Cray*2 by dixē.flatlin3
Given our overall temperaments, I must admit, that as a member of the human female network, I am shocked that more of us do not kill. That is to say, that more of us do not give into the murderous impulses that we naturally repress. The urge to open up a throat with a razor, rather than smooth the ruffled feathers of yet another ego.
Given to whims of fancy; hormonal; bodies and minds at the mercy of the universe; the source of hysteria; dangerous creatures. I have known more than one man who has lived to tell the tale of his encounter with a knife-wielding member of the fairer sex. Both awoke to find themselves straddled by a pretty, broken doll; both happy to have survived their brushes with batshit-crazy death; both shaken, but not defeated.
I never allowed myself to sympathize, much less empathize with them because in female transgressions of this nature, the batshit-crazy had been thinly veiled in their partners of choice. Sadly, I have learned that this is not as easy for others to spot. Hard to believe, I know, but life is weird that way.
Fruitcake by dixē.flatlin3
I have spent nearing eight weeks researching an article for my column, so I need do a warm up exercise to prep for writing. That is, I need to warm up on a machine. I have been writing by hand a story for an upcoming anthology for the past month. That is going to be a motherfucker to transcribe, but I digress. I need to warm up the old fingers on a keyboard. Lately a visit I made to a friend of yore has come into mind. Not sure why, but it has. And thus, I am going to share it with the anonymous masses.
I recall receiving a message on my answering machine (remember those things?!) during the holiday season. It was from an ex-boyfriend, who detailed that he was in the hospital and would like me to visit. I believe that he left a room number, and I believe that I called and spoke to him to arrange the visit. It was in the evening when I went to see him, and a few days before the Christmas holiday. I vividly recall how the hospital was festooned in holiday cheer. I inquired at the front desk and was given directions for how to locate him.
He had warned me that the he was in the psychiatric ward, and that the visiting hours were more stringent than usual hospital visitation. I had allowed myself enough time to get lost and still spend at least an hour with him. We had not parted ways under malice or acrimony, at least not on my part. I presumed he was cool with it, given the recent phone call and request to visit him in psych ward. It had been several months, if memory serves me, and we had always enjoyed the time we spent together. Lets just say things were complicated…
So, there I was, standing at the nurses’ station, waiting to get clearance to enter into the land of the unknown. I don’t recall much about the staff or the other patients. I wish that I did, but alas the effects of drugs and the passing of time have taken their toll. Or perhaps I was in detached mode and not focusing on the minutiae, I do that sometimes. I do recall that after I was allowed into the secured area and taken to the area to meet him, the sight of him gave me pause. He was wearing a hospital gown and looked very much the invalid. He typically dyed his hair a vibrant shade of blue and sometimes styled it into a Mohawk. His hair was disheveled and a sad shade of waning blue. He smiled to greet me and we immediately went out to smoke. Again, this is back when people could still smoke in designated areas of a hospital. Because of his confinement, which I assumed to be involuntary, there was a secure area for us to use. It was outside and had very high walls, for obvious reasons I suppose. He had to light his cigarette in the hallway of the facility using an electronic device on the wall. “We are not allowed matches or lighters,” he laughed. “For obvious reasons.”
We spent the entire visit out on the patio, He informed me that he was one of the more sane patients there and he wanted to shield me from the “insanity. I don’t really remember what we talked about. I don’t know that he ever explained why he had asked me to come visit him. He did admit that he had voluntarily committed himself to “get a break” as he put it. Explaining that sometimes life just got the better of him and going away for a bit usually sorted things out in his head. He was a musician (the one I had forgotten about when I boasted that I had never dated one) and I suppose that lends itself to the realm of psychotic episodes. I don’t know really, we never discussed that part of his life. We mostly just hung out during the few weeks we dated.
