Re: Cody

These are my memories of my beloved dog, Cody, who my wife and I had to put down after having him for 13 wonderful years.

We almost didn’t adopt Cody. When we met him, we weren’t impressed at all. We found Cody on Petfinder.com where we have found all of our dogs.

He was being fostered by a woman named Patty and her husband in South Jersey. We went to visit them on a sunny day in June. Patty already had another dog, “Murphy”, and her husband was not interested in adopting another. However, it was clear that Patty had bonded with Cody and we got the impression she wasn’t that serious about adopting out Cody, she seemed to be placating her husband.

We walked in and Cody came over and jumped up on us. Patty apologized, and said he only seemed to do that when people first came in and Cody would settle down. He did, and Patty was absolutely correct. It was a habit Cody had, and we were never able to break him of it. Old age and hip dysplasia finally cured him of this. If he really liked you, he might also “bop” you on the nose with his nose when he jumped up on you. I tried to tell people this was an honor, but most of them didn’t really appreciate being hit square in the nose, go figure.

We chose to take Cody for a walk to get him away from Patty and see how he was. We put a choke chain on him, attached the leash and went outside…

…and I almost lost my arm at the shoulder. Cody was a strong dog, and clearly was not leashed trained. He pulled and did not let up. The dog was straining and straining on the leash, choking himself in the process. He would not relent. We walked him for maybe 2 blocks, and then I turned to my wife and said “Let’s take this dog back. This is ridiculous.”

We went back to Patty’s house. She asked us about Cody and we told her how he just pulled and pulled and choked himself. “Oh well he’s never been on a leash before”, was her answer.

Ok, well that certainly explained that. I watched Cody for a bit. He went over to Patty, and sat right in front of her. She started petting him, and I could see that he was happy, content, and clearly had bonded with Patty. He seemed like a cool dog. Perhaps he just needed some better owners who would work with him and train him.

I asked about where he came from and was given his history. He was found along with his litter mates, by the side of the road in a cardboard box in March 2001. He was adopted by a young woman who lived with her Mom and had several dogs already. They all lived in a fenced in pen. The young woman apparently moved out, and since this was “her” dog the mom didn’t want Cody anymore. She then gave him up to a rescue organization. I noted he was healthy and had his shots. I also noticed his name used to be “Harley” before Patty or the rescue group renamed him Cody.

After this we left. I spent a few moments thinking about it, and then turned to my wife in the car and said, “I think we should adopt him. The signs are all good.” “Signs?”, my wife asked me. “Yes”, I said.

I went on to explain to her that my Grandmother’s last dog was named “Cody”, and that I always LOVED the name “Harley” for a dog, and would love to name my dog that. I felt that this was too strong of a coincidence to ignore. So my wife thought about it, and we decided to adopt Cody.

While his official name was “Cody”, he earned a variety of nick names throughout his life. Some of those included “Squishy Dog”, “The Big Squish”, “Cody-Fabody”, “Cody-Bodes”, “The Bodester”, and when he got older I used to call him “Old Man Squishy”, or just “The Old Man”.

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Cody

At the time, we had a giant, but unfenced back yard. We decided to purchase a run and wrap it around a large chestnut tree in the backyard. We attached Cody to it. We thought all would be well.

However, as we discovered, Cody had a strong case of wanderlust. If he saw a rabbit, or squirrel, or cat, or possum, he would go after it like a shot. He just took off running without a care. The first time I saw this happen, I braced myself for what would happen when he reached the end of his run.

Shockingly, the run broke. He took off running and it took us hours to find him and bring him back. This unfortunately, was a pattern for Cody. We went through increasingly stronger and thicker chains, harnesses, collars and runs for Cody. None held him. He broke almost all of them, usually at whatever weak point the harness had.

He escaped again and again. He earned the nickname “Houdini” he was so clever and skilled at escaping. We finally put a 6 foot PVC fence around the backyard. There was no way he could get over it or through it.

However, he could tunneled underneath it. We found that Cody had yet another surprising skill, he was a furious digger. He dug under the fence multiple times. He assisted my wife and mother in law in planting a tree. Within 5 minutes he had dug a hole big enough to plant the small maple tree we had purchased.

He dug out multiple times. We had to line the fence with rocks and chicken wire to prevent him from digging out. He still did it once in awhile.

He finally stopped when we got our second dog, “Harley”. He did dig out once while he and Harley were alone in the back yard. I found this out when I went back there and found Harley all alone crying next to a small hole in the ground beneath the fence.

We eventually found Cody and brought him back. He never did it again that I recall. I don’t know why, but like to think that he felt bad that he left Harley behind and Harley was upset about it….

We almost lost him on vacation in the Poconos. We were staying at a small cabin and he was yet again attached to a run, and he took off after something(it didn’t always break, but seemed to at the worst times). He got away, and we wandered and drove around for hours looking for him. Unfortunately, we had no cell phone service, and I worried that someone found him and was trying to call us.

We decided to drive to a location that had cell service and wait. As we were driving, my wife suddenly exclaimed “There he is!”

Sure enough, we saw him bounding along a creek, tongue hanging out, prancing along happily. My wife jumped out of the car and started shouting “Cody!” “Cody!”. For once, he actually listened. He came over and we were able to scoop him up and get him back in the car.

Eventually Cody grew out of his wanderlust. He settled in, and became the sweet, loyal, protective, independent but also strong, spirited, and bratty dog that makes up the vast majority of the memories I have of him.

Cody was not happy when we introduced our second dog, “Harley” to the household. Cody had a bit of a Napoleonic complex. He seemed threatened by dogs bigger than him, and would react by barking and lunging at them. Harley was a big St. Bernard mix, but he was the sweetest, easiest going, most gentle giant dog I ever had. That was a good thing as Cody was very nasty to Harley for the first few weeks we had him. Eventually Harley snarled and snapped back at Cody and that seemed to settle it. From then on, they were buddies and we felt we finally had the “pack” we wanted.

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Harley and Cody

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Harley and Cody

For awhile, Cody seemed timeless. He got chronologically older, but didn’t seem to age much physically. At 10, 11, even 12 years old, he remained spry and energetic, enjoying his time with us and happy to be alive. Even at 13 or 14, he still had the energy to join us in long walks at Tinicum. I remember watching him trot through the tall grass, tongue hanging to his side, eyes narrowed, and nose sniffing the air. In that moment, I could imagine him as a wolf, searching for his prey.

Once Cody hit 15, he really started to age. The small bumps on him grew to enormous fatty tumors. He sort of looked like a float in a parade. He developed cataracts and his hearing started to fail. He got very grey and grizzled and his teeth, never his best feature, turned completely black and smelled like garbage.

Most distressingly, he started to become lame and had difficulty walking. First he started having problems getting up the stairs to our second floor. A couple of times, he slipped and fell down the stairs, to the dismay of myself and my wife. If I heard him struggling, I would go down and help him up the stairs. Finally, I just started picking him up and carrying him up the stairs.

Then he had problems going down the stairs. His lameness and his cataracts combined to make him scared and tentative going down. I don’t think he could see the stairs and no longer trusted himself to just go for it. It was heartbreaking to watch. Sometimes he would cry. It was further compounded by his tumors which made it hard to pick him up. He would yelp in pain sometimes when I picked him up and I didn’t want to hurt him.

Sadly his inability to get down the stairs and the stress caused by it forced him to pee while he was trying to get down the stairs. Finally, he just stopped trying to go down the stairs and peed all over the upstairs.

This was the point where we couldn’t bring him upstairs anymore. It was distressing, but we could not wake up to him whizzing on our bedroom floor.

I thought this would be the end for Cody. He was initially unhappy with the change. We would hear him downstairs pacing endlessly. We felt terrible. We missed him upstairs with us. But we didn’t know what else to do.

Eventually Cody the stoic and Cody the survivor did what he did best.  He dealt with it, and adjusted accordingly.

We started talking about putting him down then. But it didn’t seem right. He was a mess, but he was still interactive, engaged and happy to see us. We all adjusted to the new reality.

My last really good memories of Cody are when we had to pack up the entire house and live in a hotel for 2 weeks while we had our floors refinished. We were able to stay in a Residence Inn with both dogs. It was a comfort to have Cody with us. He struggled mightily, had multiple accidents, and fell down many times. But he was there with us, and I really appreciated his company while we lived in a boring hotel room, homesick and impatient to get back to our house.

Within a few weeks of returning, Cody became incontinent. He had been having accidents for awhile, but now he started leaking urine, drip by drip all over the house. We put him in diapers(breaking my heart, but he was a good boy and wore them without complaint), but the diapers only revealed the extent of the problem. It was bad. Cody reeked of urine and consequently, so did our house.

