow," Pap chimed in stressing the "a" in can't. “I just came by to ask you if I could borrow some sugar, Mother needs it for a cake.”
“Pap, by God, you are gentlemen. Go into the kitchen and take whatever you need. You see Lee, that is how you ask for a favor!” Lee did not seem amused with the comment. He sat staring at Pap, an anomaly, a dysfunctional, yet inspiring young boy.
“I will let you go if you tell me why you were running from the Cops-and be honest,” Summer asked while staring at Lee, hoping that she could force a legitimate answer out of Lee with her mind. She uncrossed he legs, leaned forward and took another swig of the Captain.
“Why are you so nice to me, anyways, Lady?” Lee replied with a cock-eyed expression.
“Because I just don’t care anymore. You see Lee, its not just you who faces hardship in this world, we all do. Life’s a bitch, then you die.” She paused to reflect on her ramblings for a moment. “You don’t see me taking my frustrations out on others, I take them out on myself-with you my friend!” She held up the bottle of Captain Morgans and smiled.
“So are you gonna tell me what you did or not?” She continued on.
“I don’t really think it matters, not so much, I mean, I don’t belong out in society-I spose prisons were made for people like me. You might as well just get it over and call the cops, quit torturing me.” Lee looked down at the ground and proceeded to look around the entire room-anything but face the response of Summer.
“Say, I thought you said you used the guns to shoot the raccoons that are runnin around in here. I don’t see no bullet holes,” Lee asked in a rhetorical tone.
“My husband never missed,” she said while stifling tears. She got up for the first time in awhile and reached behind the couch and pulled out a telephone. She plugged it into the nearby phone jack and placed her hand on the phone. Before she could pick it up and dial the phone rang.
“Holy shit!” She remarked jumping in her chair. She picked up the receiver.
“Summer, is that you? I’ve been trying to call you for hours. We need to discuss the funeral arrangements for your husband.”
     Read 2 - Post
Beginning of updates   
08:49pm 27/01/2003
  Hey its me again, I havent been using the journal lately for one reason or another--it seems like my lifes keeps changing, I just wish I could figure out what I want to do. While I put the future away for a bit, I am just trying to have fun in a few english classes and an international law case this semester. I will be posting more because it is for school as well--this one is a poem for my poetry workshop.


My life is wilting away, flowerless, powerless--shuddering, crying in secrecy,
Who will hear my cries? Will they know, can I show, my life lacks flow.

Wandering, wondering, postulating the meaning,
behind it all, somewhere, amidst the circular catacalysmic
afformentioned algorithm, affirmation of life, lies the shrouded secrets of salvation.
You preach, I listen, the indulgence of lies, a bond of
power and fear; I try, but I cannot fully hear that which you say;
You speak a shadowy tongue--the scales slither, your tongue slurs,
Forceful lies, sleepless demise, how can we cover our eyes;
Look around, the world is dieing amidst all the lies,
We can't look up, who says hell is down, look around--life is hell,
But who can tell, what if? Could love heal the world--who knows,
Living from day to day, trying to find the way amidst decay.

My life is wilting away, flowerless, powerless--fuck my conscience,
I would rather follow my heart than give into the lie--I want to fly.

I search to no avail, my thoughts a'flail, how will I end this tale?
I must fight conformity, the deformity--lifes a whore to me;
They offer me this, they offer me that, fuck all that;
Happiness is a journey, not a destination, so stop the suppression,
Deny the regression--after all, there just might be a heaven;
And if not, who cares, maybe there is no method to this madness,
But stop the sickening sadness--push the clouds aside,
Allow the sunshine to come through, to show whats true.
Depression is a downward spiral--viral, spreading from emotion to emotion,
Stop the commotion, gather your thoughts, all along I've fought.

My life is wilting away, flowerless, powerless--yet I must fight,
Optimism perpetually multiplies, I must'nt accept an early demise.

It is just as easy to hate as it is to love, yet the world finds a predisposed
temptation towards the former while the world bears a perpetual frown--
And it will continue as long as we allow ourselves to be pushed down,
Downtroddened upon, objectified, delegitimized, and categorized.
Passive resistance requires rationality from both sides; in the end
It doesn't seem so wise--fight, not with stones, swords, or bombs;
Fight the world with a smile, use your inner light, stop being so contrite.
Look at the children, wilting away, losing sight of the true light,
A flower cannot grow without light, water, and space.
Can we expect a child to flower, to grow--prosper against so much force;
To love is not a hard task, but surrounded by hate, it's hard to be the ugly duckling.

My life is wilting away, flowerless, powerless.
12:55pm 14/01/2003
  The following is the portion of my screenplay that I have finished so far. The sections include the opening scene and the climatic portion towards the end. Tell me what you think...I hope to finish it sometime soon. The format is a different type of writing/reading than I am used to and probably yourself as well.



Slowly PAN DOWN towards the jungle until the camera comes to a STOP on a monkey while it is eating. A dart hits him in the upper arm.


Two scientists followed by a group of local guides approach the fallen monkey from the bushes. They arrive at the monkey and become startled when they see its condition.

I think you killed it.

That wouldn't happen if the government
would give us enough money to buy the
proper equipment. These darts are meant
for large primates.

He wipes the sweat off of his forehead and looks down at the ground, ashamed and angry at what he has done. We can see that he is a relatively young man.

Alright, lets pack up and get out of here.
Throw the body in the river, something
will eat it.

The monkeys in the nearby treetops begin to make NOISE and cause a commotion. ANGLE from outside the group as they stare upward.

What do you think it is?

We see the scientists examine their surroundings through the SUBJECTIVE CAMERA view of one of the hunters.

They are afraid of something, there
must be a tiger nearby, go grab the

(to the guides)
Go grab the tranquilizer guns.

Two of the guides run off towards the base camp. A spear strikes one of them in the forehead.


We see a group of masked individuals attack the local guides with spears, slaughtering them with INHUMANE ease. SCIENTIST #1 pulls out his pistol and fires at the attackers but is struck down by a spear in the chest.


Dr. Gahvin is crawling on the ground trembling. A spear has struck him in the leg and he is in great pain. His POV: He turns around and stares at the canopy, a masked individual stands over him and hits him in the face with the blunt end of his spear and is carried off into the brush of the jungle.



Slowly PAN through the jungle as the creatures drag the bodies to the entrance of a cave and we come to a STOP. The bodies and creatures go into the cave and a HORRIFIC SCREAM echoes from the cave walls.






Climatic SCENE:


Trey is sitting against the back wall of the cave, weak and hungry, while Mindy rolls around in a semi-slumber.

Mindy are you awake?

Yes, what do you want Trey?

I cannot remember the last time that
I have had a dream.

It is probably nothing Trey.

There is a brief pause.

Most of the hunters left awhile ago,
I think we should make our break and
get out of this cave. Now is as good
a time as any, I am sick of rotting away
in this God forsaken place.

Are you sure Trey? Dr. Gahvin warned
us about trying to escape...look at what
they did to him. How are we supposed
to make it out, its a maze of rock!

What else are we going to do Mindy?
Sit here and rot? We have to try something.

