October 1st, 2023 9:33am pdt

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Between the Zone and the Enigma

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"‘Nothing good is on my horizon.’
‘Don’t say that, sweetheart.’
‘Do you have reason to believe otherwise?’
‘Yes. You are stronger than you think.’
‘And you are not as perceptive as I had once thought.’

That’s going to land me in trouble, but I don’t care. She can do whatever she wants. I am stuck between worlds – the fucking zone of the in-between – for what seems the duration, and the longer I am forced to languish here, the less cooperative I’m going to be. Julia is in control, although I can continue to grate against her vague, painful lessons without end. I am tired of this, very patient, and have endured much worse in the past. I just don’t want to see any more dioramas. They always remind me of happier times spent in Disneyland many years ago when the world was still full of wonder. The ‘Adventure Through Inner Space’, ‘Peoplemover’, and the fantastic Disneyland Railroad (a train!) all held such dioramas and other beautiful creations, not to mention the late, great ‘Carousel of Progress’, which I loved. The present incarnations of scenes that I continue to pass are not the same at all. They are reminders of key events from the past, all of which are related to the fucking doors. I love trains more than many other modes of transportation, yet these journeys of late are beginning to yield nothing more than sadness. The aforementioned wonder has gone the way of the dodo bird. As I’ve stated both here and in real life, there is no ‘good’ on my horizon. Only more of the same, if not something far worse. I hope living through this netherworld does not affect my feelings toward railroads. That could be very bad, and my head is already fragmented near the limit.

The dioramas are going to remind me of happier periods, but the underlying truth is that the way I think each day has been affected to the point of driving me insane. I sit here in this cab and realize just how different I am now as opposed to back when those situations actually played out. Further, the two shit situations continue to jade me toward aspects of life that have disappeared, seemingly for all time. I believe the way I think about the missing pieces has become greatly exaggerated throughout the past several years, likely stemming from one time period that has been thrown in my face like a weapon. The woman who was perched beautifully on the settee a while ago understood everything I shared with her, including my very truncated mindset that developed during the preceding two decades. I still carry said mindset every single day. There seems to be nothing I can do about it, nor have I been able to relax whenever a reminder comes along in the media or elsewhere. The key words regarding the way I think are compensation and validation, the latter being nearly completely unrealized considering the sheer number of years that have passed while I suffered through dreams and visions. I know why Julia keeps placing me directly in front of certain past events, too. She is trying to force me to connect my current feelings and mindset with the past and hoping that I will finally admit that my needs have grown exponentially in recent years. I can’t disagree, but at the same time I really don’t want to think about this shit. I believe pushing against her wishes is why I am stuck in between the past and present, as well as the netherworld and reality. In short, Julia’s efforts are in the right direction, yet my resistance cannot fall away because the relationship between validation and the way I’ve been relegated to live is far too painful for me to outright express. I know what the real future holds, but in this place I can’t even guess. Oh, I suspect, of course. Such speculation is meaningless, however. Maybe if I continue to chafe against Julia’s wishes I can push this world away.

Maybe.

And what will remain in reality? Desperation, desire, and a constant grating against the ways of the world. Not good. Sometimes I wish I could remain on the negative material plane and kick reality to the fucking curb for good. That might be funny.

‘Look upon the glow, my dear.’
‘Ah... Shit.’

There it is... The fucking closet door. The first one, in fact. Was it a mirror? Nope. The closet door in question was just a metal door with a handle. I see it. I also see light green. Blonde hair. Carpet. A window, through which is a townhouse and a glimpse of my car. There is no computer on the desk. There is no desk at all, in fact, because this period is years prior to my first desktop machine. I see a smile, too. Eyeglasses. My hand is on the trim of the door frame. I remember this. I don’t want so much detail, but the choice is not mine. Julia did this, most likely to make me connect that scene with the shit that swirls inside my head every fucking day in the real world. But... Why? Did I pass all those doors due to the shit situations? The way they affected me? Did each door relate to what I am seeing? That could be the case here. There is a correlation between time periods... The glow that I am seeing off to the right of the locomotive and a situation that came to pass some years ago. There have been more, but I believe the present has been shaped by certain details which were repeated during two related events dating roughly thirty years apart. The closet door and the window? Those were in my eyes just after the first door that led to Steuart Street. I need no more reminders. The lights are dimming. Perhaps Julia feels I’ve seen enough for right now. I want to slam the fucking throttle until this engine destroys itself. I’ll end up right back here, but the thought feels good anyway. There has been an inordinate amount of words beginning with the letter ‘d’ which all point to my life. A plethora, for sure. Not one of them is good. Dis- this and dis- that; you know. I need so much fucking help that any hope is diminishing very quickly. Throttle time. Let’s roll this movable feast into the future at breakneck speed. I can't seem to make any difference regardless of my actions or words, so I may as well be destructive, right?

'We seem to still be in the desert.'
'Nope.'
'But... There are rails beneath.'
'No Desert.'

We are truly in-between, I suppose. Neither of my two worlds is present in this place. I could swear that Julie and I were in this same place not long ago. Whatever. The throttle does not respond to my commands. Not a bit. We are slowing again. Shit. Something is going to appear beyond my windshields; something I probably don’t want to see. And... There it is. I see the closet door again. Splendid. Why do I need to rehash this fucking scene? Wait... The door is different. Mirrored? Yep. This is not the same as the previous situation. I believe the time is a year or two earlier, more toward the beginning of the glow. Flash!

Gone.

‘Why?’
‘Correlate the two scenes.’
‘Ah... Shit. Ok.’

I am seeing more clearly now than in years. As I had suspected, and though the details must be avoided for the most part, I’ve been driven by the two early shit situations into a place where there may not be answers to my questions. During the glow, everything was fairly new to me, as well. All these years later, I can see how my mind developed as it did, forever asking, just like thirty-four years ago. In fact, the glow began on this very day, late in September of eighty-nine. I don’t believe Julia needs to show me anything else in this place. The worlds are on either side, I am in-between, yet there are few differences separating one from another. I can see everything a bit more clearly, although in reality there is still nothing I can do about it. Fucking shit, anyway. She can help me to understand, yet the problem remains unsolved.

I remember each of those closet doors and the reason they became important; representative of the era, if you will. I know all of it, and I also realize that the beginning of the glow was a turning point in the way I viewed the world, a stance that has become so fucking skewed and distorted throughout my last decade-plus that I can barely connect one feeling to another. Nearly thirteen years ago, I initiated a very bad series of events that continues to haunt me every day. The beginning of those events was something I still do not understand, not to mention recreated very easily. Julia has helped me to relate that terrible period with the beginning of the glow, both of which quickly became critical to my happiness. The downside to the more recent time period is that it turned into one of the worst, most damaging parts of my life. The beginning of the glow was quite the opposite. There are key segments of this information that have been left out, but trust in the fact that I know everything and that is what matters.

Flash!

Blackness again. At least this time I took something away from the last journey, something much more valuable than anger. My feelings (mostly sadness) are going to bleed through to the real world and leave me in very bad shape. I already know that much. I may have learned something, but that is not to say that the knowledge is good for me. The zone of the in-between is going to prove one of the most effective tools wielded by that woman, no doubt. One side is where I was, the other being where I may be going. And reality? Right now, that one exists only in my mind. There’s a fucking oxymoron for you. I can still see those two places represented by dioramas. I don’t want to see, but the choice is not mine. I can sense that my future will not be improving anytime soon, if at all. Too many doors have been disregarded; too many needs made priorities. In short, I fucked up and did not realize the sheer depth of what could be ruined before the fact. Now it is ruined. Ugh. I don’t want to float here for very long because everything is gone, save for my own thoughts, and those are extremely uncomfortable right now. I don’t feel very good about any of this shit. There is too much ambiguity – something I know very well due to the necessary practice of veiling my words nearly all of the time – and every ‘lesson’ seems foggy, at best. I suppose I’m going to float in this negative space until such time as Julia decides to send me elsewhere. And speaking of elsewhere, let us return to the real world for a while. I am sick of this shit.

