Monthly Archives: July 2013

Scavenger Hunt

001

Note 1

Hey cutie!!!! Rise and shine sleepyhead, it’s time for a game!!!

The cup on this note is your half-caf, no foam, splenda sweetener(hope you still like it that way, lol) Drink it all up, you’ll need all your brainpower this morning, because I’ve arranged a SCAVENGER HUNT!

Take a sip.

Good, now that you’re all caffeinated, here’s your first clue:

Red, white, and blue, where you said you loved me true, I bear-ly remember the view.

Note 2

Yay, you got it!!! Remember our third date at this build-a-bear workshop? I was so sad about losing my childhood Mr. Tibbles that you said you’d give him back to me? AND YOU DID!

Doin great babe!!! Now go to the place where we first kissed!!!!

Note 3

Oh good, you remembered. I was half afraid you’d go to the pond where we spread the picnic blanket. That was NOT our first kiss, lol. Since you’re so good at remembering dates, go to the church that has the same name as our anniversary.

Note 4

If you’re reading this at Our August Lady of the Dawn, you got it wrong. Don’t worry, I didn’t leave a note at the other church. I knew it was too much to hope that you remembered our real anniversary. DECEMBER, Michael.

It’s ok, dates are for history classes . lol, now go to the pet shop for a different kind of kitty cover…

Note 5

Surprisies! You said I looked great in these, so I figured you should have them. Maybe she can wear them, too. Or is her ass smaller?

Anyway, go down to Coco Rancho for another kitty surprise.

Note 6

SURPRISE!!!!!!!!

Bet you weren’t expecting THAT, were you? I’m surprised too. It’s amazing I even got him here, he wouldn’t let me near him. I’ll bet my arm is scratched up worse that your back right now, lol.

Funny story, I just meant to tie him here and leave him, but he wouldn’t stop meowing, and I guess I don’t know my own strength…

Oh well, I guess you can get a new cat now, too.

WHOOPSY! Forgot to give a clue!!

Go to that whore’s house.

Note 7

Don’t tell me there was nothing going on between you and Stephanie. I don’t care that she has a girlfriend, that didn’t stop YOU now did it?!!!

Go to our storage unit.

Note 8

See? SEE?!!! It’s EVERYTHING we shared over our years together, every. Single. Piece. Of. Paper. From our relationship. SEE how much it is? And you want to throw all this away? There’s YEARS here, experiences, happy times!!!! Weren’t you happy? Iwas.

Last step, stretch. Go to my apartment. I know you still have your keys.

Note 9

HAHAHAHA FUCK YOU!!!!!!!

I made sure to do it like someone else did it, and now your prints are EVERWHERE HOMIE!! I bet you even picked up that knife too, stupid shit. Too bad you don’t have a girlfriend to tell you it’s a bad idea to walk into an unlit apartment. I hope they throw the book at you asshole, I hope you get 95 for murder and some ripped prison dude makes YOU do anal on the first date. You fucker, you fucker

The preceding series of notes were found in anarchal order after the discovery of a lone female, age 24, lying dead in her apartment. Police were tipped off to the body’s location after neighbors complained about the smell emanating from the domicile. There was no sign of anyone but the occupant in the apartment.

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Misophonia

My dad had Misophonia. That meant he couldn’t stand random noises, especially the little ones. Soup slurping. Knuckle cracking. The sound of his own children’s laughter.

He was also a construction worker, with hands as big as bear claws.

I remember once me and Anthony are having a giggle fit over our ravioli. Dad doesn’t say shut up, but the muscle in his jaw twitches, which was all the warning we ever got.

I accidentally snort food down the wrong hole and start coughing, and my dad hauls off and smacks me across the mouth.  Blood all over my Snoopy pajamas. While I’m wailing all snotty in my booster seat, dad just takes his dishes to the sink and dumps them without scraping them. Then he heads to the den and I hear Hogan’s Heroes start up. I still hate that show.

