i apologize for the aura of dread that i perceive as hanging over much of this webpage...

june 25th, 2022

Francisco Goya

june 27th, 2022

tragic character concept: a person wishes they were naive enough to be an exploitable person, as opposed to
their current state of feeling world-weary & jaded. this manifests as them exploiting someone so that
they can vicariously experience the very exploitation that they themselves are carrying out

june 29th, 2022

concept: Spotify begins quietly incorporating location data into its algorithms, in the form of various
weights & biases that respond to it. this is done in an experimental attempt to create a number of
pre-decided aesthetic milieus concentrated around various cities - typically small cities which
lack distinctive or firmly rooted regional identities in the first place. for many of the people
in these cities, these prescribed aesthetic tendencies simply feel like the quaint & happenstance
character of where they live, & no one realizes that their particular milieu is one of many being
fed by a ubiquitous system that is masking its homogenizing influence by introducing
this tightly controlled, geographically vast variation into itself

july 23rd, 2022

short story: a person forms a relationship with someone over the internet. the relationship becomes intensely confusing
& stressful, & the protagonist needs guidance & second opinions on things. the only people they have to turn to are their
parents, but they do not do this because the online relationship is marked by all kinds of insular "internet-variety" social
nuances that have quickly expanded past their parents' possible comprehension, especially with how technology
accelerates their generational gap. eventually they do turn to their parents out of desperation, &, fortunately,
in this case, their ignorance of the nuances does turn out to be what enables them to slice through all the
insular abstraction & get right at the social fundamentals, which substantially helps the protagonist
sort everything out. they thought it only worked out that way in tv shows. the end

august 12th, 2022

concept: you are going to find yourself in a role-reversed version of a scenario you experienced in the past,
& are going to be able to offer the response you wish you could have received. this will not so much be
a morally instructive experience, akin to a person who passes up all opportunities for generosity
& later becomes a beggar, as much as it will be an opportunity for a kind of vicarious catharsis

august 16th, 2022

concept: a person makes repeated attempts to internally "sanctify" this or that date, location, event, or
what-have-you, such that the given thing marks some kind of transition into general betterment or
well-being. after numerous failures, one of these attempts succeeds, for whatever nebulous reasons

soon, once it has engendered some number of positive outcomes, the original nebulous reason
for its success is naturally phased out & replaced with a kind of stably self-justifying
validation wherein the person is so grateful for the success that they can't bring
themselves to consciously disrespect it through whatever sort of regression

august 20th, 2022

concept: you show a person the song we ran out of cd space by psychostick in august of 2022 & watch them
start laughing so hard that they slam their head into the corner of a table & you have to drive them to a hospital

august 21st, 2022

concept: a person writes out a list of every single person they feel most strongly about maintaining a personal connection with. they
are going to establish a ritual of messaging all of them each friday, & asking how things are going. they may also do this at any
point in the weekly interim too, of course, but it will at minimum be done each friday. they may send all of the messages
simultaneously, or stagger them across the day. they may end up modifying the particulars of this system in accordance
with their particular circumstances, but not to an extent that fails to preserve the intent & effect of the system
as described. maybe they will untether it from the strict singular weekday & experiment with
various intervals, perhaps varying for each person, synchronous or otherwise

august 22nd, 2022

concept: a person implies something about love by including, among a playlist of love
songs, a song that likely would not be interpreted as a love song were it not on such a list

august 26th, 2022

today i took the time to write down one of my texts posts that i frequently
write in my head to recount things that aren't actually happening. here it is:

exited the student center, caught a faint smell of death, immediately assumed it was from a bird that
had slammed into one of the huge windows of the protruding stairwell i was next to, searched the
perimeter of the stairwell, & found the bird... felt a little bit powerful (perceptive, prescient)

the part about stepping out of the student center & faintly smelling death is true

august 27th, 2022


two sentences i imagine spoken to something that is not sentient

(but the reader can personify it if they so choose):