Mindy sits up with a sense of energy that has been lost for some time.

What about Al?

I am not sure, but I'll be damned if I
allow him to control me any longer.

We HEAR the COMMUNICATION between two hunters as they approach the cave cell. Mindy and Trey stop their conversation as the hunters grab Trey and drag him away.


I wasn't exactly sure how long we had
been kept captive in that cave; days,
weeks, months--they all seemed the same.

We see the HUNTERS dragging Trey across the cave floor in a MOVING SHOT.

What did Al want from me? I couldn't
help him. Maybe he was playing with me,
using me to occupy his time. A pet, a toy...
an experiment.

We see the hunters throw Trey onto the rock with the EYE painted in BLOOD. CLOSE SHOT of Trey.

It's all in my mind and he knows it.
He uses it against me. It's funny how
the human mind can be our most powerful
tool, yet at the same time it can be our
most debilitating.

Trey stares upward and slowly closes his eyes

I must conquer my own imagination.

Trey grimaces as his hands are tied down with vines.



We see a CLOSE UP shot of a television as the countdown to the year 1993 is taking place. The CAMERA ZOOMS OUT and we see that a younger Trey is lying asleep on the couch. A GUNSHOT is heard that startles Trey in his sleep.


A) Trey wakes up and walks out of the living room.

B) Trey opens the front door where he sees a tornado and horrendous winds. He quickly slams the door shut.

C) Trey walks to his FATHER'S den and stands in front of it.

We switch to a SUBJECTIVE CAMERA angle as Trey opens the door and walks in. It is his Father's study and we see a chair that is turned around--a POOL OF BLOOD grows under the chair. Trey slowly walks towards the desk.

Why did you do it Trey? It's all your
fault. You were always a terrible son
and he never loved you. You could
of stopped it.

Trey continues to walk cautiously towards the chair and eventually places his hand on the chair and slowly turns it around. His Father lies motionless with a bullet in his head.

He's dead Trey, you will never see
him again.

His FATHER’S eyes open up and he reaches for Trey, but he falls to the ground as Trey dodges the grasp. We HEAR a loud STORM outside of the house.

He will never forgive you.

No! He killed himself because he was
sick of living. It was never my fault or
anyone else’s and I am sick of blaming

We see a CLOSE UP of the RED EYES of Al as he laughs loudly. The WINDS tear off the roof of the house and begin to cause a commotion.

The CAMERA switches to the POV of Trey.

The CAMERA ZOOMS IN to Trey's feet as the hands of the dead Father grab Trey by his ankles.



We see TREY standing in a mysterious dark realm where only his body is illuminated. He examines his hands; he is older now, his current age. Two RED EYES approach. The body becomes illuminated when it is a few feet from Trey, yet Al is upside down. His body GENTLY does a 180 until he is standing face to face with Trey.


Trey stares at him, powerless.

What are you trying to tell me?

I haven't told you anything, I have
shown you things. You have only
yourself to examine for the true
answers that lie within.

Who are you, or rather,
what are you? Do you have a face?

If I told you what I was, I do not think
that you would comprehend it. I am not
of this planet, nor of this realm, I exist in
another dimension, another time--a place
where life is lifeless, where time is motionless.

Trey pauses for a brief moment.

Why do you show me these visions?

I manifest nothing.

SPFX: The background changes until Trey and Al are left standing on a cliff above a raging BLOOD RED SEA. They are standing next to a morbid, unearthly tree that the apparition of Al walks over to and leans against.

Each vision I extrapolate from deep within
your subconscious. All of the feelings and
emotions that you have purposefully
forgotten serve to shape who you are,
yet you fail to acknowledge it.

No...no...I haven't forgotten, and you are
right, it has made me into who I am today.
You can't change your past or blame
yourself for the actions of others. Some things
in this world just 'are', and this includes people.

Trey walks to the edge of the CLIFF as the wind blows against his body, causing his body to fall back.

And this...this is only a dream and so are you.

Can you be certain?

No....I cannot.

There is a brief pause as TREY turns around and stares at Al. LIGHTNING strikes the tree that he is leaning against, yet Al does not seem startled. Trey closes his EYES and spreads his ARMS.

It's only my imagination.......

TREY falls backwards off the cliff and rushes towards the raging SEA. We HEAR AL laughing a sinister LAUGH in the background. We see a MOVING SHOT of TREY as he falls towards the ocean. He opens his EYES as he falls.

I am free.

Trey hits the ocean. The CAMERA ANGLE switches to a CLOSE UP of Al as he peers over the cliff. The CAMERA gets closer and closer until it enters within his RED EYES.



We see the sleeping body of Trey as Mindy tries to wake him up.

Trey, Trey, are you alright?

Mindy shakes TREY who seems to be extremely exhausted. His HAIR and CLOTHES are wet.

Don't leave me Trey, I need you.

Trey sits up.


What! What! Get off me!


Calm down Trey, it’s me, Mindy

We see Mindy embrace Trey in her arms. She KISSES him for the first time and lets him go. Trey remains, staring at Mindy.

There is a brief pause.

You are right, we have to get out
of here. We are both starving and
sick, if we stay here, we will surely
die-we have to try.

(smiling at Mindy)
You know what’s funny Mindy, I am no
longer scared. We WILL make it out of
here, or we will die trying….together.

We see both characters RISE and Trey grabs a nearby torch.

Do you know the way out?

I am not sure, but every time the
hunters leave they leave through that

Trey points towards a large cave opening straight ahead.

What about Al?

Trey remains STILL and stares straight ahead.


(out of trance)
We can’t run from Al, but we must
leave. Come on, let’s go.

Through a SUBJECTIVE CAMERA ANGLE we see Trey and Mindy begin their escape. Shortly after the REVERSE POV reveals the face of AL and his FIREY RED eyes.


We see a MOVING shot of Mindy and Trey as they navigate through the maze of caves. In the background we hear the LAUGH of AL. Trey and Mindy stop.

What was that?

Al…he knows. We have to keep
going though.

Trey grabs Mindy’s hand

Come on!

We see a MOVING SHOT of Trey and Mindy as they navigate their way through the caves. The Laugh of Al grows louder. The ROCKS of the cave begin to fall from the cieling.

Trey, the cave is collapsing!

I know...we have to keep going though!

Trey and Mindy come to a HALT as they see their path split into two equally inviting tunnels.

Which do we take Trey?

Hold on...I'm not quite sure.

We see ROCKS falling around the characters.

Come on...lets try this one!

A LARGE ROCK falls right in front of Trey as he is about to enter.


Maybe it's the other way.

We see a room of the cave maze as Trey and Mindy come RUNNING in and COLLAPSE.

I'm not sure if I can make it Trey.

The camera switches to Trey's POV.

Silly human, you cannot run from

(to Mindy)
We will make it, now get up.

I can't, go on without me Trey.

Look! Over there! Do you see the light?

The CAMERA CLOSES IN on the light which MORPHS into the EYES of Al.


(with immediacy)
Take this.

Trey grabs a NON-LIT torch from the wall and LIGHTS IT.

Run! Hurry!

I won't leave you Trey.