Our ma was a night nurse, and even though she tried to make things as smooth as possible by having dinner hot and ready before he got home, tried to limit the time we were alone with dad, these things happened. Think I asked her once why she didn’t divorce him. She was raised die-hard Catholic, so I kinda knew what to expect going in. But her answer still threw me. She said it was because he needed help.

Yeah, help. He needed 1000 CC’s of Thorazine and a burly medic to hold him down.

Thing is about Misophonia, every person who has it gets set off by different noises. Worse, they generally stand the noise from their family even less than from other folks. The way Tony put it, dad had to work all day with guys burlier than him, with a bunch of drills and hammers and metal scraping on metal, then came home to us, soft little noisemakers. It was simple math, Tony said.

You should see him now. Lip rings and a tongue stud that click against his teeth when he talks. I can understand. I go in for brass jewelry, bangles that clank against each other whenever I move.

I remember when I noticed it start to go south.

We’re all on the couch, watching reruns of Dick Van Dyke, and out of nowhere dad turns to me and lays a wallop across one of my thighs. The handprint was wider than the span of my leg. I remember gulping back tears, because sometimes crying set him off even more, trying to puzzle out what I did. A second later, Tony gets it in the shoulder. Now I’m confused, because he was literally doing nothing, lying like a limp sock in the arm of the couch. Dad grunts “taught you,” and gets up to microwave himself a burrito.

Dinner that night. Ma had a night off. Dad chews with quick, angry strokes. Finally, he slams his fist down on the table, making everyone’s glass of tang jump, and tells ma to keep us quiet for fuck’s sake.

Ma’s pale. I haven’t seen her this worried in a while, being the queen of compartmentalization. She asks him what noise he means.

“What else?” he asks, “that goddamn chewing noise.”

The dinner table goes silent. We have to wait for him to finish and get up before we can eat. I mean, who the hell eats without chewing?

TV later that night. My dad throws the remote at Anthony for smuggling a candy bar and eating it while people are trying to watch TV. Anthony near up and cries, pulling his mouth open with both hands to show he’s got nothing. Me? I haven’t opened my mouth since dinner. Dad casts a mad glare at ma, who’s watching him like a cobra. He gets up from the couch and stomps off to bed.

Six in the morning, he ousts us from bed and beats us both black and blue for chewing in his ear when he’s trying to sleep. We try to tell him we were asleep too, but we’re crying too hard and the words won’t come out. When dad leaves ma puts her arms around the both of us and says daddy is going to see a doctor.

The hell he will, he’s a working man whose family doesn’t respect him. He ain’t no mental case.

But it was a mental thing, that we could tell. Sometimes he’d see weird colors and smell chemical things. Once he dropped his hammer seven stories and near killed a man. Didn’t remember doing it. He was grumpier now, and frustrated all the time. He accused us of hiding things from him, and switching around doors. I seriously contemplated running away at this point. Life with junkies and bums had to be better than this.

One night ma sat down across the table from him and held his hands as she told him to get checked out or she was getting a divorce. Dad nodded his head in a weird way, I think he was having trouble focusing at that point. Ma went to bed, relieved. I woke up at three in the morning to the sound of the TV still on. I crept out and dad was on the couch with the most peaceful look I’d seen on his face in a while. I asked him if he was going to bed. He was only a little surprised to see me, not angry or anything.

He pointed to his ear and smiled. “Chewing’s stopped.”

I told him that was great and went to bed. We figured he must’ve gone to bed not too long after, because by the time ma woke up at 5:34 and rolled over, dad was already there. She said she saw this red dirt on the pillow, and went to lift his head up.

Her scream woke us.

I was afraid dad was hitting her. She told us to go back to bed, daddy was a little sick and she was going to call the doctor now.

Of course we came in. Ma was wiping her hands on her nightgown and sobbing. Dad was facing us. His face was still kind of peaceful, but lopsided. And there were ants on it. Under his eyelids, in his nostrils, boiling out of his ear. They didn’t care where they went, and neither did he, anymore.