"you acted so effectively & so visibly as what could ultimately be summarized as a point-by-point inversion
of the goodness of childhood that i felt the only way i could do my part to counter it was by doing
everything i could to reach back for my own childhood & do it the disservice of contrarily fixing it
in structured language that it wasn't shackled to before. i hate you for obliging me to do that"

september 1st, 2022

concept: a person gives an absented person's goodnesses back out to the
world in place of pining for the goodnesses' resumption external to them

september 9th, 2022

concept: a person texting with someone to help that person stay awake on a long train
ride, not realizing that this is enabling them to text a third person & help them stay
awake in a waiting room, & this extends to an invisible chain of about thirty people

september 12th, 2022

concept: two people enter a romantic relationship with the explicit intent of embodying a mutually cathartic
& knowingly ephemeral interplay of particular adjectives that they each acknowledge themselves as
representative of from the outset, along with a mutually understood outline of how exactly those
adjectives will relate to each other & why exactly each person will personally find it cathartic

september 23rd, 2022

microfiction: person A clutches person B in tears & says, "i just wish you could understand, but i can't get all
these juxtaposed memories out of my head & into yours." & person B doesn't relate to the suffering originating
from those memories, but they do relate to what person A just said more than they could ever relate to whatever
expression of those memories that person A could formulate. because what they just said was such
a relatably universal condition. person B is in any case highly empathetic at that moment

september 25th, 2022

microfiction: person A arrives at person B's apartment to pick them up. person B happens to exit their apartment at
a moment when they are laughing hysterically over the 1883 film buffalo running, which is less than a second long.
in the car, person B explains what they're laughing about & shows the film to person A on their phone. person A
begins laughing at it too, & the laughter soon reaches a feedback loop point where the humor transfers
to the fact that two people in a car are laughing so much over buffalo running

october 20th, 2022

concept: an artist who no one has really had reason to independently think about in decades but their verdict on wikipedia
is historically fossilized as them being "one of the most seminal (...)" blah blah which elicits intermittent waves
of reverence from people too indecisive to put their visceral aesthetic inclinations ahead of artistic myth

october 21st, 2022

short story: in the year 2021 a trans woman encounters a group of people in their twenties who are all frozen in 2007 type
otaku culture, preserved immaculately, with the caveat that by some quirk of fate they are all being virulently transphobic.
she is not completely sure how to emotionally process this, due to a sense that all of their criticisms originate from
some other world entirely & cannot be engaged with on familiar grounds whether discursively or simply in her mind

november 9th, 2022

concept: sci-fi future where the collection & dissemination of information about the world through the internet has become so
total & efficient that one day, after going on a walk around your neighborhood, you make a blog post about a certain interesting
tree that you saw & receive a very tired, cynical reply from a stranger, to the effect of, "we know. why are you
presenting this as if it's some kind of privileged information that we're supposed to rely on you for"

november 9th, 2022


person you want to comfort; person who doesn't want you to hear the timbre of their sobbing, person who doesn't want you to
hear the timbre of them telling you that they don't want you to hear the timbre of their sobbing, person who does not want
to exist as they are to you in any capacity, person who does not want to be valid as they are, person screaming & fussing
with your insolent attempts to validate their existence which you personally regard with such validity

november 11th, 2022

concept: a valuable subjective quality that tended to permeate life at some point in the past. it arose from some particular
confluence of factors that might have been socioeconomic, cultural, geographic, etc. this confluence was something
subtle, tenuous, discreet. you would have had to read between the lines to really take notice of it

the quality itself was also wispy - intimately familiar, but this made it difficult to
pick out & stare at directly; difficult to put into words, maybe even impossible since
no one had felt its absence which they could then compare against its presence...

then some broad, sweeping sociohistorical change came along which suffocated it practically everywhere,
& kept its stranglehold for at least a generation or two until it was forgotten, & people ceased to
even realize what they lacked, or that they lacked anything in the first place

the reader might have some particular quality in mind that they would like to project onto this description,
so as to reaffirm to themselves the importance & fragility of whatever it is. maybe they picture some
kind of humble agrarian community made obsolete by industrialization, & they think about how
it might have felt to live there, how it might have shaped people's worldviews

well, i want to emphasize that having anything in mind at all misses the point, which is the absolute specificity of it,
& the poetry which would have been needed to at least trace the outline of it, & of its precipitating factors, even
at the time when it still existed. this makes the blank impossible to fill in & obliges you to settle for as pure
& empty a void of content as you can imagine, the phrase "missing information" with no additional frills

i'll only put forward the nervous suggestion that it might have been something very grounding & fundamental, &
that maybe no one has truly felt at home since it disappeared, despite what they might have thought at times

maybe this nervous suggestion could also serve as the premise of a reactionary ideology, wherein some
knowable value would be proclaimed as the true identity of something that, in truth, remained unknowable

november 19th, 2022

concept: a country with several thousand discrete political factions each representing a different
favored permutation of the variables used in a complex math equation meant to govern resource
distribution, with the general structure of the equation being unanimously agreed on

