Epic {ANEWSIN VOL.10 — Jason Garden}

//Edited by Luka Riot

Michael was having a normal day.

He had to work at his retail job for eight hours: so his break was dealing with his girlfriend at the house, texting him constantly about how useless he was. To top off his fantastic day, his band was without a concert for the next few weeks.

…it sounds, when written down, worse than he believed it to be…

He enjoyed his life. This is where he was happy, and he felt accomplished to have two albums out in his early twenties. The slacker life suited him just fine.

His store was on the main road in the city he resided in. He worked full-time in a music store. He got to pretend that people know more about music than him, meanwhile he was secretly judging them and their choices. It was separate from the local mall, but its proximity makes it easy to run up to the ‘building full of shit-no-one-needs’ for a bad meal of fast food. He made this run often. It was cheap, and only tasted a bit of failure and hate. If he made good time, he could get the fresh fries!

Today was different.

He peered into a store where his friend worked to see if he could bother them. He was confronted by the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. Her eyes cut through the miasma of bodies and clothing. He was stunned into shock-induced stillness.

“Hey Mike, good to see you!” The vixen raised a hand to wave coyly, as if she knew who he was, but was unsure if she was right. Knowing his name was the easy part for most. He did not know why.

Michael was tripped up, but was still able to reply with a friendly wave. His eyes darted around the strangely shaped store to see if his friend was there for a social bumper.

“Oi! Mike! How ya doin’ ya ol’ so and so!” clamoured Jake. Mike felt better.

“Jake! What’s up?” He pretended that he missed the siren’s call and headed right for Jake.

“Dude, who the fuck is that and how do we know each other?” Michael keeps his voice as low as he could. “Do we know each other?” His tone was serious, despite the smile he kept on his face to erase suspicion.

“You fool. That’s Mary! You guys hung out at that ska show the other day.” Jake picked up on Michael’s body language and kept smiling as well. His tone, however, conveyed a guise of disbelief and disgust.

Mary was making sure a pile of shirts were in order.

“Dude. She’s fucking beautiful. How the fuck do I not remember her? Was I drunk?” Michael asked, dropping the bravado charade and allowing the frown he was concealing to come through.

Jake looked angry, but kept his calm. “No. You are just an idiot.” He then walked away. “Hey! Mary! Go say hi to Mike!”

Mary gestured that she will when she was done cleaning the stack of shirts she was fiddling with. Michael looked for anything sharp or heavy to throw at Jake. He had hoped to get a little background. He was truly disturbed that he had forgotten someone so beautiful. He was also upset with himself that he was betrothed to another.

It’s not cheating if there is no physical contact. If it’s nothing but a fantasy with a girl you will probably never see again. Nah. She’s probably super stupid or something. Why else would I forget a face like that?

Mary launched into conversation quickly. She was working, after all: customer service made you become social. “How are you, Mike? It’s good to see ya again!”

Michael hated that he did not remember her. She had the biggest blue eyes, and a small scar under her right eye that just added to the mystery of her aura. Her voice was high and small to match her stature. Her hair was long and blonde. Her perfume was strong but not overwhelming.

You’re dating someone, you fool! Just say hello and walk away. Do NOT get her number. Do NOT compliment her. And, for Christ sake, do NOT invite her out for coffee.

Mary carried on the conversation, ignoring the fact that Michael had not said two words. She’s fucking good at her job! Mike thought to himself

“I’m done at 4. Want to go to that cafe that just opened downtown? It’s a bit far from my house, but that coffee chain that’s closer to mine has no idea how to brew coffee.” Mary asked while starting on another stack of shirts.

“YES!” Michael blurted out before even thinking about the ramifications of what was going on. “I have wanted to go to that place for the last little bit, finally I have an excuse!”

(SHOEHORN IN HONESTY, MIKE)

“My girlfriend keeps saying that we’ll go, but we never do. She also says that my band doesn’t suck, but every time we have a show, she has to work. Mysterious, right? Like, if you don’t like it, that’s fine. You need to stab someone before fixing the issue. If you never stab in the first place, it’s just hiding your end. They know. Of course, I’m ‘they’ in this poorly conceived metaphor.”

The words spilled unceremoniously out of Mike’s mouth before he could think about them. He almost wanted to hand Mary a raft to keep afloat of all the ridiculous things he said.

…a good portion of that didn’t even make sense… Mike thought to himself before Mary could reply. He wanted to hide.