Monday morning. The sun is about to attack my eyes. Time to close the blinds a bit. I definitely prefer them open while sitting here or the room feels a little closed off. I may be isolating myself from the rest of the world, but that does not mean I don’t appreciate the view. Also, I have to see beauty other than the human kind because I just need it in my life. As much as I can appreciate the concrete jungle and its advantages, nature must be mixed in as often as possible.

I just spent a few minutes capturing frames from the series just so I can stare at the cat-girl and her unparalleled form. Wait... Is this for reasons of good form? Nope. The idea stemmed from the desire to stare at her without limit. While there can be no denying the advantage of watching her move around in full-motion video, sometimes I have to grab as many stills as possible in order to ascertain the lines and other features over which I still obsess. She is an enigma. Here comes the facking sun again. Ugh. Enigma, for fuck’s sake. Damn. What I wouldn’t fucking give...

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, PLEASE!

She is the unlikely embodiment of the race girl, someone I never thought I’d see again, but the resemblance, stance and structure are uncanny. I should have begged the race girl to allow me to shoot some quality images. She was modeling, so maybe the idea wouldn’t have been shunned. I’ll never know. Was she the ONE able to make all the bad go away? Shut up.

0901. Monday is typically pretty mellow, and so far this morning is no different. I still have the program on the right-hand display to keep me company. Holly’s face will drive me up the wall from time to time, but at least I’m used to it by now. Once the coffee is gone, I’ll take care of half the routine and then venture to the market for a few items. I may also go to the hardware store (at long last). The clock needs to advance to cocktail hour before my head descends further into various pairs of pants. My head is sideways like most mornings. I just don’t want to fall off a cliff and lose my way. There are things to be accomplished. I just grabbed two more images of the enigma. Splendid. She’s going to be the death of me, sure as hell. I can only take so much, but at the same time, I have to see. Unfortunately, the more I see, the worse I feel about EVERYTHING. I will soon lose my mind over her.

1045. Part of my mind is already gone. Too bad. At least my daily routine is out of the way. For the time being, I’m going to sit here with my cocktail and keep an eye on the right-hand display just in case there is another opportunity to capture the enigma of the universe. Goddess? Oh, that’s nowhere near enough. Sufficient superlatives just do not fucking exist anymore. I’ve gone on and on about beauty, and since the outset of fifteen, I’ve tried to employ key terms that had a chance of fully expressing my feelings. As of yet, I’ve failed. Maybe I’m not the wordsmith that I was during college. Worse, I may not have held a command of language even back then. Whatever the case, expressing the full weight of my feelings is nearly impossible. The process is also frustrating – two-fold – because there is a visceral need for me to scream everything at the top of my lungs. I can’t do that, either. Squished. Routed. Bottled. Maybe when I had those fantasies while working at the Saginaw tank yard I should have pickled myself with the rest of the cucumbers. Eh... That would have resulted in a jar, not a bottle. Whatever. I am in pain.

Cat-girl. Marvelous. I feel so fucking stupid these days... So fucking weak.

No one knows how I feel. They probably never will. Sad.

1147. I had to switch the media because I can’t deal with seeing her right now. Maybe I’ll come back to the series and look for other opportunities for capturing images, but for the time being I have to stay away. ‘My distortion shows obsession’, indeed. I will have to move away from this machine and do something else because circling over and over is not fun.

0830 on Tuesday morning; coffee, show, you know. I’ve been editing captures of the enigma for reasons of insanity, the imagery soon to appear here because I am completely off my rocker. I can’t stop fucking staring at her, especially when her lines are visible. I’m going to flip out. Anyway, other than a trip to the market after the coffee is gone, I have the entire day to myself. I must say that the quiet time during weekday mornings is one of the most positive aspects of the current period. I can’t overstate the importance of having such space for thinking, housework, or whatever else I need to do. When combined with video media of my preference, the mood inside the house is very comfortable.



06

The time is now 1133 and I have everything finished, including a trip to both the hardware store and market. I am pleased about such a drive being out of the way today. The only issue was realizing a woman in sweatpants was wearing three-quarter cut underwear, something that seems to be very rare in this day and age. Yes, I was looking, and yes, I saw the seams. She appeared to be roughly my age and probably does not realize the appeal. I wish I could explain it to her. Anyway, I have my cocktail and lunch in the oven. Afterward, I’ll be filling the two hanging bird feeders and creating a third for the doves. They prefer a platform-type of feeder rather than something with a perch. I also have the necessary hardware for making two slender shelves to hold my water skis. The early morning was a complete fucking disaster, so I have to rise this afternoon if the evening is to be rewarding. In and around my other chores, I’ll prepare soup so it can simmer prior to dinner time. Salad will be a simple affair. I need to gently kiss Alyssa’s tender labia continuously for a solid calendar month. She is so adorable. Don’t even get me fucking started with Holly. Ugh. Sorry. Shoot me in the face. This is my life. Routed... Squished... Destroyed for all time. At least I only desire two out of three of the principal characters within this program. Don’t ask about the third. Yikes.

Help me out of this!
Help me out of this!
Help me out of this!
Help me out of this!

Wednesday is here, although the mornings pay no mind to my condition. One day simply bleeds into the next and I sit here and think about the passage of time. I was sitting here three years ago pretty much happy that I had left the world of construction. Now? I still believe that was a good decision (a rarity in my history) despite the problems hitting me in the head and heart each day. I really don’t know what else to say about this situation. There are positives and negatives, the latter outweighing every other aspect of my life too often for me to fully recover during a given day.

1053. The daily routine has been completed. I can’t really work in the garage or yards due to poor air quality. The entire Bay Area is choking on smoke from northern wildfires stretching all the way to Oregon. I feel so bad when this type of thing affects our air, yet the truth is those directly affected by the fires are much worse off than those of us who need to remain indoors. My heart goes out to anyone near those conditions. This is very sad.

As I watched the show play out last night, I began to feel pretty shitty. This is my entire life, whereas all of the wonder and splendor of the world are beyond my window (you know, the one I look through to see certain things that can drive me nuts). I watched the enigma with her indescribably facial features move through different scenes and realized one of my recent, repeating statements is on the money: Never me. Just... Never me. I am the person sitting and watching beautiful people and places roll by in high definition while I sip my drink and recall those periods when I did the same. The two topics are going to drive me up the wall until the time comes that I can’t take anymore of them. Seeing her move around the screen – the most striking aspect being her beautiful, indescribable facial structure – is beginning to break my heart because I know where I’ve been as well as the current path leading me into a very dark future. I also know I can never be in those places again. Too much time has elapsed for me to even begin to consider finding the comfort and understanding that existed many years ago. Her face is a stark reminder of the fact that I am going fucking nowhere in life. NOWHERE. I no longer have it IN me to do better. Period. Today is Thursday and is beginning to mark a bit of a change in the way I think. A little alteration, but change nonetheless. This may improve me or it may do the opposite. Whatever the case, change has begun. Nothing dramatic. The time is 0827 and I have plenty of time to consider what is beginning to take place inside me. Like yesterday, the air quality is very poor. I’ll have to focus my efforts inside the house with the ionizer humming along in the background.

1111 (a Veteran’s day reference) is what I see on the little clocks. I have a cocktail next to me and the show streaming on the right-hand display, like always. After capturing more images of the enigma, my head has completely blown up inside. I expected such, especially after watching last night and absorbing more evidence that the doors have jaded me beyond comprehension. The only positives I am feeling today have been born of organization. I’ve been working on ridding the house of stuff that has been sitting around for years with no semblance of a future. The fact is we’ve been living here for more than eleven years, and too often things fall by the wayside and are forgotten over time. I’m sure this happens to many people and houses. Well, something clicked the other day and I started small in hopes of truly streamlining everything to create not only space, but a better understanding about things that have been saved over the years. Time tends to lessen the importance of certain objects. Small steps can open the door to larger changes. Wait... A door? Ugh. What I need most right now is a door into some other world in which I can be happy (or at least content for a while). That just is not going to happen. Dreaming and wishing have brought only misery and heartache. Reference the enigma above.

