10%

You know people are stupid when they’re wrongly told that humans only use 10% of their brain and the rest of the population goes “yea that seems about right”. Shit, I feel like I’m running on 210% a lot of the time. What with breathing, talking, working, guessing what’s in people’s heads, understanding what’s in mine… That’s not the half of it, it’s exhausting. Every moment feels like it needs to be swiftly followed by nap time. I’m going at double speed, I can actually feel the neurotransmitters jumping synapse after synapse. It’s the fucking Autobahn up there and my consciousness is the nervous driver in the right-hand lane staying at a steady 60.

When I stop it feels like that time of the day coming back from nursery school with my circumstantially imposed ‘brother’, moving the sofa forward so it’s only feet away from the TV, and settling down with a Malted Milk and a glass of the good stuff to watch cartoons. That was some real peace. I’m pretty sure I was only using 10% then, the rest hadn’t formed yet. The 90% that definitely decayed somewhat even before approaching my teen years and eventually mutated into the highway of hell.

10% could be good though. As long as it’s not the 10% controlling my tinnitus and snow vision. That shit’s started to get on my nerves since I realised it’s not the average way humans process information. Everyday you learn something new, just sometimes you wish you hadn’t. Now I wonder what things actually look like without this shit speckledy screen that defies description. Whites, yellows, blues, pinks, this visual white noise creating constant disco time in my eyes. And that fucking ringing, ringing, ringing like after you’ve smacked your head too hard on concrete (am I actually hearing my brain working? Gah! It’s so fucking incessant).

The two bastards double-teaming me like I’m a joke, but I guess I should just be grateful I can both see and hear, even if it’s fucking annoying.

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You know you don’t know

You know those people you know? You know the type. The people you knew the minute you met them. I’m not talking soul-touching, past life, reincarnation shit. I’m talking about those people you just know. I like those people. I’ve been lucky to know a few of them in my time. Thankfully I’m still talking to pretty much all of them.

They’re a damn sight better than the people who you definitely don’t know. The people you stand next to and share oxygen with and wonder ‘are you sure your alien head wouldn’t prefer pure helium?’ These people I don’t like. They make my brain empty like I’m trying to communicate with a whole new species that subsists purely on human grey matter. They make me feel stupid. Like a 4 year old who has to hide behind her mum’s legs to avoid talking to the big scary adults with big scary faces sporting big scary smiles, who have big scary hands, and those bodies that go up and up and up. Those people can definitely fuck off. And if I’d been a little ballsier at 4 I’d probably have told those adults to fuck off too.

There’s a fucking lot of them, I’m not sure why everyone is so convinced extraterrestrials haven’t come to fuck with us yet. I’m pretty sure I’ve met a few of them. Or maybe the ‘people’ I’ve met are the exact reason they won’t come visit. We’re definitely the laughing stock of the universe- have you seen us? Either way, I’m definitely better off sticking to what I know.

This Time

It’s dark at the river. Everything is uneasy as he walks down, wearing the same clothes he’s had on for thirty years. Thirty years of this? Dark brown, dirty trousers held up by suspenders over a greying shirt. An equally dark and dirty woolen jacket providing warmth and completing the class of this classic outfit. Again he stumbles forward, uneasy and slow footing but with so much purpose, straight into the murky water, murmuring to himself. ‘This time, perhaps this time’ are the only words that can be made out, as he says them almost gleefully and full of hope. But you can’t help but recognise the undertone of confusion, not only in his voice, but on his face.

He gets waist deep and stops for a second to look around. As he starts forward again a voice calls out ‘Anthony! Here you go’ and a familiar hand reaches out to pull him up over the grass. This friendly, intrusive stranger had been sat watching the events from a bench on the bank, not panicking. This is how it’s been every day, every week since she’d been gone. The water didn’t get deep quick enough for the locals to worry if they’d get there in time. They’d managed it for decades. Managed him.

Although slightly soaked, he walked back down the bank for the 20 metres to his house. A small building that’s not seen love for a long time, the weatherboarding thoroughly weathered, greyed and dirty. The porch roof holding on for dear life. He’ll be out again in a few hours, that’s for sure. ‘This time, perhaps this time’ he’ll say.

In equal measure he seems to wish for and actively avoid the depths of the river he wanders into each day. When nobody is around to pull him out, he doesn’t go near. Why not attempt it late at night or in the early hours of the morning one might think? Thirty years of the same routine. Until finally it occurs to him to go instead of sleeping. If sleeping is what he has been doing.

It’s darker at the river now. Something is wrong, it’s clear even in the mist. He’s surrounded as soon as he steps out. But by what? It’s hard to tell. They may actually have no real form. But they’re angry, that’s for sure. And Anthony knows why. It’s the only thing he’s known, even if he pretends he doesn’t. His mind left with her. All he feels is a sudden weightlessness before he’s thrown to the ground. He imagines maniacal laughter and faces, it makes more sense than the reality of the nothingness that’s throwing him against the dirt. Over and over and over until his mind is dark and empty. His face liquid and fragmented. His neck twisted back and his clothes keeping all those fractured limbs in place.

