skonen_blades: (Default)
We’re not built to withstand the storm.
We change every time we survive a crisis.
We are shuffled to one side into a new person after every intensity.
Now that we know that:
(We lack a center
that every test changes us and doesn't cement our certainty
that every crucible merely rearranges our atoms
and doesn't refine us to a more concentrated particulate)
We avoid the situations.
We no longer seek the prow in a storm.
We suffer from survivor’s guilt on a genealogical scale.
A humanity-wide scale.
And it feels like the only antidote to the horror is ignorance.
The inability to affect real meaningful change causes the need for a form of permanent hibernation.
A chrysalis of affected indifference that will never butterfly.
An act.
And we lack the strength of character to choose otherwise.
Our tears are a drink for some.
Our failure is hated by most.
And we are getting weaker, both with age the knowledge that they're right to feel the way they do.
So we choose to become shadow.
To be in the current of the river.
To live beneath the notice of the pure of heart.
We have a lack of purity now.
We are not deeply polluted. We are not rotten.
But we are no longer pure.
Our insides are not dirty but we can no longer ride certainty to a goal.
Our focus always has a reason for plus or minus.
We have thrown ourselves against life's wall and it has appreciated it.
Like a laughing Viking.
We feel like we can no longer be instrumental.
We pass the torch by giving away our fire.

skonen_blades: (Default)
He’s walking into autumn.
He’s living an eclipse.
He’s half human and half sunset.
The light that burns half as bright burns twice as long.
Or so he hopes.
Playing dead so well he’s gone full method actor.
This is his impression of a clothesline.
Call him Canadian scarecrow.
Call him paused at seconds before impact.
Call him slow motion.
The tortoise and the hare were running two different races.
Slow and steady doesn't win.
It's just satisfied with less.
His version of failure is 8/10ths of the world's version of success.
It's hard not to look up to someone as tall as him.
The beard has all the answers, the age has all the wisdom.
He’s a 'used condom is half-full' kind of guy.
This is his impression of an empty bucket.
Watch him be parking lot.
Watch him be low tide.
The living embodiment of a discarded air guitar.
He has the gift of depression that never stops giving.
He can't breathe underwater but he can hold his breath for 45 years.
Let's flip a coin and disappear before it lands, he says.
Let's climb into Schroedinger's box and snuggle up with that cat, he says.
He embarrasses his mirror.
The universe is a predator that's picking on someone else these days.
Either that or he doesn’t feel the blows anymore.
He’s a pillow fight in a war zone.
He’s aging into irrelevance and maybe the most alarming thing about it is that he doesn’t mind.
No panic.
Just patient sinking.
Just love for friends.
Just quiet desperation.
Just tombstone lullabies for an old man.
Don't get him wrong.
He loves life and he’s not going anywhere.
It's just that he’s put down roots in the path of a forest fire.

skonen_blades: (bounder)
The problem with love is this. When I look at you, I think “You deserve the best. And I am not the best.” I’m the problem. It’d be easy to say that I’m a bag of glass, that I’m a burned-down church, but I think it’d be truer to say that my good conscience and my bad conscience agree pretty much all the time these days which is confusing. My good conscience is like “I think you should kiss her.” And my bad conscience is like “Yeah. I think so, too.” And I’m like “Thanks for the fucking help, guys.” If my mind is a house of commons, then I’ve become bipartisan to the point of indecision.

Right now I’m starring in the movie Teen Wolf Fourteen: Middle Aged Wolf. I’m a compromise. Like death metal coming out of a sensible family minivan. I’ve turned into a prudent prude. My past, present, and future are all tense. I’m tight because I’m well-taut. I’m a clown at a funeral. I’m worried that I’ll find Narnia in the back of an oven when I notice that the squeal of brakes can sound like somebody screaming. I want to be a tragic figure but I’m not. So I’ve decided to move slower. For the rest of my life.

I wonder if Wolverine’s healing ability works on broken hearts. I wonder if men go crazy because they’re not allowed to be loving. I’ve heard it said that it rains on everyone’s roofs but it’s loudest on the tin ones meaning that the sensitive people hear life the most. I say that earplugs are available for fifty cents on the corner of lalala boulevard and I can’t hear you street.