Ugh. 1551 with a head full of her. I can’t stop my fucking imagination from grinding my brain into tiny bits. The process just does not stop, ever. This happens at some point each day, too. Every SINGLE day. Sometimes the shit begins in the morning and then becomes subdued or diluted through consuming alcohol, and then by the time lunch is over I am completely worn out and can’t fucking do anything. During other days, nothing happens until I see her on the screen. In either case, I am driven insane, be it earlier or later. And don’t even suggest me ceasing the show. She is already in there so deep that ten years could elapse and I will still lose my shit every day. There is nothing I can do about it. Moreover, the longer I sit here and try to capture her image, the more pain I feel inside. Her appearance is like a drug... I’ll happily sit here and ruin my life just for a glimpse. Needle in the vein, remember? The heroin? The enigma carries all of it. Back to being a fucking junkie, I guess. Marvelous.

Anyway... Putting ‘her’ aside for a little while is probably best. I’ve been considering creating some drawings of the bike I’d like to build in the future. It will never happen, but the process of beginning a design can be quite enjoyable, and anything that has the ability to take my mind off her fucking pants is probably a good idea in general.

Friday morning is here, all sunny and hazy. The time is all of 0815 and the coffee is helping clear the cobwebs from my brain (somewhat). This is already a bad day. Something is very wrong with me and I don’t know why such a thing must take place. I’ll have to work my fucking ass off in order to set aside the problem and keep my head up today.

Later; 1028. My routine is out of the way and I have a nice, cold drink next to me. The cat is here, too, keeping me company. He likes to lay on the table when I have the window open. The morning has been disastrous despite my having been fairly productive. The inside of my head is a wasteland of disjointed imagery and heartache.

The negative material plane awaits my attention. Big fucking surprise. We must return...

I’m so sad right now. All these journeys... What have they accomplished? Julia, the driving force from my head that dictates my movements between worlds, has proven to be THE most difficult aspect of my entire life. She is related to all of the physical pain, misunderstanding, heartache and desperate searching. I seek answers, but I also seek something much more difficult to attain. Julia is the guide to all of it. Everything makes me sad and I don’t know what to do. Maybe floating here in negative blackness is the most comfortable I will ever be. No gravity; nothing to see; infinite time. At least I can breathe, something that tends to elude me in reality. Does any of this shit make sense? Again... No answers. The massive downside to being here is that I am constantly recalling the past. The journey from where I was to where I am right now is vast, fashioned primarily of doors that I passed out of fear and connections that have been destroyed. Twin thieves, yet again. Julia knows I am not doing well. She knows everything. Sometimes I wish we could turn back the clock to that beautiful scene in the first caboose when all she did was comfort me and allow whatever I needed at the time. Our physical connection was a huge relief after knowing that I was going to be tested at any moment in the most hideous ways imaginable. I guess that time has passed because everything related to the current journey has been completely bereft of any comfort. Splendid. I suppose I could cherish the memory, like so many people often muse, yet the damage has become too much to bear. I am falling away from everything, meaning this world will probably create a path to nothingness and then reality will follow along like an aging, rental horse walking a trail that has been trod for years. It knows little else. At least the horse benefits from constant care. The horse is ok. I am sad.

There can be no good on the horizon. The more I feel concerned, the less faith I have in even the tiniest device’s ability to bring up my mood. I am sad all the time and this fucking journey is not helping. This feeling of being weightless might be just like the womb, as many have mused in the past, but I can’t be certain. I just know that the physical sensation of being so comfortable is helping me relax. Maybe this will remain the status quo for a while longer before I’m thrown to the four winds in pain again. I am fully aware of the doors and the effects they’ve had on the way I think. The netherworld was created so that I could learn of the correlations between the doors and my current condition. As of yet, I’ve only got a slight idea of how they can be related. Julia will not provide clarity, although the fact that she has placed me in front of the first door – Steuart Street and the railroad dream – on three separate occasions has me turning back the clock inside my head to the earliest ‘dreams’ of two key aspects of life that had been missing prior to those years. I passed the door because I needed security at the time and was a bit afraid of being left without income. I avoided any risk. Hmm. Security. And then there was the model across that hallway in the City that smiled at me as I exited the office floor. I have to try to recall the year because the true glow was a period of exactly forty-nine months, and within that was some sort of pivotal situation that altered the way I think about the opposite sex. Not only that, but I believe the very beginning of my obsession was fueled by one of the closet doors. Please don’t try to understand it, either. This seems convoluted, but I may be getting somewhere. Passing on a potential opportunity does not have much to do with physical desire, so more work is on tap while I float in this negative space. I need to connect desire and fear somehow. The main issue right now is the more I think about everything, the less positivity I see in the future. I may learn something here and answer some years-long questions, but meanwhile my condition in reality has not improved at all. The only ‘good’ that I can see is here in the zone of the in-between. Marvelous. Reality cannot hold up anymore.

Perhaps the physical connections were defense mechanisms? When combined with the first of the two shit situations, I can see how finding such places may have calmed my mind. There is another possible facet, as well, but I hesitate to belabor the thought because it scares me.

‘Yes, it does.’
‘Ah, shit.’
‘The word you are avoiding is control.’
‘Go away.’

Flash!

Desert; heat; sand; wind. How many times have I been dropped here? Not enough, I suppose. I hear something but can’t seem to localize it... Behind me? Nope. East/west? No. Where? Sand moving, or something of the like. What the hell? Ah, fuck... A sinkhole, and I am right in the middle of it. Julia is not happy with me... Dust; coughing; flailing; fighting... But I’m so weak these days. Let go... JUST LET GO AND SUFFOCATE...

Dead. AGAIN. I knew she would do this at some point. I just fucking knew it. The connection must be close to what actually changed inside me. Maybe I really am getting somewhere regardless of my fear of the word ‘control’.

‘I think I know from where the fear grew.’
‘Very good. You do.’
‘Get me the fuck out of this dusty pain, please.’
‘As you wish.’

Ah... A locomotive behind me. That is one sound I can always immediately identify. I love the idling engines. Maybe this train will take me somewhere more pleasant than recent destinations. It may allow me some time to think, too. If the cab is similar to the last few locomotives, I’ll be just fine while awaiting whatever is to come along in the near future. I still can’t clarify my feelings from the glow, however. I can still recall a few situations that could have shaped my thinking processes, yet neither actually seems powerful enough to cause an alteration spanning three-plus decades. I just don’t fucking see it. Time to board the huge machine and see what develops.

Rolling. And I was correct... This is a similar cab, complete with the very unlikely presence of a bar. I’ve not been inside a ‘normal’ cab for a very long time, but I will say I could get used to this kind of cozy space atop so much power. As unreal as the locomotive may be, at least it is very comfortable; something I need very badly these days. I don’t see our last conversation as any type of breakthrough, though. The connection is more like a step rather than an entire stairway out of a pit laden with confusion and pain. A step is better than nothing, I suppose. I’ll take it. There was something significant in that first closet door, too. I can’t go into detail, however. Just know that for a time I was right where I needed to be, and that situation was on the heels of the first door. I sit in this cab as a product of the doors and their relationships to both fear and desire. I need more time. Throttle, please.

Again there is a sound behind me... Wait... What the hell? Leopard-print clothing. Big hair. Exaggerated makeup. I think I know who she is.

‘Hello again, young man.’
‘Are you...?’
‘Yes. It's me. And I am here at Julia’s request.’

Oh, my. I have not seen this woman in forty years, perhaps more. I am not a young man anymore, however. I am much older, but perhaps she does not see it. Or? I’ve watched far too much science fiction. Heh. I believe the time has come for a bit of conversation with the stunning creature adorning the settee. Unlike the first time I spoke to her, I do not feel fear. This is very different. Cocktail time.