I recall one of my wife’s work mates coming in the house to use our bathroom. I was mortified as I knew the house smelled. We couldn’t entertain at our home anymore, I couldn’t let people come over as I knew they would smell it, and while I was sure they would understand, we weren’t comfortable doing that.

It was at this point that I realized we would have to put Cody down. I realized I had been kind of avoiding him and being downstairs because it was so gross and unsanitary. My wife and I talked and we agreed on a date that we would put him down. I spent the next 3 weeks trying to avoid thinking of that, and spending whatever time I could with Cody.

Putting him down was one of the most painful experiences of my life. Right before we did it, I felt we had waited too long. I couldn’t wait to take the house back, clean it, and get rid of the smell.

Immediately after I regretted it, and was consumed with guilt and sorrow. I felt I hadn’t done enough. We could have lived with the smell. I should have walked him more. I should have just carried him up and down the steps, fatty tumors be damned.

I’ve told myself that I would have felt this way no matter when we put him down. He was a strong, stoic, independent dog and snuffing his spirit was going to suck no matter when we did it. I also told myself we ran the risk of something really bad happening like him falling down the stairs and breaking a bone, or puncturing his tumors and bleeding out. It really doesn’t help, but as I stated before, there is never a good time put down your loyal and loving dog. It hurts no matter what.

As part of our mourning, my wife and I decided to create a memorial for both Cody and Harley. We found and blew up several of our favorite photos of both dogs and framed them and put them on the wall. Right below will be a table with the 2 boxes containing the remains of our beloved dogs.

Such is the cost of owning dogs. They don’t live nearly as long as humans, and eventually every dog owner is faced with this issue. It’s incredibly painful but doesn’t take away from the 13 wonderful years I had with this dog. I lost a good friend and companion, but learned about life and lived it through owning my Cody.

I will miss him forever…..

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Old Man Squishy

 

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Every Apology Made by a Politician

My Fellow Citizens:

It pains me to be here tonight, facing my constituents, with my beautiful family by my side, but I need to say something.

I am sorry I got caught. So sorry. You have no idea how sorry I am that my indiscretions were discovered. I am truly, truly sorry that you all found out about it. If fills me with such regret to know that you have now learned what a gigantic, hypocritical, corrupt douchebag I truly am.

That is what pains me the most. To know that I have been exposed, that you now have definitive proof that I am the corrupt, bloated gasbag many of you have accused me of being.

When I embezzled that money from the orphanage, it never crossed my mind that you, the press, and the authorities would find out.

When I first heard rumblings of this in the press, my first thought was “This? This is what I am being accused of? Who cares? I have done many other worse things more egregious and criminal than this mole hill of nothing.”

Then I stopped myself. I thought of the body parts buried in the quarry, the pre-schoolers prostitute ring, and all the times I sold weed disguised as a nun. I realized that if I wasn’t careful, it ALL could come out.

I think that, more than anything, has really cut through the noise for me. Realizing that this merely scratches the surface of my corruption, shady dealings, and out and out thuggery really brought it home that I needed to change.

So I make this promise to you. Going forward, I will do everything I can to prevent you from learning more about my crimes. There is no record I won’t shred, no e-mail I won’t wipe, and no low level criminal that I won’t threaten, or even kill to prevent the good citizens of this country from knowing all the nefarious deeds I am committing while pretending to serve the public good.

I assure the people of this country that I will not rest until ALL of my indiscretions are properly covered up so you won’t be bothered by such nasty allegations anymore.

Thank you.

God Bless you all.

After the Fire

Note: This story was inspired by the music and lyrics of “Killstardo Abominiate” by the band, Dethklok. 

Read the lyrics here:

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/dethklok/killstardoabominate.html

Listen to the song (preferably at maximum tolerable volume) here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQOeMm1HCrw

Enjoy!

After the blaze died down, Dole poked carefully through the embers of the fire with the polished end of his staff. He uncovered the Poterentur and carefully pushed it away from the hot embers using the brass end of the pole. He gingerly picked up the ceremonial stone, and as expected it was as cold as if it had never been in the fire. Dole peered at it closely, saw what he was looking for, and nodded. The acolytes gathered about him bowed their heads in unison and murmured the sacred words.

Dole turned away from the dying fire and his acolytes. Dole’s eyes looked around him. He stood atop a large hill, a hill that anyone who passed by would not remark upon. However, Dole had selected it after painstaking research and tests.  It’s slope and gradient formed the shape of the G’lah-har, a sacred ceremony the Master had taught him. At the top of the hill stood the altar. Dole scanned the altar for any flaws or omissions. He had been over this a 1000 times but did it again anyway. Now was not the time for mistakes. The tiniest detail missed, and all the Orders plans would be for naught. Dole examined the altar carefully. Dole saw at the altar’s base was a layer of dust and bone, much of it containing the remains of the slain enemies of Dole’s order during the war of the Mendaxes. Above that was a layer of a black, sticky viscous material. It shone mutely black in the amber light. Dole knew this material was gathered from the swamps of Mors Inges in a secret place that only he and the Master knew of. On top of that were piled large stones and rocks taken from deep within the mines of Alaxar. The next layer were the trunks of trees taken from the sacred forest of Be’Henah. Shorn of the branches and leaves, only the trunks remained, cut in equidistant lengths. They had been carved and shaped to reflect the instructions given to him by the Master. Dole knew that pride was a sin, but he still felt a bit of satisfaction at how well the tree trunks had been shaped. He quickly squelched the thought lest he let it take him. Lastly on top of the tree trunks stood the alter. A large rectangular slab of stone resting on top of 4 equidistant stone posts. Cut and shaped from polished marble, it glowed mutely in the eerie red light of the Blood Moon. For many years the order protected the alter from destruction and desecration by the non believers. Finally it’s purpose was to be fulfilled.

Dole looked at the woman now tied to this altar. She was naked, thin and just forming breasts. She was quite young, she had only just come into an age when she was beholden to a woman’s curse. Dole could see the curse was upon her now, as blood dripped slowly from her naked female parts. Dole remembered that she possessed the required hair color, a natural ginger, but now all of her hair from her head to her toes had been removed by Dole’s acolytes. Her pale skin and lack of hair made her look a bit like a worm, squirming weakly against the restraints that tied her hands above her head and held her legs down on the alter. Her legs had been spread at the proper angle as per the Master’s instructions. Her form honored the old ones, and paid fealty to their sacrifices for the masses. The acolytes had brewed somnolentus tea for the girl and Dole could see it had the desired effect. Her eyes were unfocused and glassy and her gaze was fixated far away on the stars in the sky. That was good. She needed to be calm for what was to come.

Satisfied with the condition of the altar, Dole raised the ceremonial stone, the Poterentur, and examined it in the moonlight. The heat from the ceremonial fire had burned away the chaf leaving just a smooth tubular surface. It was so black as to look almost purple. Dark streaks of ebony traveled down into the stones interior. Dole could see his pale face reflected on its surface. It looked like a white blob. Dole could feel the cold emanating from the Poterentur. Only after many years had the Master trusted enough to reveal the Poterentur and it’s role in the Ceremony, and how much power this small, black stone tube contained. It’s unassuming look masked many things.

It was time. Dole cast his mind back to when he first met the Master. At that moment, he had no idea how long the Master had been waiting for him. Dole remembered when he stumbled across the Master sunning himself on a rock in the Jeddey desert. Dole was not called Dole back then, back then he was just an idiot boy who had wondered off from his parent’s camp and gotten himself lost in the shifting sand dunes that made up the desert. He was near exhaustion and dehydrated when he came upon what was laying on that rock. At first his eyes did not perceive the Master properly, but when they focused on the dark visage, gaping maw and one large cat eye of the Master, the little urine Dole had left in his bladder leaked out.

“The Beast is no longer amongst us… The Beast is on his way to hell.” began the Master. The Master’s one eye turned to the boy Dole had been and held the young boy in his sway.

Much much later the Master told Dole what he needed of him. Dole remembered the terror he felt at the time as a man might remember an old wound that had healed long ago but still troubled him in the dead of night when sleep was hard to come by.

