a fool off his guard

So.
We now have a dog.
So to speak.

Last sunday, I was at home from Church with some strange migraine. I get strange migraines all the time, but I took some asprin and went to sleep, and when I woke up around 11.5 or so, it was gone. So I went outside, took the clothes in, set the table for lunch, put the clothes out, opened the front door to let some breeze blow in, and went online.

Later, my mother came home.

"Did you know there's a dog there?" she asked.

There was a puppy waiting patiently on our front porch. He seemed cowed, as my mother pointed out. I could see his ribs, but he seemed friendly enough. He didn't try to come inside, and was obviously house trained. Later in the day, he went out of his way to poop on the lawn.

I hate it when this happens.

See, this has happened before. With a black and white pregnant cat. Our house is near the road, so any animal thrown or left in the vacant lots nearby—one of which actually borders our house—will find it's way to our home first. There is another house roughly the same distance from the road, but they're fenced off, and any animal trying to get there would have to walk though overgrown bush, compared to the walk to my house, which was partially cleared a few months ago.

|
2h|
L |
cL+——
cL | cL h cL
cL| L 3h

Where h is my house, 2h is the second house, 3h is the house due west of mine, L is an overgrown lot, cL is a cleared lot, { | }and { — }are roads, and { + } is an intersection.

In case you were wondering what happened to Whisky, we took her and her kittens to the local Humane Society, where they presumably were killed. Oddly enough, one kitten seems to have escaped, and is living happily in the bush around our home on lizards and such.

It's been said that one could put a pack of terriers in the Artic, and within a week, they'd be living in caves and bringing down caribou.1 The case could also be made for domestic cats, who could survive quite happily on birds, mice, and lizards. However, if a dog has known nothing but reliance on humans, it may find it difficult to go wild. There are packs of self-sufficent dogs roaming Nassau, some with collars on. If their feeding by humans were to be taken away, they could survive, easily. The dog near our house is not so independent. Beaten and starved, he has come to rely on people for food.

In a sense, the same could be said for some human relationships, especially abusive ones. The abuser makes the victim emotionally dependant, so that they are metaphorically unable to survive wihout the abuser. The difference being that the dog doesn't know what's being done to it is wrong. The human knows, but rationalizes it because they are simply unable to leave.

This dog is going to be a real pain.
  1. Specifically, by Harry Pearson, in Racing pigs and Giant Marrows.

//could fall and fall hard

Somnium adamo.

I was at a party.

The party seemed to be some sort of MTV-style event calle Butterfly, Butterfly. Complete with a garish, pink, 70s-esque logo across everything. All that was missing was an effervescent Ryan Seacrest.

The part was being held in some sort of large, well-lit room, somewhere in the tropics. The big side doors were open, presumably to let the breeze blow through. Wood panelling. I seemed to be the only Black guy. The rest were Beach House blonde airheads and ripped, oddly shirtless boys with spiked or feathered hair.

The catchphrase was "butterfly, butterfly".

It was being used in much the same way some blacks use motherf_er. Someone getting down yells "Butterfly butterfly-ee!" and later, after the cop comes, a fluttering horizontal motion is made under the chin while glancing at the stereo, whispering "Butterfly, butterfly."

I left when the cop showed up, though the actual leaving escapes me.

I walk along a second-story veranda, house on my right, cool night on my left. The party is presumably behind me. Presumably: I don't look back.

Through a window on my right is a family at a dinner table, backlit by a lone lamp. The table is rectangular, parallel to the window. Stiff. The father is on the left. Glasses; thinning hair gone to white; bald spot; careworn lines in his face. His wife, a fading brunette, has her hair up. The two children, on the wide part of the table, seem to be living, breathing replicas of Dick and Jane. The boy has his back to me. His pigtailed sister is staring at him, he at her. They don't notice me, a dark presence looming over their window, dark against the sky darkening to midnight.

I walk on.