november 20th, 2022

microfiction: a person is on their way to another person's house to kill them in an act of prejudicial hate. a background
element of the situation that we may single out & note is that the target has a very benign relationship to their
small dog. we might take the general temperamental tint of this relationship, & generalize it as an adequate
descriptor of the target's general character of living - the truth which persists beneath whatever propagandistic
ingroup nonsense might be informing the attacker's project, lost in their own mind as they are

in considering the target's relationship to their dog as just one arbitrarily selected potential point upon
which the attacker might grasp this benignity, grasp the mundane truth, come to live in the calmness of
a dog sitting in a room with nothing to do, & come to empathize with their target & reconsider - we
might find the relationship insufficient for this purpose, & for this particular reason:

in the attacker's incredibly private personal little cognito-sensory world constructed by their past up to that point,
the world in which that dog exists for them along with everything else, the dog is characterized by the many diverse
refractions of the idea of a dog through the many lenses of advertisements & of culture as refracted through social
media - diverse lenses, but all unified by a kind of attention-deficit neon glow of corny aestheticization so oriented
full tilt towards gratification as to be choking, perhaps evoking only a sense of persistent manipulation, & with
the dog serving more as just one of many interchangeable avatars or symbols through which the loudest & most
memetic temperaments can be spoken, such as through image macros. this is someone who has turned to Google Images
on their most lonely & ennui-ridden nights as a teenager where they craved any kind of stimuli or periscope into
the outside world, & unnoticedly acquired a kind of deranged acclimation to the character of a stock image

in this realm, there are a great many possibilities as to what exactly this person sees when they look at that dog
in that living room, but i posit nothing good. here are some general directions that their perception might take:

maybe in the back of their head, quietly, subtly, it evokes disgust at years of what they regard as persistent
manipulation, feeling pressed to laugh at some tepid picture which features a dog, or being advertised to through
the occasional evocation of its image. in any case, it is largely a source of entertainment (notionally, at least).
they see not an animal whose image has been appropriated by a system, but a "character" from that system

or maybe they aren't at all critical of the incessantly gratifying character of the incessant flow of content.
maybe the whole world feels like something for them to blithely devour, & the dog only evokes for them
the blitheness with which they excuse themselves in their own mind for what they are aiming to do

in any case, the dog is more of an object, whether a physical or cultural object. something more to
observe & process as an icon than something to share existence with. along with much of the rest
of the attacker's world, it is too overblown, decorated, overburdened, adorned, weighed down
with mental content for it to have any utility in bringing them back down to reality

november 22nd, 2022

microfiction: two people are sharing a joyful & adventurous night that cannot at all be reduced to the aspects of where
they are & at what time. it's more about how all the little events & places & jokes & colors & lights are playing around
in their heads in an improvisational & continuous & joyful flow. then, for whatever reason, they are arrested & have to
attend a court date where they describe the night exclusively in the former terms of time & place, which feels like
a very perverse reduction. afterwards they each feel like they've been reined in a bit towards a mindset of regarding
their lives only in terms of position & time. they feel a little less willing to be adventurous in the way they talk
& in the microculture they construct between each other, instead resorting to patterns of thought that are
still diverse but on some general level certainly more repetitive, yet tamely reliable as social lubricant

november 26th, 2022

concept: refusing to mentally concatenate a stretch of highway into a single dull object, perhaps
representative of industry (& thus guaranteeing that pall over the entire distance), in favor of
atomizing it into a thousand discrete individual sights (e.g. if you can love e.g. tree branches
spiderwebbing across cloud cover or floors of damp fallen leaves then things can be okay)

december 5th, 2022

concept: two people enjoy spending time with each other enough that they disrupt each other's sleep patterns
staying up late together which impedes their reasoning in a way that makes them only lean further into that
appreciation of each other's company & its unquestioning prioritization over their sleep health,
producing a self-reinforcing cycle of sleep-deprivedly mad fondness for one another

microfiction: person walks down a sidewalk feeling "i would probably freak this person
out if i truly reflected the gravity that is possessed by every rare occurrence of real,
unique love, which is a shame because that honest reflection is only what it deserves"

microfiction: horror monster gets you

microfiction: guy spots a raccoon during his afternoon walk & begins
inexplicably resenting it so much just for being born that his heart stops

december 12th, 2022

concept: a book of essays where the cover art is a photograph of the author holding a sign that says "God willing if this book receives
a Wikipedia page that they will not describe my positions with a bunch of adjectives that hyperlink to various branches of philosophy!"