“Wow. Bit of a ramble there. You okay?” Mary still had a smile on her face, but it was more the ‘customer service grin’ as opposed to a human emotion at this point.

Michael sighed. “Yeah. I’m fine. Just had a rough couple of days.”

Mary’s posture softened. “Well, let’s do coffee and you can tell me all about it.”

On that note, a customer walked up and whisked Mary away before Michael could reject the offer.

“I’ll be right there, sir! Mike, we’ll talk soon.”

She turns to look at Michael one last time before walking away. “If it means anything, I really like your band. Different for around here. It’s a nice change of pace.” Then, she vanished behind a stack of merchandise.

Fuck you. Thinks Michael. Of course, the world hands me perfection while I have too many demons to deal with as is.

“So Mike, do you work today?” Jake asks, seeming to appear from the racks of clothing. He startled Michael, who had long since assumed that Jake was off doing his job.

“Yeah. I go back in about thirty minutes or so. Just taking a break from my customers to see yours.” Michael tries his best not to look rattled by the sudden human in his vicinity. “Do you care to join me for a smoke outside?”

“HAH!” Jake replies, his volume far too inappropriate for the surroundings. “Dude: last thing I need is another session of you pining over some girl that you have met at the wrong time and everything is out to get you blah blah blah..”

“I can’t decide whether or not I feel hurt by said implication.” Michael bowed his head in despair. Half as a joke, half in earnest. Was he that predictable?

“Thinking about how predictable you are, aren’t you?” Jake pokes the bear. “I also bet that you are going to get a coffee, have a smoke, then head back into work.”

Michael stands still for a moment, face emotionless.

“Jake:” Michael pulls out a cigarette and starts heading for the entrance of the store. “Fuck yourself.”

He pats Jake on the back as he heads past him. He was too focused on the fact that he accidentally got a coffee… not date… later that week. The concept was almost too much to handle, and Michael felt guilty about the whole idea.

You know; Michael thinks to himself. If I actually felt like this was a bad move, I would just leave my girlfriend. He puts the cigarette in his mouth to hold it until he got out of the building.

If I was a good person, I would probably realize that I am shooting myself in the foot. I would probably realize that this is a bad move.

Something different for everyone. Much less depressing and dystopian. This story is dedicated to my best friend, Shannon. Check out my other works. PLEASE consider supporting me on Patreon.

I just can’t…

The following is a post that I’m writing while I’m depressed. There is no reason to worry, I just thought I’d get my emotions out unedited and maybe this will explain why I am the way I am. Not for you, dear reader. I hope that it will allow for introspection, and allow me to figure out my brain a bit better.

I have, ever since I saw Amanda Palmer, championed the idea that writing while actually depressed is very difficult. I know that, for me, I become hyper critical.

I mean, I looked at the title for this post for about 25 minuets to decide if it was too flashy for this experiment, or not flashy enough. After all: I am trying to garnish an audience. At the same time, I am trying to avoid clickbait and concern.

The pride that I take in the image I portray is pathetic. Even to me. I want to be seen as strong; as a kind of guide for the people that have been struck down later in life by a disability. I don’t have any credentials, but I think I’m doing an okay job figuring shit out.

I digress. What kind of depressed am I today? Just a melancholy level of morose and leads me to come off as caring more than I should. That sounds almost malicious: I should say that I come off as overly empathetic. The feelings are real, but the delivery seems almost fake. I think, anyway. I could be wrong. I just feel like I am costing through the miasma of life, and I will do almost anything that seems like a good idea to someone.

This is the mood I was in when I started smoking. I had a friend who smoked, thought I came off as disturbed, and tossed me a cigarette to help me calm down. I really would never blame my smoking on someone else, but I want to be truthful in this.

So, yeah. This has been a deconstruction of what my depressed brain thinks. If I post this, it will be unedited from this point on. I have done very little in the mean time, and I think I have done okay. I am saying that without reading everything over, so if I’m wrong, all the better.

One thing I do want to say; I am writing about what goes on in my own head. None of this is a representation of depression in everyone. If you are depressed, or know someone who is depressed, contact someone who is trained on how to help.

Anyway, I feel I have rambled on enough. Something I am finding very hard to do is to leave this “article” alone as a kind of stamp and evolution of my mood. I am sorry if it gets a bit rambly at times. I am sorry if this ending is anti-climatic. I feel silly closing off what I wrote with a paragraph like this. I just need to tell everyone, especially you, that it will all be okay. It may not seem like it, but we’ll all survive this hell. Maybe we won’t be able to do it alone, but there is always someone out there. Even when it’s hard as hell to find someone, they are out there. At the very least, you have me.

