Hi there!

I have found myself overwhelmed and rather boring.

I am going to cut updates in half. I did not realize that ansP would take up so much of my time, nor did I realize how much I would enjoy it. I have the next story half written and mostly planned.

I have figured out why the post for Alone. was so strange. I had planned to move release a month because I was waiting on stuff and was not sure that I would make the original release. So, I did a bunch of awkward stuff around that, and I do apologize to those who support me on Patreon for early release. I will make sure the next one is totally proper and equally as good.

I am really proud of Alone. I honestly think that it is one of my best pieces to date, and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

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The Time I Actually Got Angry

It feels like I am full of rage, but I actually take life in stride. There are not too many situations that fill me with anger. Most of the time, I just get depressed and seem short to end situations instead of dealing with them.

This is not one of those times

This was near the end of my adventure. I was doing some outpatient at Freeport in Kitchener. This particular day, I was going up and down the parallel bars. This one gentleman, who I will not even pretend to diagnose but was clearly paraplegic, asked me half way down the short track and asked “What happened to you?”

I did not really care that much. It’s a fair question to ask of another disabled individual. Especially since he did not seem to really care, and was just asking to make conversation.

“No one knows!” I replied, mildly dismissively. I really didn’t mean to be so short, but it’s not much of a secret that Viral Meningoencephalitis is more of a catch all that fits as opposed to an official diagnosis.

He got very angry very quickly. “DUDE. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO TELL ME THEN DON’T, BUT DON’T GIVE ME–“

“No, he’s right.” My Physiotherapist chimed in at this moment. “Beside diagnosis is a giant question mark and a few theories.”

“Oh. I get it, now.” He responded then walked back the other way on the bars.

I was frothing. I actually had to leave my session early because I was so angry. Not because he asked, not because someone else backed up my answer, but because he refused to accept what I had to say as fact. It’s petty, on my end. Very petty, and I am aware. I have always had an issue with my opinion, or facts that I actually know, being ignored. I have always lived with the acceptance that a lie is work, where the truth just is.

I am going to end this rant here, as I really don’t know where else I can go with it. I WOULD like to point out that I spent “meningoencephalitis” almost right the first try. I was off by only two letters!

Alone. {ANEWSIN VOL. 7 — Jason Garden}

//Edited by Luka Riot

Another day, all alone.

He looks out the window as the sun slowly peeks over the horizon. No one is anywhere near him, and no one has been for a very long time. He is alone.

He has been alone for what feels like months.

There are two kinds of people. The decent people in the cities, and those who are in solitary and are forced to live that way because of how they have been in the past. They have been rude or violent. Even just inappropriate thoughts are enough to hide someone away from the rest of society. Those in cities are surrounded by others like them. It is all sorted by an algorithm, and the results are just accepted. Why wouldn’t they be?

He pours his coffee and prepares to eat his first meal of the day, like he always does. The windows are without blinds. The walls of civilization are kilometres away from his residence, so it is fair to think that no one would be looking in. So, imagine his shock when he looked outside to realize that there is a new house that he has never seen.

At least he was wearing pants today.

Not too far away sits a small, red brick, single floor, rather shabby looking house. He cannot make out if anyone is there right now, but it is close enough to hinder his view of the sun rising over the chicken wire of the city.

The house is situated perfectly as so trees do not block the view.

Whoever the owner is, they saw it fit to get window dressings. Probably to block the sun. Or the wind as most of the windows seem to have holes in the glass due to rocks being projected through them.

He puts on a thin top. He has a quick shower, then figures that it would be in his best interest to say hello.

Once he is ready, he makes the venture out to the new arrival. His stride did not hide the frustration and mild curiosity he felt. The distance is far from great, but it still takes him the better part of an hour.

The wall still stands a great pillar of truth and testament to everything he gave up for the solitude he was given. The cinder blocks remind him that he is guarded from all that it contains.

A batted young girl meets him part way to the house.

“Hello, there!” She yells. Her voice cuts sharply above the noise of silence that steeps the land. “Where the fuck am I?”

He laughs. “Nowhere and everywhere. I’ve been here forever, and you probably will be, as well.” Being lost is standard.

He now knows that there is no danger, he turns to head back towards his sanctuary. The dirt of the ground spins with his heel. That is to be the only mark left between the two houses, he thinks. He doesn’t want friends. He doesn’t want to be bothered. He just wants to open a beer and read things on the screen. All of his needs are taken care of in this place, and he has just enough entertainment to ignore just how incredibly crushing the isolation is.

