September 4th. 2023 11:16am pdt

If you are visiting for the first time, go to the beginning.




The Desert

 read ( words)

"Wonderful. I love the desert, but in the past every visit was tempered by the availability of a nearby casino resort into which I could sink and enjoy after languishing in such a harsh climate. Here? There is nothing. That fucking woman pressed her advantage even after I admitted that I may have realized the meaning of three doors in my life. The beach; mountains; desert. Three. The number seems to be three. I am so thirsty right now and there is nothing out here. I am all by myself. Maybe Julie will appear so I don’t die alone.

Maybe much like the bullshit I have to deal with each day in the real world, this is my lot in life... To continually be made very comfortable and sink into the same to the point of thinking that everything will be ok, only to be ripped away over and over due to questioning Julia’s motives and the ways of the world too much and never bending at all. Hmm. The doors have me thinking that since all that shit resides in the long past, I can’t do anything about them in the present. Coming to terms with decisions I made out of sheer fear is not fun and makes me believe that I will be punished for all time no matter what kind of understanding may come along in the future. While I can admit that I have not done much to help myself during the last several years, I don’t believe Julia should be in a position to take issue with such behavior or my negative mindset. I don’t think it’s fair to tell me that what I am doing is actually wrong as opposed to simply being harmful to myself. Then again, I am not the one educated in this shit. Everything I say and do could be wrong in the eyes of the world.

I hear something. Not a locomotive this time, though. Something else. A car? Yep... It is approaching from the west and stirring a serious cloud of dust. Maybe Julia is at the wheel with the intention of driving over me. I wish that was funny. Being stranded out here because I was hostile toward that woman is making me uncomfortable. I am in a netherworld regardless of sitting here typing in the real world. My situation has not improved for quite a while, either. I’ll just have to wait and see. Oh, wow... It’s a truck just like the one my dad owned during the glow. What the fuck?

‘Do you know what you have to do?’ Ah... Shit. Not that crap again.
‘Go fuck yourself.’
‘As you wish.’

Smack!

Something just hit me in the face. Wait a minute... Do I see a mass of Cicadas flying around? Smack! Another one, right to the back of my head. What is Julia doing? Recreating a plague from the fucking bible? Smack! Again! I have to move. They are everywhere. I never realized Cicadas carried enough mass to really cause harm. Smack! Fuck this... I’ve had it. Time to run toward the truck’s front bumper.

Smack! Dead. Splendid. Blackness is all around, I am in pain again, yet still able to think. I can feel my own consciousness, for whatever that may be worth. There is a pinpoint of light just ahead beginning to develop. What is that? The beach? Mountains? Please, for the love of Christ, let it be a plush resort. I could use a bit of physical care right now. No, not that kind. Real care so that I can recover from the impact. God damn does my back ever hurt right now. Flash!

Desert.

I am going to strangle that fucking woman the next time I see her. She keeps asking that question, and I would have thought that by now the answer is obvious... I actually DO NOT know what I have to do. Forgive myself for making so many mistakes and bad decisions? That’s about as likely as growing wings and flying to some location where I can find actual understanding. If Julia keeps pushing toward such an end, I may as well resign myself to the idea that nothing is going to happen aside from being fucking killed and questioned forever. Or? Maybe she will come close to me like in the past so I can ravage her gorgeous form. Nope. The woman is bent upon me doing something to improve myself, and the more resistant I become, the worse this situation unfolds. How many times have I died in the netherworld? I’ve lost count.

Let us recap. Julie and I landed here, boarded a train and headed for a resort. And then? We did it again. And now? I’ve been dropped in the furnace for the third time with nary an idea of what Julia expects me to do. I am a nonconformist, meaning the harder someone pushes for me to head in whatever direction, my instinct is to steer myself toward the opposite. After years of such behavior, others have learned to compensate and often know how I will react, meaning if I wish to push further, I have to rotate the way I modulate their intentions and change myself accordingly. The process is very tiring, to be honest, yet still I have to demonstrate an innate need to leave them in the dark. I will say that after all this time, doing so is very difficult. This is rather like telling loved ones that a surprise party would be impossible, and then having to become more skeptical, suspicious and elusive throughout subsequent years, which can be equally tiring and a lot of effort just to prove others cannot accomplish such a goal. Oh, I’ve done that, as well, but the topic is a story for another time. Right now I need to consider the damned doors, be them figurative or literal. And there is a fourth door inside me that I discovered not long ago. It is not like the other doors, though, and only recently did I learn how and why it appeared to me. I don’t want to think about it much because that last door is permanently closed. Trust me when I say it is unrelated to the three, yet somehow much more damaging.

To reality...

The two soldiers on the screen remind me of all that I am not. Leave it alone. The references are daily occurrences and have pushed me down nearly as much as the holes inside me. Ugh. I can’t stop thinking about everything I have to leave out of this fucking content. Not good.

1043. The routine is finished and laundry is running right now. I’ll toss it into the dryer soon and then take care of the dry cleaning. The weather continues to warm, meaning the idea to cook early in the day and then simply reheat later seems best. Kerry is on the screen again, bless her beautiful nose (and everything else). I believe she is one of the defining forms inside my head as it relates to my obsession. This program originally aired in aught-six, so you can imagine how the feelings have simmered over the years. This is a very bad situation if you consider the sheer power of the shit situations combined with more than a decade of routing and fucking squishing. Pile atop all that crap the idea that I have no future of which to speak, and one can imagine the overpowering anger that develops quite often. I am fucking stuck like never before and I feel a massive ‘lash out’ on the horizon, be it near or far. I want to kiss Kerry’s character endlessly. She is so lovely and her eyes convey so much emotion that I almost can’t handle the sight, especially when she is sad. The character’s name is Octavia, akin to her brother, Octavian. This series is fucking amazing and I think I love her a little bit. She could hold me and make all the bad go away. What did you say? What about Jamie? Don’t get me started, motherfucks. I’ll run to the ends of the earth with that one. Anyway, I don’t plan to do much at all today, yet the daily responsibilities must be completed. I have to maintain some quality of life in this little house. Ah... There is a breeze developing. This is good. Perhaps it will continue into the afternoon and cool the shit down. Yesterday was nearly unbearable. It’s a warm breeze, but any air movement is better than the alternative. Oh, and it’s cocktail hour. I seem to recall including an image or two of Kerry within a past entry. Not sure, though. Damn, that girl stirs me to the core.

Holy Jesus fucking Christ, Kerry was only twenty-two years old when the pilot episode was filmed. Wow.

The most complex, powerful and beautiful musical instrument in existence just kicked off an eight-plus minute composition that is going to bring tears to my eyes. Just a thought. And in case you were wondering, this exact track is the driving force behind my insane need to build a pair of 4355s. I probably never will. Every other wondrous and compelling project has been left on the side of the road for too many years to count. Maybe I should not have returned to this album. The result is unwavering sadness every fucking time.

I very nearly missed something this morning. There was a split-second glimpse, yet the truth is I did not react properly after realizing that the sight could have been even more intense and stirring. But? I can’t talk about it. Just trust in the fact that missing something like that honestly hurts me deeply because all I have left in the world is my vision. Everything else has become impossible. I fucking hate everyone right now.

Friday has arrived on the heels of a rather blah Thursday evening... But one with a very nice dinner. I outdid myself. Anyway, here I sit again after something very special transpired which shall henceforth remain glued to my brain for some hours. Sometimes I don’t know how I’ve made it this far. Yesterday slammed me in one way, and then another little smack upside the head this morning has proven to me that there can be no decent future. I am a tiny person with a keyboard, nothing more. I used to ‘be’ many things. Now I am none of them. Everything I knew (know) no longer matters; everything I’ve learned cannot apply. Laundry, cleaning, cooking... These are very important to life and I will not throw daggers at such parts of living. All I am saying is the good I provide now is likely all I will ever have.

Sand again. No scorpions, nothing in the distance, plenty of questions. The doors are apparently some sort of lesson (of course, Julia is nothing if not consistent) and I need to look back at each representation to consider either how they have affected my ability to live fully or the stoppages caused along the way resulting from the same. Steuart Street was door number one. I remember everything because the drama of that day played out when I asked my boss for his permission to start work later so I could head to the City for a job interview. Heh. That was awesome because others were nearby and thought I had some fucking gaul asking such a favor. Well, door one was one of the largest turning points of my life and could have served to create an opportunity that may have brewed into a wondrous career. After all these years, imagining where I could have been with such seniority is difficult to swallow, not to mention a ton of future security resulting from the same. Steuart was the location of the local SP recruiting office. I don’t even want to think about it but have little choice anymore. I was there for an interview (preliminary) and had I accepted their offer, would have joined the RR union and had a leg-up for future openings. My goal at the time was to be an engineer on a locomotive. That may sound juvenile, but I honestly believe some childhood dreams never go away. I turned down the temporary position and continued working at the parts house because I needed the income and the risk felt too scary, meaning I passed the door like a fucking idiot. Little did I know, but the beauty and fascination with the railroad industry had only just begun. Thanks, Julia. I really needed that fucking reminder. As with the other doors, I was afraid of making a change. Splendid. I don’t need any more of this shit. Look at what I’ve become as a result.