december 13th, 2022

microfiction: a person lies in their bed, idly thinking to themselves, "i would gladly die if it meant that
before it happened i would get to feel even a little less 'square' & more 'round' for even one second"

december 19th, 2022

microfiction: a person looks at their friend & says, in reply to a general question that could be said to have only tangential relation
to what follows, "well- yeah, like- i have this- like- i feel like i'm- i'm convinced that i think, all the time, about, things that i,
&, like, pardon the willful absurdity of these next words, but," & they raise their hands to do scare quotes, "not supposed to think
," & they lower their hands, "& so- but the thing is, i think i have nothing to worry about, really, because- like, insofar as
i think about anything which i'm," & they do scare quotes again, "'not meant to think about,' like, it takes place only in the
framework of that irrational conviction, the... like how i'm only convinced i think about it all the time, & the framework- it-
necessarily contains the thoughts- like, the disallowed thoughts in question. as like an artifact, akin to the- like, it's like
the... 'use-mention distinction' you have to make sometimes, if you try to talk about a word & it involves using that
word? so- like, that's it, really, is that the point is that... like, i don't really think about it beyond that framework. & it
only... propagates self-referentially, like, if i ask myself if i do think about it a lot, & it seems like i do, but i'm
only pointing myself towards those prior thoughts that are- that... are the framework stuff. so it's fine. like, that
i'm... convinced, is the only problem, like that i think that i think stuff, but, me, like, me, i'm, like, i'm okay"

december 20th, 2022

short story:

our protagonist is a person who associates themselves with the idea of desperately feigning continued romantic
interest in someone out of a sense of being in some way "culpable" for the emotional pain that would be caused
by what are, ultimately, in truth, really just uncontrollable emotional realities in them that they can
only report like a bystander. & it is, in fact, their responsibility to honestly do so, even
if it simply happens to bring hurt. but they consistently shirk this responsibility

this is rooted, for them, in a sense of a cruel sort of natural state of things, a world where "culpability" just happens,
independently of wrongdoing, like an ethically indifferent natural force. for them, it is just a perverse natural order that
justified consequences find even people who have not really done anything - disagreeable as this may seem even to them

it is a kind of unnecessary cruelty to perceive, but one that they mistakenly accept as
one of the many other unfortunate but unquestionable realities endemic to life - the
inevitability of death, & so on. like a kind of traumatic acclimation to discomfort

one could imagine them hoping to God that their personal romantic interest doesn't wane or else they'll be
subject to something highly unpleasant, like a whipping boy, or someone crossing their fingers in the
hopes that their living situation isn't destabilized by geopolitical forces beyond their control

well, they go on conceiving of themselves in this way for a long time, but, one day, something occurs to them

as they reflect on a past relationship, they realize that, yes, this irrational sense of pervasive
"culpability" had indeed been the original seed for their dishonest withholding of their emotional
truth, & subsequent "leading-on" of someone who deserved honesty. but, from there, their
irrational culpability came to be replaced with a very rational one, as they went on to
fail to live up to a responsibility. this responsibility was to look past their
own irrationality in the name of unflinching commitment to honesty

but they had always looked past that, past those rational bases for feeling
bad, in favor of the irrational ones. it was easier to feel a little
broken in some way than to feel realistically responsible

here they realize that, in characterizing themselves as interpersonally burdened by an irrational interior
guilt, they were in fact adopting an excessive focus on it so as to shield themselves from a rational exterior
guilt - guilt for an error in their interpersonal conduct that they had failed to correct for so long

they also realize that, while they had always regarded the world as a place marked by a cruel reality where punishment
finds people indiscriminately, the truth was always that, insofar as the world is marked by a cruel reality, it is simply
that we sometimes have to tell people things that are painful to them. & that obligation was theirs to bear

but, by confabulating that former reality & focusing on it, they had taken the painful reality that
was theirs to bear & substituted it for one that was everyone's to bear. they had foisted the
consequences of their lack of responsibility off on a perceived uncaring nature of the world

having now recognized all of this, they have mercy on themselves by recognizing that their
irresponsibility was not rooted in any kind of malice, manipulation, or conscious disrespect.
just fear. & they affirm to better commit themselves to emotional honesty even if it is frightening

december 22nd, 2022

microfiction: person A points out one of person B's flaws in an attempt to hurt them. person B explains that this is
a futile task because they are already obsessed with their own flaws on a day-to-day basis, not in the sense of
self-criticism & shame but more the enthusiastic sense of an ardent fan of some creative collective who keeps a
close eye on every step of their artistic trajectory or a scholar poring over a textbook, generally they are just a
person constantly on the edge of their seat, eyes peeled to see where their introspection will take them next & how
their flaws will morph & increase & diminish & how they will inflict themselves on their life course or be countered

microfiction: "you're even better than all those people i had to find through the internet on the
assumption that i'd never find anyone even half as good as them here. i like you even more than
the people i combed out from such exponentiated options... how can you by chance be here?"

