Fruitcake by dixē.flatlin3

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.

 

What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been by dixē.flatlin3

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.

Queen Bee by dixē.flatlin3

Maynard James Keenan of Tool and A Perfect Circle brings Puscifer to Portland 2009Today 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.

Namaste.

Consumption by dixē.flatlin3

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?

Seven-Year Bitch by dixē.flatlin3

I recall once hearing that humans undergo profound changes every seven years of their lives.  This isn’t an academic paper, so investigate it yourselves if you care to, but I am going off of what I remember.  So, this theory would mean that at I am in the midst of one of the periods of change.  And I can feel it in my bones.

I’d wager that it is no coincidence that my child will be seven this year, and my life has been in holding pattern since he came along.  I abandoned all that I knew and dove headlong into a life of stability: corporate job, full-time academics, school functions from a parent’s POV, Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), and all the trappings of adulthood.

My sentence in this adult world is about to expire, no parole, out only because they have to let me out.  I have short-timers syndrome something fierce.  My attitude at work has undergone a distinct change.  As in my give-a-fuck broke and I am no longer inclined to pretend to fix it.  Or hide the fact that the machinations of the corporate world disgust me.  A teammate was recently promoted to another position; the social slacker on our team, who excelled only at the game of brown-nosing and Corporatese.  After this event I made it clear to everyone I directly work with that I was done, and it was probably best if they avoid asking me my opinion on all company or job related matters.  I checked out that very day, and they all knew it.

I have spent the past few weeks considering what makes my coworkers stay in this environment.  Some of whom have spent the last decade working for the company.  I suppose I can understand starting a job in your 20s and believing that eventually you will advance within an organization, but they haven’t.  Don’t get me wrong, the benefits aren’t bad, but working for a corporation also means you are at the mercy of shareholder profits.

I have studied business during my time with the organization, and I have explained to my peers the moves the company has made since its stock tanked.  Explained how balance sheets and financial statements work, and how the reduction of the more tenured employees lowers liabilities, thereby increasing profits without actually requiring the inflow of cash. Blah, blah, blah…  It is the foundation of my argument as to why I do not see a future with the company as a viable option, but they have drunk the Flavor Aid and we will never agree on the topic.  I see them as sheep now.  Sheep who are working in the slaughterhouse, ignoring all of the warning signs that eventually their necks will be cut.  Bleat, bleat, bleat…

So where does that leave me?  Fuck if I know.  I am tweaking my resume, and reluctantly working on social media profiles that may increase the chances of finding something else.  The company I work for has a reputation of having highly skilled and competent workers, so I am fortunate.  Odd to be looking for a job while I still have one, but better that than the opposite.  I am told that looking for work whilst unemployed is worse, but I wouldn’t really know because I have spent the majority of my life self-employed, which is a perpetual state of unemployment.  Not gonna lie, I kind of miss that option.  Guess it’s time to put on my Big Girl Panties and deal.

monroe itch dress

I’d Tap That by dixē.flatlin3

I went out amongst the heathens today, as I do whenever there are errands to be run.  As I made my way into the convenience store to retrieve my change from filling up the car with gas I had one of those awkward encounters that happens.  You know the kind where you open the door just as someone is about to walk out, and neither of you is sure who should pass through first.  I decided to be polite and invited the gentleman to exit as I held the door open.  He paused for a moment, looked me up and down, and said with a lecherous smile, “I’d tap that.” as he made his was past me.

It was a brief exchange, but one that left me thinking afterward as I stood in line, mostly because I was not sure if I had heard the person correctly.  I had simply smiled and laughed as the man went past me, which is what I normally do in awkward social engagements.  OK, every social encounter I have is awkward, but I digress.  I was given the change and went back out to my car.  Having just come from the Department of Motor Vehicles, where I had overheard at least three men audibly laud their luck at having randomly won the lucky number 69, I was already in the mood to tune out males.

Back in the safety of my car I rifled through a few things, and when I was ready to start the car I looked up.  Just in time to see the gentleman from earlier roll his pearl white Cadillac Escalade up in front of my car.  Immediately I realized that he must have waited for me because I had been inside for several minutes.  He rolled his window down, obviously wanting me to reciprocate, which I did.

“So, what can we do to make that happen?” he asked.

“I am married.” I lied, but what else can a gal do in that situation?

“Ah, well too bad for us, well, me.” he said and then he drove off.

I have had some very strange run-ins with men in my lifetime.  This one definitely earns a place in the Top Ten.  I wondered what I had done to earn such unwelcomed attention from the man and then I realized I must have brought it on myself.  You see I was wearing my Hustler brand sweatshirt, and the Hardcore Since ’74 brand said it all.  I wonder what his reaction would have been had I been in my Shut-Up Bitch tee that depicts a bound man in a maid’s outfit with a ball gag in his mouth.

Please enjoy this video.