I don’t know if this is real at all, but her name is Jenna. Another ‘J’. Splendid. There was a plethora of names beginning with ‘J’ in that fucking passenger car (the second, I believe) and they were split as to reasons for being present in the netherworld. Honestly, this woman reminds me of the first Michelle from many years ago. No, not the one I met and then ran away with, Michelle was years prior to that crazy shit. Like... Two decades prior to me flipping out and skipping town with a woman I met less than half an hour prior to heading to the airport. Anyway, Michelle is one of those examples of a fascination that I have not wished to discuss with anyone, let alone a woman. I have broached the subject with another person in the past, though. Jenna is very kind and patient right now, even if she is dressed as she was in the past. Um... An employee of the ‘world’s oldest profession’, for lack of a better descriptor. So...



07

Her insight into what has been ailing me for so long is spot-on. The more I describe my feelings and those missing pieces of my being, the more she relates the two shit situations with the doors. There are two sides to the latter, as well. The first is the idea of enough income to fulfill my dreams back then, and the second is my belief that a stable, wondrous career could have led me to a better financial position in life, which, in turn, could have allowed me to explore additional options regarding fulfillment. Jenna may have been the first appearance of control and openness of thought that I ran across in my life. Michelle was another, yet she was overall not the same. Jenna has suggested that her appearance on that fateful day more than forty years ago was the first time I related my dissatisfaction in life with the shit situations. I believe she is correct. She also stated that the time and place were key in my social development, meaning the gaming culture in general, and the sexually-charged nature of such an atmosphere back then in particular had jaded me at an early age, a process very few can overcome. Exposure and immersion in such a culture were also likely the reason for my obsession with form. I always thought there were certain key moments that helped my head paint pictures of beauty, when the reality may be that my upbringing in Nevada was the true genesis of becoming obsessed with very specific, detailed aspects of the female body. And? Jenna is aware of just how much my view has become so very skewed in recent years. But... The doors. Was I trying to compensate for something? Missing pieces? More thinking and consideration would seem to be on tap right now. I am going to roll on the throttle a bit and refill the drinks. This is very interesting.

‘There is nothing wrong with the way you feel. You are not wholly responsible, my dear.’
‘I’ve always felt the same.’
‘What you do with the information is the most important consideration.’
‘I’ve failed in the past, several times.’
‘I know.’
‘So... What now?’
‘I honestly don’t know. The fact is too much time may have passed for you to fully recover.’
‘Wonderful.’
‘Please don’t fret. You are a good person overall.’
‘Thank you.’
‘Don’t thank me yet, lover. Bad things are going to happen and you must pay attention if you ever want to leave this world.’
‘Fuck.’
‘Relax and enjoy the rails.’
‘Ok.’

I am reminded of a line-by-line exchange I wrote some years ago. Every line is in quotation marks because the whole story is a set of conversations over a period of time with nothing between sections of dialogue. When I began that exchange, my obsession had hit a point in which I felt I had two choices: Either continue living in pain, or put an end to my ability to think. Naturally, Jenna was created by Julia, meaning she already knows everything because the entire fucking construct came from my highly distorted brain. That means the story I wrote is already a part of them, and the fact that the characters and dialogue were born of a deep-seated need to (somehow) fulfill my obsession, I am not proud of such desperate words. While writing, I placed myself in the story as the main protagonist and basically played out a fantasy. Two, actually, as the first is my obsession with form and the second dates back to the second summer I spent in the Midwest, dreaming about being detached from the masses and living in the most lavish comfort imaginable. The conversation between Jenna and myself is reminiscent because there are no physical aspects. That is to say that all body language and methods for describing the interaction between us have been completely left out. There are only words. Very interesting. And? The woman in that story is named Jeannette. Another ‘J’. What IS that?

There are poles to the right of the tracks that are flying by like fence posts. They are old, too. In the past, all signals between the rails, rolling stock and towers were sent along wires and poles that resembled smaller versions of telephone or power lines with glass insulators atop each tree. I used to marvel at the system because it was so detached from motorways. The cab has remained very comfortable, effectively defying our velocity and the typical sway of such weight upon the rails. To be honest, I could remain here for years without the need for alterations or external influence. This may be about as good as the in-between gets. I can’t help but think that something is going to go very wrong, very soon, however. I am rarely allowed such a respite without being hurt. For the time being, I’ll enjoy Jenna’s company and simply relax.

Damn, that woman is gorgeous. The passage of time in the real world seems to be absent in this place. She looks exactly as I remember.

'You are still doing it... Yearning.'
'I can't help it. Everything is just so sad anymore.'
'I know.'

Julia already knows that I am aware of how distorted my thinking processes have become. We don’t need to discuss the subject at all, though sometimes I am compelled to beg for clarity regarding the shit situations and doors. On the one hand, I believe she has been steering me toward the idea that true validation and comfort have become so blown out of proportion in my brain that nothing real can ever measure up. That first situation took something away from me, and the second occasion permanently altered my perception of how others view me. I still can’t accept the idea that either of those lousy facts is my fucking fault. The later years found me reaching for anything with the power to lift me above the din of the past, often leaving me very lonely and with the belief that nothing truly ‘good’ would ever come along. Oh, there have been occasions, but believe me when I say that something bad was attached to each one. I am speaking of very high levels of comfort in life spread over a very long period of time – not far from twenty fucking years – yet the bad was always right there, looming. Either the situation was understood as temporary, or there was a stigma or something else (such as the dire need to kill myself). Trust me. There was always shit flowing along with my potential comfort and need to be understood. Damn it... I have to leave this alone for a while. There are words here which upset my stomach a bit. And I am going to try to avoid describing one other related belief because the process will only cause anger. Unfortunately, everyone I’ve ever known has been permanently lumped into the same category due to such a stance. Too bad for them, I guess. For the moment, I have to get the fuck out of here. Reality awaits.

Sunday, 0837. Yesterday was quite busy, from the morning drive to the City, to visiting both warehouse stores, and on to the festival that we attend every year. I drove north just after seven in the morning and did not return home until after three in the afternoon. The shopping was very productive, though. We visited the bar both before and after the festival, as well, and saw a few individuals we hadn’t run into for quite some time. Overall, not bad. I am pleased to have the drive out of the way this morning and several hours ahead to take care of business and whatever else seems most pressing. I will be surrounded by comforting devices for the reminder of this day. I need lots of time for everything. I tend to work very slowly because of the peace and quiet, so any activity likely takes much longer than the average person doing the same. I am just fucking slow, that’s all, and when it comes to understanding the emotional components, well... None of it is easy at all. Today I should have plenty of space.

Oh, boy. The next day has arrived, and the first morning for a while in which I’ve got all the quiet time I need. The entire day is mine, believe it or not. After such a busy weekend and a very difficult situation with one of my neighbors last night, I truly need to be alone so I can think about all this shit, not the least part of which is the enigma. She is continuing to usurp other faces within the little dream world that resides in my head. I need to guard against anything bad transpiring in the near future. This type of morning is about as necessary as drawing breath. I have my coffee and the show playing on the right-hand display. Comfort is key right now.

As for the difficulty last night, let’s just say a friend’s health has been declining in recent months and he has only been given a few months (at most) to live. I received a call last night that the family needed immediate help which required myself and another neighbor until the paramedics arrived. That took a lot out of me, to be honest. Part of the reason is that I was immediately reminded of my father when he was not well. I did what I was able and then returned home a short time later. I’m glad I was able to help, but the underlying sadness is disallowing anything positive right now. The morning will move along as it does.