What does the heart say? I don’t know. Mine says “if you want unconditional love, get a dog.” Mine says “If you’re dirty, then love me until you’re clean.” Mine says “My stomach has never been filled with butterflies. It’s full of caterpillars. It’s gross.”

I never lose my cool because you can’t lose what you never had. I’ve never been this old. On the other hand, I’ll never be this young again.

So fuck it.

Love is the most important thing in the world. I’m taking off my arrow proof vest. I’m not only going to take out my earplugs, I’m going to get hearing aids to listen to the rain. I’m going to improve myself to the best version of myself I can be so that I can feel like I deserve love. I’m going to prorogue my mental parliament and tell my conscience to start making sense. I’ll star in Middle Aged Man, an independent surprise hit feature. It’ll be my New Year’s Revolution.

And I’m starting it now.

skonen_blades: (gahyuk)
I am too old to enjoy the future. I am physically unable to.

People, like older trees and metal from the ground, could not be retro-engineered. Transporters were finally here but everyone who had dreamed of their existence could not use them. Anyone already born at the moment of their invention were forever denied the use of them.

It was a magic man-made molecule. A destabilizer, a cataloguer, and a quantum anchor pairing that, when activated, allowed for a temporal reversal field to happen to all particles attached to its field. Basically, one pressed ‘play’ and the object with these designer molecules took itself apart down to the base level. When the completion trigger was transmitted to a sister pad, it activated a ‘rewind’ function on the other half of the quantum anchor pairing, making the object build itself again by performing the actions backwards in time. The time debt repaid itself to the trillisecond and the universe remained in balance.

In effect, it made transporters a reality.

The only hitch was that transportable objects needed to be manufactured from the base up with the molecules embedded into their chains. This presented no problem to ferroplastics, ceramics and chemical compound agents which were the basis for most building materials and household utensils destined for the moons or the outer rim.

It was a simple operation to have the molecules chemically bonded into the DNA chains of an embryo but only in the first trimester. A new generation of people were being created with the ability to flit between transporters both on Earth and her fifteen colonies in the solar system. It worked for other biologicals as well. NuMeat and ReFish were plentiful among the planets.

The rest of us were planet-locked.

Cargo slingships pushed Gs that would crush a regular human, let alone an old one like me. Passenger ships were fewer and fewer in number with the new generation’s ability to transport instantly. It drove ticket prices into a cost bracket only the superrich could afford. And I was not rich. I could never leave Earth and even when traveling around my own world, I was restricted to fuel-burning planes and buses with the other old people.

I’ve read about getting old. How events around you seem to speed up. How life gets harder and faster while your ability to deal with it weakens. I feel that it must be more apparent now than ever before in the history of mankind.

I am not merely slow. I am going extinct. The other seniors and I are the last few remaining members of a pruned branch of the human race. Airports and bus stations are only for the aging and the already ancient.

We have an official classification now. While the rest of humanity is still referred to as homo sapien, we have been re-designated as homo tardus. Slow humans. The young ones simply call us ‘tards.

It is humiliating to have to move so slowly. I dearly wished to be a part of a future with transporters and now that it’s happened, I have my nose pressed against the glass with no ability to take part. Myself and the other science fiction fans who have lived to this moment are cursing our longevity, growing bitter.

We take trips together and huddle in our apartments, watching vintage science fiction shows using antique ‘DVD players’ and 2D ‘televisions’ with tears in our eyes as our numbers dwindle.

skonen_blades: (thatsmell)
Fat, old animals don’t exist in the wild. They only exist in zoos.

At some point, you realize that you’re not who you were.

With the clarity of hindsight, you wouldn’t have wished your younger self on any partner but now, here, looking in the full length mirror, you can’t picture yourself in a carnal embrace with anyone without a sigh of disgust.

There are people that wonder if you can ever truly know another person and there are people that think yes, you can. The people that think you can are young. You used to think you could know a person.

Now you don’t even know yourself.

There comes a time when you’re so sick of being wrong that you just pretend not to notice anymore. You become a shaded half-measure, attracted to yet unworthy of unicorns. Hopping and failing, hopping and failing, like a wounded rabbit.