Do it!

Mindy pauses for a moment.

I love you Trey.

I love you too.

They embrace.

Now please...leave. I have to face
him alone.

Be careful Trey!

CLOSE SHOT of their fingertips as they finally part. Mindy runs off as Trey turns.

(spinning around)
Show yourself coward.

Only through you can I be shown.


We see a MOVING SHOT of Mindy as she runs through the CAVE. She finally sees the LIGHT of the end of the tunnel and runs towards it.


The CAMERA PANS outside of the cave as the HUNTERS are returning from their business. Mindy realizes that they are returning and runs back towards Trey. The HUNTERS follow.


The camera switches to the POV of Trey when the his torch flame goes out. We see nothing but DARKNESS.

Through the REVERSE POV of Al we see Trey's figure as he fumbles around in the dark. His body is ILLUMINATED in a RED AURA.

What do you want from me?


So why do you keep toying with me?

A puppet needs a master.

We see a CLOSE UP of MINDY as she runs from the hunters who pursue her.

The CANERA switches to Al and Trey. RED EYES become visible in the blackness.

Trey! Trey! Help!

We see Mindy run into the room, HUNTERS pursuing her. Her TORCH lights up the room. Al is not in his typical black hooded form, he is in the shape of a huge ANIMAL. His FANGS drip blood, his fur is a silverish/black coat.


His EYES open and his beastly JAW dripping blood, becomes exposed during a frightening ROAR.

The CAMERA switches to an all-encompassing shot where Al, Mindy, and Trey are all present. The Hunters arrive in the room and become startled at the site of Al. They SCREAM in terror. Al POUNCES on them, killing them savagely.

(to himself)
He does exist...

Trey picks up a spear of a dead hunter and hurls it at the beastly form of Al. It goes straight through him.

As long as you live, so shall I.

We see a series of FLASHBACKS from the perspective of Trey.


A) Dr. Gahvin remarking that Al exists only in his dreams.

B) Trey telling Mindy that he has not dreamed in some time.

C) Al remarking, "I exist in another dimension, another time--a place where life is lifeless, where time is motionless."


(to nothing)
Where life is lifeless...

Trey puts his hand against his THROAT, no pulse. He places his hand against his HEART, no pulse.

Trey, what are we going to do?

The CAMERA focuses on TREY as he lifts his head revealing a SLY SMILE.

We see Al feasting on the remains of the HUNTERS.

(to mindy)
In another world my love, in another world.

Trey begins to tremble as RAYS OF LIGHT shoot from all angles of his body.

You have only yourself to examine.

The CAMERA switches to the POV of Al who seems unphased by the LIGHT. The CAMERA ZOOMS IN on his claws, fangs, and finally his EYES in a series of shots.

The flash of light finally subsides and Trey is no longer present, in his place a WHITE BEAST remains, poised to FIGHT. The beast slowly opens its eyes, revealing PURE WHITE eyes.


A fighting scene ensues between the two beasts as they fight ferosciously. Blood flies everywhere as the CLAWS of the beasts sink into each other. Eventually the WHITE BEAST (Trey) grabs hold of the NECK of Al. A ROAR echoes throughout the cave walls as we see the CAMERA MOVING BACKWARDS at a very fast pace until we are outside of the cave.


The CAMERA slowly ZOOMS OUT until a large portion of the jungle is visible. We see a HUGE explosion that races towards the BIRDS EYE camera view.



We see a Large lab Through the BIRD'S EYE VIEW of the CAMERA. There are multiple bodies on white-sheeted beds arranged in a CIRCLE, surrounded by computers and multiple men in WHITE LAB COATS. The CAMERA ZOOMS IN on a figure that begins to jerk around, the SCIENTISTS rush over as the camera continues to ZOOM IN until we see the FACE of Trey.

(examining Trey)
Sir, he seems to have awakened.

What is he in for?


We see a picture of a CLIPBOARD that reveals a UNITED STATES ARMY seal and in red letters the words, "DREAM THERAPY".

We see the two DOCTORS standing over Trey's BODY.

Ahhh, he is one of the test subjects for the
dream therapy program.

Which scenario was he placed in?

Subconsious fears.


We see the face of Trey, with an awkward smirk on his face. His EYES suddenly pop open, revealing the FIREY RED eyes of Al.

02:41am 23/11/2002
  All my life I have felt like I was different, like I wasnt one of the group; not necessarily an outcast, but an observer. I love to observe the world and interpret it in all its wonderful shapes and sizes.

All my life I have been trying to conform myself to society and conform my edges to fit nice and properly with the jigsaw puzzle that is society. Unfortunately the puzzle is a SQUARE. I'm sick of trying to fashion myself, its hurting me inside--I have to be true to myself. I must accept myself in all my entirety, inside and out; only then can true happiness manifest itself, from within. Once happiness grows inside, it spreads to the rest of yourself and the world around you, the world becomes a better place.

All that I see when I look around in this world is hate. It is just as easy to love as it is to hate yet man feels a predisposed inclination to the latter. I too am guilty, I only look for fault in things, society has trained me to do so, I always view the world around me with a skeptical eye. In the end, I am left with a negative world, void of all that is positive.

I need to accept myself, not hypothetically, or subjectively, but genuinely. The world definitely becomes a better place if you look for the good in things.

I came to a realization tonight....we must all come to love ourselves. Our bodies are merely the pods we have been given, our vehicles if you will, to navigate and explore this world that we call earth. If we look for the negative side of things and forget the things that are truly important, we grow empty inside. If we allow ourselves to become a reflection of our physical being, our true soul is forever tarnished. Our bodies may grow old, wrinkle, and bear signs of travel--yet the jubilant spirit of a free soul shall reign supreme for all eternity.
Short Story--The Raffle   
11:19pm 22/09/2002
  Matthew Bickmore
Short Story
The Raffle