0823. I can’t get the fucking enigma out of my brain. No matter how many quality captures I am able to edit and include here, nothing will compare to seeing her move across the screen. Full-motion wins every time. Each occasion of her on the television forces me to pause the playback and make a note here for referencing later while I’m in a position to grab the image. Isn’t that special? She looks so much like the race girl (cat) that I go insane at each viewing. And keep in mind I felt strongly about the race girl due to the way she looked at me for a few seconds, and the gesture could have been absolutely meaningless. In my head? The event was one of the most pivotal moments in decades, as if there were powers sent by the universe itself just for me to be stunned by a facial expression. Magic? Right. That’ll be the fucking day. I may as well sit here and look out the window to wait for my limousine to arrive. NOT. GONNA. HAPPEN. There is no good on my horizon. Believe it. I am hoping that once I finish the coffee and move into my housework routine, she will fade for a little while. I need some semblance of peace in my brain today, damn it.

1048. The daily stuff is finished and the house is still very quiet. I had the fourth show in the background as I worked this morning, as is the custom until it runs to the finale. Next will be series number two again. If I recall correctly, the sequence should be three, four, two, five and then one. I think that’s the way I had been doing it, anyway. In total, there are 695 episodes to follow, and that means nothing is too familiar by the time each one comes around in the rotation. I will say that for the last year or so, the third series has been the one I love the most due to the setting and my dream of being a part of that universe. As I’ve stated several times, being there would mean all of my problems could disappear very quickly. I can see so many fucking positives that the dream continues to draw me like a gun from a holster. As of yet, I haven’t found another way to be truly happy or fulfilled in life. Ugh. Maybe the topic should have been avoided. Anyway, I have the rest of the day to do whatever seems best, and that includes lots of consideration for the past and the negative material plane (which does not seem to go anywhere, honestly). One of my cats is sleeping below the open window right here on this table. That level of cuteness should be outlawed. Heh. He’s adorable. And speaking of adorable, the cat-girl enigma rarely leaves my consciousness, even while working and watching one of my programs. Too much draw, and all that kind of shit.

Reconciling myself with the idea that such wonder is forever beyond my reach has not been easy. Days pass; things happen. God help me if those little enjoyments fail to reach past levels.

And here we are nearly halfway through Tuesday. I don’t know what happened to Monday beyond the usual business, although the weather was quite warm and I tried to take care of some organization prior to giving up completely. Today is cooler (so far), but the humidity is pretty damned high. I believe there is an offshore weather system affecting the coast right now. I had to drive to the City again this morning (weekday traffic... Ugh) and then swing into a store for some items that were dropped off at the neighbor’s house when we returned. That is the same household with all of the trouble with which I’ve been trying to help recently, so we figured delivering some of their favorite ethnic dishes might be a nice touch. On the ride home I stopped off at one of the markets to the north for a few things. Upon reaching this house, I kicked into gear and took care of the daily routine so that I could feel more comfortable and organized after a busy morning. At present, the time is 1103 and I have hours ahead, plus a nice cocktail next to me. Lunch will be very soon, I guess. Thanks to a little change in plans, tomorrow should find me home all day and able to enjoy my typical long morning with lots of time and space to think.

I believe the squishing has ended for the time being. Don’t ask me for the reason.

I was right. Wednesday is here and my comfortable morning has begun. Unfortunately, the cozy table, window, coffee and show are all being tempered by difficulties that have been mounting for weeks, or at least since I first glimpsed the enigma and realized she resembled someone very important to me. Yes, I said it was important because of the way she looked at my face. And yes, I realize how ridiculous and desperate that whole situation became. Shut up. A person as skewed as myself looks at the world differently than a more balanced individual, meaning whenever there is a glimmer of something seemingly magical, my head runs with it before any common sense can develop. Somewhere in the universe is a world in which one of my many dreams has already come to pass. I am happy there. I just need to find it. The program containing the woman who has been gracing the screen lately and causing me to fall all over myself like a teenager is soon going to end. There is but one episode remaining. I’ve captured more than fifty images of her, too.

I am going to miss out on something this morning and it pisses me off. I can’t say what, nor can I state the reason. Just... Eh, never mind. Don’t ask. My head is so fucking misaligned with reality that I can’t even begin to define the way I think or see other people. Sometimes I wonder if there is another person out there in the world who is screwed up in a similar fashion. I certainly hope not. Anyway...

Oh... One more thing. That girl from my childhood? You know... The one that was not real? I miss her all the time. And the other one? The race girl? I miss her daily, too, and to the point of heartache. Now tell me that I am not skewed beyond belief. Go for it. I miss others, as well. Real people from the past. There is a great chasm between the two categories, though. Huge. I am not well.

I know precisely what I am. The trouble is learning why. Hence the fucking trains over and over. The ‘train of life’ should have been titled differently (in fact, I may change it and realign other entries to follow suit) because the other train pretty much took over due to the sensitive nature of the material as well as the inclusion of nonfiction. The first series has been removed, though, as I try to form a more cohesive, structured essay that could end up elsewhere. The later trains have all been related to the past forty-three years and the seemingly fruitless analysis and quest for answers. All of that is not to say that I don’t know myself, however. It means I arrived here and was dumped on the side of the tracks by forces beyond my control, some of which have caused me to question everyone and everything in the world. But I do know. I know plenty. Whatever. I am seeing less and less value in such knowledge as the calendar flips along.

0847. The house is still nice and quiet. Sunshine this early informs me that the weather will be warm later, too. I’ll have to remain vigilant in keeping the interior spaces as cool as possible, lest the mercury rise beyond my comfort level. One of the cats has graced my presence as he decided to lay next to the window here on my table. I see that I’m on his pay-no-mind list. Cats are wondrous creatures, yet very independent. I must bow to his mood. Heh.

I’ve been streamlining the garage – mostly the area above the workbench that has been gathering various items over the years – and I’m feeling the need to simplify everything to open up the space. I’ve also begun to relocate the lenticular thermometer from the center post to above my bench. I need to keep it safe as well as try to lessen the amount of ‘stuff’ blocking the view of the back wall. The idea of breaking down my custom-built table has crossed my mind lately, too, but I still don’t know if it is a good idea. The table tends to become a catch-all for anything that I can’t store elsewhere, so too often it is cluttered and I don’t like the appearance of crap everywhere. I may work more on the garage later when the sun is warmer. I’ll have to take care of the daily routine first, though. Priorities, and all that shit. Maybe if I can extricate the fucking dreams and desire from my brain for a little while, some chores will be completed prior to close of business hours. Right now I don’t know what the day may entail because it’s too early to predict my mood. Today is no different than all of the others for the last three-plus years. Marvelous. I know there is nothing wondrous or pivotal in my future, so if I am to rise above the din, everything is on my shoulders. I really don’t need this shit these days. There is already enough causing this deepest of depressive states.

I might toss the 'back to top' arrow and scripting. I don't think anyone really cares about the function of this fucking site.



08

She is an enigma, and a match to the race (cat) girl. They are not the same person, of course, but the resemblance is uncanny. And yes, regardless of whether anyone believes me, I still remember her face and height. Just trust me on that one. I have been stuck between the zone and the enigma for weeks. There does not seem to be a way out of this shit, either. The more time that passes, the more I feel for her (them), and the further I fall away from reality. Not good, but such is me. Remaining in the zone of the in-between is very unpleasant.

0932. I took a break and went a bit further at disassembling the base for my thermometer. Everything is off the post at this point and I am pleased with the results. I will continue the project later this morning when the other housework is finished. I still need to keep the house quiet.