Mountains. I see mountains in the distance, all hazy and menacing. The peaks appear as violent as the mighty San Juans near southwestern Colorado as one approaches from the north to see what they must pass in order to drive further. Frightening. Considering where I was in life when we first ventured through the passes of the San Juan Mountains enroute to Mesa Verde, I really don’t need more reminders. I awaken every single fucking day experiencing something I can’t describe due to that period. Julia can kiss my fucking ass right now. I will turn away and step toward the horizon. It’s time to ignore her panoramas regardless of whether I am killed again or not. I just don’t care.

'You must help yourself. No one else will.' Ah... Shit. I didn't need that bit of information.

Back to reality.

I don’t even know what the good is worth anymore. Everything... Each process during each hour of the day has become the norm, meaning there is nothing special from where I sit. And don’t give me a blast of shit about appreciating the fucking trees or sky or something. I am talking about living each day trying to understand why past events which affected me have unfolded to determine a seemingly unwavering course. I have never been able to let them go, and when there is a reference, I fiercely defend my position because others always seem to trivialize something that has cut so deeply, and apparently permanently. I can’t say anything or the response is rolled eyes. That is wrong. Much of what I am feeling is not my fault and could very well have caused enough fear to...

...have passed on multiple opportunities because I needed to be secure and comfortable. Julia seems to be steering me to relate the doors here in this strange world to the opportunities placed before me in life. I only embraced one – there was another but I tossed it aside as soon as it became overly taxing on my head – but I don’t believe she is going to reference it because the only difference is that I waited over a decade to throw it away, as well. I am hurting inside but the woman will not let up. Help myself? How? Am I supposed to spontaneously become brave enough to head into the world and make some dramatic difference? How the fuck is that supposed to happen? Take a step, my ass. She needs to go fuck herself, and if that means I am going to dry up and blow away in the wind, fine. Either that or Julia is going to hit me with another vehicle or something. Fuck... I don’t know. And yes, if it makes everyone happy, I am still afraid to do anything. Shut the fuck up. I stepped past those doors and ended up unhappy. Does that mean if I had walked through one of them I would be in better shape? Happy? Fulfilled? Satisfied? There is no way to know for sure, but I suspect there may have been a bit of pride in knowing that I took a chance in the first place.

‘You had a hand in this.’
‘Yes... I know that.’
‘Try.’

The air is beginning to cool, yet the sun has not moved. I sure wish my little, adorable companion was still with me because I could use the moral support, plus I love her. Everything seems a bit easier when Julie is on my arm. Maybe I grated against the other one too much for her to give me anything positive. Whatever. Cooler air means I can move around some and see if anything appears in the distance. I keep thinking of the roundhouse and all those faces looking at me, and though they were merely images, I know the real people were affected by me in a negative way and I will probably have to pay for it somehow. In fact, I may be paying for it right now as I...

...sit here and reel from recent sights and the feelings which take over my entire being when I become filled with desire. The sensation is almost out of control, and since I am alone and will likely remain as such for the rest of my life, this may actually be the result of my past actions and decisions as moved along by that big hand on my back. I’ve mentioned this before, but the truth could be that my life has been reduced to nothing more than paying the tab of the past. But... Wait a fucking minute. What about the other shit? The situations that scarred me all to hell? Do I send some person a fucking invoice? Give me a fucking break.

0909. I am on the last cup of coffee and will probably take care of some housework soon after it is gone. I have to go to the market for some items, too, and I’d like to be back home prior to cleaning the kitchen so that my morning cocktail feels rewarding. As has become the custom of late, my imagination has been running wild and causing all manner of sadness, anger and depressive thoughts, effectively rendering the simplest of operations most difficult. I’ll have to head to the market fairly early because I don’t feel at all like leaving the house today. Usually, such a mindset pushes me to take off and get the shopping done before the hour becomes too late. I have to focus upon returning home to my devices, good or bad as they may be.

1141. Everything is finished. The parking lot at the store was busy, as was the market itself, yet I strolled along and completed my grocery shopping in good time. Upon returning here, I poured a drink and organized all of the food and then cleaned the kitchen. The accomplishment has left me feeling fairly accomplished, too. Now I have plenty of time to think and relax. Believe me... I need it, because when I left for the store, the au pair was close by, all smiles and sweetness, and her image remained with me until the more pressing chore of navigating the market took over. I’d love to... Eh, never mind. My feelings and desires are most likely very apparent after all this time. I need Kerry to hold me and tell me that I will be alright. I need her to make all the bad go away. I need more than those, actually, and the result of this mass of need is me realizing I am worse off than just a month ago. One of these days I’m going to flip the fuck out and have a lavish lunch somewhere more than a hundred miles from here, consequences be damned. I am in a nearly unlivable condition right now and the thoughts of rebellion often take over. Call me what you will, but sometimes the idea of causing those who know me to be very confused can be quite entertaining. Much like the last little gathering in the garage, my head has been calculating the way others view me, and that fucking ‘norm’ simply MUST be upended. Niobe’s sister is a first-class whack job. Just saying. That entire storyline is very uncomfortable.

Anyway...

Holy God do I ever need her to make the bad go away. Who is ‘she’, you ask? Take your pick. None of them exist in reality. The pain is coming. I had no advance notice, yet the feeling is so familiar that I could probably predict such a situation better than anyone in history. She could make all that shit go away, too. The past proves such. Wow, Chiara was only twenty-one years of age when she first appeared as Eirene. I figured she was older, but such is the magic of film. Don’t fucking get me started because the industry represents door number two. I think I love Kerry. Oh my stars is that girl ever stirring to the soul. Doors? I fucking hate them all, but we go...

...into the desert of suffering.

I am realizing that all those things I wanted to do years ago are not going to take place. Stuck. And yes, Julia was correct when she stated that I had a hand in this. The flip side is having been routed and squished for many years. As much as I allowed such things to happen, the overarching truth is that such shit was not my fucking fault. I am in this place as a result of being very unhappy for a long time at the hands of other people. I already know as much. There can be no denying the fact, nor will I entertain anything she may have to say to the contrary. The fact is Julia is going to continue to test me about the past and my failed decisions, so the only recourse I have is much like the same idea in reality, and that is to just take it. That’s all I ever do. I roll over almost constantly, and after having done so for years, I’ve become so accustomed to the practice that doing so has become doctrine. Punishment will come and go, I’m sure. Three doors; three time periods. And then? Imagery from the long past. I was afraid. I am still afraid.

‘Do you know what you have to do?’ Shut up, woman.

That last word – afraid – is key on this day. I have been given very little information and have not clue one as to what is going to happen in the future. Much time has passed since I was left alone here in the desert for what seems the tenth time. I don’t even have my lovely, little companion for moral support. Alone. This is not good. It seems Julia has left me to analyze everything which has transpired between us throughout the past several days. I wish I was capable of understanding why this must be the way of things.

‘It is the way of things, my love.’
‘Splendid.’
‘Think.’

Think? About what, exactly? Sitting here every day with a fucking head full of shit because I’ve been affected so badly that I couldn’t make a decision? I fail to understand what I am supposed to think after all this time. Julia is fucking killing me right now. Sand everywhere... Maybe it’s inside my head, too. I could use a respite for crying out loud. The situation is bad enough in my daily life for me to collapse after seeing something special, and considering such occurrences will never end, I am already having one hell of a time keeping my head out of the soil. I don’t know what that woman expects. I can’t just shut off the past because the fucking thing hits me in the face all the time. She can relegate me to the hot sun all she wants, but the truth is that the real world is going to dictate my actions regardless of what takes place here on the negative material plane. I would think Julia should understand such an idea. I am going nowhere and have remained as such for a very long time, both here and in reality. Yes, there are truths that I do not wish to face, but am I wrong from shying away from them? Does that label me in some fashion? This is fucking stupid anyway. Considering Julia’s penchant for drama, I’m sure the circumstances will change soon enough no matter what I might think or say. And?

The air is beginning to cool. Quickly, in fact. Oh, boy.

I may end up forced to take steps... Forced by those who are responsible for the routine and squishing. Anger is building and will not lead anywhere good, hence such a statement. ‘The pendulum; it shaves the blade...’ I don’t know what to do anymore, and the more that statement appears within these entries, the less I am interested in dealing with other people.

The last time I felt this much cold, I died trying to return to my locomotive. Do you remember? The gondolas were left on the rails after the fuel ran out and I tried to peer inside the lead car in hopes of learning the reason for such a journey into darkness. I fell on a few occasions and eventually became too weakened to lift myself from the snow and the steel. I really do not want to be in such pain again. Maybe I need Noonian Soong to appear and tell me that I am the bird. Not funny. The sun has been obscured by clouds. Not good. The cold is beginning to bite my skin. I am not prepared for such weather. Damn. She’s done it again, that controlling woman.