It’s light by the river, I guess that’s how it used to be before. His face more animated than it would be again, his walk with both purpose and ease. And a wooden wheelbarrow, did such a thing exist? He lifts the fabric from the top to reveal underneath the feed he had been looking for. And his world collapses. When she left he had been so confused. So angry at everything that reason had disappeared. That young boy he’d accused of stealing from him. That young boy now 6 feet under who he’d thrown to the ground over and over for his ‘thievery’. He really hadn’t known where it was.

2019

New year, new day, new month, new moment. New me? Nah- but the word new is newly strange. Time to stop using it before I spiral.

Internet’s still here, not going anywhere soon I guess. Just can’t help myself. Just can’t help myself without it either though. Not yet anyway, gotta wait for that perfect time and place to disconnect alone. Not ‘alone’ alone, would be mad to want that. But I’m apparently mad for wanting most thing, or is it just that I’m mad enough to believe I could have them? Who knows?

The good news is everyone else is suffering too. Not one but seven existential crises witnessed by myself within a month, multiple people too. Think that’s quite a feat. Sign of the times or sign of my taste in humans? Both? Think it’s actually been everyone I’ve spoken to, for more than 20 minutes at least. That’s really not good. Buck up peeps we’ve got a world to conquer… Guess the meek shall inherit the earth after all, not sure who the joke’s on here. Or ever. Quit talking. Wait until you have something to say.

2002

My brain is aching. Almost itching. Stupid skull stopping me from reaching in and tweaking what is so very clearly a mistake during my creation. This pulsing. All I’m hearing from myself is ‘relax!’. As I go ‘I’m trying!’. And I am. I’m laying in bed doing next to nothing. How am I stressing? I have it good. So good. But I want to be a child again. I want to ignore all those extra feelings I had and still have and swim in childish euphoria. Kept afloat by ignorance. I need to change who I’m around. I need to be with those who are still children in the best of ways, and ignore my mind pointing out everything problematic. I can’t fix those issues and they hurt my head. I feel everybody can find issue, or 5 issues, with almost anything that can happen. Especially these days. My instinct is to listen and do what I can. But for what? To open the gates to darkness?

I feel I’m dreaming true fantasy but it looks so good I’ve got to try and take it. Make it my life. If I could live with that feeling I have, I might just be everything I hoped I would be. False memories of times I’ve not experienced may just be from what I have not yet experienced. That would be some real magic.

So away with you, internet. And you, comment sections. And you, 24/7 communication. Give me people. Give me real people with something to say. Something to make me laugh. Something old school. Something 2002.

Don’t others want that too? Come find me.

Take me as I can’t

I bite you then I bite myself. My skull is cracking under pressure. It has a river to release I think. I don’t know but I’m trying, trust me. The terminal illness that won’t kill me. It wants me to do the dirty work instead but I wised up to that young. It’s got me caught on a thousand hooks but one by one I’m pulling them out. I just wish it was faster. Each hook embedded in my skin, grown into the fibers. They’re one. As far as the eye can tell. A ten year tick relieving as anything, a real comfort, is really self assault. Being no being, seeing myself and feeling nothing. Unacceptable feelings. Who knew there was such a thing? It’s the choice of going against my nature, a malformed brain ill equipped for such a place. I knew it. I can’t tell you how I knew it. If I tell you I knew it it’s just my drive to be special right? One’s self awareness is only self satisfaction, especially in moments of brutal honesty, I’ve found. It’s a quick road to loneliness, but then really isn’t everything I do?

Connected

I remember reading that the branches of a tree are reaching out into the nutrients of the air. As if they were the roots of the sky. After reading this I looked outside and realised that nothing had ever seemed more beautiful to me than a leafless tree did in that moment. That was until I truly connected with the world around me in a way more profound than I could ever describe. Nothing before had made me feel so much love for the plants and animals that I had taken for granted for 20 years. Nothing showed me my place as a child of the world. Nothing but a change in diet.

It would have sounded stupid to me months back if I thought that what I put into my body affected my fundamental humanity. Maybe it sounds stupid to you. But I realised that the world is filled with systems that we have completely detached ourselves from. We were created in a system, grew and decided that we were too good to remain in it. We cannot expect a life of peace when we are fighting against the very foundations of our development. True nature is not something we can get back to as a species. There is too much damage that will only be fixed if we were to disappear. But we can try our best to cause little damage whilst we are here.

I’d like to think that’s the mind-set of most people and it’s a shame that many think it impossible to live a compassionate life and that it’s fruitless to try. But although we may never be 100% who we’d like, we can still act the way we’d choose the world to be. Which is why I decided to live in accordance with my morals. I realised that any pain suffered by anyone or anything is pain suffered by myself. Any damage caused that I could have worked to prevent, is damage caused by myself. I realised that every dog, pig or cow I’d ever come across had filled me with joy and I’d never consent to their deaths or suffering. But it hadn’t occurred to me that that’s what I’d done my whole life buying products created from their bodies. It was only after realising that I never had to consent to it again that my mind felt lighter than air and I felt happier than I thought possible.

It was later that I realised eating the food our bodies are designed for allows you to become a rich and natural version of yourself. By no longer hiding behind ‘free-range’ product labels I was able to appreciate life for the first time. To be born without freedom is despicable and to be born with a bounty on your head is unforgivable. To ignore the plight of others is to ignore your humanity. Get connected. Live and let live, truly.