december 23rd, 2022

microfiction: a person living with a constant sense of alienation decides that it's okay to live that way if they
can make art about it. they come to this conclusion after watching a saccharine short film where a character
living with a constant sense of alienation decides that it's okay to live that way if they can make art about it

this newfound attitude is the person's mimicry of a notion of "triumph" communicated by the film's thematic framing, where a human
element triumphantly shines through the inhumanity around it. this sense of "triumph" is rooted only in the film's internal logic
where the artistic creation is presented as something inherently good. that is to say, the triump is rooted more in this than
in the person's general experience of living. not understanding what it is that they really want out of life, they accept
this proposition that their artistic creation will be an acceptable substitute for non-alienated living. the film
has espoused a lifestyle that they have accepted & taken after for lack of knowing anything better

what's important to note is that artistic creation likely can serve as a human element nestled within an otherwise alienated
lifestyle & compensate for that lifestyle to some extent. but the protagonist is not so much interacting directly with that
practice & discovering it for themselves as much as they are taking after a fictionalized version of it. ultimately they
end up performing generally the same actions, but with the difference inside them that they are doing it out of a kind
of dispassionate & cognitively dissonant suggestion to do so, rather than the organic discovery of a passion for it

december 29th, 2022

concept: there are shades of interpersonal niceness that will never have anything to do with this place or anywhere
adjacent, for even if they were described here in detail it would produce only separate variations on them, as
refracted through the condition of being described here, as taken through this place's endemic lenses. there
are kindnesses that feel like the decors of rooms that will never be photographed & that you will never
see even if you step away from all secondhand experience & thoroughly explore the world for yourself

january 1st, 2023

microfiction: two people would like to play tag but they don't because they're
nervous that a passerby will think one is trying to harm the other & call the police

january 8th, 2023

concept: in 1952 some guy who has been experimentally creating primordial electroacoustic music happens
to rig together some kind of sprawling nikola tesla esque doohickey in a configuration that unintentionally
produces what would now be unmistakable as an extremely hard & meticulously produced detroit techno
song. all evidence of this occurrence is quickly destroyed in an act of confusion & fear

january 13th, 2023

microfiction: he frequently demanded of others that they admit to concealed cynical motivations & beliefs - which
were in fact illusory - out of a masochistic drive to verify that he really did live in as cruel a world as he imagined

microfiction: a group of, let's say, twenty people, all of whom have mutually caused every single other person there
profound degrees of unconscionable interpersonal grief, happen to meet at a certain time & place where somehow,
just as a quirk of circumstance, they all manage to bare their best sides & sincerely be really friendly & silly
people, maybe just for one hour of unclouded & uncomplicated kindness & sociability before they all part
ways again on the understanding that all the pain would probably start up again given enough time

january 24th, 2023

microfiction: a person feels incapable of working, not even for the well-being of the one they love. in a different life,
they might have immersed themselves in the tedium & frustrations from the outset, & been able to motivate themselves by
pointing to any given moment of it & saying that it's only what they have to do for the sake of the one they care about

but, as it stands, they cannot motivate themselves in this way because they recognize the notion of earning money
for the sake of love & care as a lie, as money's natural equation of itself to love & care in league with everything
else by way of its infusion into everything, its intrusion into the process of making anything happen

they could cope if they saw both their work & their love as constants, but they see their love as a constant
& their work as a sociohistorical variable which imposes itself on their love. one is infinitely valid, the
other not remotely so. this saps their motivation, takes them out of their work, makes it intolerable
to choose it over love for one second, leaves them searching for any possibility of escape

the conclusion of the story is simply that they become able to work by recognizing that the lie is the lie that
they live in the end - that the work is a variable in an absolute sense, but not a tangible one - that the overall lie is
nonetheless constructed from a world's worth of tangible truths. they come to terms with how their love may often
not be joyful frolicking but helping to shield someone from the violence of destitution, at times living less in
carefree creativity & more in reactive self-defense. they "pull through." there is not really a happy ending
but there is not a total void of happiness either. things are underscored by tension forever