The temperature is dropping so fast that I don’t know how much longer I can remain in the open. I need something... A locomotive, hotel, anything. I can’t stand here and just freeze my ass off. I keep thinking about the figurative doors as related to the past and am beginning to think that a good portion of my downfall was caused by so much indecisive behavior. I can’t be certain, but the idea that shying away from changes as I did could have affected the way I dealt with other aspects of life, not to mention trading opportunities for comfort time and again. Perhaps Julia is trying to claw the information out of me through suffering? I don’t know. Neither she nor the doors will leave me alone; beneath everything is the biting cold. I recall what I learned after moving to the Midwest and experiencing such weather first-hand after nearly all of my life having been spent living on the west coast. Ugh. Damn.



22

I believe the insolent Julia has provided me with an avenue. There is now a light from behind that is washing the landscape ahead with my shadow... To and fro. I know the source without turning. It is a Gyralight, the type that adorns the front of a massive locomotive, perched just below the steady headlamp. I see myself moving across the sand as if I am dancing. Where are the rails? Time for some investigation. Hopefully, there is a machine behind me to provide heat.

Rumbling. Spin.

Holy crap... The engine is right behind me, not five feet from my position. Regardless of what this machine’s meaning may be – good, bad, or confusing – I have to board and find warmth. The cold is becoming severe very quickly and I don’t believe I can survive out here much longer. There is no snow, just the sub-freezing temperature which has begun to hurt my lungs. When Julia makes a point, there can be no doubt it will be clear. To the ladder, I go. Wow... The cab is large and luxurious unlike the real world. Locomotives are purpose-built and have been since the beginning. This one is different, for sure. And ho-ly shit, Julia herself is perched on a settee awaiting my arrival. Maybe now we can engage in some proper conversation rather than questions floating along the wind. I need to know what this all means, unless the obvious pain in my ass is the truth: I have been reminded of past opportunities that combined with the fear and uncertainty of the two shit situations that seemed to be the beginning of this fucked up condition. Julia can fucking laugh out the other side of her face if she thinks I’m going to swallow such thoughts. That is some bullshit, although I wouldn’t put it past her at all, especially considering the crap she’s put in front of me before.

I take a seat and await whatever that beautiful creature is going to say. I am reminded of the first caboose in that other wasteland and the powerful nature of Julia’s ability to comfort me after facing the worst period of my life. She took everything away and allowed me to rest for as long as was necessary for continuing that dark, sordid journey. I don’t know what to expect here, yet Julia’s expression and calm appearance are helping to quiet my mind. This is good. I could use a bit of comfort, especially now.

‘Steuart Street was not the beginning.’
‘I figured as much. The trucking company, but does that one really fit here?’
‘I suppose not. Rest yourself and then get us moving. There is much to see.’
‘Ok.’

This is different and rather comforting, although I know in advance that there will be either a hotel at the other end of this line or some fucking dioramas displaying the past as I lived and loved it. But did I know? Did I really know? Probably not. That is what makes those damned dioramas so much more difficult to see again. This is not a fucking Disneyland train, for crying out loud. It is the train of my life. I need to take it as easy as possible right now and do as Julia suggests. Soon enough things will sour and I must be ready. Unlock. Programming. Throttle. This cab is so different from the others. Everything is soft-keyed and straightforward. No levers, just digital panels. And I see there are cameras all over the outside like some of those new electric cars. This machine could follow suit but it is full of diesel fuel. Heh. Let’s roll. Thirty. Thirty-five. Forty. The ride is very smooth. I am not relaxed, but Julia looks right at home and comfortable on the settee.

Rolling along on rails I previously did not see feels good again. There is power inherent in being at the controls of such a massive locomotive (I believe this is one of the old UP six-thousand horse units, but I can’t be certain). I know that soon enough we will slow down just like the Disneyland train and crawl through some very uncomfortable lessons and reminders, but for the time being I am going to sit and enjoy the ride. Julia does not seem to be pushing as of yet, which is very good. She is in charge, completely. Of all the shit I should have learned, at least I’ve accepted the idea that crossing her will not help matters at all. This is very nice, for now. I hope it lasts.

‘We will be there within the hour, my sweet.’
‘Wonderful.’
‘Don’t be negative.’

As we roll along, I can’t avoid reminders of the previous dioramas – both in this netherworld and within the ‘Rails’ series of entries. The fact is most of the memories are very unpleasant, as in places and situations I never wanted to recall. Julia has already placed me next to such discomfort more than once. I think I should be expecting the actual doors to be illuminated once again, and in a similar fashion to the previous occasion. Two of my favorite rides in the original Disney park are the railroad (obviously) and the WedWay Peoplemover, only one of which is still in operation, If I recall correctly. The Peoplemover was very slow and relaxing, whereas the train rides through the negative material plane are fraught with misery, loss and reminders of situations I could have altered in order to ensure fulfillment in life. I passed on all of them save for one, and that one went to shit shortly after I took steps to make a positive change. As one of my past, unrequited loves said, ‘I tried; I gave up.’ The idea did not last long. I had been longing to escape from the daily work schedule and hoped to find something compelling and more comfortable, but alas the effort did not last very long. I have no idea of where I might be now had I continued on that path. I guess I will never know because I became overwhelmed by the process of education and fucking gave up. I would rather not see further reminders of that fucking failure. I am beginning to see light ahead, just off to the west. Here we go...

‘Just relax, lover.’
‘Keep your suggestions to yourself, please. I don’t like this shit.’
‘I know you don’t. As you wish.’

I engage the directional controls and slow the mighty engine just as a scene appears to the left. Oh, boy... Auto parts. If memory serves, I will be seeing the day I asked to come in late in order to attend the interview. This diorama is going to be a two-fold problem. I can already feel the wonder pulling at my senses as it did during this period... The living condition; my relationship; dreaming of the future and smiling. All of it kept me interested and pretty fucking positive every day, and adding the notion of actually finding work on the railroad was dreamy and stirring. There had been daily reminders that all was well, family still there for those big gatherings and such, and actual, living hope that there were possibilities yet to be explored. I see the shelves stocked with products, the counter as it was staffed each day, and the warehouse to the rear of the building. I didn’t really feel a strong need to ‘escape’ as in later years, and only wished to be a part of the rail industry due to having been exposed to such things when we visited the Midwest sometime earlier. Hmm. I scheduled and attended the interview, afterward returning to work only two hours or so later than I normally would have. I turned down the temporary position because it did not seem secure like a full-time assignment, and I would have left the current workplace only to be left on the side of the road shortly thereafter. The push was that I would have joined the railroad employees union, thus giving me an advantage over most others for future work. Well, I was afraid, so I turned down the short-term position and thanked the woman for the opportunity to be interviewed. Problem number one is that fear kept me from making a change that very likely would have led to a career. Problem number two was across the hall from the UP office where the opposing offices faced each other. I walked out and intended to head to the elevator on the left when my eyes were torn from my head and immediately glued to a receptionist in the other office looking absolutely unreal and perched on her chair just below a sign that revealed the office was for ‘Oui’ magazine. The company name was not the issue. The woman was. Thus? The beginning of something inside my head breaking into pieces upon seeing similar forms in the future. She flipped a switch inside me. I don’t believe describing her is necessary at all. The point of this diorama is most likely my inability to alter my living condition because I was afraid of being uncomfortable. Not good. Door one? Probably.

‘You know.’
‘Yes.’
‘Nothing has changed.’
‘I no longer see any point in changing.’
'And therein lies one of the problems, my dear. Think.'
'I fucking hate you sometimes.'

The diorama is fading, thank the maker. I don’t need to be reminded of the office building on Steuart anymore. I don’t even want to think about any of this shit. And that’s just one of possibly four doors that I am being forced to consider. Wonderful. Back to the controls. I want to increase speed and get the hell away from what I’ve seen. Maybe I should try to shake up the status quo and see what develops. No... Not right now. Julia is trying to help, painful as it may be. I’ll have to keep that in mind as we roll. Hopefully, the next scene is not close. This is less than fun, to say the least. The second door was many years later, although Julia is not above throwing a wrench into the fucking machinery. I should open my scope of expectations just in case.

Let’s fucking ROLL, for crying out loud. I need to feel the power of the engine. Maybe I should focus on the beautiful woman relaxing on the settee... Heh. Not funny. Would she respond like during that other journey when we made love on the driver’s seat? The response could be violent, though. Ugh. I’ll push her beauty away and look ahead to whatever is next.

Eh... Fuck it anyway.

‘You look amazing right now.’
‘Leave it alone, mister. Bigger fish.’
‘Geez. Yes ma’am.’

Oh, well. I suppose the others are not the only ones capable of squishing me. Whatever. Back to reality...