Returning his mind to the present, Dole turned to his acolytes and nodded. They bowed in unison to Dole, and made their way down the hill. At the bottom of the hill was a towering covered wagon. It stood over 15 stones high at its topmost point. Dole’s most trusted acolyte, Drendar, grabbed the handle of the covered wagon. The other acolytes gathered around the wagon, and leaning against it with their shoulders began to push it up the hill. The wagon creaked appreciatively and what sounded like metal against metal and a high pitch squealing emanated from the wagon. The lead acolyte place the wooden handle of the wagon on his shoulder and pulled. Slowly the wagon’s wheels turned and the wagon began to move up the hill. Grunting and straining, the acolytes finally pulled the wagon to the top of the hill, and left it next to the altar. From inside the wagon came the sounds of snuffling and grunting as if some creature was smelling the air and responding to all that it detected. The two acolytes at the head of the wagon began to pull back the fabric that covered the wagon’s frame.

Revealed in the wagon was a large metal cage, sealed with a brass padlock the size of a beefy man’s fist. Engraved upon the lock was a design that looked a bit like a shooting star. It secured a metal gate at the front of the cage. Revealed in the cage was the Pig Man, blinking stupidly in the dying firelight. To see the Pig Man was to understand why he was called that. The Pig Man had an oblong skull, with hairy, floppy ears protruding at right angles from his misshapen head, small beady black eyes set way back in his eye sockets, and most prominent of all, a short snout, meaty and fat, with two little oval port holes with which to snuffle the air and taste his meals. Anyone who saw it, did NOT call it a nose, it was clearly a snout. The Pig Man did not speak in any intelligible manner, just grunts, squeals and waving arms so no one knew how the Pig Man felt about his snout.  Presently, the Pig Man *was *snuffling the air curiously, and with growing awareness. He seemed to know of the girl strapped to the altar as he began to sniff the air with growing excitement and intensity. The Pig Man was wearing filthy denim overalls that had a broken strap on his right side. It was held up by crusted dirt and mud within the fabric itself. The denim fabric was worn away at the Pig Man’s crotch and presently Dole could see the reason the Pig Man had been bred and groomed for the task at hand. The Pig Man’s enormous penis began to harden and grow to its obscene size. Dole had heard stories of the Pig Man’s large pizzle long before he had seen it, and while the stories were exaggerated and ridiculous, Dole conceded that the Pig Man had a member larger than he had ever seen on any man, dog or horse. It grew impressively as the Pig Man realized what was about to happen. He hopped excitedly from foot to foot and gazed vaguely in the direction of the altar. Dole knew the Pig Man could barely see past his piggy snout nose, but while his nose was freakish looking, there was nothing wrong with how it worked. In fact, it worked disturbingly well and could sniff out a menstruating woman in a wide area. The Pig Man had gotten himself into quite a bit of trouble after some nasty business in a small village near the Trident river. He had kidnapped several farm girls and used his freakish cock on them to satisfy his beastly urges. It was unfortunate to say the minimum. That’s how Dole had come across the Pig Man. The specifics of how Dole and his order had acquired the Pig Man was not a tale Dole could reflect on now. The Pig Man was here and would fulfill his purpose, just as the Master had foretold.

Dole’s attention was snapped back to the Poterentur as he felt it throb in his hand. He recalled what he was there to do. Presently the acolytes had gathered around the altar with the woman strapped to it. Dole took his place at the head of the circle. He raised the Poterentur towards the blood moon. The acolytes began to murmur:

Demon

Serpent

Leviathan

Dole began to speak the words the Master had taught him. He spoke them exactly as the Master had dictated, raising his voice in a rising sing-song, the words pouring from his lips like a slippery liquid onto hot desert sand. Dole began to speak louder, his voice taking on bass and power.

In response, the acolytes began to chant louder:

Demon

Serpent

Leviathan

Dole began to move his arms in the anointed way the Master had shown him. The Poterentur throbbed in unison to every beat and flutter of Dole’s twisting hands. He finished the ritual and held the Poterentur towards the blood moon once again. Dole joined his acolytes in their chanting

Demon

Serpent

Leviathan

Dole felt the Poterentur throb and twist in his palm. It no longer seemed to be a stone, but rather alive in his hand. It was a part of his hand now. He felt it bond to the palm of his hand. He felt as if the Poterentur had become a part of him, both physically and on the astral plane, it was an extension of his own body. It filled Dole with a feeling of power and excitement. He knew the prophecy was to be fulfilled. He just knew.

Dole raised his arms above his head and exhorted his acolytes to chant louder:

Demon

Serpent

Leviathan

The Pig Man was profoundly affected by the chanting and the changes in the Poterentur. The Pig Man wrapped his filthy hands around the bars of his cage and began to moan. He rocked back and forth, a high pitched whining sound rising in his throat.

Demon

Serpent

Leviathan

The Pig Man began to rattle the bars of the metal cage. He jumped up and down. He shook the cage in violence and fury, he slobbered and spit, and finally started howling toward the blood moon.

Dole and his acolytes continued their chanting.

Demon

Serpent

Leviathan

After the 13th time of repetition, their voices rose in a thunderous crescendo:

We take you down!

We take your soul!

We eat your flesh!

We are your deth!

Dole looked at the Poterentur still fused to his hand. It was time. The Poterentur suddenly became less of a stone and more of a living thing. It now resembled a small snake, or wand twisting rhythmically in Dole’s hand. Dole held his hand out as the  Poterentur continued its rhythmic dancing on the palm of Dole’s hand. It began to twist around Dole’s wrist, down his arm, down the folds of his robe, over his sandals, and then started heading toward the Pig Man, who was still howling furiously in the metal cage. Dole watched the  Poterentur twist towards the Pig Man, now very much looking like a snake or a serpent. It slithered to where the Pig Man stood in the cage. The Pig Man saw the Poterentur approaching and stopped howling. He stared slack jawed as the Poterentur reached him. The Pig Man’s eyes widened in horror as the Poterentur slithered right up the wheels of the wagon, and between the bars of the cage. The Pig Man attempted to back away but the Poterentur twisted up his filthy feet, over his knobby knees, past his large sex, up his body and slithered right into the Pig Mans open mouth. Instantly the Pig Man went rigid, his eyes rolling back in his head. Dole could see the tail end of the Poterentur wriggling out of the Pig Man’s mouth. The Pig Man’s eyes rolled back to the world, but came back changed. No longer where they the flat, greedy flint of the Pig Man, these eyes shown with malevolent intelligence. Presently the Pig Man began to test his arms and legs, moving them stiffly and awkwardly. He turned toward Dole, and Dole could see the creature the Master described reflected back to him in the Pig Man’s now wise and knowing eyes.

Dole could see the Poterentur between the Pig Man’s teeth still writhing and twisting like a snake. The Pig Man looked down at his hands as if he were seeing them for the first time. He opened and closed his hands into large, meaty fists. He turned toward the door of the metal cage. Reaching through the bars, he touched the large lock on the door with a grace not previously seen in the Pig Man. As his finger stroked the shooting star emblem, smoke rose from where his finger touched the lock. There was a crackling sound and the brass lock fell to the ground smoking and hissing.

The cage gate squealed open. Walking stiffly, the Pig Man descended the stairs of the wagon and turned toward the altar. He inhaled deeply, seeming to pull the scents of the night air deep into his piggy snout. Blinking slowly the Pig Man looked around at the scene before him. His now malevolent eyes scanned the area and took in the ceremony taking place. The Pig Man clapped his hands in delight and began to jump up and down in joy. Without warning, the Pig Man dropped to his hands and feet and bounded quickly over to the girl on the altar. Once he reached the base, he scurried up to the top of it in mere moments, reminding Dole of a monkey climbing a tree. Panting excitedly the Pig Man reached the girl still tied to the altar. Placing himself between her spread legs he tore at the one remaining hook holding up his dirt encrusted overalls. He pulled his overalls down past his legs and stepped out of them gingerly, belying his grotesque and slovenly appearance. The Pig Man gazed upon the young girl greedily. Dole could again see the malevolence in the Pig Man’s eyes that he had glimpsed earlier. The Pig Man licked his skin flecked lips. Dole could see the wriggling end of the Poterentur flitting out of the Pig Man’s mouth. Dole also saw the Pig Man’s large penis throbbing as he pulled himself up between the girl’s pinned thighs. He placed his grimy hands upon either side of the girls shoulders. The Pig Man pushed himself forward and entered the girl with a grunt and a squeal. The girl’s eyes returned sharply from staring at the stars. Her eyes widened in horror and loathing as she saw the creature taking her maidenhead. She bucked and pulled against the restraints, her eyes now looking around wildly at Dole and the gathered acolytes. Dole stared back impassively and the acolytes never paused in their incantations.