The cloud of light rose, godlike in stature. It seemed to stop time in its very path while the sirens overshadowed the stifling silence. The end of the world was eminent, yet stoically, a certain man sat. Beside him lay a brown tattered jacket blanketed across the bench. He threw pieces of bread to the pigeons seeking an easy meal. Despite the danger, the man still did not seem startled. Mechanically, he tore and threw multiple pieces of bread. The pigeons departed, yet his gesture never faltered. He seemed puzzled.
A bright light flashed and the man threw his arms up in despair, hoping for the pain to cease. His eyes felt on fire. He stood up slowly, shaking off the dirt and examining his body. He was bloody and his shirt was torn along the shoulder, he must have drank too much again and ended up passing out in the fields. What was his girlfriend going to think this time; he had run out of excuses. She had to know. She knew he was a loser. Life hadn't been easy after he lost his job three months ago. He was going to have to declare bankruptcy and accept the welfare. What other choice did he have, society would never accept him. He wiped himself off and instinctively headed towards home swaggering with his head down, guilty as a dog.
When he got home the door was open, she knew, she was waiting. He could hear the familiar chant, “Jerry…Jerry…Jerry,” eminating from the television as he stood outside his small house. He walked in and tried to act like nothing at all had happened; impulsively heading straight for the fridge. He knew she was staring right at him, idly poised and ready to strike. He could sense the venom dripping from her fangs.
"I hope ya had fun hunny, did you fine God? Get abducted by thems aliens? Whats it gonna to be this time, I'm sick of it. You been sleepin with anotha woman havent cha," his girlfriend remarked in a severely condescending tone.
"No, I did not FINE anyone, I believe I got taxed.”
"Don't you be gettin sarcastic with me Roger. How can you be so irresponsible, you gots a baby comin and you aint even startin to act responsibly. Plus you gots a pregnant girlfriend without a ring on her god damn finger. What's she supposed to do? Single mommas cause people to stare these days ya know. Do you want me to be stared at? I'm scared."
Roger sat down at the table and listened, he was sick of it all. The bitching, the whining, his situation, life. He had tried so hard to turn things around, but the wheel of Fortuna seemed to always spin downwards. Things had to get better; he just had to tough it out and wait. Lorraine continued chastising Roger, blending in with the commotion on television, yet he zoned her out like usual and picked up the newspaper on the table. Reading the news made him feel better about himself; at least he wasn't starving in Africa, or fighting a Holy war in Israel. His problems seemed trivial compared to the rest of the world and he delighted in this fact.
Eventually he got to the classifieds section; he had to get a job. It was the only way to turn around his life. It was either this or give up. Dropping out of High School may not have been Roger's wisest move. He was a very bright man despite his laziness and lack of ambition. Working as a mechanic may have seemed opportunistic when he was 16, but jobless and desperate without a diploma at the age of 22 was not an ideal situation. Roger ran his large hand full of scars through his wavy brown hair and sighed in despair. This was it, things had to change; he slowly stood up and headed towards his bedroom. The noise from the living room grew fainter and fainter as he shut the door--silence. He silently trodded into the bathroom and turned on the water while he stood naked in front of the mirror. A slight frown began to distinguish itself. The warm water running from the shower head began to cloud his image until eventually it faded away into an undistinguishable blur. All that lay on his bed was a pair of black Dockers, a dress shirt, sneakers, the classifieds section, an old belt, and a .45 caliber pistol.
A young man in his early twenties sat crying in a small room where his weeping never faltered. Father Bibel heard the cries and decided to poke his nose about. "Marquel, my son, is that you, why do you cry dear boy? The heart will ache and that is only natural--it was his time to go; he is with Jesus now," Marquel didn't budge; he sat idle as a statue. The presence of the Priest had stifled his tears of despair.
"Father Bibel, I don't understand," he said with a reminiscent look on his face.
"It is all part of God's master plan my dear boy."
“What plan?”
“Fate my son. Fate.”
"What if I refuse to consider myself a slave to fate? I refuse to be weak. Why not live life to the fullest in this tangible reality? People shouldn't settle for less, accept inferiority, and subject themselves to a predetermined plan. He is dead because he ran out of luck. What God would allow this to happen while my Mother and sisters starve each day, unable to even pay for the groceries? Cancer strikes with an unrelenting hand. Cancer killed my Father, God did not," Marquel said as he stared at the wall, almost in a trance.
"Marquel, watch your tongue, I will let your mishap slide because of your emotional state. Marquel, the devil has breached your psyche. In this time of need you call upon strength from all the wrong avenues. Be strong and let the Lord be with you. He loves you and..."
"If the Lord loved me he wouldn't have taken my Father," Marquel interjected. "It is you Father, who is weak, not I. I do not make up stories to explain the world, and then offer more stories to defend the original lies when modern day science finds fault. I seek true evidence, from the world around me, not the imaginary one above. Anything can lie up there."
“Your Father believed in God.”
“He is dead.”
"It saddens me to hear you speak in such a manner," Father Bibel said sullenly. "Your judgment is clouded and you may find yourself asking 'why?' in the coming months. It is okay to question the world--a good Christian should. God created the world around us for a reason. We can learn about ourselves, human nature, and the multitude of sciences that have enriched our lives. Above all else, humans have been granted the gift of reason. It is reasonable to question things, even God."
"Father, I do question God, that is why I have studied theology and philosophy for the past four years, but I cannot honestly say that is has helped, it has only made me more confused. I just want to know why."
"Well, sometimes I find myself questioning things too. I turn to the Bible for answers. In the Old Testament..."
"No," Marquel exclaimed with a hint of defiance. "Don't you see, the Bible does not have all the answers. You can't validate a Fairy Tale with evidence from another Fairy Tale. Fiction is fiction and I am sick of your stories." Father Bibel began to grow red, he was human after all and his face grew a furious, defensive red.
"Marquel, I am through with your foolishness, how dare you desecrate the name of God." Marquel sat silently without moving a muscle when slowly he replied.
"Why are you so scared Father? I am not scared, only confused. You speak of forgiveness and understanding yet you are rigid as a board, uncompromising with your beliefs--ultimately viewing the world in a one-dimensional limelight. I have to be true to my feelings, I am sorry if I disrespect you Father." They both sat silently. After a long pause Marquel stood up and walked out of the room and into the viewing room. He knelt down and gently kissed his deceased father on the forehead and whispered "Goodbye". Tears trickled down his cheeks as he walked outside; life was going to change, he was a man now.
"Thank you Mr. Latterman," the clerk said with a forced smile.
Tom did not respond in kind, he slowly put his wallet in his front pocket and trudged out the doors. He winced at the glaring sun as he stepped outside and walked around the maze of rental cars. Finally he arrived and climbed into his large white utility van and started on the drive back to his house. After fighting through the traffic of the city, he arrived at his small house outside the suburbs. It was not a welcoming dwelling by conventional standards; it was bleak, lifeless and scantily tended to; nonetheless, it was home to Thomas Latterman.
It was obvious that Tom was a bachelor. His home lacked a woman's touch and dust covered all of the furniture except Tom's Lazy Boy stationed in front of the old black and white television. His cat Pickles jumped through the back window and came to greet him. Tom liked Pickles. Pickles never told Tom what to do, made fun of him, or pushed him aside. Tom sat with Pickles in his lap for a good while, gently stroking him. Eventually the content purring of Pickles died down and Tom stood up with a stunned look on his face. He walked by a mirror and came to a halt, surveying himself with great intent. He noticed his receding hairline and the single strands of grey hair spotting his scalp. More prominently his rectangular framed glasses signaled intellectuality. This didn't matter though; the ladies had never shown attraction towards him. His whirly frame, sullen hazel eyes, and perpetual frown turned them away.
Tom opened the door to his cellar and walked downstairs. There were gadgets and wires and chemicals scattered all about. He passed them up and walked over to a pile of crates. They were extremely heavy, yet he hauled them one by one and loaded them into the rental van; one, two, three, four in all.
Tom stood in the doorway, surveying the place he called home. He walked over to the mantelpiece and picked up a picture of his Mother. He gently kissed it and put it down. He then walked over to his desk and stared at his PhD. certification. Seven years studying biochemistry, "all for nothing," he thought to himself. He tore the paper and walked out of the house stoically. Pickles pressed his face against the window and remained with melancholy look on his face; as Roger walked towards the van Pickles jumped out the back window.
As Tom drove down the highway, he thought of all the people who had ridiculed him just because of his differences. He never fit in. A friend, just one, would have been nice. He was sick of being lonely, crying himself to sleep at night; friendless and hopeless he remained. He turned into the parking garage entrance and drove down to the first underground level parking in the same corner spot as he had done for 12 years. Tom grabbed a backpack, placed a few gadgets inside, and got out of the car. He frowned as he noticed the sign in front of his car, "Reserved for Mark Millings".
