Sunday, November 11, 2007

How Can You Believe that Shit?

"How can you believe that shit? Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people."

"But, if we lose everything we still have ourselves."

"But he belittled me when I was myself and threatened me so I did want to be myself anymore, I was so scared I told myself that I loved him, he beat my heart and took my soul. I don't know who I am anymore." I did not realize it at the time, but the room was absolutely quiet and focused on the vociferous discussion between myself and the speaker.

"Despite the changes, the pain, the unspeakable pain, we are, always and forever. Right now, as you recount a shadow of those awful experiences there is a part of you present at birth, and will continue long after. Therefore, I suggest you focus on that which endures, remember those who act in spontaneous violence, fear, and despair are weaker than you are. We shouldn't fear pain, for sensations of the flesh are temporary, all things shall pass."

"You don't know the half of it."

"I concede that there is a lot you could teach me, and would be glad if you would do so."

*                    *                    *

"You're going to Paris?" He just stared at me. I am sure it was my bruise, why can't I get my damn make-up right. How stupid would it look if I pulled out a mirror right now?

*                    *                    *

"I, uhm, well, I'm hungry and was thinking about getting something to eat. It would be nice to have some company. Would you like to go somewhere with me?" Now, let me just point out that he is cute. Not in a Vin Diesel sort of way, which would be nice, but in a Jake Gyllenhaal way. I can't say I was hungry, or particularly compelled, but I wanted to feel desirable and I didn't want to be alone. I thought about all the filthy, sweaty desires of men. How they stare and flirt to one end. I know I'm not big, I don't waddle, or weight a lot. I wear a size five dress, well, maybe six, at least it fits a little more comfortably. I knew I was fat because I felt bloated, and I knew I was bloated because I had a piece of cheesecake the night before, and cheesecake makes you fat. Maybe if I wasn't so fat I would wake up next to a guy, or two, who hadn't even taken the time to tell me their names. Then, at least, I would know that I was desirable, just like skinny Jamie.

We went to the Gray Mediterranean, fondly called the Med', a restaurant that also had a bar. Either he was going to need to drink, or I was. I told him I hadn't been there since they stopped having a smoking section and he couldn't remember when they did have one. Sure, it made me feel older, even old, but in a good way. That greasy spoon of a joint had such character. The cigarette smoke that used to fill the air so thick one couldn't see the customer-painted ceiling tiles. After the smoking ban went into place, I figured the Med' would have lost too much character to be worth the heartburn. Going back, I was pleased it was the same old same old.

A friend of mine, Brook, who had been adopted in utero, tried giving me advice. Her family, her adopted family, was really nice to her, though her brother, their biological product, was a bit weird. He was weird like a Star Trek convention is weird, fundamentally. After Brook found out she was adopted her view of him became a lot weirder. Think of how siblings play, even if they are of opposite sexes, as children they are naively intimate. Years pass and there are secrets and intrigue as they each vie for parental favor. Despite the rivalry, there is still intimacy, the wrestling, jell-o down the pants, et cetera. Once you realize that your brother isn't really your brother, there has to be a taint to those memories, even though it is unfounded.

Brook had recently gone to see her biological parents and expounded their wretchedness. Every little thing one could criticize she did. Poor, dirty, rude, uneducated, boring, and those are the highlights. It wasn't that I thought those who give their child to another are destined to such fate, nor did I even think that her biological parents were necessarily that way. It just seemed logical, however, that should one visit people whose biggest part in your life was rejecting you that fact must affect your judgment, profoundly. I think, in some strange way, I knew should a child come to term by Roger, kept or not, something bad would happen.

In the end, like every other decision I've made for the past nineteen years, I did what Roger wished. I was always either scared, or doubted myself; sometimes I just didn't want to disappoint him. As pitiful as that sounds, it became worse when I feared he would not love me otherwise, and, finally, that he would beat me. Those fears didn't come to play in the decision of the child, however. Roger felt that a tadpole is still a frog, and by extension, an unborn human is still a human. He wasn't a crusader or picketer. Nor did he have bumper stickers or give money to the Christians Concerned for Life Foundation. He even voted for Democrats half the time. It seemed like a noble thing to do, and I didn't want him to be disappointed. In addition, deep inside of me, I knew that this child had to live, and with someone else. I wish my instincts had also told me to run far, far away from Roger. Prescience is not my strong suit.