Demon

Serpent

Leviathan 

The Pig Man continued pounding into the still struggling girl, saliva dripping from his open mouth. The girl’s eyes now looked up and away again into the starry sky but now they shone with pain, horror and revulsion. Each thrust forced a breath of frightened air from her mouth. Without warning he pulled out of the girl. Standing above the girl the Pig Man twisted himself around so that now his large member hung above the girls face. He now placed his hands on either side of the girls thighs. Using one hand to force the girls mouth open he shoved his large penis into the girls mouth. She gasped in surprise which only allowed the Pig Man to force his cock into her further. Dole watched her twist and buck in terror. Dole grimaced in spite of himself when he saw the girl’s eyes roll up back in her head in shock and her cheeks stretch, crack and begin to bleed. At the same time, the Pig Mans mouth pushed itself down onto the girls vagina, the end of the Poterentur wriggling to get into the girl itself. Dole watched as the Pig Man continued his twin actions pushing himself further into the girl’s throat while the Poterentur twisted into the girl’s labia.

Dole watched as the girl slowly stopped struggling and then mercifully was still. Still the Pig Man thrust his sex into her and the Poterentur continued probing her vulva. And then suddenly, it stopped.

Dole sucked in his breath. Everything froze, just for a moment. The acolytes stopped mid incantation, the fire stopped mid crackle, the crickets paused just for a moment. Then it crashed back into reality as if the world had just skipped a beat. There was even a half beat as the crickets seemed to catch up to reality.  Dole watched the girl lay impassively as she was assaulted at both of her openings. Dole suddenly realized he was seeing something more than a rape, it was a circuit, a circle that was now complete. A perverse circle, a deviance of the way man and woman were intended to lay together. It offended Dole and he had long since washed himself of such pointless emotions. It offended the world.

Dole watched as the Pig Man ended his thrusting and was still. Dole saw the still serpentine Poterentur wriggle out from the Pig Man’s mouth. It traveled down the altar twisting rapidly as it made its way quickly down the altar’s many layers. It slithered into the grass at the base of the altar. Dole never saw it again. The Pig Man lay still, motionless on top of the dead girl.

Dole heard a sound. A low note, almost felt rather than heard welled up from deep beneath the hill on which they stood. It ascended into the night air, a low thrumming bass note, that buzzed through Dole’s chest as much as he heard it in his ears. It rose up and began to be intertwined with a low rumbling from deep within the hillside on which the altar stood. Dole realized the earth on which the stood was shaking. The hill began to shake and rumble with growing urgency. Dole backed down the hillside, signalling to his acolytes to follow. They dutifully complied, casting worried glances behind them as small fissures opened at the hill top and the altar Dole’s order had built so many years ago, began to tilt and lean with a groaning sound. Both the Pig Man the young girl slid with the stone altar into an opening abyss below. The abyss slowly got bigger, revealing a sharp jagged black point rising slowly from the now opened fissure where the hill and altar once stood. The point began to reveal itself as an arrow shaped stone, rising slowly in the reddish moonlight. At the base of the stone stood another altar, but this time of black obsidian, shining ebony and cold, in the reddish moonlight.

On the altar lay the Beast. Much like when he first lay eyes on the Master, it took a moment for Dole’s brain to process what his eyes were seeing. It looked at first to Dole like a dragon, a mythical creature that once existed all across the skies many years ago according to the Master. But while the Beast had a long neck, large misshapen wings, a twisting serpentine body and spiny tail, the head was not of a dragon, but rather something different, vaguely human, but with large eyes with inverted pupils like a goat, and twin pointy ears protruding from its bulbous, misshapen head. Presently the Beast’s eyes turned toward Dole. The creatures eyes met Dole’s eyes and Dole felt the power of the Beast. Its narrow pupils looked intimately into Dole’s very soul, seeing all that he is and was, all that he had seen and experienced and felt, and knowing everything and everyone Dole knew. Dole felt himself swallowed up into those eyes, he saw and experienced things that even the Master had been unable to show him. Dole felt his soul float out of his body, he looked down and could see himself there at the base of the black altar with the Beast staring at him. The man he saw had aged twenty years in an instant. Dole could see the flabby neck, sunken cheeks, and most damning of all, hair that had been a sandy black now was bone white, stripped of all its color and vigor. Then the moment ended and he was back in his body, back to himself, but aged and withered. Dole gasped as the eyes of the Beast released him. Even though his youth was gone, Dole was elated. The Beast had shown him the future, a future of fire and pain for the non believers and infidels that infested the land. The Beast had shown Dole how he was instrumental in this, and acknowledged his role in bringing about all the creature had shown Dole in his vision. Dole felt tears of joy and relief spring from his eyes and travel down his wrinkled cheeks, dripping onto his velvet robe. He wept freely, but did not move to wipe his tears, nor hang his head in shame. The Beast’s gaze swept among the acolytes quickly acknowledging their presence, and sacrifice to the beast as it was revealed there among them.  The Beast turned its misshapen head toward the blood moon. It’s mouth opened and it’s throat trembled subtly. Once again, Dole heard a sound that built from deep within him and rose ominously in the night sky. Louder and louder it grew as the Beast’s head tipped back and the sound poured from its throat into the air, an obscene roaring that was an almost physical presence that Dole felt throughout his whole body. The ground shook with the sound. Dole felt his body tremble from the power of the sound. The roar affected him profoundly, Dole thought of rotting corpses, fire and flames, and felt despair, defeat, pain and despondency. He knew that all who heard the sound of the Beast would be affected in the same way. Abruptly the sound ceased, as the Beast closed its mouth. It’s black wings opened and raised above the beast’s body. The Beasts wings were black, veiney spines held webs of iridescent membranes. They opened to full spread, filled with air, and the Beast lifted itself into the moonlight. Dole watched as the Beast flew away into the night air, getting smaller and smaller as it flew away from the men.

…many, many years later Dole stood above the valley and watched the destruction unfold below. As the Master had prophesied, and the Beast had shown him, fire and destruction had finally come to the land. Dole clapped his hands in joy as he watched the villages burn below, and saw tiny figures of flame run from their huts and then collapse in immolation as they received the deserved punishment for their sins. Dole raised his scrawny fists above his head and shook them in fury and adulation. FUCK YOU! He bellowed into the night sky…..

‘Tis the Season

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So it’s the “Holiday” season here in the United States and I thought I would take some time away from all the mirth and merry making to document (and ridicule) all the absurd expectations that we as consumers are pressured to fulfill as we fly through this time of year, busy, stressed out and overwhelmed.

The Christmas Holiday season officially starts on the day after Thanksgiving, however anyone who lives in this country knows full well that retailers start stocking their Christmas stuff as early as September. I can confirm seeing Christmas lights and decorations in Home Depot for sale even before Labor Day. It seems the unofficial line to start Christmas shopping is right after the “Back to School” sales which amusingly start in July, even though most children don’t go back to school before the end of August or early September.

The shopping fun begins in earnest on “Black Friday” one of many unofficial Holidays invented by retailers that purport to give their “best” deals on this day. This is not accurate and you can pretty much start saving money on “Black Friday” specials usually right after Halloween ends in October.  In recent years, many of the retailers have started their Black Friday specials on Thanksgiving Day, which is the day before the actual “Black Friday” Holiday. This has caused some consternation in this country as many traditionalists feel the Thanksgiving Holiday is meant for family time and they express their outrage on many a Facebook post. It is unfortunate that you could have to work on Thanksgiving,  but I can say with confidence that the retailers would not pay their employees time and a half(by law) on that day if it wasn’t worth it to them. So while many turn their nose up at this practice, there must be many more who quickly gulp down their Thanksgiving meal and head right out to the mall or big box retailer to get their hands on some Black Friday specials before Black Friday “officially” starts.

To be fair, I can’t blame them. Black Friday is well known to be a grueling, stressful en devour. Every year the media treats us to such images of shoppers lining up outside of a store in the elements to be one of the first to get their hands on a deal. Every year there are stories of problems, traffic jams, brawls, and even deaths happening because someone didn’t look both ways before crossing a parking lot, or someone got into an argument and got killed over a Black Friday deal.

Don’t take my word for it. Here is a website devoted to documenting such events:

http://blackfridaydeathcount.com/

You may have noticed the casualness of how I mentioned that people actually get killed on this Holiday. They died shopping for deals on overpriced material items that are not necessary. Such is life in America. We don’t really care. Oh sure, you might see some social justice warrior with a website and an ax to grind rail about such things, but the vast majority of Americans just see it as something that happens in our way of life. The only other subject where I see such detachment from reality is the notion that more guns, more weapons, more powerful weapons, and more bullets in the hands of every American somehow makes us all safer when all research, logic and reality fly in the face of that notion.