There is a room at the end. No staircase. The room is darkly painted, with a single lamp behind the group of people playing Scrabble, or some other board game, on the coffee table. Wicker sofas and chairs, thinly cushioned. A blonde stand up from the chair farthest from me, stretches, smiles. I, clumsily—as usual—, ask for a ride. She says something about giving a ride to another guy. She takes my hand.

Takes my hand.

We walk along some sort of, um, walkway. Concrete pillars on the left, shade above, some sort of monolithic grey structure on the right. I don't know what's beyond the pillars, besides blinding light. She's on the outside. Our fingers seem to grow arond each other, curling of their own accord. There is a ramp leading forward and down, turning right, forward and down. Into darkness. Oblivion. She tells me to cut through the building, meet her at 15. Through? Sure enough, there's a glass door on my right.

I don't remember letting go. I should rememmber letting go.

I cut through the building—an airport, it seems—and ask someone where 15 is. He mentions the last line of an old gospel song. I exit the building.

The building the man mentioned is right in front of me. It is on a huge green lawn, transversed by gravel paths, not unlike a college campus. I cross to the building, walk on to the parking lot on the other side, look for her car.

She's not there.

And I don't know what her car looks like.

After a while-I don't know how long-I turn around and find that the campus is gone, that the parking lot fronts directly onto the grey building. I go back in.

The building seems to have gotten much larger. Some soft, golden-lit dinner is being held ther. An old man is telling his grandson how he met his grandmother at that very table, 20 years ago. I go back outside.

This is roughly where I feel compelled to wake up. In fact, I am already a third awake. I fight to stay in the dream, desperately searching the suddenly-empty lot for the girl, who I may be in love with. I think I catch a glimpse of her, in the distance, but that's all I remember before I wake up.


Now.

The glimpse I caught of the girl actually seemed to be the Bride from Kill Bill, dressed the way she was when she went to kill Vernita Green. The typography used for the 'Butterfly, Butterfly' logo is identical to that used for the Pussy Wagon. I've alaways been partial to blondes. The ramp the girl was descending represented a descent into oblivion, into Conrad's fabled Heart of Darkness. THe fact that it was a ramp, not stairs, indicates that the descent would be all that easier. ALmost all the cars in the parking lot were silver.

I need someone to help me figure out what it means.

both a little scared

April 27th.


I consider it rather ironic that I get more work done bereft of internet access than any other time during our ownership of this computer. Seriously; I believe I have finished at least six Photoshop art pieces, a short essay, all-but finished one blog design, started another, began working on a fantasy anthology, improved my vector skills, taught myself to Riverdance, opened a small brokerage house, and balanced my taxes.

Okay, okay, I'm exaggerating. (It was only five pieces.) But still! I'm bored out of my mind. Since I'm broke, can't drive, and have no idea where my ATM card is—my mother hid it—seriously—I cannnot even go to the nearby theatre. School is out till, what, July? And since nothing but reruns, soaps, and trashy talk shows (and worse Maury) play in the daytime, and I have no Interweb access or incoming phone lines, I'm effectively boned for things to do. I'm'a goin' stir crazy. Thank goodness I can telepathically connect to Blogger to vent, or the boredom would start to affect me mentally.

Family guy on Sunday? At a decent time? With a better promo and production budget? With Fox still refusing to admit they bought it back because of high Adult Swim ratings and crediting it to "high DVD sales"? With Fox airing the spots for it on every cable network with a strong 18-35 male prescence but [AS], the undisputed king of its demographic? Well, okay. It's better than nothing.

Thursday, May 5th.


Oh, right, the Star Wars Ep. 3 game was released today. In two weeks, the most anticipated redundant prequel by a has-been EVAR will be released! Yay!

So, I went up to the College and picked up my transciprt for the past term. I failed two courses, 3D design with Mrs. B_, and my Arguementative Writing class. Strange: I can debate like Billy-O online—if stretching the definition of the word so Gaia Online can qualify—, but I can't write a real-life arguementative essay to save my life. I got C's in my other two classes. [Actually, one was C+, the other C-.] I am also now on academic probation, and have to repeat said courses.

Needless to say, my parents were pissed.