1555 is the time and I am feeling at least a little accomplished today. The usual stuff is not difficult at all, though. My head is the real roadblock most of the time. I went a bit further with an electronic experiment in the garage and made our favorite salad for this evening. It needs to sit and meld for a while. As for the project, I was told yesterday by my neighbor that the idea of placing LED lighting inside one of the empty liquor bottles was a great idea, but then he backpedaled when I came up with a system for operating the illumination via the colored lighting that already exists, meaning off the same switch. Doing so would require some fabrication and testing which I have always found very enjoyable. He didn’t seem to agree and stated that I was making the entire works too complex. Sorry, but that’s bullshit. If I can find some solace in embracing something I know intimately and create a better way of lighting the bottle, I’ll go for it full-force. The alternative is too much fucking free time and I simply can’t have that. My mind will wander into reckless and possibly dangerous territory every time. Moreover, I saw something from the window that drove me up the fucking wall, and to sit here and dwell on it is not going to help my condition. I can’t tell him that, of course, so the plan was to dive into the electronics and make the system work the way I want. That is that. The preliminary tests are complete, too. All I have to do is clean everything up and compact the wiring, batteries and relay, and then I’ll feel the familiar pride in having done something most people would not attempt. Fuck everyone else.

Enough of that shit. None of it really matters if I’m going to be considered anything aside from creative. Fuck off.

I almost can’t do this shit anymore. What has been served? Do you see improvement over the last three years? That’s what I thought. I just keep dropping further and further down, finding the daily housework and such to be increasingly difficult, and sit here trying to sort out my state of life without losing my fucking mind and flipping out one last time just to prove a point. That’s not good. None of this is good, in fact, and will come to a crashing halt as soon as I decide that I can’t fucking do it any longer. Onward.

So... Evening is here and I grilled lamb chops for dinner along with the typical salad that has become a favorite of late. And I am in the garage with music blasting because my two neighbors came over earlier in hopes of watching the football game. Well, they arrived and made an announcement just as I was trying to focus upon the cooking time which led me to fire up the garage television along with pertinent audio. Hmm. I had been watching the fourth show in the living room prior to that shitaree, so I made the decision to be a nice person and set everything up for them. Such an act entailed me changing the precious digital surround in MY living room so two-channel audio could be routed out here. Heh. Not funny. Not only did they take over my sitting space and a good portion of the bench, but I wanted to watch something else with dinner. I guess I’m just too kind sometimes. Now that dinner is over, I regained control. I straightened up the bench, killed the television audio, and put on some mood music at high volume. Now I am perched upon my favorite barstool with the game above my head and a nice, fat cocktail to the right. When I feel that my little world has been upended, the instinct to cause an object lesson takes over and then I take over everything, much to the chagrin of the others. This is very good. I cannot lose control of this space no matter the situation. The only control I have within the entire fucking universe is this garage, so if I am made to feel like a second-class citizen in my own space, the big hammer comes out. And it did. The motherfucker is swinging right now. Nice. Today is Friday, too, so if anyone takes issue with my decisions, I won’t be able to hear them. One more time for posteritty... Fuck everyone. Well, not those precious few whom I need to hold me and tell me all the bad will go away.

I swear to God as I sit on this old, half-broken barstool, I will fucking build a pair of 4355s before I die. I will fucking build and enjoy them for at least five Goddamned minutes before the grave.

This has been one of the worst days in recent memory. I am not fucking kidding, either. It’s bad. I saw far too much for my mind to handle at this late date. FAR too much, and the last one was while I was outside helping my neighbor with his car troubles whilst simultaneously carrying on a meeting about our tree being trimmed next week. There was much going on at the time. The conversations were just fine as I moved back and forth between here and next door, when lo and behold a fucking work of art that I cannot discuss went gliding by across the street. The situation increased the stress inside me as I tried to focus upon the local business and avoid staring at her. She was a fucking goddess beyond belief and one I have seen before. The feelings crippled me to the core. I could not believe my fucking eyes. The resulting turmoil had to be squashed and tempered as much as possible so I could carry forward with being helpful to both parties. That was not easy, I tell you, because I felt a desperate need to either snatch her and run away or scream at the top of my lungs and then blow my fucking brains out all over the driveway. I am not going to sit here and try to describe her appearance because I already know better. Moreover, nothing I can type from my vast knowledge of terms will convey the truth about how I feel, nor can any words suffice for describing such a wondrous vision. I still can’t fucking believe her beauty and the power it held over me for so long. It still holds. I am so fucking broken right now that the words fail. Enough for now.

Maybe not. I cannot even begin to convey the feelings inside me that developed as she glided by my field of view. There is just too much. Way too much. I really wish I could go into detail. No one wants to hear that shit. Not even me, believe it or not. I swear to Christ right now, something has to change or I am fucking dead. Bottom line, cut and dry... Dead. Trust me. The inevitability is simply a matter of time. I can’t take many more of those kinds of visions.

I am still in the garage and the time is now 2146. The prime Satanic, epic compositions are playing in the background at moderately frightening volume right now, meaning the best of all of them is a depressing, deadly story that goes on for more than eleven minutes. Eh... I am now the only one listening because others seem to lose interest when the music requires strict attention to detail and all of their concentration. I am not like them at all. I thrive on such beautiful, stirring compositions. I can’t deal with other people sometimes, so the music takes over the garage atmosphere. One neighbor who became absent earlier just returned and tried to sit on my fucking barstool, so I increased the relative power of the hammer and demonstrated the fact that I am going to sit here on my own regardless of the number of other people inside this garage. Moreover, the music took a turn for the more depressing atmosphere. They keep talking in an attempt to drown out the doom metal, yet the fact remains I have much more in reserve than their pathetic voices. Once I realize the dream of the 4355s, there will be no saving throw versus the power inside this space. And? I just added another little tidbit of information to the mix which should allow them some increased understanding regarding the music and its importance.

And something happened a few minutes ago that I cannot discuss. I wish I could let the information flow, believe me. I really do. Much of this has been bottled up for so long that I feel like a human hydrogen bomb. Perhaps I need a fuse. That last thought brings up an idea, but it’s something I should not try to lay out here on the site. I have to be careful of what I type because I never know who may be listening (or reading... Heh). Ooh-fa, I just committed an error of hilarious proportions when I tried to alter the media in the living room from my phone while simultaneously streaming music to the audio system here in the garage. The song paused and the audio from whatever had been connected through the streaming stick came over the garage system and left me fucking laughing and confused at the same time. I had to pause and fix everything and then deal with the fucking neighbors’ questions. The latter actually gained me a bit of time because they were floored by my curt nature. The funny thing is no matter how much I hammer the point of the music, no one seems to listen to my words. This will change. Trust me... I will convey the point of the music in such a way so as to put everyone off for good. The present track may help, although I have no confidence in the idea that anyone will hear a fucking note of music, let alone a single lyric. Whatever. This is temporary. Very soon I will abruptly shut everything off (without any warning whatsoever) and retreat into the house. Whoever doesn’t make it beyond the delineators of my garage door will be caught for a few minutes.

The visions I saw today are nearly too much to bear. I still can’t believe I was so close to something more amazing that I could possibly describe. She was right there... Right fucking there not twenty feet from where I was standing as I tried to make nice with both the neighbor and the fucking guy who is going to prune our tree. That’s another story, as well. I did my best. I really tried to maintain my composure and carry on two simultaneous conversations as my brain computed more than I could ever understand. The beauty was right there and a billion miles away at the same time. Never me. Just... Never me. Fuck.

Oh, how I need her.

I’ve seen her before, too. Twice; perhaps more. Sometimes I wish I had never seen her because the damage to my brain cannot be repaired. None of it. The funny part is that both of my neighbors are still here but I am not present at all. They may as well not exist. Either way, I probably don’t fucking matter anyway.

2257 and I am still sitting here at the bench. One person left because I scared him with my attitude (excellent!) and the other will probably remain until I shut everything off. For the time being, I really don’t mind being out here with the music.

Saturday morning and my head is all fucked up again, perhaps simply held-over from last night’s bullshit situation that I wish had never come to pass. I recall feeling alone within the garage despite three or four others nearby. I also recall the vision on the street earlier yesterday that drove me insane. And yes, I have seen her on a few other occasions; one in particular stood out in my mind for a while prior to seeing her yesterday in different pants. I’m going to lose my shit over her eventually. I am certain of it. There was another vision last night, too. I don’t want to talk about it. Oh, Kerry. Please help me. I can’t do this much longer. Help me, dearest. I believe everything missing inside me is causing more problems than I had anticipated.

I need to get out of here soon or I’ll go crazy.

What happened to the fucking doors? They will return soon enough.

Last night I was an unpleasant and very direct nonconforming bastard and today I feel good about demonstrating as much. The way I see it, the only bad parts of yesterday have already been discussed. Oh, boy... Kerry is fucking crocked, as one of my past loves might say (Andrea the goddess of all time). I love it, and I love Kerry. Anyway, the time is now 1307 and my stuff is finished for the day. We actually went to lunch and had a very enjoyable meal at one of my favorites, and relaxing in the booth conjured thoughts of road trips and memories of past vacations. Recalling those times is very difficult most days because I have been feeling as if I will never know such enjoyment again in this life.

And now Sunday has arrived. The time is already 1132 and I’ve not been at the editor until just a few minutes ago. I took the typical early drive to the City and back, stopped off for coffee on the way out, and saw something better left unseen. Damn. Coffee houses are prime turf for young, beautiful women these days because the jobs are typically transitional for students or those working toward a career. Just my luck, too, that the Asian stunner behind the counter appeared along the lines of the ‘lines’, as it were. I couldn’t take my eyes off her ponytail or jeans. Anyway, the drive was fine and we were home fairly quickly. I took care of some garbage business and the usual morning routine, so now I have plenty of quiet time for whatever seems best, and that includes sitting at the control center surrounded by my devices and a nice cocktail. Hmm... Tail. I can still see her little, gyrating ass moving to and fro as she worked. I wanted to lick her pants straight away and for all time. I am a broken basket case; half a person anymore.