Sometimes it rains for so long you think you’ll never be dry again.

All you see in the mirror is an elitist douchebag too easily clouded by compliments and living in denial of faults you no longer feel you have the strength to change.

It’s a moment when you realize that better late than never is bullshit and that Prince Charming is only a mask hiding the crucible of old age.

All you can see are the paths not taken and the dangers lurking in the possible paths left. And it doesn’t even make you feel trapped. It’s the resignation you feel that would be the most alarming thing about your surrender if you were still capable of feeling alarm.

It’s the morning that’s left you like this. The first of many mornings to come. Too many to even consider with a sober mind. Even the rest of this day is a weight.

You’d never kill yourself but you start to think if you were caught in a bank robbery, that maybe it’d be okay to be just insolent enough to goad the criminal into shooting you.

You start to understand prisoners who refuse to bathe as a form of protest. It’s the only form of control they have left.

Your debts, obligations, and commitments stretch into an unending future that your younger self would have seen as a challenge. You just see it as an anchor you’re attached to sinking deeper, a life getting harder and faster while your ability to deal with it physically and mentally is whittled away.

It is then that you see the bars on your cage.

skonen_blades: (Default)
Oh, the insecurities of an aging male. How they buffet, rage and swirl. My hair! My physique! My prowess! “Obsess”, the reflection says. “Compare”, the young bodies say. “Overcompensate”, the ego says.

My material accomplishments! Let me list them at every opportunity! Let people know you’re worth it, even if you yourself stopped believing it years ago.

I feel, sometimes, like I’m living in denial of the fact that I’m an out-of-shape, mid-life crisis having, almost-old guy trying desperately to surround himself with hot girls and cool parties so that he can avoid looking at mirrors.

It’s a voice that has to be silenced before it becomes my master. It’s the whip that I try to outrun. I have felt apologetic for my entire life, like I have to make up for being less than I could have been.

I believe in supporting those around me. I believe in giving. I believe in affection and love. “I want to help” should be tattooed across my chest. I see the creativity and beauty in every one.

My ex-wife used to kid with me. She’d say “You see everyone as a super hero” with a little shake of her head and I’d say “Well, what’s wrong with that?”

All I know is that this summer is the best one I’ve ever had, at least since the death of my father and my divorce. I feel like I’m waking up, like I’m shedding a skin and coming out of some dark and isolated place. It’s all baby steps but it is happening.

skonen_blades: (hmm)
This unbroken chain of events that I call my life links back for three and a half decades to the time of my parents. My mom was born in the fifties. My dad was born in the forties. He remembered, through a child’s eyes, the end of World War 2. That sounds ancient to me.

I was born in the seventies.

‘The seventies’ sounds ancient to some people now. I talk about how the 1982 version of Flash Gordon is my favourite and I’m sheepishly told that the person I’m talking to wasn’t born until 1985.

Post-Ghostbusters. Post-Blade Runner. Post-E.T. Post-Poltergeist. Post-Star Trek 1 and 2. Post-Raiders of the Lost Ark. Post-Ferris. Post-The Thing.

My mind reels.

Soon enough, I’ll know people that were born after the turn of the century. The nineteen-hundreds will sound like Ye Olde Times to them. I was born before personal computers were common. I was born before the internet. I might as well have been making fire with sticks and flint and hunting mammals with a bow and arrow.

I’ve managed to fool the mirror into thinking that I’m not doing too bad. Then I go outside. The summer reveals the flawlessness of youth. In some cases, I simply can’t believe that humans can be so vital, so healthy, so sculpted.

We’re all lifetime members of the same club. I realize how fast time is going by now in little revelations. Seeing pictures from a party and realizing that they’re from an entire year ago is a common occurrence. From what I hear, it’s only going to get worse.

I think my life is pretty good. I’m not complaining. It’s just a trip, that’s all.

skonen_blades: (heymac)
It was a hard habit to break, this whole buying and selling onself.

For one, the money was so good. For two, nothing was remembered.

Waking up two weeks older in the kind of perfect health that only temporal technology could achieve was always a little disconcerting. Being slipped back into the timestream at the moment that one of was snatched was viable but a little tricky if one was gone for weeks at a time.