We sold that house and moved up near my gramma. The new place had no public pool, but a killer library. Mom developed Osmophobia, smell sensitivity, like people get towards lady’s perfumes. Only it’s just for one smell, the smell of formic acid. The kind ants use to mark a trail.

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A Week in Hell

Day 1

Wake to a generally irritating pelvic rash that only itches enough to entice you to scratch it. Any attempts at scaling away irritated skin cells result in the worst burning you’ve ever felt. You breakfast on stale cereal. At the fifth bite or so, you spit out a moth. You will not be able to finish the bowl, even if you check it and find no grubs in wait for you. You shower in lukewarm water. This is the coldest water you will get in hell. Pools are warm as spit and the decks around them are always sticky.

Catch a ride on one of hell’s many buses. Their clinical, antiseptic smell is a thousand times more unnerving than the baked-on stink of humanity that buses in life had. Stare out the window and try to remember if you dreamed last night.

Day 2

Go sit with Mussolini. “Celebrities” are often assigned sitters from the faceless, like yourself, who did petty human evil but didn’t wow on your way down. Down here, Benito has been reduced to doddering old man, physically frail and prone to flatulence. He doesn’t remember. You read A Tale of Two Cities to him, and then play checkers over pierogi. Every thirty minutes, a maggot about the size and texture of a subway train tunnels its way out of his elderly hindquarters. He is lucid by the time you finish today’s chapter and spits in your face, telling you to bring him a gun so he can show this place what real fear is. You leave him howling over his latest maggot.

Once outside, you bum a smoke off Ambrose Bierce. He’s always good for them.

Day 3

Endure several hours torture at the hands of high-school philosophers, wishing the blood in your veins would turn to sandpaper as they crib from what they remember of Atlas Shrugged. Any attempts at logic will be blustered over, steamrollered by as the conversational juggernaut lumbers to its conclusion. At the first, and only, pause for breath, you politely agree to whatever and excuse yourself. They latch on to the next passerby. No matter how many times they make their point, it is never enough.

Needing cessation of your hectic schedule, you visit a discotheque. The music of hell is that of every mega-pop hit, of every decade ever. Taken alone they might be bearable, even enjoyable after a fashion. But here they blend together in a cacophony that threatens deafness but never delivers. After twenty minutes, everyone fakes bowel pain and goes for a bathroom break. Of course there is no toilet paper.

Day 4

Take a walk through the historical gardens of hell, with conquistador-trees as far as the eye can see. Unbaptized infants gurgle and flit through the fountains of blood—they alone do not realize where they are. You catch one in your hands like a ladybug, hoping it will spare you a glance. But the infant’s eyes(it is sexless) is focused on some tantalizing horizon, never reached but all the more precious for it. You let the infant go and realize the week is half over.

Day 5

You run into your molester uncle. There is a deep fear behind his eyes, but you do not care what originated it. You say hi just for the simple joy of seeing him flinch.

The libraries of hell call. Cataloging every atrocity known to man is a surprisingly repetitive task. Crucifixion goes back a long ways, and no one’s really improved on the original formula. You find yourself longing for a laser-beheading or something. Lunch is a casserole of paperback pages and canned spaghetti sauce. You pick John Grisham from your teeth and hope nobody noticed.

Day 6

Satan. Your eyes don’t melt into your skull, but he does have a voice like the whispering of flies. He asks about your judgment by St. Peter while studying the fish tank behind your shoulder. He has chosen one of hell’s many cheap Italian eateries for your meeting and can’t be bothered to make eye contact.  You say Peter was fair, God was…Goddy. Yes you had family in heaven. No, you’ve fallen out of touch. Yaweh didn’t mention him at all. When the check comes he excuses himself to the bathroom. You wonder why he even bothers sometimes.

Hands in your pockets you wander hell’s one city. There is no countryside, or seaside, or even a mountain. You’ve never questioned it, seems oddly fitting. In hell, no one makes eye contact. Perhaps that’s a bit of the reason why you are all here, not for the many bodily sins you’ve committed but for petty transcendental ignorance against your fellow man. Then you espy a Unitarian and realize it’s not that bad.