“Where are you going?” The girl screams after him. “I have questions!”

“I don’t care. You’ll understand soon enough.” He replies, looking over his shoulder just long enough to make sure the girl heard him. He hoped that his body language would emphasize just how sure he was in his answer.

“Can I come over, then? I have things that I need answers!.” She continues to plead with him as he ventures further and farther away. “Please?”

He ignores her pleads. She’ll figure things out or disappear in a week. He thinks to himself. He has been in this area long enough to know how the process goes.

He gets back to his front door when he notices that he is not alone. The girl followed him. Her eyes are full of tears and her hair is full of blood. She is skinny and frail. This is the closest he has been to another being in a very long time.

“At least let me use your water. My place hasn’t been connected to the system as of yet, and I am a fucking wreck. This blood? Not sure where it came from. This place? I don’t remember how I got here.” Her voice strains in her frantic attempt to get everything said. She clearly was in shock.

She extended a hand. “Please.” She murmured between sobs. “I don’t know where I am or why I am here.”

“Fine. Come this way.” He felt he had no choice but to at least pretend to show compassion. “Do you like coffee? I was about to make another pot.”

“Yes. And thank you.” She replied, smiling for the first time since she had seen him. “We don’t need to talk anymore. Unless you want to. God knows I can talk a lot. Especially if I was asked not to talk or I feel the other person doesn’t want me to. But seriously, just let me know if you want me to be quiet, I can do that. I can I can…”

He puts his face into his hand and lets out a massive sigh.

“Don’t make me regret this.” He barks in her direction, then continues his stroll towards his residence. His direction lead right to the path me made lined with old broken brick that he found in his journeys around the land. He was proud of it.

“Bree.”

The girl exclaimed what he assumed was her name rather unceremoniously.

“It was awkward to me that we haven’t been properly introduced. I’m Bree. No one cares what it’s short for. Least of all me.” Bree then started to follow. “What are you called?”

“Keven.” he says with a tone of confusion. He never thought that he would be in a position again where he needed to introduce himself. “I’d appreciate it if you stopped ruining everything.”

A miasma of awkward tension levitated above the two for a moment. Keven never stopped walking, but Bree stumbled for a moment.

“Why do you hate me?” Bree asked. Her voice was audibly choked up.

“I don’t. I just haven’t seen other people in a very long time” Kevin replied without looking to see Bree’s face. He had a feeling that her eyes would break his rugged disposition.

Bree started to raise her voice “But what about–“

“–I could have left you at the hovel you called home for-who-knows-how-long. I could have waited for you to give up then raided you for everything you have. Be happy I was in a good mood today.” Keven made sure his words were deliberate in their dictation. He wanted her to stop. He wanted her to realize that they were alone. They will always be alone. That things will go his way or she will be left behind.

If Keven had bothered to look over, he would have noticed that Bree had stopped in her tracks.

“Where is someone else to talk to?” Her voice quivers as she forces the words.

“There is no one else.” Keven screamed. “Why do I have to keep telling you this? We’re alone. We will be left alone for a long time.”

Bree fell to the ground and started shaking.

“Get up. There is no point in crying.” Keven’s demeanour started to soften. He felt bad for the girl. Yes, this place was his dream. That’s just it, though. It is his dream, and his alone. If he was left to his devices for the remainder of time, he would be okay with that. He was well aware that he was one of a few who would enjoy that.

Bree looked up. She wasn’t crying, but she was in the throws of diabolical laughter.

“So, why do you hate me?” Bree asked slowly between uncontrolled breathing. “Why do you have this urge to be nice yet still chastise me?” Her voice became louder as she regained control. “What made you think I needed to be saved?” Her voice was slowly increasing in volume.

“How is your day, now?” She almost shouted as she lunged. Keven did not see her pick up a shard of glass, but he did feel it enter his neck.

“You sad, pathetic, fool.” Bree chortled as Keven’s blood mixed with his sad attempts at breathing. She had pierced his wind pipe. He knew he was going to die.

Keven brought his hands to his neck trying to stop the bleeding. Sounds of Bree cackling in the distance as she continued up the path towards his sactuary.

She gave no reason. Keven’s dying thoughts was him trying to figure out if she had actually only been in the wastes a few days, or if she had done this before. Bree’s lack of confirmation of the kill was enough for him to consider this is far from her first time doing this.

Keven’s last thought was simply Why? He felt his body growing colder with every passing moment. Even his blood was getting colder.