R.I.P. Tumblr

I deleted my Tumblr today (the 15th of September). The reason for said deleting comes off as mildly petty, but I feel it sound.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a thing making a half-plea to normalize the word “cripple.” I was aware that the article was incomplete, but I was asking the wheelchair community on Tumblr for any help in writing, if they agreed with my point.

The article was up for not two hours before I was forced to take it down. I was being harassed, called the next hitler, called an Abilist, people claimed that I was faking being in a wheelchair to maintain any sort of credibility whilst trying to undermine the community…

Long story short: I took down the article shortly after posting it. I got several angry messages and threats of harm for the next few days, and finally I just killed the whole thing. I just kept the Tumblr alive to post things on my off-days on here, and with the new schedule, I don’t have to worry so much about that.

I will miss a few things, like ‘screenshotsofdespare‘ and ‘sterility‘. Not to mention that Tumblr, as a whole, has a fantastic sense of humour on occasion. I have been taking more of a liking to Twitter as of late, anyway.

Anyway, that is my long-winded explanation of why I got rid of my Tumblr.

Writing

I need to find something I enjoy as much as writing. I haven’t even released the stories for October or December, and I have started writing two releases for next year, and I am planning yet another two books.

I’m not doing all of this totally on purpose: a big part of it comes out of static. My brain is buzzing with ideas. Some of them are fantastic, others I have reservations about.

I do have a quick question: how would people react to unnecessary vernacular in upcoming releases? There have been a couple of times that I have started to put flowery language in places (in the past) and have taken them out for fear of coming off as pretentious. It’s not that I can’t limit myself down, it’s that I have fun exploring the extent of my vocabulary and derive great enjoyment from manipulating words and definitions.

It’s unreasonably fun! Take a word and change the context in which it is intended! My favourite word to fuck with is ‘abdicate‘, simply because it’s a word relatively unused in todays verbal climate.

As hinted in the post the other day, this will be my last scheduled Sunday post. This does not mean I am going anywhere, instead I am going about posting when I see fit. I think I will do better (and more) posts, especially because I will not worry about something being “old” by the time I talk about it. Gone are the days of starting rush-posts with a “~”!

The New Keyboard

Yeah, that’s the full reason why I said “I vanished!”: I needed a new keyboard.

You never really realize how often you use the ‘L’ key until you can’t anymore. I mean, the first part of this paragraph contained 4 cases alone, and it was more of a fragment as opposed to a full sentence.

What did I get in the end? Another Mac Magic Keyboard. This is my second one. The first, I purchased back when I got my Mini, so back in 2007 (give or take). Either way, my old keyboard was about 10 years old. It put up with a lot of shit, missing keys, broken buttons… I will miss it, but I am surprised that it lasted this long! I feel bad that I never gave it a proper name…

Something else that is kind of cool: I got faster internet! Fido had a deal for a year for 35 a month no contract, so my wife and I jumped on it. Took a little less than a week after repairs to the modem had to be conducted. We went from about 15Mb/s to 75.1Mb/s (at time of writing) and now everything works so much better!

Business talk! Patreon pricing has changed, like I mentioned on the previous blog. So, please consider donating to this project!

I have another book sitting just shy of 80% complete. I have put it out there to a couple of publishers, but if no bites before December, going independent again.

Anyway, that’s enough of this ramble. First…

WITH NEW INTERNET SPEED COMES A NEW VIDEO.
It’s the drumming one that I found on an old camera. I uploaded it, then took it down because I hated the way it sounded. I recently found the pure audio recording of the session. I have now re-mastered and re-uploaded the file. I hope you enjoy!

Look how young am…

Classic Album Review :: The End — Within Dividia

Well, I am highlighting a metal album! This should have no bearing on metrics, at all!

(He says, facetious.)

In all seriousness, this album is very much not fair. Unlike their cohorts in The Dillinger Escape Plan, this album contains no punk influence. That limits the scope of possible fans, but makes it a better listen when you just need to express unbridaled anger.

I do mean anger. Often, metal and depression go more hand-in-hand in my mind, but this album is just intense all the way through. It is a constant barage of hits and accents punctuated by moments of constant auditory oppression. Now, couple that with instrumentation that is entirley not fair and vocals that could have been written by a very talented pissed off cat, and you get one of the most intense albums you will ever come across.