They add up. Suddenly, within a year, several two-week trips become two years you’ve spent away in between the seconds. Your friends notice you going grey earlier.

No one’s every been straight up tagged as a traveler but any suspicion is bad suspicion, they say, so it’s avoided.

One needs a cover story so I’ve been given a job that makes me travel a lot. I’m a trucker. Gone for weeks a time, righ?

I get snatched, briefed, suited, injected, built up for it, snaked, and shredded until I barely resemble a human anymore. I’m sent on my mission, none of which I’m allowed to remember, and then I’m reverted back to my normal human self before being chucked back into my apartment and they press ‘play’ on my corner of the universe again.

Rumour has it that I’m quite the secret agent. I have two medals in my closet in a box that look innocuous enough. I don’t know what they’re for but they don’t hand medals out to everyone, right?

Involving myself with the temporals was easy. They came to me. They knew I’d be up for it because they were from downstream aways from a place where I’d been working for them for decades already with great success.

Hard to argue with that, right? And as it turns out, they were dead right. Ha ha.

Sometimes, I wish I knew what I was doing on those missions, though. It keeps me up some nights, to tell you the truth.

Am I causing empires to topple somewhere else in the universe? Am I changing the course of the destiny of every living thing in the known omniverse? Ah well. Sure I am. I guess, in some ways, by going to the store this morning and making the conscious choice to buy my milk from a different store than I usually go to, I’m doing the same thing.

Have I ever been sent to screw with this Earth right here? That worries me more than anything else, really. That question. Have I changed governments?

The future that hired me tells me that they’re a great place. I mean, I’m sure they’re not lying, but it seems kind of fishy, you know?

There’s a bright flash in the middle of my living room. Knock, knock.

Time for another mission. I’m told that I stop working for them in six years but that’s hard to imagine. I really feel like quitting now. I guess we’ll see how that works out.

skonen_blades: (gimmesommo)
Janice faltered in the dark apartment. It wasn’t hers. She was sobering up, the guy was snoring, and it was time to go. She had her panties in her pocket and her shoes were dangling from her hand by their thin, blue straps.

It was time to head home, have a shower, print off a fresh uniform, and try to clear her head for work.

She had a sub-orbital to catch to Leningrad and then the Skyrock up to Luna2. Too many launch G’s and five years of space travel meant that her career as a flight attendant was coming to an end. Osteoporosis was setting in and her capillaries were starting to rupture.

She had a future of varicose veins and weak bones to look forward to, but she had a plan.

Janice was independent. She used to laugh at the younger attendants who would use their job to romance rich patrons in First Class and catch themselves a husband.

She used to scoff at the ones who found sugar daddies to pay their bills for a while. They put their own paycheques into investments.

Janice looked at them as space whores. She thought she was better than that. Things were not working out, however, and she hated herself at the moment.

Janice had been a smart girl with a bright future. The flight attendant job offered a chance to travel and was a fairly easy form of crowd control. The safety protocols were so redundant these days that an accident was nearly impossible.

It was safe, she saw the worlds, and she was beautiful. For a while, she was an angel of space.

Time had raced past her, however, and she’d never finished her degree. Her body was starting to degrade and she had no money of her own saved up or at least not enough to retire with.

A low-level panic had started in. She’d been given a copy of the note from the work doctor that she had six months left of safe travel before she should be grounded.

It was an execution sentence. The party was over and it was last call. This angel was getting her wings clipped.

So she started sleeping with first class passengers, taking their money, and putting her paycheques into high-risk investments that would pay off if they came through.

As of this morning, they had not come through. Her money was gone. Dusty offices and a decompression had taken all of her investments away along with most of the executives that were behind the project.

She had nothing. Something about flight attendants really got men hot and bothered so the pickings were easy but most of them had wives already.

She had four months left to hook a rich or well-off husband before her time ran out. She had nightmares of the bubbles building up in her bones until she became too fragile to walk. She’d be in a wheelchair and begging for change. Her looks would be gone.

She’d be terrified of falling.

She is terrified of falling.



skonen_blades: (Default)

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