The real kicker is that Black Friday is just the beginning. Then we have “Cyber Monday”, the first Monday after Black Friday where you are supposed to get all the best online deals. Once again, the term is misleading as “Cyber Monday” deals show up pretty much the entire month of December. After that is “Green Monday” which is the day when supposedly the most money is spent on Christmas shopping in a single day. Since retailers don’t know what day they make the most money is until after the Holidays, they seem to just pick a random Monday in December and that day becomes “Green Monday”. Again, sales and deals are not limited to just that single day, but throughout the Holiday shopping season.

While this may seem excessive, it really does not give an accurate description on how crazy the BUY BUY BUY BUY BUY A WHOLE BUNCH OF WORTHLESS SHIT CONSUMER messages get this time of year. It is relentless. Every day I receive messages in my Inbox announcing deals available to me. Every single vendor I have ever bought something from in my entire existence sends me things. I get Black Friday offers from companies where I bought one item on a one time thing that I will never do again. I don’t need a Black Friday deal on some backup software I purchased 2 years ago for a one time need and have never used again. But I get offers from that vendor announcing Black Friday deals on another highly specific, and unnecessary software suite they offer. I get Black Friday deals from charities I have donated to. Apparently they have special Black Friday deals where you can donate and get some useless tchotchkes in thanks for your donation. Of course the television, radio, internet, magazines, newspapers, billboards, public areas, buses, trains and hell, even sky writers all blast Americans with messages to remember the Holiday season and BUY BUY BUY!

Leela: Didn't you have ads in the 21st century?" Fry: Well sure, but not in our dreams. Only on TV and radio, and in magazines, and movies, and at ball games... and on buses and milk cartons and t-shirts, and bananas and written on the sky. But not in dreams, no siree

Leela: Didn’t you have ads in the 21st century?”
Fry: Well sure, but not in our dreams. Only on TV and radio, and in magazines, and movies, and at ball games… and on buses and milk cartons and t-shirts, and bananas and written on the sky. But not in dreams, no siree

I could write an entire dissertation on how we as Americans are indoctrinated from birth, sometimes even conception, to be a dutiful consumer and buy some shiny worthless shit we don’t need. It is the backbone of our entire culture. We are born and bred to get an education, get a job and start consuming. Fuck what they say about baseball, this is the American pastime.

I will close with 2 egregious examples of the insidiousness of the consumer culture this time of year and then let go of your ear.

One is that every year, Lexus, a luxury car manufacturer will promote their own Holiday shopping deal, called “December to Remember” This is where they push people to purchase a car as a Christmas present. A car! An automobile is usually the 2nd most expensive thing most people will ever purchase in their entire lifetime after a house. It can typically take 3-7 years to pay off such a purchase. Never mind the fact that a Lexus will cost you at minimum around $40,000. Yet Lexus does this every year. They even sell these giant red bows to put on the car that you purchased. Even I will admit that the bow is quite pretty, but please, buy a fucking car as a Christmas present?? Who does that? Well, some people must as Lexus does this campaign every single year. It must be successful because other car manufacturers have followed suit.

The second example is one that every man who lives in America will nod their head at in recognition. The large jewelry retailers will conduct adverting campaigns to influence men to buy overpriced jewelry and diamonds for their beloved at Christmas. They pull out all the stops and use every tool at their disposal to convince men that a small glass like chip of super aged and compressed carbon is all they need to fix whatever problems exist in their relationships, and the perfect gift to please their girlfriend, lover, wife, or significant other. They even push the notion of purchasing an engagement ring and doing a marriage proposal at Christmas. Essentially the jewelry companies are making the single most important decision of your life(who you will marry, and ostensibly live the rest of your life with) into a consumer purchase. It happens every year. Every year. Yet no one bats an eye. It is quite routine I assure you.

Finally, I will admit that I am not immune to the consumer culture of America. I too get all excited by the prospect of receiving some overpriced piece of technology that will allow me to live my life with just a bit more convenience. I LOVE my toys, there is no denial of that. I also enjoy purchasing gifts for my loved ones. It is an enjoyable experience to give someone you care about something that they want. Notice I have yet to mention the actual, supposed reason for this Holiday. I am an atheist so I am not speaking of the birth of Jesus Christ. Rather, I am referring to the notion that this is the time of year to reach out to your friends and loved ones, and spend some time with them, let them know you care for them, and appreciate them in your life. I do that, but it is an afterthought. Most of my time leading up to Christmas is spent figuring out what I need to buy and for whom. Once that is done, then and only then do I turn to the “real” reason for the Holiday. That seems to be some fucked up priorities. But what do I know? I am just an idiot consumer living in America.

Thanks for reading…

tMoD

“Mr. McGee, don’t make me angry…

…You wouldn’t like me when I am angry” – David Banner(The Incredible Hulk)

“Anger is a gift” – Rage Against the Machine

I was reading an article in Psychology Today about anger, and it’s usefulness as a positive, not a negative emotion. In the article it stated that psychologists are realizing that anger is a useful emotion for human relations. It is the precursor to problem solving, it helps focus and galvanize action, and relieves stress. It promotes problem solving, leadership, and paradoxically, cooperation. It freshens your breath and makes your teeth whiter. (Ok, I made that last one up). The article stated that psychologists are now realizing that anger is not a completely negative emotion that needs to be restrained, contained, or overlooked. It is a useful tool to express thoughts and feelings and resolve conflict.

This is a point I feel like I have made repeatedly to people online and in real life. I am very much in touch with my anger, and have no problem expressing it in the most hateful and malicious possible way if provoked. Because of this, I have received feedback from many, many people to “just let it go”, “calm down”, and “take it easy.” I have gotten pitying comments that it is really a shame I seem to have an issue with anger management and that I allow myself to be consumed by such negativity. To which I say:

FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK YOU!!!!!!! DIE IN A FUCKING FIRE IN A POOL OF YOUR OWN SWEAT AND VOMIT!!!! I HOPE YOU GET RUN OVER BY A TRUCK AND TASTE YOUR OWN BLOOD!!!! DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE DIE!!!

Then they say I have a problem with anger. Pfft. Pussies. Anger is not the problem. It’s how it is expressed. I am definitely in touch with my anger, and yes, it has gotten the best of me at times over the years. The dents in my car’s dashboard and the holes in my plaster walls can attest to that.

But I love and value my anger. I already know what this article I read in Psychology Today has confirmed for me. It is a useful emotion when properly channeled.

Don't mess with the volcano my man, 'cause I will go Pompeii on your... butt.

Don’t mess with the volcano my man, ’cause I will go Pompeii on your… butt.

Yet this is not what people seem to believe. All I ever hear from people is about how anger is destructive, how it needs to be contained and managed. If you are a person who does not manage to contain your anger you can be arrested and sent to “anger management” classes. This is where you end up punching pillows in a therapist’s office as a way to constructively express your anger without hurting others. It doesn’t work. Pillows don’t make up for the faces of the smug assholes whose unwillingness to acknowledge either their smugness, or assholery, make it very difficult NOT to punch them in the face.

But I do see the usefulness of this emotion. My anger has focused me, motivated me, challenged me, and has helped me solve many problems. It helps me see things accurately and with clarity. It helps me stand up for myself, and confront others when I feel I have been wronged. But I don’t think I have ever had anyone complement my anger, or say it was really sexy when I angrily insulted the jerk that cut me off in traffic. That’s really a shame. For some reason,  that’s when I feel the most powerful and desirable.

So I got written up at work. This was also partially due to the perception that I have an attitude problem. There was nothing specifically mentioned about what I did or said to cause the write up, rather it was the person’s perception of my attitude that seemed to doom me. Apparently they perceived that I did not want to assist them or I felt their issue was not a priority. This was somewhat accurate, but ultimately faulty as I was actually concentrating on their skull and trying to get it to exploded in a spray of blood and bone through sheer will power. Unfortunately it didn’t work.

I seem to recall my thoughts at the time. I think they sounded something like:

“FUCK YOU!! FUCK YOU AND YOUR BULLSHIT PROBLEM THAT MEANS NOTHING TO ANYONE BUT YOUR OWN SELFISH EGO!!! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! I MAKE YOUR HEAD EXPLODE!!!! I KILL YOU!!!  I WILL FEAST ON YOUR BOOOOOONNNNNEEEEESSSSS!!!”

As part of my punishment, I must take an “anger management” class. This amused me as I have never, ever truly released my anger on anyone at work. In all honesty, I am not even sure WHY they want me to take this course, I think it is just the next step in the employee manual dealing with employees who are difficult or don’t fit in. I am looking forward to finding out what it is about. Hopefully, it’s about more than punching pillows and revealing your pain to some bored therapist. But I doubt it.