I wasn't exactly sure what to do; I had to take some time to think things over in my head. I decided to head to the nearby park. Ever since I was a kid I fancied walking through the park when I was in the mood to analyze my situation. There was something about nature that instinctively calmed me down; I felt at home, I felt unpersecuted. As I stroll through the trees, it reminds me of the simpleness of nature. Humans, for some reason, have to make things more complex than they really are. I wished that I could simply accept the world at face value. I wonder if the ability to reason is really a gift and not a burden.
I eventually came across the lake at the end of the trail, insignificant when matched up next to the invading city. Each time I looked out I was reminded of the beauty of nature and the corruption of man. Who were we to intrude upon something so beautiful? Every other animal respected what nature provided.
There was a familiar man sitting on a bench at the edge of the lake, staring out, and throwing bread to the pigeons. It was a mentor of mine when I was younger; I decided to head over and speak with him about something I had been meaning to discuss with him. I sat down beside him on the opposite end, but he didn't stop his mechanical throwing of the bread crumbs to the pigeons. For a few moments I sat looking out over the water. It made me feel so insignificant, so weak, yet at the same time so free.
"Pretty isn't it," I asked, the pigeons flying away, exploding in every direction.
"As pretty as a picture," he replied after a brief pause.
"Sometimes I wish I could just fly away," I responded.
"Heavenward," he added.
"Not necessarily, just away." There was a brief pause. "So what brings you to this bench today, how are things with you?"
"They have surely been better my son," he replied. "Say Roger, why didn't you show up to church today?"
He surely was persistent. Ever since I knew the man he had been trying to get me to come to his church. I always found one excuse or another to get myself out of it. He was too nice, how was I supposed to say no--then I remembered, I was supposed to go today.
"I didn't feel very well this morning, I had a rough night," I replied, still silently staring out over the lake. "I will go next week, I need something like that in my life right now, and things just aren't going my way lately. Maybe it’s my fate to be the loser my whole life."
"Do you believe in fate?"
"I'm not really sure to be honest, I am sure you believe in it though." I paused for a short while, examining the proposed question in my head. "Lifes a raffle."
"A raffle?"
"Random by nature."
"I think that we all have a purpose, otherwise life would be meaningless," he said, staring down at the ground with a contemplative look on his face.
"I think you have to distinguish between meaning and purpose. I think that the purpose of life is to procreate, to make sure that one's genes are passed on; meaning on the other hand, varies from individual to individual."
"What do you think the meaning to life is Roger?"
"I can't honestly say, it changes from day to day. I look around at nature and every animal abides by a single purpose in life, procreation--I wonder if there is a meaning to their life. How about you Father, do you believe in a higher purpose?"
"Up until today I did, but I am not so sure anymore. I'm old, I have seen lots in this world. It just makes me think about things and wonder if the way I have lived my life was the correct one"
"It is scary,” I confirmed after analyzing the idea in my head.
"Someone told me I was scared today."
"We all are, it is only natural," I responded in a reassuring tone.
"I have never been scared in my life; I have always drawn strength from my God."
"Maybe he failed you," I replied in the form of a question.
"I doubt it."
"Maybe he does not exist?"
"Then my life would be a lie, everything I stand for, all a lie."
"It wouldn't make you any worse of a person." Something was wrong; this wasn't like the friend I knew. "Is something the matter?"
"Many things, beyond my control," he replied with his head down.
"It is usually you helping me, but is there anything I can do to help you?"
"Tell me, honestly, do you believe in God?"
"Honestly, no--but do I hope for one? Yes."
“You hope,” he asked questioningly.
“I like to think that there is something more to it all.”
"Do you think I am a hypocrite?" I sat silent, unsure how to respond.
"I must know the answers, I am through with questioning the unknown," he replied with a hint of passion. "Time is scarce for me; there is nothing left for me in this world."
"I believe there is something for everyone; you just have to find it.”
“I hope it’s not too late,” he added quietly.
“I need to figure things out myself. I need a job and am heading over to Bombito's pizza to apply as a chef. It is not that special, but I figure a job is a job. I need one desperately right now."
"One must sustain himself."
"Father, right now, I believe that my meaning in life is to sustain myself and provide for my future family. I have to turn my life around, I have been putting it off for too long; life is too short to worry about things we can't comprehend."
"You make me proud. I still remember when you were a young boy, troubled, and I was able to help you"
"Thank you for everything."
"You are welcome."
Motivation, finally. I knew I had to apply and get that job. Baby steps. Things would turn around and get better if I just stuck to it. I sprang up and headed towards Bombito’s at a faster than normal pace as an unfamiliar chill of coldness ran down my spine.
Tom sat on a bench next to the busy street for an hour, watching the cars rush by. Unlike the cars, Tom had nowhere to be--nobody cared. He decided to treat himself to one last meal. He headed over to the adjacent building where he had eaten during his lunch break for the last 12 years, Bombito’s Pizza. He walked into the small diner and instantly he recognized an old neighbor of his. He tried to shy away from any confrontation but it was too late.
“Tom,” the man shouted. Tom didn’t turn around at first. “Tom, it’s me, Roger. Don’t you remember me?”
“Oh hey Roger, how are you,” he apathetically replied.
“Not so good, Bombito’s filled up their positions already. I think I’ve ran out of options for a job. I’m through trying.” Instinctively Roger reached for his coat pocket to feel for his gun which he had carried ever since he had been mugged a year ago. It was gone though, and so was his jacket; he had left it on the bench with Father Bibel. Roger began to panic slightly as he sped the conversation up.
“Enough about me, what are you up to?”
"Business," he replied in a calm and collected manner.
"Good for you Tom, what kind of business are you in these days?"
"Demolition," Tom replied with a slight smirk on his face.
"Do you enjoy your work?"
"Roger, may I ask you a question? What makes humans so special?" Before Roger could respond Tom carried on, "Just because our brains have grown larger than other animals, we feel that we can automatically place ourselves on a pedastol created by ourselves. We are full of ourselves. Look around us, look at all of the ways that life has adapted on this earth, working symbiotically, taking only what it needs. Humans defy this logic, humans are greedy. We take, we kill, we hurt, we steal because we can. It is just as easy to love as it is to hate, but man suffers a predisposition catering to hatred. I am sick of being a part of a society that destroys everything that is beautiful and pure in this world--nature. When I refused to do more research on animals and plants of the South American rainforests at the lab I was fired, without a second thought. They must be stopped Roger."
"How are you going to stop them Tom?" Roger had a perplexed look on his face.
“I am going to blow up the chemical plant next door for firing me last week. I loaded four crates full of c4 into a rental van,” Tom said nonchalantly. Roger laughed.
“Ahh Tom, you were always crazy,” he said laughing lightly.
“No, I am not kidding, I have the remote right here.” Tom pulled out a large contraption from his backpack.
“You aren’t kidding are you,” Roger questioned.
“I’m not too sure I like this life game anymore…fuck,” Tom yelled, “They are towing my van.” He ran outside with Roger on his heels, remote in hand, and prepared to pull the trigger before it was too late. He didn’t pull the trigger just then; something caught his eye. A young latino man had accidentally tripped while jaywalking across the street and the driver of the tow truck was closing in on him at an alarming rate. The driver tried to swerve.
From the sky there came a blinding flash of light. Tom could neither see nor hear nor move; his body was in a state of paralysis. The silence seemed to last forever. He couldn’t think either, he was lifeless. Instantly Tom regained consciousness and saw the tow truck sliding through the intersection on its side, carving through pavement as sparks flew in the air. A large cloud of dirt and dust rose as the van carshed into the building. Tom panicked and pulled the trigger switch to the c4. Silence. Tom pulled the ignition again, nothing happened. Roger stood beside him in disbelief. When the dust settled, the van was nowhere to be seen.
“Was there really c4 in that van,” he asked.
“Enough to blow up 10 blocks,” Tom replied ghastily.
“Where did it go?”
“I have no idea.” They both stood still for a moment. Marquel rose from the street shakily and looked over at Tom and Roger.
“Am I dead?” he asked astonished.
Father Bibel was puzzled. He sat on the bench with his head down, looking over the water. He glanced over and noticed that Roger had left his jacket on the bench and picked it up; a gun fell to the ground which he picked up and examined. He didn’t want to be scared anymore. Slowly he raised the gun until he felt the muzzle against his temple.
“Father…wait, wait,” Roger yelled. “I take it back, maybe there is a God.”
Father Bibel, startled and confused, threw the gun into the lake and smiled upwards. He was no longer scared.
     Read 2 - Post
Self Portrait   
07:45pm 15/09/2002
  Hey, back to writing journal time! The following was an assignment for my creative writing class...I was supposed to do a free-write self-portrait and incorporate myself into a piece of writing, not exactly knowing that its me, but acting the way I would, thinking--actually, me. Here is what I wrote. I hope to start updating lots more and annoying the world once again! :]