The transition this band took on the next album caused whiplash. They went from a Dillinger-Calculating Infinity-esqe slaughter to more of a Tool mixed with Dillinger sound. The vocalist got “prettier” and they focused more on waves of rhythm, as opposed to shots of chaos. The next album was a fantastic addition to their repitior, but Within Dividia is still where my heart lies. I honestly feel that this album will stand alone for all time as one of the greatest albums in it’s genre to come out of Canada.

Very much for fans of The Dillinger Escape Plan and Buried Inside.

IMPORTANT [or, the long name; why cripple punk is important]

Today, I did something I should never have done. Today, I looked up the keyword ‘wheelchair’ on Twitter.

Sound innocuous, right? Should just be the occasional stupid thing followed by a bunch of like-minded people discussing wheelchairs, right?

WRONG.

The first page was entirely animals in homemade chairs. Pretty cool designs. Really nifty for the “I love animals” crowd. Then, it was almost a page of tech surrounding wheelchairs. Prototypes, interesting chair designs, cars adapted for wheelchairs… that kind of thing.

I would argue for these kinds of posts existing. They are general knowledge, to an extent. That is not to argue how adorable that puppy is running for, in some cases, the first time in its life.

There was the standard frilly “you can do it” bullshit that seems to be everywhere when dealing with wheelchairs. I get the message, but the words do not fix anything. Plus, it places an unfair standard on those who will never be able to be what you think they should get over. These lines say nothing for those born with physical or mental disabilities…

Again, nice try. The intention is there, and though I personally get frustrated by such public displays, they do not harm anyone. I have never heard someone in a wheelchair get actually offended by these sentiments. Like always, feel free to prove me wrong in comments or whatever.

Then, there was a collection of updates that I was not mentally prepared for, and it corrupted everything I saw prior.

Update after update of companies announcing that they are finally wheelchair accessible. It was all like they wanted a pat on the back or some sort of award for recognizing people as people. It was incredibly hollow and self-serving. People in wheelchairs are, well, people. If you have to MAKE your location wheelchair accessible, you have to MAKE your store/company/whatever usable to a percent of the general public.

Yes, I realize that there in a silly small percent of people in wheelchairs. I will, however, point out that there is a large percent of people with mobility aids. Announcing that your building finally has accessible parking should not effect your bottom line, not having accessible parking should be hurting your bottom line. Finally catching up with the rest of society does not make for a good image. As stupid as it sounds, it’s the wheelchair COMMUNITY. If your place of business is not acceptably accessible, we do talk to one another. We will pass that information to friends, family, and neighbours. We don’t like being patronized, and we REALLY don’t like being singled out because of the wheelchair.

I might be putting my opinion as fact, I am well aware of that. This does not, however, mean that my opinion is only share by me. How many people remain silent because they do not have a soap-box to stand on, or legs to do so?

The Effects of Long-Term Hospital Stays

*THIS IS ALL FIRST HAND. I DON’T HAVE REFERENCES*

Now that I have the disclaimer out of the way, I am going to warn about long-term hospital stays and the effect on the mental wellbeing of the person in question.

Someone who is in hospital for any amount of time may be misdiagnosed as having depression or, in my case, brain damage. The patient can seem distant, gullible, despondent, or just all around wrong. The symptoms can include (but are not limited to) an unbalanced appetite, uncontrollable sadness, anger, sadness, and unwarranted outbursts.

To be blunt, this is not the fault of the individual OR the hospital. That person is used to life being one way, then (in some cases) literally have their independence ripped away from them. They might be used to keeping to themselves, then they have to socialize with specialists, nurses, and other patients. They might have their own regiment, now they have their day dictated to the minuet.

How does one treat them? With delicate understanding and a firm stance. You cannot bully them back to being “themselves”. You have to let them accept what’s going on around them in the hospital, and help them create new neural pathways to accept their surroundings.

Be careful when introducing new meds. Be sure everything in place is necessary. Do NOT be afraid to say that time is all they need. Last thing someone needs in time of emergency is to be on several anti-depressants when they don’t need it.

Please, if you have additional insight or know of better guidlines in how to cope with institutional stays, leave them in the comments. I am sure other people need them, and I would love some additional reading.guidelinesPlease, if you have additional insight or know of better guidlines in how to cope with institutional stays, leave them in the comments. I am sure other people need them, and I would love some additional reading.