microfiction: a little known fact is that Communism actually globally manifested in a fully realized capacity from april
twenty-eighth through may third of 2003. during this time, irreducible practical aspects of it were discovered which were
sufficiently unpleasant & essential to it that everyone basically realized there is no form of social organization that
would fill in all the gaps that many people had hoped & thought it would. this was not a perversion of it into
authoritarianism or what-have-you, but something truly inescapable. everyone then became so despondent over the
burden of their corporeal existence that they pulled the wool back over their own eyes & reverted to living in
capitalist realism, which at least gave life an anxiously stimulating tension if nothing else. the few people who
actively remember & observe this period of time are now passionately devoted to preventing the development
of Communism anywhere, specifically in the interest of letting everyone keep themselves blissfully ignorant

january 29th, 2023

microfiction: a person hurts themselves with selflessness out of the sense that, being a kind of
inwardly-turned extreme of behavior, it could not possibly coexist in them with the outwardly-turned
opposite extreme of hurting others with selfishness. thus it grants them a kind of ethical security

february 5th, 2023

microfiction: a person walks past you in a t-shirt with a joke that is genuinely off-kilter
enough that you feel it is probably a unique shirt that only could have percolated &
taken shape as a shirt through the playful & niche activity of some online space

this fills you with immediate temptation to try to befriend the person, even though you are already almost certain that it will
constitute mere settling for one of the scant few people in your city who are "online" enough that you can have a basic
capacity to relate to them along that line, which is important to you since being shaped by internet culture feels like
it's conditioned a lot of thought processes in very preliminary ways that alienate you from people who don't "get it"

but you figure that the person will still turn out to be "online" in a way that by
online standards is kind of common & that you won't actually find all that personable

february 7th, 2023

i am not in a good mental place today, really. i am going to describe two fictional narrative
events which i think will serve as good illustrations of some of my feelings of dread

my feelings of dread are possibly informed by weird overly judgmental perceptual distortions but
i feel like i cannot remotely settle on a personal decision anymore about whether that is really
the case because i have been trying to make sense of everything in a bubble for too long

the first event

a person goes through some kind of tragedy, an immense personal loss. there is a great deal of personal & emotional
context behind this loss. it is tragic on its face, sure, but it would also take paragraphs to properly establish the
contextual framework of why it is, to them, so profoundly piercing, even insulting, riddled with tragic irony.
the result is that they feel isolated with the pain, alone in their personal capacity to see & feel the full truth of it

"the first event" is not so much this tragedy but what comes after: they receive a message on the internet
from someone offering them a "digital hug," maybe referring to them as "friendo" or something like that

this elicits in them a complicated & negative emotional response. in short, although they recognize that
this is probably a sincere expression of concern, they cannot pretend to feel anything but alienated by
its blandly agreeable superficiality that they've heard spoken identically from other mouths before

there is a part of them which undeniably feels petty about this way of imposing standards
& judgment on others' vernacular, & here, being confronted with this message, they are
unsettled by the sense of this pettiness now intermingling with the gravity of their tragedy.
clearly nothing is safe from the grubby hands of the emotionally confusing mess of the world

yet the sour taste in their mouth is undeniable. they feel that there is ultimately some fair standard
of measure by which the message is worth detesting for its impersonal tinge, its cookie cutter tone.
they feel they need to espouse a lesson about when & how one really ought to reach out in these ways

so they are at first tempted to lash out at the person. but quickly
they come to feel that this would not make all that much sense

they feel that it is, in fact, worse that this is a sincere expression of concern, that there is no one
actually to blame. they acknowledge that this is what concern often looks like in the time & cultural
space they inhabit. they acknowledge that all fault lies with a kind of social system, of repetition,
of superficiality, of agreeability. & that the output of this system will tend to make them feel this way

all misgivings with the specific message itself or its sender have drained away, leaving behind only
this system, an uncaring impersonal force that they can only stare into & try to come to terms with

they only feel more isolated with the specificity of their tragedy. there is the sense that, even if they wrote
out all those paragraphs of context, no one else would take them in through similar eyes. & there is no one
to blame, or anything to reach out & try to correct. only a sense that this sharpening of their hurt is just
one of many processes which are constantly playing out throughout the world as it is, inexorably