© Michael Mosher

PERSONAL LIBERATION: The Absurd Human Condition

The Absurd Human Condition

You are not looked down on or belittled. These feelings are natural, part of the human condition. Look at the history of our species. When we were separate, isolated tribes, everywhere a question asked, and answered, similarly.


Humanity is obsessed with two things, ourselves, and symmetry. Think how people act around their pets. They talk, and act, as if talked to by them. Sometimes, a pet owner will speak in the "voice" of her pet. Likewise, as children on an idle summer day, we stared at the clouds and saw human faces, or other body parts.

Regarding symmetry, look at the great artwork of the ages, tile work of the Eastern Mediterranean, knot work of the Celts, the architecture of the Mahabodhi. Even the faces of beautiful people are more symmetrical than others. When looking for the answer to "why," (why do we exist, where did we come from, what is our purpose) images of beings with human personalities and desires and values appear. On a more basic level, the idea that a will or conscious force is behind ecological events is completely human.

We imagined that if there was a time before humanity then a non-human entity must be our creator. We reasoned that as landowner's and authoritarians ruled over commoners, then so must deities rule humans. These deities loved, hated, and reproduced, in the minds of early people, just as they and their neighbors did.

Modern People and Maslow

We are no longer separate, now all humanity is one family. We have shared our stories and found a common thread. The fear of the unknown and humanities self-absorption have created a series of religions and supernatural folk "wisdom." A perceptive thinker, Abraham Maslow, had recognized a hierarchy of human needs. Immediately above material needs is the need for security. One could elaborate that physical security comes before emotional and mental security. Emotional and mental security is the underpinning of our desire to answer the question of our réason d'etre.

Rationalize, Don't Conform

When a human is born, it has great potential for future deeds. Young humans are naturally curious, unfortunately, most adults discourage discovery and criticism. Either a moment comes in most lives where one is pressured to conform to meme complexes that explain the unobserved, or a desire for solace to the burning of an unanswered abstract question leads to the same. You may be tempted to continue to close your mind to questions and maintain status quo. Do not limit yourself or your potential. Great goals require courage; they are attainable. Do not be afraid of the logical answer in the absence of an objective one; do not except an easy answer as an excuse to avoid great deeds.

© Michael Mosher

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Crimson: Introduction

Crimson has come home. Into the bathroom, she lights candles and incense, draws water. Discarding her outer clothes, washing off makeup, then her undergarments, she peels away the face her clients see. Submerged in warm, soapy water, her post-work ablations, removing yeasty sin, repeat.

After all traces of the day have been removed, skin covered only with alien scents, obscured by shadowy candlelight, can Crimson be peaceful, even while alone. Muscles pacified; the skin releases its death grip on bones. When the lids fully descend a nigh inaudible sigh echoes off tile.

Suddenly Crimson becomes aware; she was asleep, now underwater. Attempting to rise, realization comes; there is no threat of suffocation. A new horror takes its place as her body fails her, she cannot move. Looking up at the orange glowing ceiling tiles, Crimson helplessly flows down the drain as she dissipates in the water.

A nightmare rollercoaster ride in the dark, three dips in quick succession, then a plummet. On landing, Crimson splatters and stretches as the solution she has become spreads across the surface. There is nothing seen in the dark, but it stinks. No longer submerged, lying on a slime bed, it is apparent by her cylindrical shaped prison, Crimson is in a pipe. With some exertion, she reaches up the sides, all the way to the apex. Feeling along the "ceiling," Crimson finds a vertical rise not far from the landing point. Finding a tiny crack in the pipe, she delays. Contemplating turning around, a wave of water crashes down the pipe. The dreadful feeling of dissipation returns, and passes with the wave. Exerting what correlates to adrenaline in this perverse condition, liquid Crimson anchors against the walls. With fragile confidence, she turns to look out the pipe opening.

Looking up is the dirty, saggy faced bum sitting, appearing irritated. A blonde mop of hair obfuscates his unshaven face, turning to face two items before him. Lit by a small fire, at his feet are a receptacle of liquid and a skinned carcass. He puts the animal remains in the liquid and begins fingering matches. There is a pile of crumpled phone book pages under a lean-to of cardboard. By fire light, dirty and calloused hands, maybe a bit too thin, do not show aging. The fire maturing, the bum puts some twisted piece of metal wiring over it and the mystery meat atop that. He leans against the brick wall with a look of contentment. As his face relaxes, it is clear to Crimson he is middle aged, though worn and haggard with stress.