Allow me to tell me something about my parents; their idea of discussing my grades is to make me stand up while they tell me—often from two different parts of the room, in order to split my attention—and tell me, in no uncertain terms, that I f—ed up. This is a fact that I am usually aware of as soon as I see my report card/transcript, and I have yet to figure out why they feel the need to tell me, at length, at volume, for the duration of a half-hour, while asking more rhetorical questions than Socrates used in his life.
Mum: How do you expect me to feel!?!?
Me: Angry, frustrated, betrayed.
Mum (deflated slightly): Well, um, yes, all of those things.
I thought it intresting that they kept trying to tell me that I was responsible for the grades, even after I pointed out that it was my future on the line, I had made the choices, knowing full well the possible consequences, and that said future was worth more than their paltry _00 dollars1

One particular point my mother made involved all the times I could've come to her for help, and all the times she offered to help. I replied2 that she was utterly incapable of actual productive advice; that her idea of help was to sling blame around wildly, and to take any criticism of her suggestions as a vicious, barbed, attack on her, her intelligence, her family, and her cooking skills, followed by withdrawing her support entirely, on the grounds that I was always criticisizing her.3 She never bothered to explain why I should take a suggested course of action, and later admitted that she didn't see the need.

And yes, this is a woman three times my age, who frequently cites her 'greater experience' as justification for all of her suggestions, actions, and basically anything that she does or says that I criticisize at all.

Indeed, the woman is passive-agressive, and I know this. A week ago, I decided not to see a local production of "West Side Story", despite much protest from my mother. She even tried the "what if I had already bought the ticket?" gambit.4 Several days later, she was still grumbling about it. I wanted to ask her how she found the play, knowing full well how she'd respond. Nonetheless, I popped the question5, over lunch last Sunday, and she responded as expected; "If you wanted to know, you should've gone and seen it."6

In case you don't get it, she was not trying to make me feel guilty for missing a good play; she was trying to make me feel guilty for turning down her offer to see the play. She had taken it personally.7 Machinations which would shame both Marie Baronne and Machivelli.

The worst part is that she has my sister doing the same thing; slowly turning her into a minature guilt-triping, insecure, and narcisisstic shrew.

</rant>

Whenever we—by which I mean my parents—have these arguements, I always act logical while they get more and more irritated, wondering if my lack of emotional demonstration indicates a lack of actual emotion.8 The only addressing of my postion comes in the form of asking me whether I don't feel anything. To which I should reply, yes, but I am striving to look at this from a strictly logcal point of view, in order to reduce the likelihood of mistakes. I'll vent later, in a long, gramatically correct blog entry with scads of subtle jokes and asides. I don't actually say this. Partially because my parents are opposed to me taking to anyone online, outside of the bounds of Christian sites.9 Partially because they don't know that I keep a blog, as they told me to stop keeping my old online journal. Partially because they don't know what a "blog" is, and I'd have to explain it.

In these discussions, sooner or later, they start going on about my 'potential'. They remind me of all they times they've told me that I have the most potential of all their children. Oddly enough, I can never remember this happening, ever. The one time I asked Mum, point-blank, for my IQ number, she refused to tell me. I can certainly remember them telling me that they've told me about my potential but the original occasion, if there ever was one, escapes me. If I didn't know better, I'd say it didn't exist.

Also mysteriously, they never offer any solutions. They just tell me what I did wrong, over and over again. I've learned to block these, well, whinings out. Unfortunately, I also block out any criticism as well. According to two seperate art teachers, this is my main problem. Heck, in my first semester at COB [last winter/fall] I had the teacher and an entire class tell me so. It got through, I took it personally, and I went home crying. My teacher and the class told me so again this semester [hence the C+]. My parents just row for a half-hour, and then go off muttering about how they're 'very disappointed'. My mother barely talks to me for two days. Everytime she sees me, she mentiones how I'm 'not [her] favorite person right now' and I'd 'better stay out of [her] way'.