& they feel alone in this overall perspective, too. they wonder if, making their best effort, they would
stand any chance of getting this person who messaged them to understand all of this in their terms


they hope to God that they are just personally exaggerating the message's suitability
as a representative sample of the overall "climate," but it's hard to be sure
because they are lonely & don't have that much "data" to go off of

another more optimistic angle may be that the world is always host to people who haven't quite yet figured out
themselves & their communication yet, but people are figuring it out all the time, & the protagonist simply
commits a selection bias where they feel perpetually burdened by the stable pool of those who haven't yet

the second event

i die in some kind of accident. a person, filled with genuine sadness, initially responds by smoking a cigarette & staring out
a window while listening to the song nothing else matters by metallica, finding emotional solace in it. one would be monstrously
insensitive to proclaim this as invalid. they cannot say that. we are all human beings trying to make sense of ourselves by way
of what we're given to make sense of ourselves by. we all feel the same. underneath all our costuming, we all feel the same.
yet there is still an undeniably disquieting reality that the aftermath of my death is marked in a small way by the world's
neglect to have ever shown this person anything better to see their own emotions reflected in, having to contort
the absolutely impersonal character of the song into some semblance of self-recognition

february 12th, 2023

microfiction: you don't want to construct a sense of self anymore. you're free, & you feel free. you don't even want to do
away with any of your clothes or trinkets, because they're beautiful, in the same way that the trees & the patches of sunlight
on the wall are. & they have nothing to do with you. they're not the traitorous little idols you were trying to construct yourself
from up until a moment ago. not even in that capacity do they have anything to do with you. they never had anything to do
with you. now that you have no interest in constructing a self, they just get to be beautiful, & there, in league
with the rest of the world around you. you know how to be guided by beauty instead of identity now

february 18th, 2023

short story: artist A has a somewhat cryptic artistic identity. many artists have had cryptic identities, &
artist A is among those who simply happen to produce it by way of genuine apathy about the curation
or management of their output. the "identity" arises only for external observers, & it comes
from artist A's vision as refracted through that natural lack of cohesion or accessibility

artist B takes inspiration from this - not the apathetic practice, but the aura it happens to give rise to - & seeks
to produce a body of work which will in its own way evoke that feeling of happenstance & discontinuity

something proves to be continually lacking, though, simply because they care about
evoking that feeling. there is a fundamental difference in ethos, which is to say, the
imposition of much of any ethos on their body of work as a whole in the first place

they're not sure what to do, though - they've already taken this feeling in as a genuinely engaging point of departure.
artist A's work successfully captured a mode of beauty that artist B would like to contribute to. there is no putting
the genie back in the bottle. but how can they succeed if they don't think so much about what they're doing?
giving things up to disarray worked for artist A, but it doesn't seem like it could work for them

finally, they recognize that giving themselves up to disarray will indeed produce some blindly happenstance body of work,
which they themselves must never try too hard to grasp for risk of imposing their will on it. & what they have to accept is
that that body of work probably will not be what they would have wanted to see arise from their disorganized activity,
it won't be what they might have imagined themselves giving rise to. it's not really theirs, just as artist A's
body of work was not really theirs, was simply an unplanned product of what they happened to be

much as with artist A, artist B's work will be some blind refraction of themselves to let drift into
the hands of the external observers with whom it'll find its value, & the particular character of that
value might be something artist B wouldn't have anticipated, might not even have any interest in...
it was never about artist B exercising artistic agency to produce something cathartically beyond
themselves as much as it was about them making peace with their own essence that conditions
the character of whatever it is exactly that they give rise to in the absence of much planning

february 20th, 2023

microfiction: hey man, it's been a while! i was analytically examining our message history & i noticed that for a good
while leading up to the present the number of messages you've sent me each week has consistently been exactly ninety
percent of the number of messages from the week prior. did you realize you don't really get along with me that
well & instate some kind of highly methodical algorithmic procedure for slowly tapering off our friendship?

march 4th, 2023

microfiction: a person identifies with a condition of having once played in serene green fields but now being confined to
a room where they can only spectate them from afar. this identification, however, is not in protest of a change that really
occurred but rather it contains the consolatory fiction that they had ever been out among the fields in the first place

march 6nd, 2023

microfiction: a person is deeply jealous of the romantic relationship between two people. but it's not that they
would want to take either person's place, or that they would want to find someone else who they would feel could
offer something sufficiently similar - rather, they would like to be that relationship, to cease to be a human
being, for what they are to just evaporate & become the mist that reaches between them when they interact

march 13th, 2023

microfiction: you stare out your bedroom window at a house on a moderately distant street corner
nearly every day for seven years. some people arrive in a truck & dismantle it without explanation

march 14th, 2023

microfiction: a person comes across a picture on the internet which contains four other pictures of
people who look exactly like them, & a caption reading, "y'all tired of looking like this yet??"