Oh, Kerry. Help me, my dearest. Direct those big, beautiful, emotional eyes toward me and just fucking hold on tight. I need you more than ever. The issue is her character, of course, above all other possibilities. I always embrace the unreal. Always the fucking unreal. Reality is shit anymore. Remove the computer, remove the garage, and I have nothing in this sordid world. Help me, Kerry. Please, my love. Curious, I used to gush over Indira because she is so tall and slender with big, dark eyes, but no longer. Now? Kerry is akin to the other three. Maybe I need to manufacture a new moniker for the lot. Coral could be a part of the conglomeration of names, but most of the time her character is bitter and spiteful, two traits I cannot abide. Coral’s character ‘Vorena’ has good reason, but in my little world, I need what Kerry exudes more than anything else. The others melt away quickly when I see her face. Coral has the trait, too. I can’t even begin to convey how that facial feature makes my heart do backflips.

I will try to avoid describing my feelings for Chiara. Totally different, that one. And sometimes I wish I could be like one of the male characters on the show. I’ve tried, but each of those occasions forced me to turn inward after the effort. He is from the upper class, too, whereas after fifty-six-plus fucking years, I remain a plebeian. So sad. I tried and failed enough to know my fucking place in this world. At least I have my command of language. I suppose it is better than nothing. As for the topic sentence of this paragraph, it is related to the thoughts which follow... I see Chiara and badly need to show her my appreciation for such vast beauty. Use your imagination. To assist you, the word you should be seeking is ‘worship’. The other word that goes hand-in-hand with the first is ‘unhealthy’. There you go. I did all the legwork for you. Wait... Legwork? That seems to be all I have in the desert because I’ve been dumped again...

...in the wasteland of confusion and doubt: The negative material plane. Shit.



23

Desert all around. As we pull away from the first of Christ-knows how many reminders of my personality, the light is beginning to return to normal. There is a low haze and very little brush along the track. No turns as of yet, either. This is a straight line to places I’d rather not revisit, and knowing the second door could be the worst of the bunch is not helping me to relax and focus on what I am supposed to be learning. That was both a good and bad situation; more wondrous than the first by a wide fucking margin. I still have dreams of being within the fold of the film industry even decades later when so much has changed that it barely resembles the past. Door two is going to be very difficult and I honestly wish Julia would toss me some fucking comfort right now. I need it like I need oxygen. Damn. At least the cab is warm and comfortable; the rails smooth. I love being at the controls of all this power. She can rip it away if I don’t bend to her wishes, though. Mindful. Always mindful, I must remain.

I was so very close to pulling the trigger on a massive shift in life that to this day I still can’t believe I passed on the opportunity. Fuck. The first door was vastly different, too. So much so that I can’t find the words. The second? A wonderland of dreamy landscapes and magic, something which could have been mine for the taking had I not been so afraid to start over. I complained that my age at the time meant by the time I worked myself through the ranks, I would have been in my fifties and fully embracing and enjoying the industry seemed unlikely. Well, here I sit in my fifties and what is life like? Not good. I would have aged and been here anyway, so perhaps the chance of being a part of something close to my heart would have been worth a ton of fear. I will never know, and the only feeling now is sadness. I did nothing, much like on too many occasions to fucking list.

I need to pull Julia’s pants right the hell off. She would probably kill me again if I mentioned my desire, though. That is both funny and not. Whatever. Onward along the rails of uncertainty and pain. I have nothing left. The locomotive pays no mind, nor does the frozen wasteland of a desert just beyond my windshield. I don’t know what the fuck to do but sit here and take it. Remember that? It is the way I live life these days... I just take it. And when I don’t like the situation? I have to fucking lump it. That’s an old one. Marvelous. I’m old.

There is light ahead. Shit. I was hoping for more time to think about everything before being fucked over again. God damn shit fuck anyway. Thanks, loveliness. Julia doesn’t give a flying fuck about how I may feel regarding all these lessons and reminders. Everything just makes me feel stupid, ineffective and small. I don’t like one fucking bit of it.

‘I know you don’t. I’m sorry, but you need help.’
‘Splendid. Is there no other way?’
‘No. You are too closed off. Just observe.’

Great. She came from the inside of my head and I can’t do anything to alter the situation or find an advantage. Maybe she’s been right all along. But wait... What about that other shit with the hotel, dragon, gunman and Jaime? Did I learn anything? I still don’t know, and such a fact is very sad.

‘I don’t want to be in this desert anymore.’
‘Live with it. I am trying to help you make a change for the better.’

Wow. What a fucking sweetheart. This would all be so much easier if Julia would let me jump her on the settee. Heh. Not funny. Thinking such things is only going to get me killed again, yet after all these years of being fucking squished, routed and otherwise rendered like nothing more than an automaton, I am nowhere near surprised. My needs and desires have been waved off like a fucking aircraft approaching a carrier with less than stellar performance.

‘I have no doubt you’ll push unto death. You are too stubborn.’
‘I made you.’
‘True, but keep in mind there was a dire need for you to seek something outside yourself. Now look upon what you have created.’

Ah, fuck. I knew she would get the upper hand, and quickly. I can’t argue with that fucking woman no matter how much power I try to muster. Julia controls this world. Of that there can be no doubt. I am helpless and must bow to her wishes. And I am beginning to dislike the desert after decades of literally loving it.

I need a respite from this world. Back to reality we go...

1528. The garbage business is out of the way unless something else comes along that needs to be tossed.

Tuesday. I don’t know what I am doing anymore. The dreamy visions and memories have been getting the best of me, effectively stifling my ability to move outside the norm and accomplish those tasks which years ago felt second nature and very simple. The daily routine is finished and I have laundry running. Wow... Amazing. My brain will not detach itself from the past, nor can I seem to rise above the thought that the end of my life already came to pass and I am nothing more than a shadow of who and what I was in the past... A fraction, as it were. A tiny person with only a keyboard. Would that represent a voice? Nope. Just the keyboard. This site will cease to exist soon enough. I can’t maintain it beyond the end of the year. Does that mean I need to do something dramatic prior to its end? No.

1248. All of the housework is finished. Now I don’t know what to do. This day will probably not lead anywhere because I can’t stop thinking about all those holes inside me. Nothing has enough power to lift my head out of the din. The pain inherent in continually dreaming and wishing is chronic, and each occasion forces my eyes from me so quickly that there is little chance of deterring such actions. I know this, but that does not mean I can change it. Think of a drug, honestly.

Wednesday morning. I’m going to lose my fucking mind one of these days. Soon, I fear. There is only so much I can take before forcing a change. Cleopatra (daughter of the two rams) just sauntered across the throne room exuding more confidence and power than I’ve seen in ten other characters combined. Lovely. Her gait alone was amazing and Lyndsey pulled it off wonderfully. There is another character attached to the scene, yet I cannot discuss his importance. Just know it’s something that could never have taken place. The idea is akin to having been shut down during formative years, the effects of which continue to resonate. There is no way I could have made certain very specific journeys in life due to said effects. This brings up the doors, too, so let us travel to the negative material plane once again. Maybe this time Julia will kick me in the fuckin’ head. Not funny...

I still get goosebumps when I see John Milius’ name on the screen, and such a thing more than eighteen years after this program premiered. Goosebumps. I have zero influence upon this fucking planet. Marvelous. I’ve said that I am nothing more than a tiny person with a keyboard. Am I a person anymore, tiny or otherwise? I don’t know. YOU make the call. Oh, my. There is Kerry and her perpetually sad eyes. I need to drown into them, as well as her loving arms. She can make the bad go away. I know it. Too bad she is not real. Ugh. Exactly how many fictional characters do I love at this point? I’ve lost count. Not surprising. There will be more, I’m sure.

The morning has been productive but not pleasant in the least. I have my typical devices around me, much of the housework finished and the requisite cocktail here on the table. The shit that seemed to change last year continues to elude my knowledge and cause heartache, much to the chagrin of my delicate psyche. I don’t know if the issue is age, either. I would understand that, yet according to what I’ve learned in the past, such things should not come about or develop quickly at this point in life. A good portion of my problems stem from loss, as well, so I need to keep all that shit in mind when I become sad over the situation. What loss, you ask? The disappearance of some of the most critical feelings that once provided me with a strong desire to live.

I don’t like one of the images in the previous entry. It needs to change. Kerry’s fucking eyes are inflaming the dire need for me to be understood. God damn, she is something else. And speaking of visions, there is a slight chance something wonderful will take place very soon. I can’t be certain, but I will say the anticipation has arrived for two situations: One, I may see wondrous beauty for a few seconds, and two, I already know I’m going to fall off a cliff considering what took place earlier this morning. Not good, yet I will gaze anyway because I am a fucking basket case. Marvelous.