How dare they attempt to “manage” my anger, anyway? I can assure all who care that I am doing a fine job on my own. The simple fact that so many people are still breathing, and I am not dead or in prison for life are a testament to that.

I believe it comes to this. People are threatened and intimidated by my anger, and they are using societal pressure and sanctions to reduce or eliminate it. They will not succeed. My anger has been and will remain a treasured part of my psyche. I am proud and honored to feel so strongly about things as to make others uncomfortable or even frightened. I say that is not my problem, it is theirs.

And to those that would disagree, I say:

“That’s an interesting viewpoint. I hadn’t thought of it that way. Please, sit and let us discuss our differences over wine, bread and cheeses….. I insist.”

Thanks for reading….

tMoD

 

I am an Apt Pupil

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I recently began reflecting on some of the most formative, and influential things that have shaped me over the years and brought me here to this blog writing such intimate and personal things about myself.

One of those would be the story “Apt Pupil” by Stephen King. This is the second story in “Different Seasons”. It is the story of a boy named Todd who discovers that one of his elderly neighbors is actually a notorious Nazi fugitive, living under a false identity. Todd is quite precocious for a boy of 13, as he suspects his neighbor, then goes about following the man secretly, and even acquires his fingerprints from Mossad to compare them to the fingerprints he has lifted from his neighbor’s mailbox.

After he confirms that this man is indeed the fugitive Nazi he believes he is, he confronts this man on his doorstep. The Nazi, Dussander, is quite surprised by this accusation and after initially denying it, finally admits that yes, he is this man. He is quite taken aback when Todd explains he has no interest in turning him in. But he does want something from Dussander. He wants to know all about the things he has done. All the crimes he has committed, all the gory details. All the “gooshy” parts, he tells Dussander.

Todd is quite fascinated by the Jewish Holocaust. Once he learns that over 6 million jews were killed, he rapidly and voraciously consumes any information he can find about it. He is quite excited by the prospect of hearing first hand accounts from a man who has perpetrated such atrocities.

Over time Todd continuously visits Dussander and listens to the many horrors that Dussander has both witnessed and committed. The two become strange friends. They develop a co-dependent relationship. Todd forces the relationship by threatening to turn Dussander in. The tables are turned on Todd when he is forced to accept Dussander’s help in fooling a guidance counselor who has requested that Todd’s parents come in for a meeting. Dussander pretends to be Todd’s grandfather and is able to fool the guidance counselor into believing him.

The story picks up four years later as the two begin to be affected by the stories and memories Dussander tells Todd. They both begin to suffer nightmares. To alleviate their suffering, both men take to killing homeless people as a way to distract themselves from their nightmares. The thrill of committing murder temporarily makes them feel better.

At first, neither knows the other is killing homeless people. This changes when in the midst of offing his latest victim, Dussander has a heart attack and must solicit Todd for assistance. Todd cleans up the body of the derelict and takes Dussander to the hospital.

While in the hospital recovering from his heart attack, Dussander is recognized by a former holocaust survivor and before he is arrested, Dussander commits suicide. After he dies, the bodies of his homeless victims are found in his basement.

This sends Todd into a tailspin of fear and paranoia. He too has killed several homeless people, plus he knows he will be questioned about his relationship with Dussander and his knowledge of the bodies found in Dussander’s basement.  He finally snaps when the guidance counselor who he and Dussander fooled several years ago shows up and asks how he came to be involved with a Nazi war criminal. Todd kills the guidance counselor and essentially commits “suicide by cop” by going to a secluded overlook and shooting people in cars until he is finally taken down and killed by the authorities.

The best thing about the story, and really the best thing about Stephen King’s writing, is the way he portrays his characters inner monologues and inner lives . While the story is told in the 3rd person, we are privy to what is going on in the minds of most of the main characters. Todd’s internal monologue is markedly different from the way he portrays himself to his parents, his friends, the entire outside world. Internally Todd is angry, contemptuous and disinterested in the usual trappings of society that make his parents and peers happy. He goes through the motions and is quite successful in his endeavours. He gets good grades(except for the time when he first meets Dussander), he is an excellent and awarded baseball player, and has an attractive and desirable girlfriend. He is preparing to go to college and would seem to have a bright future, should he desire it.

But he doesn’t care about any of these things. They are obligations he must keep up to be allowed to pursue his “GREAT INTEREST”, the Jewish Holocaust. He is quite fascinated by this dark chapter of human history. He has no interest in “regular” sex with his girlfriend. He can only get off by fantasizing about rape and torture. He despises most people,  his peers, his teachers and he can barely tolerate the day-to-day interactions with his parents. He kills derelicts because he is disgusted by them, by their weakness, by their inability to keep themselves clean and free of alcohol. It provides a relief to the pressure he feels to keep up appearances.

All of this is well illustrated by the way we are privy to Todd’s inner thinkings as he interacts with others. For example, he comes across as embarrassed about being congratulated by his father about making the “All star” team in baseball. But inside, he literally does not care, thinking to himself “Who gives a ripe fuck?” When his father laments how youthful and glowing Todd’s girlfriend is, Todd thinks “She’s a bitch in heat. Maybe that is what makes her glow.” Todd’s agitation escalates as he either realizes, or convinces himself that Betty Trask, his girlfriend, might be Jewish. When speaking to his father, he thinks to himself “Your buddy Trask is a yid! That’s why I was impotent with his slut of a daughter last night!” Finally, a part of him takes charge and tells him (internally) “Get a hold of yourself right now!” Its as if those thoughts are shut off behind a steel trap.

Boy do I relate to this. I feel so different from other people, so removed, so annoyed and contemptuous of people’s everyday banal concerns. I feel like I see  through the world,  and see how things really are. That knowledge disgusts me. I have judged the world and all its stupid inhabitants and found them wanting.

I am very interested in the dark side of human nature. Serial killers, sex crimes, horror and death all capture my attention.  Like Todd, I have found the Jewish Holocaust a source of great interest and fascination. While the systemic extermination of a particular group of people, be it for ethnic reasons, religious reasons, political reasons or otherwise is certainly nothing new and has been seen many many times even AFTER the Jewish holocaust, there is something so compelling about the way the Nazi’s went about this. Never before, and never since has there been such an organized and efficient mechanism to exterminate a particular group of people. They made it their business. My own German heritage is quite piqued by the way the Nazi’s drove the process. They almost succeeded in wiping the Jews from the Earth. While I do not admire the horror they inflicted upon the world, I am not ashamed to say I admire how they went about it. The rise of Nazi Germany, what they did, and how they went about it illustrates to me the true darkness of human nature. It is so fascinating to me. It is a sickly thrilling feeling to contemplate how their ways could be applied to many of society’s ills. In fact, this is referenced in “Apt Pupil” when Dussander learns that Todd will be bussed to another school district as part of affirmative action. “Ah yes, the Schwarze.”, he says. “For years, America has fretted about what to do with the Schwarze. But we know the answer, don’t we boy?”

So am I an evil sociopath like Todd? I don’t think so. I never have, and don’t believe I ever could hurt someone in a sadistic and unfeeling manner. Rather, my contempt and hatred of others is a defense mechanism. I am very compassionate, sensitive and caring but only to those I allow close to me. Like Todd, I am very disinterested in the typical concerns of most people. I find most people to be hypnotized by the glamour of modern society. They go along without question, believing in the usual myths about how life is fair and never stopping to question anything they are told. They swallow the latest tripe about society, politics, entertainment, sports and never really contemplate what it all means, and why we are here.

I do not. I question it all. I must know why. I don’t take anyone at their word. I trust my own thoughts, my own feelings, my own perceptions. Everyone else is suspect. To me, they are ignorant or liars until proven otherwise. In a way, I have given up on the many accouterments of American society and have refused to “play the game” as many people say in this country. I have chosen my own path, one that does not concern getting the latest materialistic toy, service or status that so many of my contemporaries have sacrificed their futures and the futures of their children for. What I am striving for, and what I want to do now is probably a post I will write later.

Just writing about this story again has prompted me to pick it back up and read it again. I have read this story at least 20-30 times and each time I am pulled in and carried along by the story as if I am there, seeing it happen first hand. I can recite certain passages from memory. It is etched in my brain. I too am an “Apt Pupil” excelling outwardly at life, but inside I burn with an intense hatred and contempt for most people who populate and overrun this small blue rock we call home.