Quietly, he stands in the bathroom, alone. Time seems to fly by, endlessly, pointlessly, he wonders why? Why is the world the way it is, why must he suffer, why must he continue? A knife. Sharpened and ready for us. He wants a reason, a simple reason, just one--motivation, justfication is all it seems. The sun emerges from behind the shadowy mountains, a reason, life goes on. Perseverance.
The mountains and their beautiful smile, so greetingly welcoming the world to see her beauty. The animals play all day. He wishes he could play. Hiking amongst her entrails, weaving through her piney forrest the worries of the world float away. True beauty touches the soul, setting it free. Through the clouds it goes, higher and higher. Worries float away. Reality isn't what it seems, so why worry yourself with it. Alteration, perception deranged, the wonders of the world reveal themselves, sinking through the skin...justification.
The animals, they speak to him, they bequeath, entrench, cooerce. Their firey eyes unite the essence of reality. What we percieve is what we process. What they say is what we hear. How can he not help them. So cute, so fuzzy, so convincing. He was never one to say no, even to small animals. He agrees and gets in the spaceship with the fuzzy aliens. He likes the way they look at him; they smile cordially, present themselves amicabally, and truly want to be his friend--he can tell. Outer space, higher and higher he travels, visiting foreign worlds and meeting new and interesting people. "Where are we going?" he asks. There is no answer, only echoes of anticipation.
He analyzes everything around him, what is this unfamiliar place? The tall buildings, weird smells; the adventure has gone south, he is scared, home seems like an intangible goal. He must calm down, paranoia has taken over his psychology. Control was always a problem, his mind stray adrift at all times. Traveling to exotic places in his dreams. Thinking of things far and beyond, suicide, alien abduction, what did they mean? The world was too ordinary for him, his imagination added spice to life; but too much spice can be unhealthy, distasteful, and ruin everything.
Walking amongst the streets he always felt foreign. The people around him seemed too different, so non-understanding. Why was he so different. Understanding was all he wanted, yet scolding and and a voice of reprimand always greeted his uniqueness. May it be. Who was he to change the world, you can't teach an old hate new love. Love is powerful, yet the world is so full of hate. It is just as easy to love as it is to hate, yet humans always want to hate, to seek destruction. Peace was all he wanted, to lay his head down and forget about the world. Dreams were always more fun.
The people would walk by him, heads down, afraid to greet the wonders of the world, yet he kept his head high. He looked at each of them, hoping, waiting, for just one to look up as they passed by and greet him with a smile. A smile alleviated all the worries in the world. To people he could not turn for comfort, only himself. Yet what happens when he gets sad, who is there to give him a hug, to sooth his acheing heart. No God, no higher entity, only himself.
Yet he pushed on, took each day for what it offered, hoping for something great, idlely patient. Sick of hearing about other people's accomplishments, he wanted to have the recognition, to be somebody, to show the world what he had to offer. He was nobody. Just a number. A name. Alone. His life seemed to have no value, he was a peon to capitalism, why did he strive onward. Fear. Death presented an unknown, living was better than the truth.
How could he stay sad. The sun did in fact emerge each morning and fall each night. Good and bad, live was a pendelum of differences. He judges things by what they are not, seeks that which he does not have, always wanting, taking, never finding satisfaction. From within it must come from. One does not find peace through the world, they find it from within. Why must it all be so hard, life in all its simpleness is so complex. Each day feels like eternity, but he finds himself growing so old. Last year seemed like it was yesterday, where did all the time go. Time was obviously not infinite. He wondered, when was it his time to go. Live each life day to the fullest.
11:42pm 26/07/2002
  After reading Aristotle for some of my classes this summer I began to examine society myself, once again pinpointing the problems and defects. I think the major problem for American citizens is the concept of happiness. We are looking for happiness in all the wrong alleys. The kind of happiness that our society harbors today is one of superficiality and happiness through acceptance from our surroundings, not from within. No longer do we look for the only type of true happiness that can last a lifetime--from within.
Locke explains that paternal influence is critical in bringing up a child. Children are born in a state of equality, not born TO it. They have to learn how to become respectful, reasonable citizens before they can function in a community as responsible individuals. The parents and inner family, first society, must teach this.
We also need to learn to accept ourselves, in all our various shapes and sizes of the human body. Not everybody looks like a super model or is extremely intelligent or an optimistic person. But we are all uniquely special in our own manner. We need to search from within to find the good qualities in ourselves and learn to use them to make us better people. We must not blame society for the faults of mankind, we must blame ourselves. We all must take a retrospective look at the way we have lived our lives, shaped our ideas, and try to do our part to make the world a better place to live. World peace isnt the answer to world safety, understanding is. We have to understand that the views of others must be respected just as we are all unique.
We must also de-emphasize the value of material wealth. Personally, the only reason that I do not pursue my dream of being a writer, and instead labor intensively to become a lawyer, is money. I want to be able to travel the world, put my kids through college, and live a comfortable life. Is this truly what will make me in happy? I think not. I have always preached that my dream is to have a house on the beach (mountains would be a plus) and live a life of relaxation. I would write and hopefully have a happy little family that I could teach them to grow up and become good individuals. This way I could be happy with the serene environment and still do my duty to the common good of man. Teaching lessons of greed and ambition arent helping the human cause, only delaying us from the truth.
I know that I too am guilty of this, and am trying each to to break myself from the social constraints I have so long grown accustomed to. I need to question myself, and make myself a better person piece by piece, and not so much looking at the overall picture of things. I must find the little things in my life that make me happy and hold on to them tightly. I get depressed because I think of everything that is wrong with the world and myself, but I should always think of the good things, the things that make me happy, and all that I have been so blessed with in life. The whole world needs to turn that frown upside down!
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I tried!   
04:42pm 03/07/2002
  Every now and then this summer I would work on this paper for a bit....I was trying to write my first book. I just don't think I have what it takes yet, but here it is....my first failed book! Hopefully in time I can write my first book...hopefully.