Thursday has arrived on the heels of a ‘not too bad’ Wednesday afternoon and evening. The time is all of 0740 and I am fairly happy to have hours to myself and some coffee, not to mention plenty of Kerry’s beautiful eyes all over the right-hand display. Anyway, the tree is scheduled to be pruned later this morning, so I’ll have to visit the market fairly early. I had a pretty bad time of it yesterday morning and am hoping my head will not be driven to the same type of discomfort today. Even at this early hour I can feel the trouble looming directly behind each and every thought. I do not like this because it can drive me toward very dangerous behavior, something from my past I’m sure I’ll be reminded of in the netherworld. I am not proud of it, nor do I wish to either return to those periods or repeat one of them because I lose control of my brain.

I just can’t have any of it right now. The resulting anger and sadness will ruin any chance of this day becoming positive. Yesterday I went a bit beyond the norm and felt pride for completing such tasks, whereas had I allowed the sadness and loss to take over my psyche, nothing would have been accomplished and the evening would most likely have driven me to become very upset. This is the time of day – for the next two hours or so – when I simply MUST consider the end of the road rather than the journey. Around the clock, as it were. As of yet, I have not found a way around this shit, either. All I’ve done lately is shove everything away with enough force to make the day seem ‘good’ rather than falling into a pit and losing my way. Shoving everything to the rear and compacting my feelings because I can’t deal with them is very unhealthy. Upon returning to the negative material plane, I’ll have to open myself to the possibility that rolling the locomotive through very painful reminders may allow me to come out the other side in an improved condition.

1108. So, I took care of my daily business and then dashed to the market to get the shopping out of the way before lunch time. My cocktail had to wait in the refrigerator because the morning was interrupted by my need to get the drive out of the way so I could return to some comfort. Hmm... Comfort was key when those doors came and went. It still is, perhaps more than ever. Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like had I opted to travel through one of them. I will never know. The tree trimming crew was originally scheduled to be here at 1000 but were delayed. I was updated that their arrival would be around 1100. Well, the time is now 1143 and all is quiet. My neighbor has construction taking place in her backyard and she went so far as to make sure the street in front of this house was clear today. I know she understands, but still... I want to see them arrive so I can relax about the whole thing. Oh, God... Kerry is one of precious few individuals who does not lose her beauty when her hair is worn up. I don’t know what the draw is there, either, because I’ve always preferred long hair (as you have most likely already realized). My love for Kerry is growing by leaps and bounds. Not good. Anyway...

Ah... The tree crew is here, at 1201. Awesome.

Maybe I should have a second cocktail. Today seems ideal for such a move. Conversely, I will go off the deep end. Does it matter anymore? Does anything I do beyond housework matter? No answers, as usual. Perhaps lunch is in order just in case I decide to continue drinking. The food will make a big difference, mostly toward the positive. At least I still have some common sense.

I want to fuck Julia’s brains right out of her pretty head. Just a thought. Carry on, motherfuckers.

I don’t mean to be vulgar, but there was a woman in the store who looked like a million bucks. Upon seeing her tall, slender frame browsing the frozen section, I immediately needed to kiss her vagina. Don’t give me any shit, either. I’ve been driven to such a state by time and circumstance. Fuck off and shut the hell up. This is what I’ve become. Physical desire is not a fucking crime, people. It is a fact of life and perfectly natural. Onward. I don't want to return to the desert. The unfortunate truth is that I have no choice any longer. Regardless of my overwhelming sadness, we must go back to that dark place.

The light is increasing. Damn. I was hoping to relax for a while longer before being shown the past again. Crap. I could use a break from this shit. My head ventures into the past quite enough in the real world, but all of it is typically memories stemmed by something in my daily life reminding me of those times. There is no forcing the issue at all. Everything comes naturally, such as a song or movie or the like, whereas in this place I am being pushed into detailed situations that have shaped what I have become. The biggest fucking problem is that some of it must be left out for reasons of good form. I can’t blurt whatever the fuck I am feeling in reality. All that shit must remain on the negative material plane, and the only person with whom I can speak freely is not real. Julia is a part of me; created by my subconscious much like dreams as I sleep. The dreams have become a problem on a vastly different level, as well. I just want to relax in the cab and enjoy the quiet (since Julia will not allow me to be physically close to her, this is all I have).

‘Again? Already?’
‘Just relax. You’ll see.’

This feels different somehow, and Julia’s typically stern expression has softened quite a bit. Maybe something positive or comfortable is ahead in place of a shit ton of fear and pain. I certainly hope so. As we roll along and I slow the massive machine, I can see something developing and increasing in scope. Maybe a hotel again? Some of the most defining moments of my entire life took place in resort hotels, from childhood all the way up to and including the trip to Palm Desert just over five years ago. Is it a big hotel? I can only hope because I have zero control over anything right now. Should I ask? I don’t trust Julia any further than I could throw her.

‘Where are we?’
‘Vegas again.’
‘No diorama?’
‘Not right now. Try to calm your head for a while, lover.’
‘Wow. Okay. Thank you.’
‘Don’t thank me yet, mister man.’

Aw, geez.

Our speed is now a paltry ten miles per hour as the scene in the distance grows at a snail’s pace. I don’t mind crawling along right now because I already know something very uncomfortable is going to take place in the near future. I was convinced there would be another slow pass by a diorama showing one of my favorite work days at NASA. I remember some of it, but not all. A crew had been scheduled to record parts of a documentary at one of the ballistic ranges and my excitement over being intertwined with one aspect of the film industry felt dreamy and unreal. And then they showed up with truckloads of equipment and such. I watched their setup process with the wide eyes of a child, each step being overanalyzed in my head. I am certain Julia is going to send me back in time to watch myself as I interacted with everyone and finally connected on a deep level with the sound engineer, a person with whom I shared many interests and a ton of audio electronics experience. The pace of our experiments was always slowed due to the crew needing to identify and set up certain shots in and around the gun and impact chamber. As I sit in this chair right now, I can still see all of the supplies and equipment they brought to the site in order to shoot the area in a manner so as to peak the interest of viewers. They really knew their jobs and could see the end result even before the first lighting stand was unfolded. I was in awe. Well, I need to shelve that shit and focus upon whatever the fuck Julia wants me to see. Damn. I sure miss those crews visiting our facilities. They provided wonder that went far beyond my already very interesting role in the space program.

When I said ‘dark place’, I meant it in the strongest of terms. This is fucked.

The light is now enough for me to see that our destination is not door two at all, but something much more beautiful... Another resort. From this distance it appears to be the Mandalay Bay yet again. I love it and hate it at the same time. All those memories, and much more. I must further slow our motion and ready myself for whatever awaits in that massive property. Wait... Is this going to be like the first hotel? The rails went inside and linked to the transportation center. Very odd. I’ve been to the Bay on too many occasions to list here, and never before saw anything related to railroad tracks. Interesting. Oh, I see gates. Wow.

‘We will spend time relaxing.’
‘Bless you.’
‘Stop us at the station.’
‘Ok.’

Station? Ah, shit... I do see one just west of the hotel. After parking us where directed, we venture inside the big hotel and I see it is an exact replica of the original. The lobby is broad and bright, as always. To the desk, card keys, and off into the main casino. I could use a drink because relating the first door to how I lived thereafter is not very enjoyable and I’d like to lubricate my thinking processes. At least we can be comfortable here, and seeing as Julia will generally cut me a break during very troubling times, I’m sure nothing insane will take place inside this hotel. I’d like to venture across the bridge before sitting, too. I wonder if the pyramid is present in this world. Maybe? I spent even more time in that fucking place than the Mandalay. Heh.

‘The nile?’
‘I’d love to see it.’
‘Let’s go.’

Um... Considering the state of the Mandalay and the massive bridge that crosses over Tropicana Boulevard, the Luxor should not be as it was during the early aughts. This is very strange, yet if I’ve learned anything about this world, nothing will be as it was during any point in history. I’ll just have to go with it, I guess. A bit of strolling later, and there it is. The Nile Bar. What a fucking sight. The place I sat during both wondrous and terrible times, not to mention being fused to Juliette nearly twenty years ago. Everything is exactly as it was during zero three. Interesting. We sit and allow the bartender to do his job before the conversation begins. And begin, it does.

Turning down the opportunity to join the railroad union left me feeling as if I already knew such a possibility would never come along again. I was pretty down at that point, and to say such a thing is in stark contrast to the magic of the glow. I believe I did not realize the value of everything at the time and felt that I had passed on something capable of securing a more stable future. I’ll never know, of course, yet at the time I recall the infantile beginnings of worry over what was to come next. At least the first door was not sidestepped out of fear like the second, and I haven’t even been forced to relive number two yet. Our quiet conversation continues...

