The Clouded Sun

(This is a piece about a character I have previously worked with. I believe there are other pieces with him on this blog, but it has been a while. Anyway, hope you enjoy!…Mark pieces are always strange.) 

Mark knew it was time to hang up his coat, but he just could not bring himself to release the fabric nestled firmly between his fingers. Both hands gripped at the shoulders of his medium length brown jacket with the aspiring-to-truly-be-wood buttons. It was unclear to him why he would feel such an attachment to this coat on this particular day, as the snow had finally ceased for the time being.

Mark decided to simply wear it. Then, halfway to donning the oaken fabric, he paused. Mark returned to his previous position–arms in front of him, fingers gripping the shoulders of the coat. The warm coat. The dustless, soft, burdenless cloth…

I am unable to release the one thing in this world capable of shielding me from the least bit of harm. You see them, hung across the mantle of everyone from tall and gray to portly and crumpled up on the sidewalk. What is the average being to do without a piece of fur to call their very own? The sun is the great betrayer, promising us all warmth and comfort, only to leave us without so much as dry land with which to bring about sustenance. The crippling anxiety of the End, creeping up all around us as the trees breath their final breaths and the animals hide away from the world, damning it for all it has taken from them. Why are we so cursed? Why must the crusted ice of the sill spell so much doom in our deepest of hearts? We do not grow from the seed that sprouted alongside the brightest day, nay. We are the forfeiture of a long forgotten failure, we are the final product of what lived through death and kept going despite all signs of the Apocalypse posted around our parking spot. We brush the snow away from our windshields to live our normal lives and forget that we are the seed that held out. We are the cave dwellers and the food hoarders. We are the fearful, the murderers, the intruders. We are the seed that survived by any means necessary. The world tried to tell us our time was up, and instead we devoured each other, we devoured our own kin, and for what but fear? We know not what lies beyond the gates of the dying woods, and so we quiver and tremble and viciously grasp at scraps and tangle with the desperate need to let go, and the urgent flow of blood and marrow telling us “NO”. Thus we lived and what have we to show for it? We tremble yet but subtely so, behind our coats and our cars and our lies of fine days. We do not care for the planet that tried everything in its power to get rid of us, as we are a parasite and always have been. Yet we lived, and now in spiteful greed we strike back, living as best we can even in the seasons of slow demise. We do everything to take from the planet what made it green and lively and great, and we cover it with gray, the staunch and silent gray it tried to silence us with. We are a mean, hateful entity. We do not live and forgive, but try to make this great round beast feel the pain we felt long ago. Some disagree and try to reason with those of wallets aburst, but they are truly the lucky ones. Those with the most look at all their surplus and all they can see is what their deepest heart truly fears–their stockpile freezing over, decaying, leaving them alone and cold and quiet. Thus they are louder, more greedy than ever, and they–we–will not stop until we have the impossible number, the very soul of Terra torn from the flesh of the Earth in our grasp, giving us the sun itself, bottled and tame. All we wanted was warmth and peace, and in taking that from us, with each passing orbit, we became evil. We are born with the knowledge, the silent hatred of powers outside our grasp. You made us this way, and now, though you are stronger, we will make sure you come down with us.

…Mark blinked a soft blink. Through his lashes, he could see sunlight through wetness. Dew, and daylight, with oaken warmth beyond.

With a nod, he put his coat on its respective rack. He made sure it was not touching any other jackets in the area, and made his way to his desk, giving a wave here, a smile there.

Clouded, the sun slept.

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Cameron’s ADD Meds–Pretend Game Bus Rides

My friend Cameron was the funniest mother fucker around in grade school. He always had that perfect delivery, that perfect sense of how to tell a joke. I loved that kid, and I miss him.

He was on medication for ADD at the time. He always appeared to be incredibly hyper, which doesn’t seem like what was supposed to happen. Either way, it did. He was always such a joy to be around.

We would ironically play those pretend games that kids play where it’s basically an improv exercise. It usually took place in the mornings, on the sunlit bus ride to school. They say they shot you, you say “but pretend I’m okay because of forcefield,” they respond with, “but pretend you weren’t because I had forcefield bullets,” and so on. It was an amazing way to start a sleepy, school-ridden day.

I could never beat him. He was so fast, so quick with his comebacks. Just a barrage of, “but pretend you weren’t,” “but pretend you weren’t,””but pretend you weren’t,”…on and on, he had a defense for anything I could possibly say.

 

I talked to him after high school, reminiscing about those moments. “Man, remember how funny it was when we…” you know the drill.

I thought he would laugh and respond in kind. Instead, his voice took on a sad tone, hidden beneath a half smile.

“Yeah, I was on a lot of meds back then…”

Followed by an awkward silence.

In that moment, I realized I wasn’t talking to my friend. I was talking to a different version of him, but one that I didn’t recognize. A version that felt like, who he was at the time…wasn’t really him.

It feels like I was friends with a ghost, y’know? I feel bad for taking joy in thinking back to those times, because for Cameron, those moments didn’t involve him. They didn’t exist in his memory like they did in mine.

I think…I think things like this are what scare me away from getting psychiatric help.

The Bubsy 3D Browser Game Will Change Your Life (Blog Post)

I….I am at a loss for words, ladies and gentleman. I don’t even know what to odd at this point.

Alright, look. A little context. Here I am, in my room, in this dingy little apartment complex. I’m freaking out about life, getting a new job, having to start paying loans soon–the works! I can’t sleep all night, and to top it all off, my Mother 3 file was deleted because I wasn’t logged in to Vizzed while playing it. I got really far too. Some of you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about surely. Vizzed is a great website to go play old games for free. Word of advice, though: make an account, and log the sam hill in. Trust me.