Another mystery is why my father never offers anything more that a token mumbling criticism until we have these little discussions. At which point he pretty does nothing except talk about how he's very angry with me, and make snide remakes about my apparent maturity, and how I don't really want to do X. In this case, X=Art. He mentioned how I never did any art neatly. I pointed out that art is about expression, not 'neatness'. He got angry, since I had made a valid point thta he had no rebuttal for and could not dismiss as irrelevant. Oddly enough, he never actually asks me what I think, and only mutter when I'm not looking at him.

I could go on, but I have enough material for a Comedy Central Presents here already, and my sister needs to use the computer. I have to go now.10

May 12th
I just11 realized something. Something about parenting.

A parent's job description covers, but is not limited to, censoring their child's intake of media, instilling values, and enabling the child to make their own decisions. It is the second Item I'd like to explore.

A parent instills morals by telling their child what they think is right or wrong. When the child is young, this is sufficent. Parents usually fall into the trap of believing that everything they say should go unchallanged, simply because they are parents. Some parents do not even focus on teaching their kids what is wrong, so much as they focus on making the child feel guilty, such as my parents have done. This may lead to insecurity and psychological instability in the child.12

My parents have done both: thinking they do not have to justify their positions to their children, and focusing on blame and guilt rather than right and wrong. Indeed, my mother feels I am challenging everything which leaves her mouth (which I am) simply be cause it is leaving her mouth (which I'm not). When I explain why I'm doing this—I want justification of one course of action over another/the claims she makes, before I believe them—she gets angry and declares that she doesn't have to justify herself. [note that I specifically referred to the claims she makes, not her.] I retort that I don't have to believe in what she says. This falls under the third point: empowering one's child to make their own decisions. My paents believe I should make my own decisions—as long as they approve of them. This kind of structure isn't good for any family. Just look at the Barrones.13

As I said before 10, my family has problems. What other families need to do is learn from our mistakes; instill morals by showing what you believe to be right or wrong, not guilt. If your children question your statements, defend them, and do not take it personally. Never tell your kids to stop challenging you just because you feel they have no valid points. Trust in the truth of the statement to ensure victory.


  1. Actually, I forgot to make this last point. Which is ironic, because I knew that I was failing these courses before I even finished them, and had been mulling over what I was going to say for weeks.

  2. Again, weeks of consideration.

  3. Ironically, she took the criticism of the way she helps personally.

  4. For reference's sake, the correct reply is that it was their fault for buying you a ticket without actually asking you if you wanted to go. In essence, "that's not my problem".

  5. Oepidal pun absolutely intended.

  6. I have fantasized, since, about carfully moving her glass and any other obstructions out of the way, and then grabbing her by her collar and making her tell me how...she liked..the f—ing...play.

  7. This is the same woman, who, without a trace of irony, will guilt-trip me for not talking to people—read: her—more. She does so no matter how many times I point out that we share no intrests whatsoever. The dynamic is not unlike being stalked by a woman you dated once, and have nothing in common with, except more than 120lbs heavier than any woman I ever hope to date.

  8. Quite the opposite. If I were to get demonstrative, I'd probably kill someone. Then someone else. Then myself. Probably.

  9. Since the Interweb at large is populated with perverts, pagans, and Aetheists. All of whom are trying to get me to stop believing in God. And start wearing black. And eyeshadow. And become a transsexual prostitiute named Natty. All the Christians online are sitting in their nice little Christian websites, eating nice little Christian lunch biscuits, drinking nice little Christian cups of cocoa, and discussing nice little Christian matters. Which is exactly what I should be doing. Heaven forbid I communicate with people who respect my opinions and offer valid arguements. We all know it's impossible for anyone Non-Christian to have a valid perspective on Christian matters. Just like white people don't know how black people live.

  10. Yes, my f—ing family is f—ing dysfunctional! Yes, I need f—ing therapy! What the f— was your first clue?!? < /vent >

  11. And by 'just', I mean several days ago.

  12. I certainly know I've got issues.

  13. Incidentally, Everybody Loves Raymond sucks.
//neither one prepared