1124. Well, I took care of the routine and did some further work on the garage. I have my program on the right-hand display and a fatass cocktail to the left. I’d love to fly up Alyssa’s shirt like a deranged pelican. Ugh. Anyway, the rest of the day will entail more organization in the office, dining room and garage, and once the late afternoon arrives, I’ll fabricate dinner. One of my neighbors came by to show me a leather motorcycle vest – complete with H-D logos and eagles on the front and back – and offered it to me for twenty dollars. I snatched it up in anticipation of someday building and riding my trike. I don’t see that project ever going beyond the design stage, though, because I am convinced that the happy, fulfilling days are all behind me. The glow, the afterglow, and the wondrous period involving those huge electronics stores are all in the past, leaving me to expect a future bereft of anything even closely resembling the possibilities and promise the past held. Progress has railroaded expectations and wonder. Everything is expected, mostly when the topic is technology. Electronics, software and computing have all been boiled down to a few key devices that have usurped the time of fascinating advances in the same. Nothing is surprising anymore. I have to find a way of dealing with such doctrine in my daily life and the process is an uphill battle. The trike is a fantastic idea that I can’t push out of my head each day. I would love to place my own spin on such a vehicle, but the truth is I just can’t see it happening, ever. The thought is very depressing. As for today, I suppose I’ll sit here off my feet for a little while and then heat some lunch and put away the clean dishes. My life is a fucking MASS of excitement. Along such lines, when we visited the market atop the hill yesterday, I recalled being on vacation and in unfamiliar stores of the past. That conjured ideas of a road trip (again), but by the time we rolled back down the hill toward home, I realized every fucking tidbit of enjoyment has become nothing more than a dream. You know where I go with that shit. I need not belabor the idea. The current period is fraught with more of the same. I hate this. But? My feelings apparently don’t fucking matter anymore.

Thursday is here. I took the drive again this morning and stopped at the produce market on the way home. Upon arriving here, my head relaxed quite a bit. Driving into the City on a weekday is more difficult than the early weekend mornings. Ugh. At least I am home for the duration. Much better. The inside of my head is sideways thanks to yet another dream filled with wonder. That is marvelous. The only rub at the store was the self-check girl looking all dark and mysterious. No big deal. At some point this morning I will work on the routine and then see how I feel about anything else. Yesterday I finally framed the three-page calibration label museum and straightened the area above my bench to hang them. The space on the wall is now much more appealing and organized. I might work on that stuff later if the weather isn’t too warm.

The dream of all damaging dreams occurred earlier this morning. I’ve been waiting for today in earnest because the week has not been aligned with my needs as much as I’d hoped, and Friday represents the first full, relaxed day that can be spent at my own pace. Well, this morning finally came along with something both special and unwanted; an experience that will be very difficult to describe here. I recall most of it, too. And I recall her. Yes, she was present in my dream again. This is number five.

She gave me little, special trinkets because there was a connection between us that no one else could have understood, nor did we want anyone knowing about the way we felt. I received keys, notes, and other items that informed me of her feelings. There were problems, though, and the first became very difficult, very quickly. I can’t describe the situation, but suffice to say, she had been giving me the treasures out of defiance of others. I did my best to avoid anything touchy during the moments when we were alone. Just her and me. ‘Us’. There existed a mass of underlying tension along with butterflies inside due to the nature of our relationship and the knowledge that our shared feelings would be a point of contention. Hence? Everything was locked away... Hidden from the world aside from a few glancing touches and expressions to which only the two of us were privy. The keys were to allow me access to where she was going; the handwritten notes describing issues for which she wished my help. I could not deny anything she asked until the very end of the dream when I was faced with a choice. One question was posed as her eyes expressed desperation. The mood was akin to knowing of one’s fate and reaching for something with the power to alleviate or forget the doom even for a moment. That question arrived in my ears as I saw that she needed help, and then I began to turn just a bit prior to awakening. I miss the dream. I miss knowing that we shared something that was a secret to the rest of the world, yet completely sacred to us. I miss feeling her hand and caressing her hair. Most of all, I miss what is now the latest ‘unreal’ possibility of her telling me everything will be ok.

‘Now the real bleeding begins.’
‘What? Where are you?’
‘In-between. Come. See the fruit.’

Ah... Shit. I know last night was difficult and I cut short the entire affair because of too much pain inside, but I did not know that my morning would be taken over by the zone as I sit here and sip coffee. Blurry... Disjointed, this place. I just never know if I am actually here or there.

‘Your fantasy world must stop.’
‘Huh? What are you talking about?’
‘Think. Understand.’

I know there have been long periods with disturbing and damaging mindsets. I already know. Maybe Julia is trying to get my head into the type of place that can squash the dreams I’ve been experiencing. They create visions inside me – little scenarios in which everything works to my advantage (for fucking once) – and then I dwell upon the daydreams. That’s likely the device that has been forcing my subconscious to paint pictures in my sleep. My ‘fantasy’ world, though? Really? Please... It’s not that fucking bad, woman. There is a fade. Fade? The colors are changing and the analog clock is rolling itself backwards. Huh? The... What? Enigma?

I can’t stop thinking about the difficult, uncomfortable words above. I remember writing ‘keywords’ and the impact certain aspects of the media inclusive of such terms have jaded me, likely forever. There may be no going back to the way I felt many years ago, although such an idea could be impossible either way. In any case, the words here are causing me to more deeply analyze the effects of the past, a condition that has forced me to severely isolate myself from others in recent years. Sometimes I feel that no matter the depth of exploration, nothing can change, meaning my efforts are not only in vain, but very depressing. I do not wish to know the end of the story before I get through the fucking contents page. This entire process is very uncomfortable, in fact. Everything. At least I can converse with Jenna and enjoy my command of the rails. Better than nothing. And Julia’s absence of late is helping me to relax a bit.

I see light ahead. It’s time to slow this moveable feast and see what’s on tap.

My office? Something is very wrong here. I went from the chair to the locomotive in the most confusing manner I’ve ever experienced. I was just in my fucking office and then Julia’s voice told me that maybe I was not actually there. Or, maybe I was there but my head went into the negative material plane without the typical change in wording here. Is this because of the dream earlier this morning? I don’t get it. Whatever the case, Jenna is still relaxing on the settee and I see my present office layout appearing slowly off to the west. I also see that the sun is way off to the left as well, meaning this day may actually come to a close. I had better not see what I think Julia wants me to face. I’ll end up all pissed off again. I know what I’ve been thinking and dreaming for a very long time, but that is not to say that I need to be discussing the shit with anyone else, let alone a woman crafted from the inside of my head. My psyche is already distorted enough for one lifetime.

Wait a fucking second... I was on the train again, but here. The mind is a wonderful creative tool that can literally do anything, but up until this morning I’ve always kept the two worlds organized with respect to each other, both on the screen and inside my head. I actually let go of my sadness over the dream and traveled back to the locomotive cab, and then became aware of being here in my office with coffee and my program running. Perhaps I am no longer able to maintain some decent measure of separation or keep them apart.

‘Bingo.’

Did my dream early this morning change this? Did something happen in the dream that altered the way I see everything? I’ve been working on linking the doors (remember them?) with the way I feel about certain very elusive and beautiful aspects of life, and now Julia is taking issue with my thought processes since the first damaging dream last year. This is interesting, but the truth is I could really fucking do without everything being run together. For fuck’s sake, can I not deal with one problem at a time without another hitting me in the face? I don’t need this shit, nor do I believe the dream from this morning was entirely my fault. Yes, I tend to dwell upon impossible situations and wondrous relationships that can never come to pass. I already know that much. The shit situations, routing, squishing and other aspects of the earlier parts of my life have taken away my ability to deal with sadness or other emotional difficulties. I never learned coping skills, nor have I been able to let go of key events that shaped the way I think and view other people. Have I tried? Oh, fuck yes. Years of it. And where has all that effort gotten me? Right here... On an endless train of questions and typing words that can never find a resolution. If all that shit caused me to to dream of her again, I am not going to lay down and take the fucking blame. The doors were all my doing. Those decisions... The fear... My need to be understood... All of it. I get that. I really do. But dreaming of her is beyond my control no matter how much I might sit here and daydream of that girl finally being the one who saves me. I am going to fight this shit until death. Trust me.