Anyway. Back to our tale, of me. The protagonist of this tall tale, the grand and fortunate hero of–ugh who gives a fuck. I’m near-panicking with fear of the future, and pour myself a nice rum and coke at 2:00a.m. Classy, I know. I watch some Hot Pepper Game reviews, and one of them leads me to this site of very odd games(which is weird, because tonight I ALSO watched Teens React play a game from the same developers…life, y u do dis). I went and played Room of 1000 Snakes to make myself feel less suicidal(yes, touchy subject, I know. I suffer from shit, I get to talk about it in a humorous manner. NYEH!).

Playing that, leads me to this. (But actually click the link to the video below this if you have no idea what Bubsy is in the first place, and even give any shits.)

Play it before you read the rest of this, if you so desire. It doesn’t work in Chrome, but screw Chrome, play it in Firefox or IE if you’re a Neanderthal.

This game…this game just legitimately changed my life.

I haven’t experienced this level of comedic genius since Rick and Morty. I think this game might top that show, but I am in the honeymoon phase after all, and haven’t played with all of the cheats that are apparently available.

But wow. Just…wow.

If you don’t know anything about Bubsy, I HIGHLY recommend that you watch this video.

Good. Now that you’re educated…wait, shit, I should have put that video before linking the game…Let’s do that real quick.

There. Good.

Anyway. This game starts as a simple parody of an incredibly awful game. It does a really good job at poking fun at it too!

But then…Oh. But then.

It turns into this parody-but-not-parody of art, this, this…masterpiece, that touches on the very deepest anxiety of most modern American youths, it…God, man. You played it, right? You watched the video and then you…? Whatever.

It made me cry. I don’t cry easily, and maybe it was just because I was in a fucked up state as things stood for me anyway, but…wow. I just think that if you are like me, and you use comedy as a method of coping, but you also have a creative side that doesn’t know when to be serious and when to joke around…I think this game is important. It touched me, and it’s literally a mockery of a mockery of a game. That is not a typo.

Play it. If you think I’m being stupid even after doing so, that’s fine. I feel stupid. But gosh dang if this game didn’t inspire me as a creative individual with internal splish splashery doing its darndest to bring me down.

I’d be happy to discuss this further. Comment below if you want to know more about what the hell I’m rambling about, or if you want to share how the game made you feel.

Also do so if you know who the bald-ish guy is supposed to be, because hell if I know.

“I Entreat Ye, Navi”

Ocarina of Time was the first game I ever played. I remember getting to the part where you have to find your way to the Kokiri Sword without getting crushed by that huge, oddly textured, ever-in-motion boulder. It hit me several times, beating me down to about three fourths of a heart. i began to cry, and tried to hand the controller off to my much older step brother. “I can’t do it” I pleaded through my tears of frightful anguish. I didn’t want to be responsible for Link’s death; I was far too young to have that shit on my conscience.

“You can do it!” He yelled at me, angrily, not reaching for the controller, even for a second. “Look, you’ve got three more hits. Just go!”

I whined, but I grabbed the controller in both hands, and steeled myself. I ran as fast as the little legs would allow, and made it to the chest. I had earned my sword.

“See?” My step brother still sounded slightly annoyed, but that was okay. He had taught me courage.

If you know anything about the game, you can see how insanely poetic that is. Courage is that game’s bread and butter. When the Golden Triangles split, the Triforce of Courage finds its way into Link’s hand, because he is the most worthy of it. was worthy of it. I had proved myself, earned it, learned from it, and carried my courage in my palm as if it were my closest ally.

I haven’t heard from Nick since we left that house back when I was ten. It was for the best. He wasn’t an entirely stable human being. By that I mean he was in and out of some troubled teen…place. It’s hard for me to remember. Thinking back on his behavior at the time, he was very clearly a sociopath. He always came back incredibly calm and collected, which lasted for one to three weeks each time. I think it was a learned behavior that earned him freedom from wherever he was being sent.

He passed away not too long ago. I only know because I stalked him on Facebook for a while, unsure of whether or not to try and talk to him again.

I still play Ocarina of Time to this day when I need to relax, to feel a return to my roots. I’ve played it when I’m happy, when I’m sad, angry. I’ve played it on three different consoles. My very first N64 cartridge contained multiple files of me getting to the Fire Temple and giving up, because I couldn’t beat the Water Temple for some time. Think it got up to one file being named “Link 13”.

Life is fucking weird.

I wonder how many of you out there have similar memories. Things that have entirely shaped you as a human being, brought you comfort in times of need, yet are nestled in these odd contexts that would make others think you were strange for finding a sense of peace within them.

I remember not accepting the Deku Tree’s death. I was in denial. He said his goodbye, the text crawling across the screen with no option to speed it up…it was so final, so unmovable in its truth.

He’ll come back, I said.

I was hopeful, I’ll give myself that.

A main mechanic of that game is to go back and forth between your adult and child forms, and I wonder if this explains why I am constantly revisiting my childhood. I’m sure everyone does it, of course. Still, I feel like I’m always searching for something in those memories. Some answer or key, some hidden inspiration. A secret.

It might just be done out of pure nostalgia, of course. The Master Sword feels good in my hand, but…sometimes, it’s easy to miss the comfort of the Kokiri Sword.

I can’t tell whether that’s cheesy, or deep.