Don’t Give Up

This is a response to my to the question of Giving Up. I have championed in a few interviews that I have done over the last few years that giving up is harder than not. I was recently asked to explain my perspective by the editor of a blog. I will keep my answer pragmatic and I will avoid bringing spiritual and etherial concepts into it.

I have, in some capacity, tried to kill myself two times in the past. My reasons were always in response to my life getting too hard, and not being able to see some sort of end to the “torture” that I was going through.

To be clear, the reasons I put torture in quotes is because, in retrospect, the trails and tribulations I was experiencing was juvenile and petty. At the time, however, I felt them too strong to ignore and I was having a hard time even leaving my room due to the fear of having to deal with them in any matter.

When I became bound to a wheelchair, I was forced to face my family and friends all trying very hard to keep me alive. They wanted, even needed, to see me succeed. They put all their resources into making sure that I could see tomorrow. This was not regardless of what I wanted, even if it felt like it some days.

After a short time, I noticed that me giving up would destroy them far worse than me continuing to breathe could ever destroy me. I had, by complete accident, become a reason for them to continue. It might not have been entirely true, and it might be selfish for me to think that way. I will concede that I made this leap of logic without consulting anyone around me.

The most shattering thing for my death wish was seeing the pages, literal pages, of goodwill that my friends had written on public forums. For all intents and purposes, I was not a great person. Everyone else was telling me otherwise.

What was my take-away? That if i died, I would be crushing everyone that has ever taken part in my life. Would anyone understand the issues that I face on a daly basis? No, and that is a good thing for them. This should not make me lonely. This should not make me seek isolation or death. I need to keep going to show everyone what can be done. I need to tell my story whenever I get the chance so that no one wonders. I need to explain how my nerves are shot, my brain is damaged, and my body is broken. I need them to see how fantastic everyone else has it and I need to make sure no one else goes through anything similar if it is avoidable.

Is that vain? Maybe. It helps me get through my day, though. It is what I need to keep going. Writing this blog and sharing my perspective is far more cathartic to me than maybe it actually helps anyone else. I write for me. I do research for this blog, and in the mean time I learn far more than what I write. Does that make me an expert? I actually had to force myself to finish that thought without interrupting it because I find the very concept hilarious. Is anyone an expert in fields like these?

Does my bleak outlook help? Maybe. Does art, writing, and music help? Again, maybe. It helps me. It reminds me who I was/am and helps me focus.

Do I actually believe my statement? Very much so. Am I chastising those who couldn’t do it? Very much no. I am saying that I get it. I know life can be overwhelming at times, and I know how bleak life can be. You do not need to suffer from a chronic illness or brain damage to feel hardship. Life is difficult. Anyone who say “can be difficult” is underselling just how crushing day to day can be.

Just remember that someone, somewhere, needs you to see tomorrow. You know that person you haven’t seen in a decade? Yeah, they need you. That guy who just wrote a page worth of bullshit on the internet telling you that it’s okay to feel sad? They need you, too.

Now, in response to those who became disabled later in life and feel like a burden. I get feeling like a burden to your family. You have no way of rectifying such an event, and you never asked to be put into the situation you find yourself in. I get it. I was just starting to gain my independence at 24, and I was stricken down by encephalitis enduced by, what they assume was, meningitis. I had to keep remembering that if my parents did not want to do what they did, they didn’t have to. I had to keep reminding myself that, though it would be caused of them, they did not have to keep doing what they were doing. If I was a true burden, I could have been placed into a home and ignored for the remainder of time. They didn’t, because it would be ridiculous if they did.

Friends and my wife I put into a similar category. I have lost friends. I have disappointed my wife. I have never hid my capabilities, I have also tried to make everything better. I probably exaggerate my disabilities in my mind towards some situations, but I don’t want to be a disappointment later.

I digress.

What I do have to remember is that they would leave if they found me an actual hinderance. My wife would divorce me if I was an actual burden to the household. I cannot work, so I write. I am always trying to cover my expenses for the household.

The point I am trying to make in this ramble is that, you might feel like a burden and that life would be easier without you, but that is wrong. Very wrong. People who you don’t really know might need you.

Oh, you didn’t know? You matter more than you realize.

I love you.