Chapter I: Head in the Clouds
I always enjoyed going to the zoo when I was younger. Disappointment was all I could harbor after a day of walking around watching monkeys throw their feces, lions yawn, and penguins meander around aimlessly. Why weren't these animals attacking each other and eating each other like the discovery channel! Add human presence into the mix and the recipe for disaster was stewing up. Still, the shadow of a doubt never faded, one day, I swore I would get to see a polar bear grow bored of his daily routine, jump his fence, and wreak havoc on the care-takers and the zoologists that locked him in his cage. I suppose its the little fantasies like this that keep me ticking from day-to-day.
I read somewhere that Hippopotamuses have the ability to run close to 30 miles per hour on land. I'm still waiting to see an obese human sprinter with the nickname "Hippo", but the hope still lingers. I also hope that one day a disgruntled hippo will harbor all of his frustration and anger and deploy it against a single spot on the fence. After liberating all two tons of himself, he would rush towards the exit and bust through it with supurb hippo passion. After escaping he will realize that it's not so easy being poor, America has many oppurtunities, and he will become a Capitalistic Hippopotamus. After working for Enron as a financial planner, he would soon realize that the corporate world was not for him, he would explore the existential realms of the hippo psyche until his eventual overdose and subsequential death resulting from smoking peyote for three straight months. Animals don't worry though, not like humans, so the scenario could never actually happen--animals always look content.
"Matthew, please stop examining your desk" my philosophy teacher said in a semi-sarcastic tone.
I awoke from my daydream, rose to ninety degrees, only to be greeted by the beady eyes of my classmates. I was being persecuted for carrying out a daily function, they all envied my dormant state With the idea of animal-like contentness fresh in my mind, I attempted to approach the situation like a hippo, by not caring and keeping my mouth shut. The human side of me retook the steering wheel of my conscious and I began to prepare a rebuttal to defend the right to sleep and its importance to a healthy body.
"Can anyone smell that pot?" was his next inquiry. It was directed at the class, yet I could decipher the inkling towards myself.
Damnit, not only had I managed to smoke myself into a state of slumber before philosophy class, but I also spilt bong water all over my pants and had forgotten. The smell must have engulfed the classroom, it was obvious that I was the culprit of the crime. But who was he to offer such an encriminating question? Judging by his purple army pants and the plaid shirt that dangled over his bulging belly, a pesky cop would conclude that it was him who smelled like pot. The only thing that could get me out of this situation was a whitty comment.
"Mr. Elot, I do not feel good, may I be excused for the day?" I proceeded to ask him.
"Yes, Matthew, just remember to turn in your paper on Friday about the Socratic approach towards Justice".
Why had I backed down. Here he was preaching to me about the three levels of pleasure according to Socrates; physical, mental, and spiritual. Dreams satisfy all three categories. Who was he to condemn the pursuit of happiness? In my head I conjured up an image of Socrates beating Mr. Elot with bamboo, punishing him for not abiding by his philosophical allegiances. Regardless, I accepted my circumstances and left the class, feigning sickness, retaining minimal pride, but ultimately not caring. Pot had the tendency to do that, it eased the pain of those monotonous daily occurences we tend to dread. Class was one of many.
I had just entered the second semester of my freshmen year in college. I was also going on too-many-days to count of smoking pot on a daily basis, so much so that I was able to classify soberness as a distinct drug of its own. I never really liked that drug, so I didn't experient with it that much. Smoking pot was not a bad thing I had convinced myself, it merely eased the pain of life and made it more enjoyable. "You only live once" and "Fuck it" became the two motos that I lived by.
Growing up in a small Texas town I had never really grown accustomed to the presence of pot. Up until my Junior year in High School I had only seen the drug in movies and when I watched Cops on television. Thinking back on the subject, they mustn't have been high, more likely cracked or coked out because the people on Cops obviously have no idea in hell as to what is going on. The years preceeding my Junior year I was also a stressed out, manic depressive, extreme introvert with a bad attitude; Needless to say, I was quite the charming one. Well, now that I think about it, maybe the people on Cops took a few hits of soberness.
I began smoking at a party one night with a buddy of mine, he passed the joint over yonder and my Satanic reflexes snagged the oppurtunity. To be honest, it was the first time I was ever asked and I was curious to try it out. I remember thinking that maybe my friends might accept me a little more if they realized I wasn't really the uptight person I displayed on the outside. I was always the introverted brainiac kid who everyone thought studied all the time. I really wasn't, I just always had my head in the clouds. I can be content just sitting around thinking about things, pondering, figuring out the little mysteries of life. Pot facilitated this lazy, contemplative methodology of approaching life--needless to say, I was hooked.
Pot brings out the creative nature in people, not the wreckless, obnoxiously honest characteristics of your average drunkard. I mean honestly, how many times do you see the phrase, "Pedestrian killed by stoned driver", never. If anything, smoking makes you even more conscious of the traffic rules. The only words running through a stoned driver's head are, "Cop, cop, cop, is that a cop". Sometimes I find myself so absorbed in operating my "copdar" that I become shocked to realize that I am driving ten to twenty miles below the speed limit, a genuine driving Miss Daisie.
After experiencing the full spectrum of effects that pot has to offer, I have decided that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the drug. Each person who likes the drug likes it for a personal reason; to me, I smoke pot because the world makes more sense afterwards. It is truly a magical feeling. Take any problem, idea, or question and I can over-analyze it and answer it with my imagination. Creativity is no longer emphasized in our culture. Instead of stressing imagination and thinking on different tangents, society has taught us that SAT's and hard work are all we need to worry about in order to get to college. Ahh, and what good, mindless little capitalistic slaves we will make.
Chapter II: The Roots
I do not think that I was ever truly ready to enter this world, otherwise I wouldn't have been yanked out prematurely through a C-section operation. Ever since I can remember I have been dieing to grow up, to become an adult, to experience all that the world has to offer. It's funny how once we realize all that the world has to offer, we begin to harbor nostalgic thoughts that we will once again be a kid and carry that special ignorant innocence reserved only for children, puppies, and George Bush.
It is hard to decide who would have more fun in a sandbox, a Kindergartner or George Bush. I am not exactly sure, but one thing is for certain, the kindergartner would definitely be more inclined to be the dominant if one were to examine it from a Darwinistic point of view. I can picture Mr. Bush in my head, "Hey Kyle, where would you like this fire-ma-trucker to go be? I love fire trucks cause they are red. My Daddy, Mr.formerly President, used to buy me lots of red truckers. Red is my most favoritismist color in the whole world." I use this reference to illustrate one point; if the Presidency of the United States can be filled by a complete idiot, what is the point in trying? All our lives the people above us tell us that if you work hard and keep a diligent mindset, good fortune and subsequentally, a good pay-check will eventually come our way. It seems to me that luck and knowing the right people is more important. Putting this aside, there has to be more to life than making money and securing power, or is there?
I think that if you examine any one person, the only way to truly understand who they are is by understanding why they are the way they are--looking at their past. Each person has been through a unique life that no other person can completely relate to. Furthermore, if one looks at their past with a more defining eye, they will conclude that there were certain events in one's life that helped mold themselves into who they are today. If I examine the life-changing events of my past, the majority of them tend to be mistakes. At first I acknowledged my mistakes as human deficiency, however, i thought that everyone should strive for a state of pseudo-perfection. Oh how I was wrong. We make mistakes to learn from them, to grow, and ultimately to mature. If I examine my past I can think of a few experiences that have molded me into who I am today: My depression, anorexia, diagnosed perfectionism, struggle to fit in. Wait a second, was the world always like this?
I doubt that people of past generations struggled with the same experiences that made me into who I am today. It strikes me as ironic that despite our technological, medical, and social breakthroughs, we have not progressed in terms of personal happiness. This alone serves to prove that material wealth does not relate to happiness, in fact, maybe it makes the daily tasks that much more grueling, making us long for the times of happiness and ultimately sadder. Magazines say we should be happy, look our best, buy their products, molding our mindset and way of life. It seems that the youth of our nation no longer have a choice. The government, media, and educational system limit the extent of creative outlets for the children of our generation. Emphasis on creativity and imagination end after we graduate from the 1st grade.
If you asked 10 college kids what they want to be when they grow up, I would suspect they would answer things like this: Doctor, Engineer, Lawyer, etc. Take ten pre-schoolers and your answers might look like this: A tiger, Superman, a fighter pilot, or the President. Hey, wouldn't the world be a much better place to live in if we all got to grow up to be our childhood fantasies. Sure, we might have an ill-proportioned amount of super-heros, pokemon characters, and about 40,000 Presidents, but there wouldnt be any scandalous senators or janitors, thats for sure. The childhood mentality was optimistic, we dreamed, we aspired to be whatever we wanted. I think the difference in being a child and a teen can be diliniated by one factor, what it takes to make them happy; it takes a smile to make a child happy, it takes a paxil to make a teen happy.
The worst part of it all, is when we were children we took for granted our ignorant mindframe and always longed to grow older. We wanted to experience all that the world had to offer, to climb each tree, topple each mountain, and explore the deepest recesses of the ocean floor. We wanted to fly to the moon, meet the President, be the star in the World Series, turn into a fish. Out of all my future hopes and aspiractions, or the magical places I visisted in my dreams, not once did I ever dream about remaining a child. I suppose it is an innate biological feature of the human psyche to strive for change, to seek that which we do not have. This alone may be the reason that humans have come through such extensive lengths of adaptation and evolution--it all began with one monkey standing up.