This isn’t fair…

I cannot talk about what’s been going on for the last couple of weeks. All I can say is that I am in incredible pain, but in a good way. That sounds mad, I am well aware, but I’m thoroughly enjoying… X… Let’s call it “X”

I have been writing a journal in relation to X. The way X was pitched to me makes it sound fantastic and I am very excited to see what happens in two months. two weeks. two hours. Fuck me, I am in a lot of pain.

Anyway, I am trying so hard to keep this vague and I cannot help but feel I am failing. I am going to stop rambling in relation to X so I do not ruin.

Jeremy {ANEWSIN VOL. 9 — Jason Garden}

//Edited by Luka Riot

Jeremy rolls over in bed, legs and arms sore. His head still misty from his day prior. The sun has started rolling its beams of light through the window. His blinds do little against the cascade of morning light.

His dog, Tidus, barks and whimpers at the foot of the bed. Tidus is making it very clear that he wants to go outside, and requires someone with thumbs to make that a reality. Jeremy, however, refuses to donate his thumbs. This is a day that he wants little to do with.

The night before had been busy. Jeremy was in charge of making sure that business went well in his department. His department, in this instance, was being a decoy. The plots were not nefarious, or he did not think so. He was to distract onlookers, security, and anyone else who would otherwise tamper with what the event planner was concocting in the background. Usually, it was just harmless tagging or some superficial defacing of a government monument.

Last night was different.

The original plan, from what Jeremy was told, was to simply tag a wall. Victimless crime, more or less. The wall in question was erected to celebrate the corporation coming to power over the citizens in the area. The actual takeover was quiet, and the corporation did little to be considered corrupt. Their intentions actually seemed to be for the greater good, and most people were happy.

Keyword: most.

The economy was swapped from a monetary focus to that of a point-based system. If you had x-amount of points, you were just given things to keep your life at a certain comfort. You could work your way up to a higher echelon, but it was very easy to falter. To make it less fair, faltering could be against your will.

Disability, mental health, and region swapping. These were just three ways that things could turn in a heart beat. If you were walking down the street, and were stricken down by something resulting in a broken back, you would go onto some sort of recovery program set up by the state. If you were high in the ranks of society, you could expect a shift in your day-to-day, but that is about it. If, God forbid, you were in the lower tier, you could assume that everything you knew or held dear would come crashing down around you. Not only would you lose everything that made you feel human, but you would actually be forced to depend on things that are in place to hinder progression.

So, what was Jeremy doing? He was working with a group that wanted to raise awareness of the practice of this corporation. He was to run interference with the forces that would stop any sort of progress the rest of the group would be making with the wall. He was told that they were just spray painting and generally defacing the exterior which points towards the masses. He was to ride his wheelchair up and down the street, asking for help opening doors and crossing roads. The kinds of things that people assumed that people needed when they were as broken as he appeared to be.

His evening was going well, until he heard the blasts.

Two explosions rang out over the otherwise calm night. Jeremy was not harmed by debris flying through the air, nor by any glass erupting from storefronts. It was the cascade of panicked humans who forgot any compassion and pushed him out of the way. He hit the ground, his chair one full metre from his body. It had fallen onto the side, which made it cumbersome to right. All of this would have been a non-issue if it happened in the safety of Jeremy’s house; streets being pounded by hundreds of people is hard to prepare for.

No one offered to help him. It took the better part of an hour to right himself, and that was after many failed attempts.

That was a brief overview of what Jeremy had to deal with last night. Today was a new day, but that fact does not mend his sore muscles. Mend his joints from the forces they were not used to. Mend his already fragile ego from feeling dejected and used.

Tidus barks, and pulls Jeremy out of the fog his mind was in. Jeremy needed to let the dog out. In that moment he figured that keeping his head to one plan at a time was better than circling a drain of remembrance and rerouting. What was done is done, and no matter his roll, he could not change a thing.

Jeremy transferred into his wheelchair and rolled towards the patio door, all the while making sure that Tidus is behind him. He opened the door for the dog, who thanks him with a playful snort in his direction. Closing the door, Jeremy lazily rolled towards the kitchen. Coffee is the only thing that he craves. He places the cup under a filter and drains water through the beans. The whole process takes about five minuets, in which time Tidus makes it clear that he is ready to come inside.

He places the mug full of the hot coffee between his knees and rolls over to open the door. As expected, he is greeted by the big, slobbering face of his best friend. Less expected was the bullet travelling right over the head of Tidus and between the eyes of Jeremy. It appears that he was marked – that he was made the scape-goat for the entire operation.

The coffee cup crashes to the concrete and brown liquid graces his spokes. Tidus gets upset and ducks his head down as he scampered away.