We discuss the fact that I don’t believe the first door had much of a detrimental effect upon the following years. I do recall experiencing a dire need for comfort after moving across the country, though. That was also the period when I was first directly exposed to the railroad, including a ride from a small yard to switch a huge automotive stamping plant on one cool afternoon. [That was BOC, or Buick, Oldsmobile, Cadillac, one of a vast array of automotive plants where stamped body parts went from the line inside the building to awaiting boxcars at the rear.] I think I’ve gone over the experience already. In any case, my interest in the industry dated to before moving to the Midwest. Giving up the opportunity may have affected me far deeper than I felt at the time. The decision pains me more at this very moment than it did all those years ago. On the other hand, I cannot know where the position may have led. No one does. The fact remains, though, that I shied away because I was worried about the quality of life I had been enjoying during the glow. Door one is the first representation of my ability to maintain a very specific level of comfort in favor of planning for the future. Considering my present position in life, that situation appears as a precursor to other potential changes and pushed me to embrace as much enjoyment as was possible. And after a bit of discussion, Julia understands the full weight of my use of the word ‘enjoyment’. The inside of my head only spiraled from there. Julia is thoughtful and patient. I don’t like this one bit.

‘Relational analysis, my dear.’ Shut up.
‘Yeah... Got it.’ Shit.

I think my head is the real desert wasteland and this world is merely a reflection. Hmm. The further I proceed in life, the less I find importance, rationality and reason. I just don’t know what I am anymore. The desert has always been beautiful to me, as well. It is a place untouched and feral, like some unexplored planet no one wishes to experience. The condition of my head is equally barren. At least Julia is being kind, quiet and patient right now. And our bartender seems to be reading the mood; approaching almost instinctively and allowing the two of us necessary space when appropriate. He kind of reminds me of the bartender at the House of Blues in Disney World. Very interesting. I am going to sit here, drink, and consider the doors as long as Julia allows it.



24

I’ve gone in circles for more than a decade. Small circles. Avoidance of doors has not only put me right smack dab in this position, but the practice also helped to germinate the seeds of a dire need that represents the most important comfort in existence. I passed on anything that may have upset the status quo, all the while trying to embrace an idea which rarely came to fruition. I suppose I figured things would work out just fine as long as my needs and desires were understood. Well, that went to shit, didn’t it? Julia is nodding with a single finger to the side of her head. I know inside she is very angry, yet I still don’t know what the fuck I can do about it. The doors are all in the past and I can’t go back. Wait a minute... What about the one I suspected may have been door number four?

‘Leave that alone for now.’
‘Why? What took place back then is important to this process.’
‘Nope. The situation was born of your uncaring ways.’ Ah, shit.

What am I supposed to do? Build a fucking time machine?

‘I’ve never seen you so closed off and bottled up.’
‘I can’t trust anyone, ever.’
‘Hmm. Ok.’

The bar is very comfortable and reminds me of the first visit to this pyramid way back in ninety-four. The entire place was fucking amazing and I can still remember the wonder I felt as we explored the property and everything it contained. Of course, much of it is very different now, but I suppose since this world is not real – just like all those other visits to the negative material plane – the resort can resemble whatever period I may prefer. I’ve seen this before, too. The last time I strolled this casino was four years ago (in reality). I may never see it again thanks to passing every fucking door that has come along in life. So much regret. Too much, actually. This is very painful. I know I am in this position due to the doors. I fucking know it. I never listened to the early advice, either. That was a mistake that has cost me the future. Wonderful. I fucking hate the space I inhabit, yet I’ve built it over a very long period of time as the search for such elusive comfort went along unimpeded. I never allowed anything to get in the way of seeking something magical, and now I see everything. Julia just nodded in agreement. Thanks, lover.

Flash! Desert, sand, heat, wind. AGAIN. Fuck me. At least there are no scorpions present this time. Our visit to the big resort didn't last very long. Shit.

I never did anything. I just kept on with whatever felt most comfortable, never shaking any tree or upsetting my life’s apple cart. All I did was move along with the flow of time and seek the little enjoyments. Other than an incorrect burger order some thirty-odd years ago in San Jose, everything seemed fine. I guess I’ve been left here again to further analyze the relationship between my deep obsession and those forsaken opportunities of the past. Thanks, Julia... You fucking bitch. I still love her, though. I really do.

‘What do they call it when a person is given the shaft in the military?’
‘Passed over.’
‘That wasn’t what happened. YOU made those decisions. YOU did it.’
‘Thanks, princess.’

So... Here I am standing on the sand again. The weather has gone from bitter cold to incredibly hot. I am reminded of the practice track – basically a closed-off stretch of highway in the middle of the Nevada desert – when I was in charge of timing the cars’ departures when they took off north to evaluate their engines and such. The weather was very hot and dry, a condition typical between mountain ranges in the middle of the state. I was enjoying the work, though. I knew at the end of the process we would be heading back to town for a nice meal and some comfortable surroundings in the hotel. Right now I have nothing on the horizon, or so it would seem. There are no rails or anything else nearby. Wait a second... Do I hear something? Like an overhead ventilation system? What is that? I can smell hydrogen sulfide, too. I know this place. Flash! I am outside the gun room gazing at the mass of equipment dropped in the parking lot by a film crew. Oh, boy... And there he is. The sound engineer. Checking my pockets, I find there is a note folded neatly with information on the best way to pursue an entry-level position working with documentary houses. Damn. Door number two is in my hands. So sad.

Reality.

I am full of pain and no one seems to care. Or, perhaps I have become so closed off that they are unaware. No matter. I am accustomed to this feeling.

Today is Friday. Coffee is to my left and the show is to my right, Eirene appearing menacing this morning. I had a dream earlier which pretty well summed up the condition of my head for the last several months. There was an attached memory from some years ago that became a reference point for what was taking place in the dream. Now I can’t get it out of my head. Moreover, the girl in the dream was very close to something for which I have YEARNED for many years. Her mind... But more. Much more. There was a trait of which I used to daydream, and I am speaking of something from almost forty years ago that never really left my head. I can’t go into detail on this. Just know that the type of dream from early this morning is very damaging because I never forget and reality ends up skewed even further than it was prior to the experience. I needed her to converse with me so badly that I actually felt pain and loss upon awakening. I really needed to speak with that unknown girl about a few things and learn about her. This is the second time my subconscious has been tossed into a situation over which I have little control and then everything is torn away. I’ve been dwelling upon certain parts of life and trying to find coping methods for filling the holes, but to no avail. I am much worse off right now than just months ago, believe it or not, and dreaming of something I need so much is not going to fucking help. I suppose controlling the brain is pretty much impossible. I am at the mercy of my own desperate situation. Thanks, world.

Something stirring and wondrous just occurred. I am now completely depressed and in the mood to run away. Coral almost smiled just now. Not quite, but close. That is rare. Back to the importance of the dream. I hate to say it but I must analyze some of this – as much as I can, anyway – in order to piece together the past scenes in the netherworld and try to understand why such a situation has developed. Or how, honestly. I believe everything leading up to the current period has had a hand in the way I feel right now. I am referring to work opportunities, forsaken aspects of the way I handled the same, and those people with whom I had been close. All of it – something to which I refer as time and circumstance – has sculpted my psyche to operate in the worst, most out of balance manner possible. This is not bullshit, either. I am serious. The dream came along because of missing parts of life that I will never stop chasing. The search, as I called it back in twenty, will not end, ever. This is what I have been made to believe and there can be no reversing the flow of information, squishing, pain and loss. I will try to avoid the thoughts which quickly develop as a result of the first sentence of this paragraph. ‘I can’t go inta dat right now’, as my buddy Tony mused regarding his sordid past. Depression and disillusionment are going to be the end of me, sure as hell.

Yesterday I was squished by an unexpected source and reacted accordingly, and that is to say that my mood became greatly diminished after having enjoyed the morning. I can’t go into specifics, either. The bottom line is that my demeanor after the fact forced me to cut off the world (more than usual... I mean completely this time) and embrace something I always enjoy. That would be electronic design and troubleshooting in the garage. Something changed yesterday, too, and I believe the consequences are going to resonate for a long time. I am not a person with which to be trifled. My reaction was harsh and I will not backpedal as long as I am drawing breath. The situation will eventually blow over and things will get back to normal (mostly). The only means of power I have anymore is this keyboard. The best I can do for the foreseeable future is to stick with the office and control center as best I can. The anger over that shit yesterday will fade soon enough.

1157, but does the time matter? I was supposed to visit a local restaurant this morning and help with a technical issue but I stopped caring yesterday afternoon. Thus, I am still here. I am also supposed to visit the smoke shop and market today but I don’t know if that trip will happen, either. The level of caring inside my head right now is pretty fucking low, to be quite honest, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to leave the house at any time. My emotional condition early this morning was very negative – partly due to yesterday’s stupid bullshit, the other part being that beautiful and wondrous dream that scarred me just prior to awakening – and I just can’t get myself to give half a shit about anything else right now. Perhaps I should care for myself and shove everything and everyone else aside like a massive road grader. Fuck... I don’t know what to do. I have few positives left in life.