Thanks for reading…

tMoD

Happy Valentine’s Day! (Sucka)

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So its Valentine’s Day today and if you are an adult, in a relationship, and you live in America, you know what that means. It means you must celebrate your love conspicuously by purchasing goods and services to shower upon your beloved. Of course this means the traditional stuff, like chocolates, and flowers. That is merely the beginning. There is a whole myriad of rituals that must be performed, and merchandise that must be purchased to appease one of the great Consumer Gods, St. Valentine.

My co-worker asked me what he should be doing for Valentine’s Day for his new girlfriend. I asked him how long he had been seeing her. He said 3 months, which didn’t surprise me. He has a history of being in 3-6 month relationships. He seems to really like the initial part of the relationship, the build up and the newness of it all, which I can understand. Since this was their first Valentine’s Day together, I advised him that he would need to go all out. He couldn’t afford to screw it up if things were going well and he was happy in the relationship. I told him he needed to purchase something sweet, sentimental and befitting of the Holiday, such as flowers, chocolates, lingerie or jewelry, as well as an overpriced greeting card. I explained he would also need to schedule an event, something romantic and out of the ordinary that allows him to show her off, and show the world that on Valentine’s Day, this is who he is choosing to spend the day with. I told him that he would need to create something personal specifically for her. It would have to be something that let her know his feelings for her. Perhaps a note, story, poem, dream or erotic fantasy that he concocted specifically for her. I suggested a mix USB drive, (Formally a mix CD, formerly a mix tape) of songs that made him think of her. Since it was on a USB drive, he could also include notes as to WHY the song made him think of her. Finally, I told him, he needed to ensure that if they were sexually active, he would have to bring his “A-game” to the bedroom and treat her to a night of erotic delights, whatever that might entail. He thanked me and after reviewing everything he had planned, the only thing he needed was the personal creation. Other than that, he was all set.

It’s these moments that make me glad I am married. Oh sure, I can’t afford to ignore Valentine’s Day, and yes, I too need to make sure I am covering everything I told my coworker to address. However after being married for 10 years, the expectations are greatly diminished. This is not a bad thing. We are close enough, and our relationship is strong enough for me to mention Valentine’s Day in passing and to share a chuckle with my wife that we don’t have to go all out for this Holiday. But I am not a fool. This Holiday must be acknowledged, woe be it to any man who doesn’t pay fealty to this Holiday. While not as critical as a Birthday, Anniversary or perhaps Christmas, you cannot afford to ignore or overlook this one. I bought her a sentimental and overpriced greeting card. I made her red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing and fed her one. (Just one, I don’t need her gaining weight, heh). I wrote her something special in the card, and wrote a short sexual fantasy that I sent her through e-mail. We will be acting out that fantasy later today or tomorrow. The only thing I didn’t cover was the public display of my love for her. One of the nice things about being married or in a stable, long-term relationship is that you don’t have to worry about how your relationship may appear to others. Since we share resources it is both our money being wasted if we insist upon going out on or around Valentine’s Day. I am fortunate that she agrees that going out this time of year is a hassle and a waste of money so I get a pass on this requirement.

So don’t be stupid and tell yourself you don’t need to make a big deal about this Holiday. Be sure to acknowledge your beloved, your romantic partner, your hook up for the evening with some lovely, disposable and ultimately empty material items. Do your duty as a responsible and obedient consumer and lubricate our great economic Ponzi scheme with the blood, sweat, and tears of your hard-earned money.

Ahhhh, that is some delicious cynicism.

tMoD

Who is the Master of Darkness?

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Everywhere I go, people are constantly asking “Who is the Master of Darkness?” “What makes him tick?” “What is he all about?”

I was at the urinal the other day when I was accosted by a paparazzo asking me all kinds of inappropriate questions. “What are you doing?” “You see the game last night?” “Cold in here, huh?”

Jeez, pal do you mind? I would appreciate my privacy.

Anyway, don’t listen to the idiots in the “lamestream” media.(Ha! Lamestream, I love that.) They know nothing about tMoD. As Chris Hansen might say, “Why don’t you take a seat over there.” and let me tell you about the Master of Darkness…

It’s from a song. “Gemini” by Slayer. Of course. Anyone who knows me(the precious few) would not be surprised by this. They are by far my favorite band. They pretty much have 2 types of songs. Super fast, intense, aggressive and angry. Conversely slow, grindy, intense, aggressive and angry that builds to a super fast song.

Gemini is the 2nd type, it starts slow and then builds. But the lyrics are where this song really speaks to me. It starts:

“Endure the pain, you know my name, I am your soul insane.”

“I am no one. No one who cares”

“I am your soul’s despair.”

Next verse:

“Your fear deceives, vulnerability””

“Leaving an easy prey”

“Consume your mind, a power so divine”

“that will take and rape you blind.”

Then it builds slightly to a pre-chorus with the following:

“Gemini, master of demise.”

“Your death is my salvation to a kingdom mine.”

“My lord and my light”

“The master of darkness”

“Your death is my salvation to a kingdom mine…”

Something about the way the singer snarls “the master of darkness” really struck me. It got stuck in my head. I liked the way it sounded, both in my head and to say it aloud. I liked the way it made me feel. I started referring to myself as “the master of darkness”.

The song builds with another verse:

“You look at me with eyes of fate”

“And see the graphic truth”

“Your ignorance cannot shield you”

“From your naked abuse”

“Numbing your moral sense,”

“Facing reality”

“That life is unconditional”

“And death is only the beginning…”

From this point, the song picks up its pace and after several guitar solos crescendos to a double time bass drum.

It ends with:

“Walking slow, breathing heavy”

“You could see death sweat”

“How it shined”

“An argument out of control in my mind”

“I’m here for the sole purpose of your death”

“Walking slowly, breathing heavy”

“An argument out of control in your mind.”

“I’m here for the sole purpose of your death”

“Look into my eyes, you’ll see the revelations of your demise”

“Feel the pain that stares at the center of your heart”

“Reflections of my soul”

“Reflections of the dark”

In examining the lyrics, it seems pretty clear the song is about the darker parts of the self. It has an aggressive, adversarial quality. It’s as if the darker part of the psyche is taking over in a calculating, sinister way. The lighter side is doomed, the dark is taking over. There is no stopping it.

This appeals to me now and definitely appealed to me when I first heard the song. That was a dark, miserable time in my life. I was alone and lonely, down on myself, sad, full of self loathing and self-hatred. Perhaps I found solace in the song, perhaps it made it easier on me to think that there was a dark part of myself actively trying to ruin me. Perhaps it gave that part of myself an identity, something tangible that I could point to that was wrecking my life. Maybe that made it easier on me, or gave me a reason to be as miserable as I was. It gave me an excuse to do nothing about it. After all, why bother? How could I overcome such a dark, malevolent presence inside me? What’s the point? There is nothing I can do anyway…

I am so glad I am not like that anymore. Now I love this part of me. I love the master of darkness. That is the part of me that steps back, observes all with a jaundiced eye, and passes judgment on the world and all its stupid inhabitants. It’s the part of me that doesn’t listen to others, that walks alone, stands alone, and decides for myself what is best for me, what I will do, and how I will respond. It’s a bit selfish, I suppose. But that’s ok. It’s ok to be selfish. After all, if I don’t take care of myself, and take responsibility for my place, my status and my life, who will? Nobody, that’s who.

The master of darkness is the part of me responds aggressively and assertively when I am challenged. It’s the part of me that questions EVERYTHING. Why are you like that? Why would you do that? Who are you to tell me such a thing? What gives you the right to act that way? Who do you think you are?

I love that when I refer to myself as the master of darkness, it puts people back on their heels. They are uncertain how to proceed.

What does that name mean?

Does that mean you are evil?

Does that mean you worship satan?

Answers: None of your business. No. Who?

Now I use the master of darkness to stay covert online. I write a lot of private, personal information here, and the last thing I want is someone to google my real name and come across this blog. It’s weird I have no problem with strangers on the internet knowing my personal business, but I guess they don’t really know me anyway. They only know what I write. I seem to be compelled to write such personal, private things. I am still contemplating why. Perhaps that will be a later post.

I love the master of darkness, and am happy and proud to say that whatever tMoD is, I am glad it is a part of me, and a part of my life.