© Michael Mosher

Personal Liberation, part 1

Those feeling societal oppression seek their own path. The motivation is partially adolescent rebellion, and a reaction to the utter nonsensical "moral" and aesthetic confines that manifest as mores. For example, clothing. There may be a physical need, dependant on the weather, but why a quasi-religious one? This could be at the crux of the Homosexual Question in the Western world. Many places have put an end to laws that explicitly or implicitly make the act of homosexual sex illegal, but many people either do not like homosexuals or merely feel "uncomfortable." This argument is taken seriously, with significant numbers of adherent on both sides, unlike the question of clothing, or, in the United States, recreational drug use.

Society does indeed oppress, though only passively. These social conventions act as a mental straight jacket, tricking the individual into believing they are truly restricted. This is a lie. Nonetheless, it is a fact that these "lies" are practiced, which is "truth." Conforming to these social confinements is a practical act for acquiring materials, such as food, clothing, and shelter, as well as community through belonging, companionship, and identity. This is comparable to language, the audio and visual symbols are lies, but have value in their application. Language is nothing but a series of symbols in a structured syntax. If one was to create a language it would only be meaningless nonsense, unshared communication mediums have no practical value.

These two deceptions, mores conformity and language, are powerful tools in both individual and mass human manipulation. One unique human condition aspect is our premium on extra physical attributes. That is, we have complex value systems that go beyond reptiles' sense of territory, or other mammals' sense of family. Examples would be our mores, in addition to ideology and religion.

© Michael Mosher


That was it, the time had come. We marched to the crown of the hill, vantage point for miles around on this plain, and looked North. The message, I was sure from Mbeke, referenced the five of Cups.
Emotional loss, distress, brake in relationship.
The cargo jets were heading East towards Mumbi. My worst fears weren't close. They weren't on the same map. The cryptic message, I feared, meant betrayal and so we prepared for an ambush. Less then five miles to a place I considered sanctuary, hospitable, even loving but we were not to find that. The Sudanese cargo planes flew over the city and, just as in Darfur, their rear ramps opened and out rolled death onto the helpless civilians below.
The SAM missile launchers were setup in record time and my heart beat against the wall of my chest. We would save the city from a second round and have some taste of vengeance.

© Michael Mosher


Texas is blessed
The Lord looked upon the Lone Star and smiled
He sent four angels to walk the path of its boundary
defining the extent of His Principality

They would consume the black oil
in all ways the mental faculty could fathom
drinking was first, then bathing,
these two most favored by Him.
It was boiled to a paste,
sometimes spread on bread, others baked into cakes
As a lubricant it was unparalleled,
attaining a revered place in the marital bed
They filled ponds with its inkiness,
canoing and rowing in romantic splendor
with enough left over to wash the dishes
A lady would not be seen in public without eye shadow
Bidets were in style, oil cleansing mortal filth
Most reverently, the heads of His flock were baptized in Living Oil

This is all as He commanded
The blessings of the Texans would continue forever and anon
When Kingdom comes,
and the faithless are exposed to unending heat,
finding no succor in the shadow of black smoke,
eating rotten fruit and drinking boiling water,
the black oil will warm the hearts of Texas.

© Michael Mosher

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


The hollows of the eyes
A dark halo
Perception passes through

The Oceans rise
The Mountains sit
The Forests grow
The Oceans fall

We walked up and over and through. Down paths well worn, well lit, predictable.
Stability was our causeword, our motto. We feared the aimless flailing of our
youth, the poverty of our parents. Prescribing to the university system, the
corporate model, our names became mutilated. Single-syllable, mass drones,
swarming over each other looking for a place to settle. We wanted stable
ground, but it seethed. We crawled on top of each other, those on the bottom
crawled the most. If you closed your eyes you thought you were going

All the screens showed the honey stacking high, victory was most certainly ours.
We must have been the happiest people in the world, all that hard crawling
paying off. Who wouldn't be happy, such a firm handshake. Those cars, so well
buffed, glow in parking garage light. Looking up at the building, row upon row
of your swarm mates filling the combs. Phil had four vacations this year,
snorkeling in the Caribbean, skiing in the Rockies, small game hunting and
ranching in Texas, boating in the Amazon. Kim took time off to be with her
newborn. We are multiplying the family grows! Soon the little one will be
crawling with the rest of us.

© Michael Mosher