Chapter III: Change
By mid-semester I had convinced myself that the only way I could go to class was to smoke pot beforehand. I think that it actually worked, I was able to over-analyze everything the professors said, no matter how boring it was, and still remain interested. Granted my memory was sub-par, I subsequently had to keep a very neat and in-depth set of notes in order to facilitate my future cram-sessions. I had taken a particular liking to smoking before history class, it was the only way I could handle all the excitement of European history, I had to pacify myself! On one particular day, after sufficienct preperation, I began my journey up to the history building, a good 10 minute walk. I had taken a liking to these walks, I always had some interesting thoughts as I allowed my mind to stray adrift. Every time I walked to class I swore that the whole world knew I was stoned, hated society even more for knowing I was stoned, then blamed society for not accepting it, and then began berrating Americans for being culturally unilateral; ahh, the stoners ability to create a continous correlative story in their head is a unique gift. The world truly is a crazy place.
On this particular day I was fiddling around with man's synonymous characteristics to those of the rest of the animals kingdom. If you want to examine man in his most animalistic form, I concluded that the only place to visit him was at college. As I walked from class to class and enjoyed the flora and fauna of Boulder I noticed an ant carrying a leaf, squirrels searching for nuts, and birds drinking out of a puddle. Boulder, Colorado is a beautiful place. The mountains hang over the city omnipotently, reminding us each day that the world truly is a magical place. I was dissapointed that there was a thick overcast on this particular day.
About halfway to class, I noticed a guy approaching me, with his short spikey blonde hair, his brunette roots tackily showing, sporting a pair of $300 dollar sunglasses. I think this guy must have popped straight out of an anime movie. On his back he had a little fluffy monkey backpack with a number of rainbow stickers displayed austentatiously. I discontinued further analysis, this creature evidently was not animalistic in nature, he was a product of liberal society. I walked a little farther and noticed a poster, it claimed that "statistics" show that 1/3 men have had "homosexual thoughts"; based on these inferences it must be okay to be gay I thought to myself. Statistics never lie. I then recalled the thought I had the other day dealing with the fact that perhaps gay people were Mother nature's last hope at destroying the human population--manipulation of procreation.
Alas, I found the subject I was looking for. In one hand was a pop-tart, the other a waterbottle with an alcoholic aroma, and his backpack hung droopily on its last strings--but there were no books sagging it downward. His name was The Dude, or just Dude for short, he had legally changed his name a few months back. He was in my history class. He wasn't the brightest fellow, but history always seemed to interest him. Oftentimes he would mutter comments like, "Dude, did like, the Dudes of olden days, like have electricity"? He was truly animalistic in nature, beyond securing food, drink, and shelter, he had no more immediate needs. I liked The Dude for some reason, not as a friend, but as a subject to pinpoint the major defects of society. It seems like God took a highlighter and purposefully marked on The Dude to exemplify all the animalistic characteristics that man catered to. One thing always puzzled me, I never saw The Dude without a smile on his face. I suppose he was big kid, a sophmore in college at the age of 24, yet I found a unique facination in him, atleast he was true to himself.
The depths of my daydream gradually grew smaller and smaller as the clamour of the bells in the school tower informed me that I was once again late for History class. I guess if I learned one thing from history class it is that history does in fact repeat itself. I was surprised to find that the professor hadn't arrived when I came in a few moments late. I sat down by my roommate Ryan and my friend Dave who were also in the class. We each harbored a mutual dislike for the class and attended it once a week or so in order to feel a satisfactory level of accomplishment.
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