Classic Album Review :: A Perfect Circle — eMOTIVe

I am breaking two promises I made to myself today! The first is that I would only do these once every calendar year. The second is that I would only review albums around 20 years old. After listening to this album the morning of writing these piece, I felt that it is underrated and ignored.

eMOTIVe by A Perfect Circle is one of, if not THE, most important albums to come out in my life. Between its cover of Imagine bringing the beautiful piece by John Lennon back to the modern times, or its reimagining of other contemporary anthems by bands like Black Flag and Marvin Gaye, it should not be as ignored as it has been since its release.

eMOTIVe is beautiful and haunting. A good potion of the tracks maintain an etherial guitar tone, allowing the vocals to pierce the music and driving their importance to the forefront. Some of the covers are simply reimagining of the original track in a different key, some completely break the mould and do something new. Prime example is “What’s Going On?” and its exploration of different sounds to subvert expectations of what the song could be. Even the most expressed fan of the song would be forced to hear it as a new listener, taking in the lyrics as someone who has never listened to the song before. This gives it new weight in the greater social scene.

There are two songs that really change the cemented pattern on the album. “Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie” is a track by Black Flag that sounds absolutely nothing like the original. I actually had a customer come into my record store and complain about the track. In the same breath, he asked about the original recording of very song that was playing, then argued with me for a few moments swearing that it was not the same. He then abdicated and claimed that Back Flag would be appalled with what they did to the song. I had to laugh, simply because APC changed it to something that continued Black Flag’s mission to make the upper class uncomfortable.

The second track that doesn’t quite fit is “Counting Bodies Like Sheep To The Rhythm Of The War Drums” which is an APC original. The original was taken from the song “Pet” from their last album called 13th Step. In that song, it is just a line. The reimagining is five and a half minuets of tortured wales and distorted drums. The chanting of the title lyrics almost tantric in their repetition. Overall, I will say this song is irritating and abrasive.

I love it.

It conjures the feel of an Orwellian dystopia, and the video supports that image. The drums are a strange combination of distorted stomps and slaps. The bass is overdriven and blown out. The vocals are mildly distorted and harsh. You are meant to feel uncomfortable. You are meant to question a greater part of society while you listen to it. From the two-minute point to very near the end there is a sound similar to a fly buzzing that does not let up. It is grating. It sounds violent. It is the very definition of what music can accomplish when used as an artistic vision. I am having a hard time describing what I feel, so I will post the video here.

Before watching, it is important to remember the political landscape of the early 2000’s. It does still echo what’s going on now, but it is very geared towards the Bush administration and the reactions towards media at that time. The parallels are evident for the current administration, but uses imagery of that time.

My point? This album is amazing and it deserves more attention from the mainstream public. I completely understand if you feel this album doesn’t deserve the praise I am giving it. It’s abrasive, shocking, grainy and strange. If you have it in the background, it can sound mildly bi-polar and as if it doesn’t know what it is, or what it is doing. The reason it is amazing is because it knows EXACTLY what it’s doing.

I neglected to mention how it goes from “Counting Bodies Like Sheep To The Rhythm Of The War Drums” to an ambient version of “When the Levy Breaks” by Jimi Hendrix. This whiplash-inducing transition perfectly encapsulates the point and purpose of this album. It demonstrates, in a track, how broken everything can be. Yet, it also shows that there is respite at the end if you choose to find it. There is a calm. There is a point.

Pets v. Chair

It is not a secret that I have many pets. My wife and I currently have a Dachshund named Rudy, a Schnauzer named Theo, a Pug named Tina, and a cat named Groot.

Is it easy to take care of animals while in a wheelchair? No. If they decide to run away from me for whatever reason, they can win easily by putting a box between us. I will admit that it is hilarious when they hide under the couch thinking that they won, only for me to lift the couch. Their eyes bug out and they get very docile.

The one thing that is very nice the cat takes full advantage of is that I am always sitting. The cat loves the moving platform in which he gets to sit.

I single out the cat for that last point, but they all love it. He just takes the most advantage of my position.

Issues I have include walking them, but it’s only a minor thing. If they do their business on grass, there are times that I cannot reach it. Luckily, I am usually with my wife and she collects the “gifts” and disposes of them

A Bit Of Light Housekeeping

I updated a link in the interviews page from a YouTube video to the proper web link. I hope that works better for everyone!

~Another Podcast

I love Steve.

I am honoured to do a second show with him. The first one was over two years ago. Link here!

I link the YouTube account because it’s easy, but he is on several other areas as well. You can find him pretty much anywhere that Podcasts are found!

Special shoutout to Kevo, and to anyone else who does anything in the DIY scene anywhere!

OTHER NEWS! I now have all of my YouTube videos available on this site. Go give them a watch. Most of them are okay… The one where I clean the front wheels of my chair is annoying, but the rest are okay…