Thanks for reading….

tMoD

 

I have been in therapy for 16 years

I started therapy in 1998. I was deeply unhappy, single, lonely, working at a very stressful job that had really gotten even more stressful. I was a temp staffer, I recruited and placed workers in temporary jobs. It was very labor intensive, a lot of phone work, dealing with a lot of “challenging” personalities, and just a lot of work. I had an especially difficult week, a lot of things had fallen through but I had made some calls late Friday night and got everything settled…

…or so I thought. By Saturday, several people had suddenly backed out of assignments they had recently accepted. So I had to work again that Saturday, making calls, arranging things, trying to get in touch with people. Plus, I had to let someone go from an assignment as she was not working out. She took it badly. She was baffled, totally upset, and she started sobbing on the phone. It was awful. The next day I had to work again as I had yet another person back out of an assignment. I realized I had worked all weekend and had to face another week of work with no break in sight.

Something inside of me collapsed. I couldn’t go in to work the next day, I called out sick. I called the EAP service I had at work. It was very difficult for me. I realize now that I was depressed and it makes it difficult to take action. But the person there was helpful and set me up with a therapist. I remember his name was Terry and he was friendly and sympathetic. He gave me several names to call for further help. I set up an appointment with one.

Her name was (and still is) Rose. She is a baby boomer, grew up in the 60 s and 70 s and has been through a lot. She is Irish and catholic and like myself, doesn’t have a lot of respect for the catholic church or religion in general. She has a cool but friendly demeanor and doesn’t feel sorry for me or let me be down on myself. I remember early on I shared with her how I felt my face was long and how I felt that my teeth were crooked. She looked at me with a mixture of bafflement, amusement, and pity and told me “I don’t think your face looks long and you’re teeth aren’t crooked.” It seemed to be the truth and made me feel better.

I remember I used to sit on the floor in her office. After a while I started sitting on her couch. I guess because I started to feel better about myself.

Once I finally allowed myself to start therapy, I dove in headfirst. I spent a lot of time in the self-help section of Borders. I read tons of books recommended to me by Rose. I remember one in particular called “I don’t want to talk about it”. The gentleman who wrote it grew up in my area and his main point was that for men, manliness is a status that must be earned and can easily be taken away. Men are not men based on their genitals, but rather their status ascribed by others. I found this to be particularly true when reflecting on my upbringing where I was constantly hit with messages to “man up”, “cut the apron strings”, “grow up”, “stop being a baby”, “take a lap”, “rub some dirt on it”. The list goes on and on.

Initially, I went to therapy several times a week. There was a lot to talk about. My main focus was to find a girlfriend. I had never really been in a true relationship up to this point. I practiced what is called “cognitive-behavior” therapy. Colloquially known as “fake it till you make it”. I would change my behavior and my thoughts about myself would follow. It worked. I found that therapy improved all my relationships as I was now much more comfortable with my feelings. I became closer to my family and particularly my sister at the time. I became more open and confident. And eventually, I found a girlfriend.

I went to group therapy for a time. It was a mixture of men and women and was similar in nature to what is seen on TV and the movies. We would take turns talking about whatever was going on in our lives and offering support, advice and encouragement to each other. I enjoyed it for a while, but as I got more seriously involved with my girlfriend at the time, group therapy became more of a burden than a release. I remember I quit the group after I was very disappointed in several of the members attitude toward the pop artist “Eminem”. At the time, he had released several songs that were highly homophobic, and offensive if that type of thing bothers you. I was disappointed that several members of the group were incensed by this and felt he should be censored. I felt, and still feel that this was just another in a long line of petty and pointless outrages that we as a society feel compelled to get worked up about. I was especially disappointed with one of the members, who was a father. He pulled the old “Won’t someone think of the children??” argument, basically saying that while HE has no problem with Eminem, he couldn’t help but be worried about the effect of his lyrics on children and in particular, his daughter. I said, and still say that this is bullshit, that in reality, HE was bothered by Eminem’s lyrics but was using the innocence of children to legitimize and justify his feelings. I was especially disappointed when no one else in the group, including Rose, backed me up on this assertion. I was hurt and let down. I felt that perhaps these people weren’t who I thought they were. So I thought about it, and after a while I left the group. I actually didn’t go to therapy for a while, I was just getting involved with my now wife, and that consumed me for quite some time.

I still continue to see Rose. She has been a regular part of my life for the past 16 years. I have gone to her by myself, and with my girlfriends, and now wife. I have moved several times, changed careers, changed jobs, changed girlfriends, but Rose has remained a constant in my life. Sometimes the sessions are dull, and sometimes they are highly emotional and charged. It just depends. I like that I have made this a regular routine in my life. Much like exercise and eating healthy, I see the positive results of therapy after I have pushed myself to go through it all. I am not a perfect person by any means, but I now like myself, know who I am, and am not afraid of being myself. I am not afraid to go against the grain, or disagree with everyone, or be by myself, or stand alone. In fact, that is a point of pride for me now. I like that I am different from most people. I am glad to be the person I am. It took a long time to get here, and I know this would not have been possible without therapy or Rose. I am glad she has been in my life, and continues to be in it. I like that therapy is a journey and I am happy to continue on with it.

Thanks for reading…

tMoD

How I Became An Atheist

I was brought up as a Roman Catholic. Any other Catholics know this is the “marine drill sergeant” of the Christian religions. The Catholic church is very big on telling its followers what to do.

I was very quiet and nerdy when I was younger. I used to live in the west, so most of the other Catholics were Hispanics. They thoroughly enjoyed picking on me and abusing me because I was different and wouldn’t fight back. The church was no help in the matter. When I got the courage to speak about what I was going through, I received little sympathy. In fact, they seemed to imply the issue was with me. I couldn’t fit in. Interestingly, my wife, who was also brought up Roman Catholic had similar experiences.

I hated going to CCD(kind of like Catholic prep courses). I hated the instructors and their out of touch clueless attitude. I hated being picked on. I honestly don’t recall dwelling on the teachings of the church I just remembered I hated going to CCD classes every week.

Finally, after fighting with mother about it for years, she let me quit CCD at 13. I never looked back.

I never went to Church after that unless it was for a wedding or a funeral. Even then I wouldn’t accept communion. I felt it was hypocritical of me. When asked, I would self identify as “agnostic” which sort of means you don’t know and really you don’t care.

My conversion to atheism was ironically almost like a religious awakening. My wife and I had been fighting for some time. It had gotten bad between us. I was watching the show “Futurama”. The episode was “The late Phllip J Fry”. In essence one of the characters invents a time machine that can only go forward in time. Due to an accident, Fry gets stuck in the time machine that can only go forward. This is especially troublesome since he is on the cusp of losing his relationship with Leela due to the fact that he is always late and is not reliable for her. After travelling forward to many different time periods attempting to find a time that has a time machine that can go backward in time, they finally go forward to far and are stuck on Earth after the Sun has started to die and all life on Earth has gone extinct. They decided to just get drunk and wait for the end of the universe. However, once the universe ends, it starts all over again with the Big Bang. Now the characters are able to get back home as they just keep travelling forward while time loops back on itself and they get back to their time line. It ends with Leela giving Fry affection as he has been able to make their date on time. He’s a changed man. In fact, the old him is dead. Quite literally.

After watching this, I was overcome with emotion. Some sadness about the situation with my wife, but really an intense rush of understanding. I suddenly realized what was true. The truth is that we are an advanced specious of monkey on a small blue rock orbiting an unremarkable star in the spiral of a massive galaxy. One of billions. The universe and time are limitless. We could never begin to know or understand all that is out there. It is an extremely intimidating concept. I realized that as humans, we are only alive for a very brief period of time. But we are blessed with self awareness. We know life comes to and end, eventually for all of us. Who knows what happens afterward? Maybe it is like being asleep. Maybe its something else.

Afterward, I lost all my anger and bitterness I was feeling about my wife. I realized how lucky I was to have someone in this world. Someone who loved me, cared about me and was there for me. I realized how stupid it would be to lose this over petty differences. We made up and I have never looked back.

The point is, I realize now how precious my life is. How fortunate I am to be alive, to experience life. To eat, sleep, walk, smile, fuck, dance, laugh, sing. It’s really quite beautiful. We are all connected. We are fortunate to experience this, whatever this is.

After this, I found all religions antiquated. In particular, the mono deity religions(Christianity, Judaism, Islam). It’s the same belief system. One, true god who picked a disciple to spread the word. It’s amazing to me how much strife, sorrow and pain has been inflected on the world due to religious zealotry. It sickens and saddens me.

I have no patience for religious people anymore. I look at them and think they are unevolved. From where they are standing, they probably think they are men, but I see them as apes. Superstitious apes, no different from the monkeys in the movie “2001” worshiping the monolith and flinging their bone weapons in the air.

I’ve never been happier. I have no guilt about my actions. I am a good person and I treat others as I would like to be treated. I don’t cheat, lie or steal. I don’t need religion to tell me how to behave or think. I don’t need religion at all.