I was talking about the guns again last night because I recently pulled the barrel (number 432, 50/50 RH twist, retired) off its display above my workbench. It needs to be sanded and oiled due to a decade of the ocean being right down the street. Rust. Anyway, I was bombarded with questions related to the operation of the range complex and answered as best I could. Most of the time I can’t go into detail due to the systems being very complicated and difficult to describe to the average person. That is not to say I am any more intelligent than others or anything similar. I am simply trying to convey that the operation of those machines is strange. Well, I did the best I could and even went so far as to relate my experience during aught-five during the RTF effort and the fact that I was heavily involved in the research which analyzed the Columbia disaster and the changes which got the STS program back online. I used to be very proud of that shit, but anymore I just end up sad and then retreat to the house after telling everyone goodnight. And yes, I am trying to avoid the other topic because I keep seeing her standing on the lowest step with one arm stretched toward me as she asked, ‘Come. Lay with me until we can’t anymore.’ I can’t deal with everything all at once. I am sad over the work I did and the way I was left on the side of the road after eleven years, shortly thereafter the situation leading to a dry spell without work causing my finances to become all fucked up. Door number four was a similar career and I missed out because of the preceding dominoes falling in the ideal pattern to leave me sans hope. That would have been the last job I ever pursued. A square peg in a square hole, as it were. Hand in glove. The idea situation; the ideal distance; the ideal use of my knowledge and experience. That place would have been a return to the days of old. That’s right... The ‘phase lock’ years. I knew it; I know it; I missed it. Door four was one of the worst (if not THE worst) effects in life to have birthed from my misdirection. Speaking of my NASA career last night brought back all that shit and I fell down a little bit, shortly thereafter I disappeared. I can’t take much of that stuff before losing my way because door four always comes along in my mind and ruins any good that may be taking place. And if you suspect that a career in the RF/defense electronics industry is unrelated to the damaging dreams, obsession, or years of pain and loss due to the shit situations, you are sorely mistaken. All this shit is related. Julia has been trying to make me see the details so that some of my life questions can either be answered or simply disappear. Believe me... My head was all fucked up during the gun years, too. Trust me. The only difference was the career.

Maybe the enigma won’t return here for a while. I could really use a break from picturing her in all sorts of positions. Such imagery is not real, nor is it good for me in any way. Fuck it. I have to try. I have to push her away. The dream from early this morning is much more important to this process.

I see my office ahead, to the west. The blinds are partially open and all three displays are powered. The little light above my watch box is on. I can see through the window, somewhat. The outside is gray and hazy. I already know of the view anyway, so details are not necessary. I see something between my car (on the driveway) and the street off to the left of both yards. What is that? There is movement, yet no structure. It’s like a wisp of smoke swirling and contorting, none of which resembles anything I’ve seen before. Wait... The wavy, distorted nature of the smoke is beginning to coalesce. It is a person, perhaps. Walking toward my position? The strides are lengthy and purposeful. There is something else... Oh, fuck. A rifle! Where is Jenna? Julia? What should I...

Crack!

I don’t feel anything, but I can see a blurry pool of crimson, ‘all warm and deep’. I can’t move. I can’t hear anything. The last memory is that fucking gunman from years ago, along with the rifle that was always slung on his back. The last time he shot me was with a revolver. Damn. Julia killed me again. Fading... The light is fading. Julia's voice enters my head, directly...
‘You cannot live the dream. Let it go.’
‘Thanks, bitch.’
‘Do you know what you have to do?’

I think there is an answer to that question which is very different from what I’ve guessed in the past. I’ve been hearing that shit for more than four years now and do not fucking need any more of it. If I suspect the true answer to her endless questioning, the rest of my life will be for shit. There can be no denying such a fact, although when I think of the answer, it’s difficult to believe that a construct from my own head would come to such a horrible conclusion. I’ve become so mixed up since the beginning of this entry that I don’t know what to think. There is just too much anymore. Too fucking much. The latest dream, my difficulty in dealing with thoughts of the enigma, the Goddamned rail journeys that never seem to lead anywhere good, and then being killed over and over when I don’t bow to Julia’s wishes; all of it... Too much right now. There is a wasteland inside my brain that goes on forever, stretching from one place to another, and revealing a war that I can’t seem to win. I don’t know what to do.

Blackness. Where is my office? Where is Jenna and the locomotive? I don’t fucking understand this latest turn of events. Did I do something wrong again?

‘Let it go, once and for all.’
‘Is that what I HAVE to do?’
‘Let it go.’

Julia is beginning to aggravate me but there is nothing I can do about it. The worlds ran together this morning and I believe the reason for such a change is the dream from earlier. I can’t get it out of my head. She reached for my hand with a yearning expression and asked that we lay together, and the words...’While we still can.’ What the fuck did that mean? My questions are about as useful as another hole in my head. I feel that maybe she was to go somewhere, as if there was an impending, permanent move and we would not be able to see each other afterward. Maybe. I can't be sure because something inside my head flipped a switch to create yet another very sad, confusing scene that cannot play out in the real world. Why does this shit have to happen in the first place? Is she related to the doors? Or maybe the enigma? Did my decisions leave me needing a type of understanding that is not possible except when I dream? Could she have been the only method of true validation? I don't like that word, but some of this is beginning to come together and form a single thought.



09

How long am I going to remain here? A pool of blood may be my only future. He shot me again, damn it. I really didn’t need any more of that shit from the other story, although if I’m forced to deal with the monsters from the fake goblet, perhaps my companion will return. No, not Jenna or even Julie, but the lovely and powerful Jaime. Remember her? I wish I could fucking feel something right now. This is not good. I’ll have to think about the possibility that my need for understanding stemmed from the doors, or perhaps the other way around. Shit... I don’t know, but I have to try (again). My situation has not improved.

The only time I am truly comfortable in this world is after being killed. Splendid. I don’t need this shit right now.

I am still wondering why I was able to see my office from the cab window. I know the two worlds have been running together (here and there, anyway), but I don’t want a complete mess of things that will need to be worked out later. Trying to keep up with the original issue from the first beach visit is quite enough, not to mention dealing with what could be a very hurtful fourth door that I likely destroyed before it could ever open. I believe there has been one hurdle put to the rear, though, and that is the idea that I continually tried to actually do something more rewarding but became fearful and traded off opportunity for the possibility of real validation. Seeing the office may have been a reminder of what I’ve become after so many years: A little person who ‘does’ almost nothing but ‘says’ much. This is a problem in and of itself. I have no wish to wake up one morning and see myself as a cliché, a la a self-fulfilling prophecy. I just can’t fucking have that. And then the other side of the smelly coin is that what others see when they view me may be very different from my own perception of their sight. Paranoia will not allow me to simply relax and think positive thoughts, ever. I am perpetually stuck in the negative, hence this fucking plane. And I am either going to remain in Julia’s gulag or rise again to see whatever may come next. Right now? Dead. Bloody. I probably look rather like Julie when I first ran across her naked body on the floor of my hotel bathroom. Not good.

Separation? Maybe. Today is Saturday and I am sitting at the table. Damn it... Bleeding worlds. Where is the enigma? I can't think about her right now. There is already too much in my brain.

Saturday morning has arrived on the heels of an ‘ok’ evening. I had a dream about Vegas shortly before awakening. I strange dream, as Mr. Marino might have mused. Nothing of note took place, however, so I’m not going to sit here and strain my milk trying to recall. Yesterday’s event was of greater importance, for sure. ‘While we still can’ has been resonating endlessly since I first heard her utter the words with a concerned expression. I don’t know what to think. Yesterday also comprised a ton of work in the kitchen to prepare for dinner later. We will be going across town again, like usual, and bringing some side dishes. I’ll be looking forward to returning home, like usual. Heh. I don’t enjoy leaving the house very much these days because others’ eyes on me can be difficult. I try to remain here all the time. It’s just dinner and something we’ve been doing for almost a decade, so I’m sure the situation will be fine. Tomorrow is another story, entirely. The football games will dictate my housework schedule and then I’ll relax in and around whatever needs to be done.

‘Come lay with me while we still can.’

None of this is easy. I still see her face, all sad and yearning. Why did that happen? Is there something within my subconscious striving to be close? I can’t do that. Nothing I’ve experienced in those dreams is possible in reality. None of it, for sure. I keep seeing and hearing her, though, and can’t seem to get the situation out of my head. She was so sad, much like me a good portion of the time every day.