Saturday. I took the typical drive early this morning and returned prior to 0900. Now the time is 1021 and I already have my daily routine out of the way. Cocktail time. The anger from Thursday last has subsided and everything is back to normal. And there is Kerry and the eyes I love so much. Anyway, all emotional beauty aside, I am pleased that the situation blew over so I can go on about my business without much difficulty. Well, no more than usual. I am also glad that yesterday is gone. As much as I like to see the clock advance this world away from discomfort and trouble, the passage of time forces me to realize just how far in the past all those good things took place, such as the glow, the wonder of railroads, and the precious moments spent pursuing electronics and computing equipment back when the world was still full of wonder and possibility. The train ride with Julia is not the same, however. Those reminders are nowhere near pleasant. Not even close. Oh, I can see situations and events which transpired during the promising times, yet the nature of each has been tempered with pain and loss. I am not looking forward to more of the same. Let us return to that barren place forthwith...

Flash! Just as the feelings of wonder began to return, Julia pulled me out of there and plopped me on the sand for the umpteenth time. I’ve just about had enough of this. The realization above in which I related my obsession and need for comfort came about due to the opportunities for advancement being shoved aside is less than pleasant to say the least. And I am beginning to see the current period as something that could have been very different regardless of what may have come of those decisions, good or bad. I gave up trying because I needed to be in a specific type of lifestyle, yet passing on certain parts of life has left me without either pursuit being realized. Does that make sense? I never made those changes because I was afraid of being without something very important, but in doing so I also assured a future bereft of BOTH the wonder AND the comfort. Splendid. Door two really hit me hard.

‘Now we are getting somewhere.’
‘Shut the fuck up, woman.’
‘Fine. Continue your pathetic little circular life.’


I could fucking slap her right now, although inside I know she is dead right. I don’t think I need to be reminded of door three anymore. Enough, already.

‘Let me out of this world, please.’
‘As you wish. I shall see you here again, my dear.’

Reality again. For how long? I have no idea, but this shit is not over.

Kerry was all of twenty-two when this program premiered. Damn. And Chiara was only twenty-one when she first appeared in the series. Jesus holy hell, anyway. God damn is that woman ever adorable and menacing at the same time. One tiny alteration to her facial expression and she travels from young and stunning to scary and intimidating. Had I ever been close enough to her to clearly see such a unique face, my reaction would most likely have been one of immediate escape from the area.

Sunday morning. The drive was almost uneventful. We left a bit earlier than usual and then stopped for donuts on the return trip. Most of the time spent in the donut shop found my eyes glued to a waddling pair of jeans, not much of a surprise considering the sheer level of desperation I feel each and every day. Once we left that place, the rest of the drive was just fine. Sunday means business, and I plan to begin my short routine in a little while. The time is all of 0901 and I still have coffee. My mind has been racing since last night because we had a small gathering in the garage for a little while before being invited up the street to visit my neighbor’s brother. As we walked toward our destination, I remarked that his house did not seem to have enough room for all of the vehicles I’d seen him driving in the past, after which I was informed that ‘I would soon see why.’ Well, the house is at the head of a long court and his garage is all the way around one side and behind the large residence. Court properties often have very large, odd-shaped backyards due to positioning and the way the houses relate to streets behind. I was floored when we made our way to the back. Floored. I felt as if I was approaching the shop of a fucking auto race team. The garage was huge, holding one truck, one car next to it, and a third car on an above-ground lift directly over the top of the first car. Unbelievable. The ceiling was ‘coved’ above the lift and decorated beautifully. There was also excess room to the right because the garage basically followed his property line and jutted out at an angle close to the house. Never IN MY LIFE have I seen such an elaborate and amazing residential garage, and I’ve been around a while. Everything was there... Massive tool chests, built-in power and compressed air, televisions and an audio system. There were also three engines in various places that had been works in progress. Jesus. He had flush LED lighting everywhere, one double door and one single door, and a side door that led to another parking area with an enclosed trailer and a massive class-a motorhome. Inside the trailer was a boat designed for racing. Oh, and outside the garage were two work trucks, one oversized dually, a golf cart and a huge off-road quad. The man who owns all that is nearly a decade my junior. My mood dropped a bit after taking in the sight of his garage.

We had a nice discussion regarding auto racing and engines. My fifty-plus years of experience in drag racing came into play, of course. I am very knowledgeable on the subject of engine design and operation. After an hour or so, he drove us back here on the golf cart. Very nice. My head blew up inside because of what I had seen. Moreover, that huge space was detached from the house. The original garage attached to his house was still there. I don’t even know where to fuckin’ start, damn it. What have I done for the last decade? The topic of which I’ve been speaking will most likely wind its way into the story of the doors because each of the three (four?) was passed and forgotten, leaving me bereft of ambition. I am at this very moment living the fruits of my past while just up the street there is a person living the fruits of his labor, something I probably would have done had I taken a fucking step. Julia is going to crucify me if I don’t wrap the topics and tie them with a bow.

1039. The house is quiet and I took care of part of the routine. The rest can wait for a little while when I have some hours to myself. The garbage business will not take long, meaning I will have lots of time to relax and reflect upon all this shit. And... Pause.

1212 is now displayed on the little clocks. My routine is finished and the garbage business is partially done. Isn’t that exciting? Wow... What a marvelous fucking life I have here. And don’t give me a blast of shit about health, the stability of the home life, or any of that other crap. I already know I am in about as good a situation as possible right now. The issues are all on the inside and often cloud everything else to the point of making me fucking miserable. Just leave it alone. And remember the two shitty events forty-plus years ago that initiated a cycle that cannot be broken. And? Fuck off, anyway. I just saw something wondrous and beautiful. I can’t talk about it any further, however. The current period is bad enough already. I don’t need any backlash.

The next several hours are all mine. Very nice. If I can extricate the fucking imagery and memories from my brain, perhaps there will be some relaxation on tap. Right now? I am a wreck. ‘Change making changes’, indeed. Not over here.

Monday morning. Labor Day. I have the flag out for posterity and respect. Curious, this day honors those who labor, and I haven’t worked on a steady basis in more than three years. Ugh. Whatever. We took the drive earlier and then stopped at one of the markets on the way home. I wanted to jump the girl at the self checkout, too, like always. I am a basket case, but at least after languishing in the desert and all those other places, I know from where these fucking feelings were born. Most of them, anyway. The difficulty inherent in being reminded of so many stupid fucking choices is weighing heavily on my mind this morning. Julia said she would see me again, too. That means at some point I will again be ripped away from reality and dropped into something most likely uncomfortable. Apparently, she either has no faith in me or does not believe I’ve learned enough to be left the hell alone. Whatever the case, I don’t feel very good right now. At least I have the rest of the day to proceed as I see fit. The hour is early – just 0926 – meaning I’ll be heading into the kitchen to work on my usual housework soon. My friends will keep me company. And all of this is so pathetic that I don’t even know where to fuckin’ start, as usual. Pathetic. The neighbor’s garage the other night was the fucking nail. I did this in order to secure something that still eludes me. What a maroon.

All of the garbage business yesterday really paid off. Such thinking forces me to realize that I do actually work, just not out there in the force. I do everything to support daily life in this house and have been told by more than one person that I do it very well and should be proud. This is a job, too. Well, others told me as much. I suppose displaying the flag today is related to yours truly. Regardless of my mental and emotional conditions, I almost never fail to accomplish all of the necessary work around this house in order to maintain quality of life. The world threw me a fucking bone, I guess. Marvelous. I don’t always agree, however.

1052. My morning housework is finished and cocktail hour has arrived. There is not much more I am going to accomplish today, though. I just don’t care. The netherworld is sitting on my tired shoulders and I don’t like the feeling one bit. I dreamed of building a trike for many years, and after having worked on the FXR (which is still in the garage awaiting being transported to the City for electrical work), the feeling of creating my own unique machine grew. I also had plans to construct a pair of 4355s in the future. Well, after realizing the doors have severely truncated both my abilities and resources throughout so many years, none of that shit is going to happen. I have to let everything fly away and come to terms with the idea that all I have in the world are my words. This machine... The laptop... My little daily devices which provide enough comfort and enjoyment to ensure I will get out of bed the next morning. This is all I fucking have anymore. I put myself here, but that is only half of the problem. The other half? Beyond my control. All I can do is continue to live the way I have for the last two years and forget the rest. I’ve gone nowhere, and will continue in the same vein until the losses become too much to bear.

I need Julie to be there the next time I am ripped away from reality. I need her because I can’t fucking do this alone... But I am alone either way, aren’t I? YOU make the call.

The title of the book I’ve been assembling and editing is ‘The Doll, the Angel, and the Dream’. Where is the dream? I used to refer to Juliette as such, but she is as gone as the rest, much like my ambition of late. I can’t get myself to care very much about anything because no matter what I do, the inside of my head and those past shit situations cannot be alleviated, let alone eliminated. More and more I see myself sitting right here unto death. When? I don’t know that, either. The things around me are becoming less and less meaningful with each passing hour. As for the book, I don’t have any faith in my ability to produce material that might interest another person. I’ll print it when editing is finished regardless of the possibility that the story will travel anywhere aside from my office. Another notch, as it were.

In my head, just now...

‘Ready yourself. We are going to travel.’
‘Shit. Go away.’
‘You know I can’t do that.’
‘I do.’
‘Soon, lover.’

My worlds are bleeding into one another. This is far from over. I hear her voice again.

'Do you know what you have to do?'"



top