Day 7

Wake in the dark and try to remember your dream. You don’t really make new things in hell, everything has stopped. No one gets pregnant, no one gets cancer. Yet sometimes you have a nagging feeling you’ve dreamed something completely new since you’ve come to hell. Do the dead have REM? This question jabs you awake as you lie in the sweaty darkness, no body beside yours to curl into, no other mind to lose yourself in. In hell, everyone sleeps alone. You walk up to the rooftop of your high-rise apartment to gaze out over other rooftops in hell.

There are others like you. They blink owlish in the red unlight. It is never truly night here. Hell is like Alaska, you’ve decided. Hot, sweaty Alaska, with no wildlife. Hell is incomplete. You look out over the buildings still being built, for occupants yet to come, you suppose forever or until humanity dies out, to be replaced with a sinless, altogether wiser race, or perhaps a variety of atheistic cow. You cannot finish that thought. You are forever on the edge of an epiphany, but something, maybe a trickle of sweat, maybe the buzz of something in your ear, distracts you and your thought train decouples.

You stay on that roof for an indeterminate amount of time. The alarm clock only goes off once you’ve settled yourself back into bed.

Day 8

Repeat.

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Sudden-onset Pattern Psychosis

Sudden Onset Pattern Psychosis is an extremely rare syndrome that shows no genetic, neurochemical, or physical links as of yet. Afflicted sufferers will contract relatively mild flulike symptoms. After a fever topping out at 110˚, the sufferer will fall into a heavy sleep, reporting unusually vivid dreams the next morning.

The next phase has been dubbed Unconscious Arrangement. The sufferer will attempt to arrange all incidental objects into fixed geometrical patterns without realizing it, one such case by a coworker held that the sufferer bent paperclips into flowers while in conversation.  When pointed out, suffers are often cheerfully dismissive of the habit. Every subsequent instance that they are reminded of their compulsion is met as if for the first time. This is garnished by a perceived lack of control in the logic processes of the brain. Any simple attempts to problem-solve or plan is met with bizarre logical fallacies, i.e. laying a sandwich out in a single layer, because if they stack the ingredients the stack would eventually hit the ceiling.

This leads into the Conscious-compulsive phase. Sufferers will begin a holistic “arrangement” of the world around them, putting a receipt in a certain trashcan, buying produce and then leaving it in a parked car, etc. Sufferers maintain that this is to keep the worldwide “pattern” going, which they perceive themselves as functioning objects within. In this stage sufferers are usually taken by family members or concerned citizens for psychiatric diagnoses. This can be disastrous as most antidepressant medication serves only to eliminate any unsurety on the sufferer’s part, outward symptoms may vanish to the relief of relatives but the subject’s prefrontal cortex shows diminished activity, along with the loss of reflexive control. Sufferers are often diagnosed with schizophrenia or manic depression, which a CAT scan quickly proves false.

The final phase has been dubbed the “mad artist” phase. If the suffer was artistically inclined, they may skip to this phase, forgoing any secondary symptoms. Those that do not show any predilection for artistry consequently develop talents far beyond any previous skill level. The “psycho-canvas”( usually walls in the sufferer’s house or some conveniently nearby flat surface) becomes the ground for their ultimate pattern. Sufferers will use any materials that come to hand: food, bodily fluids, charcoal from burning their personal belongings, etc., to construct an elaborate visual pattern. Thus begins a frenzied rush to write/draw/paint a large mural of the patient’s malaise, including but not limited to: geometric shapes, lines of nonsensical text, portraiture, psychadelia, and simple scribbling. During this phase, the artist attempts to attract as much attention as they can to their work, some have even gone so far as to attempt public installations. The sufferers are no longer subject to reason, brute force, or psychiatric drugs. Death has shown to be the only reliable cessation of the artist. Any suffers attempting public mural are summarily executed. Claims that viewing the mural creates more infectees of Sudden Onset Pattern Psychosis are so far unproven.

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