A nurse came out to inform us that visiting hours were ending soon and invited me to join them for a snack of some sort. I politely declined, but it’s what he said at this point that has always stuck with me. There was a serving tray in the middle of a common area and on it there were paper plates and a desert cake of some sort. He smiled and then winked at me as he said to the closest nurse,
“Fruitcake, isn’t that like cannibalism in this place?”
That was the last time I saw him. And I have yet to come across him again in the digital realm of social media- a desolate landscape of faces I never wanted to see again, but sadly lacking those I wouldn’t mind running into.
In case anyone missed this post earlier…
What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been
Here I am, at the end of a path I set out on several years ago. Seems rather anti-climatic, I don’t feel any different. The world did not suddenly open up and drop opportunities upon me. Not really sure what direction I am headed now. I suppose I will keep showing up to work, in spite of the fact that I hate it. It’s a paycheck, and it’s better than a lot of my peers have, but it’s not what I want. However, I do not know what I want. Well, I guess that is not entirely true. I do, but it requires much effort on my part. And I am barely able to compose sentences lately.
I ended up where it all started this past weekend. Amongst faces I had not seen in a very, very long time. It was oddly soothing, but I remain forever the outsider. I never cared enough to engage others, except the random few who didn’t spew drama. Otherwise, I was, and remain, content to let sleeping dogs lie. I was unrecognizable to most because I had always sought to remain anonymous, just another face in the crowd. However, I am a fastidious note taker, and I have gathered much data during my observations: many tales to tell, webs to weave.
I made it out with my sanity and sobriety, no small feat I might add. After revisiting the battlefields of yore, I can say there were more casualties than originally projected. A lost bunch then, and now. Some managed to find a way. We are all making the same perilous journey to oblivion. We all owe a death for this life we have.
Fuck it. Whatever.
Today was my first day working with a hive. I went to assist to two people who have very little experience, and were only after the honey. I knew this because the male did nothing but speak about the sticky substance the entire time we were there.
I am not in search of honey. No, my goals are loftier and somewhat altruistic. I am more concerned with preservation of bees. More the matter of how we have managed to kill-off the fucking honeybees. How modern man has fucked things up so badly that the bees are dying off, but I digress.
I had prepared myself as best as I could; I purchased the highest quality beekeeping equipment that I could find. I did my research, and it paid off. Today I was the only person who did not get stung.
I arrived at the site and met up with the others who were there to assist me. One is more experienced than I, having attended one day of a two-day beekeeping course at a local farm. Me? I did my research the same way I always do, via the Internet and libraries. I had done a lot of reading, and I attended a local beekeeper association meeting. And again, I approach the entire matter from a conservation perspective, not purely the harvesting of honey.
The uncapping of a hive is quite an event. The initial rush of bees is a moment that I will always remember because I immediately thought to swat them away from my face, but my face was protected. Once I was comfortable within my protected skin, I began to really focus on the insects, and they were amazing.
We killed quite a few, unfortunately, but I suppose that is a part of beekeeping. I had my own opinions on how things should be done, but again, I am not after their honey. I have taken this a step further and consulted with people who are studying the subject. Had I ever given a fuck to study, I probably could have been a scientist, but again, I digress.
I had been told that the noise from the hive was quite a sound, and it was. As we removed the boxes, one-by-one, I could see the natural order that all bees maintain. And it only left me wanting to know more, which I will.
One thing is for certain, I will be the Queen Bee of that hive and it is only a matter of time until I make it my own. I knew from the moment I saw the overall condition of the hives that no one currently cares about the bees, but I do. That is why I have been given this opportunity.
Anyway, I wish you all a purpose.
I am forcing myself to write because I must. I have papers and articles due. I have several interviews to conduct and then transcribe. I have a house to pack up and a new home to inhabit. I have a graduation to plan and attend. I have resumes to prepare and disseminate and all that that entails. And I have zero inspiration to write. The cacophony of drivel on the Internet often makes me shut down. What’s the point? Do users even care about the quality of the content anymore? Or has it simply become a vicious cycle of compulsive consumption?