I keep seeing the aerial views of the City during the post-opening segment of this series. They are beautiful and have pressed me to consider just how different the skyline and appearance of downtown were when compared to the present. Now? The City is only beautiful from the air, whereas many years ago it was vibrant, exciting, and a place I loved to visit. The series began to air in this country fifteen years ago. The glow was almost a full decade prior to that. I recall driving there to pick up my partner at work once in a while without worry. I also recall the anticipation of emerging from the underground train to see Market Street in all its glory. Well, not anymore. Watching the opening sequence of this series brings me to a time when nearly everything was ‘better’, believe it or not. I used to think such a phrase was actually nothing more than a distorted memory, but now? I know otherwise. There had been the aforementioned wonder, promise and possibility, yet something I rarely mention when speaking of the glow is that the period was actually much simpler from a day-to-day standpoint. That fact has become a burden every single day. I can’t help but look back and compare. I don’t even know why I went into this shit because nothing can be done about any of it. Trying to describe my feelings is like beating one’s head against the concrete. Worthless. Oh, the memories are nice and sometimes I try to describe them to someone else, yet in the end the reality always returns and I end up a little bit further down with each occasion. A bit more sad, to be honest. The clock is nearing 0900. I’ll have to get away from this crap soon.

These essays are becoming more and more distorted as time passes, much like the inside of my head.

0934, same morning. I don’t see much good right now, but at least the latest dream of her seems to have usurped the enigma for the time being. One is plenty; I don’t need both of them driving me up the wall. Well, the dream was full of emotion, whereas the enigma is entirely different. She represents my years-long obsession. I’m quite certain I’ll dream of her soon. Doing so seems like my modus operandi of late. Anyway...

Once the coffee is gone, I suppose I’ll kick into gear and take care of the daily routine before making the last salad to bring to dinner.

Morning again. Coffee. News. I wanted to watch the football game from London this morning, but I learned that yet another subscription service is required as opposed to the last couple of years. I thought about purchasing a month of the programming just to see the game, but the more I think about it, the less appealing such a process has become over the years since dumping my cable television subscription. There has to be more incentive. Anyway, if I decide to flip the channel switch, I’ll promptly report the results (because I don’t have much of a life anymore.

Yesterday I sighted that other girl again. It was a very damaging and depressing sight as I stood and considered my place in the world and the current situation. I watched her walk for a few seconds and noticed that there were features present which related way back many years ago to other forms that still take up residence inside my head. She is amazing to see. For the most part, I have to keep my trap shut about how I feel. Sometimes, though, there are certain aspects I can let fly here, such as the way her gait and shape mimic the enigma (and Ashley, but that’s a tough subject.). The downside is that as I watched her walk a short distance, a wave of depression washed over me as I realized there are very important aspects of life that are no longer ‘for me’, no matter how I feel or what I may do in the future. I am helpless here. Tiny. All I have is a keyboard, yet that is not to say that I have a ‘voice’. Regardless of the consequences, I will continue to watch her stroll whenever the opportunity arises because I am completely captivated by her beautiful appearance. She carries one of the most unique traits I’ve seen in real life. Moreover, I really don’t know what else to do. If I stare at her for five seconds, I end up in pain. If I avoid seeing her, I end up in pain. You tell me how to proceed.

After the birthday dinner, we spent a little time at the bar (believe it or not) prior to returning home. The visit was ok for the most part – a tad boring aside from the football that was being broadcast – and at no time did I become uncomfortable due to seeing anything special. The people at the bar were quite the reverse, trust me. I don’t really understand young people so I generally avoid them. There is no need for me to interact with anyone at this point in life, anyway. I keep to myself and then put up the facade as if everything is fine. I don’t have another choice if we end up at the bar once in a while. Trust me, the fucking idea of stopping there after dinner was most decidedly NOT mine. Whatever.

0738. This is just the type of morning I needed after being fairly busy yesterday. Lots of quiet time to consider my fucked-up place in the world. Or, the ‘grand scheme’, if you will. Eh, I don’t know how to label this crap.

I keep seeing the way she moved along the sidewalk yesterday. Details. Shapes. Motions that drove me insane. I am still insane. Without a doubt, she is the most unique and stirring form that I’ve ever seen on this street, and that is not an exaggeration. She is so amazing that I can’t even write the words that can do her justice. I should stop trying.

0906. I’ll have to move away from this soon. I can publish and then kick the machine to the curb for a while. I need to think about everything. The feelings that took over my consciousness yesterday when that girl walked by are really straining my need to understand how I became so fucking out of whack. I mean, there are some clues, but the truth is I am much further gone than even I had thought just months ago. My situation has not changed, either. The day-to-day activities are the same; my trips to stores remain stagnant. I don’t go anywhere else, really, unless there is a good, solid reason (or if the situation is not up to me). Necessity, perhaps, and nothing more. I am safe here... Safe from too many visions and reminders of who I may have been as opposed to whatever is sitting in this chair right now. I just don’t know, and may never arrive in a place with the required knowledge for finding all that I need. I’m sure glad there is pro football on today because this entire entry is fucking depressing.

Without further adieu, we shall return to the zone of the in-between, and for all the good it may provide...

Perhaps I should run with the idea that Julia wants me to hold myself accountable for much of the difficulty I’ve been plowing in life. I can’t really argue, although my suspicion keeps traveling back in time to the shit situations and their lasting effects upon how I feel about myself. This fucking self-therapy has been wavering all over the place like a blind alcoholic trying to walk during an earthquake. Not good. She tries to help and then I try to understand her cryptic bullshit and odd messages as these worlds continue to change. I really don’t know what else to think anymore. I’ve gone over so much – having left out certain feelings for reasons of self-protection – that one might think there is nothing more to see here. Well, that’s just not the case. Forward motion has to be maintained or there will be less reason for me to do ANYTHING. I will take some responsibility, however, because I know I’ve caused a mass of problems for both myself and others in the past. Bad feelings have forced me to push people aside as if they are unimportant. Knowing this as I do, I can’t in good conscience lay here and think of myself as completely innocent of all that has plagued me for many years. If that is one of Julia’s lessons, I get it. Thanks, dollface.

I see light again. Where am I? Still no feeling, though. Can I move my head? No, but there is definitely light. Ah, shit...

The closet door. The first one. Not good. I loved it at the time, yet all these years later I really don’t need reminders of things that are gone forever, especially those that took place during the fucking glow. This scene (day?) has been placed in front of me so many times that there has to be a pretty specific reason. The door must have a pretty hefty meaning. Wait... Door? A closet door? Is there a difference between this door I’m seeing and those through which I’ve traveled? Or the opportunities I’ve passed out of fear? The closet door. I remember much of that afternoon, too, yet what took place and the way I felt don’t seem to have much in common with my having been fearful of change. Was there validation in that door? Comfort? I believe it may have been the former. A door... Another kind of door after all the others, both figurative and literal. Maybe I’ve been looking at this whole thing from the wrong standpoint. Could that be key? The first closet door was pivotal, and a situation I had envisioned for many years, even after something similar took place at the resort in Nevada. Ever since the first door, my head manufactured all sorts of visions that would not leave, ever. They still reside in the back of my mind and are brought to the forefront every single day that I draw breath. I can't stop such a process after all this time. Helpless. The realization that the closet door has had such a massive impact on my life just might be a clue as to the meaning of the other doors, be them real or otherwise. Could this be the truth?

Flash! I must have gotten something right.

There is Julie, my wonderful companion. I see sand, sunshine and the sea ebbing and flowing. There are birds overhead. All of a sudden, I am very comfortable and with my girl once again. I guess I did have some sort of epiphany. There is a nagging feeling inside that the idea is not yet complete, however. This is a start, which I guess is better than nothing. And I know it, because otherwise Julia would not have let me out of that fucking death-gulag blackness, or whatever that place is. I see the beach and the beauty. I see Julie's hands wrapped to my left arm again. I see everything as it was, and more. I see...

Four fucking doors.

FOUR."



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