this picture does stir in them an awareness that they have sort of taken to copying a way that people often
look, & that it might be better for them to get in touch with themselves & find their own style of expression

at the same time, though, they feel that, even if beneath the picture's snarkiness it's had some kind of productive
effect on them, they didn't deserve to have the message delivered to them so randomly & impersonally. they feel like
they deserved to have someone in their life who brought them to that understanding through some kind of personal
dialogue. they would have preferred that. it'd have been decent. they don't have anyone like that in their life, though

march 18th, 2023

microfiction: A & Z are friends. they are both very nice people, & they know it

every once in a while, A will come across a situation with a bit of an ethical choice to be made. they don't always choose the
better option, but they justify this to themselves by reasoning that Z is quite a nice person & that they could understand if
Z ceded to making the same choice. they envision Z doing it & it doesn't seem "too wrong" of an idea. it wouldn't change
their view of Z or anything. so they figure they haven't strayed too far from Z's generally agreeable conduct

unfortunately, Z encounters ethical choices too, & they do the same thing as A, with A as their model. but A's conduct is
pockmarked with ethical concessions made using some hypothetical version of Z as persistent justification. this means that
A serves as a less ideal model for Z than Z does for A. & so Z, in taking A as a model, is presented with a somewhat
diminished standard. so they make a fair bit more concessions than they would if A were more upright

this diminishes Z's ethical character a bit, which in turn gives A a diminished model, which in turn gives
Z a diminished model, & so on, until this "stepping down" effect makes each of them substantially less
ethical than they might have been in the past, because they've never sat down & had a dialogue about
what they really believe in & how they can recommit to each individually holding themselves to that

march 19th, 2023

microfiction: as you're lying on your bed with the window open experiencing a genuine moment of forgiving
peace a person walks into your room & says "i can't believe that companies are selling our information to
generate advertisements" & reels you back into a constant cycle of milquetoast frustration about total
intangilibities, which you're pressured to resort to as something to relate to other people around

the plot twist of the story is that the initial moment of peace whose interruption is described never actually happened because the
person who walked into the room is you & you're too busy with the milquetoast frustration to find any such moments in the first place

microfiction: as you're lying on your bed with the window open experiencing a genuine moment of forgiving peace
a person walks into your room & says "i can't believe that people interrupt each other's moments of peace to relate
around milquetoast frustration over total intangibilities" & reels you back into a constant cycle of vicarious
paternalistic concern over the self-actualization of some blurry mass representing "all the people"

microfiction: one day "all the people" approaches you, & says, "we don't care on any level about the trivial concerns which might
otherwise distract us from what measure of mercy & peace there is still to be found in life. not even the idea of our own potential
distraction preoccupies us! we are okay! nothing has ever been so shallow. we are self-actualized, & there for each other"

this is the "good ending" of the story. its reward is that you can now sit alone in your room with the assurance
that "everyone" is undistracted & real. you can imagine them off doing their realness on the other sides of
thousands of computer screens & across thousands of phone calls, & hope to fall in line with that blurry
mass, seeing nothing, touching nothing, but hoping to represent the fulfillment & wholesomeness which
is now the "canon" of that online social milieu, that realm of mutual separation & ambiguity

march 24th, 2023

microfiction: two people are in a relationship. one of them has no trouble at all passing a two-hour car ride in silence. the
other actively enjoys wondering what they're thinking about, this enjoyment having no need for any corollary drive to ever ask

april 2nd, 2023

short story:

imagine you go to Heaven with a small group of people & find yourselves in a dreamlike space populated with an amalgam of
objects & qualities, & for each person a subset of these objects & qualities represents some impossibly specific essence
inside them that they always wanted to see reflected outside of themselves - if any of them were artists, then sitting
right in front of them is what they always strove for in every work they ever made. it's an incredibly relieving feeling
to be here, to finally see this thing you'd always understood... like being at home, as "at home" as you could be

each person, looking at the things in this space which do not represent them, also finds that they understand exactly how they
represent each of the others, & this is an impossibly intimate understanding that they never could have quite reached before

you are overjoyed by this sense of connection, & you have an intuitive sense that everyone else feels it too,
& that they all know (that they all know) that they all feel it too. & you can tell that they're overjoyed
& that they all know that they're all overjoyed too. you're excited to understand & to be understood.
there's no reason for anyone to say anything & you all just fall into each other's arms ecstatically

april 5th, 2023

miccrofictimio0-pguj90:d dehdio9hio0hiogeaere

microfiction: spending so much time desiring reality (i mean wanting to feel anyone who
intuitively it feels like your mind actually reaches out & touches without having to force it) -

microfiction: spending so much time

microfiction: "person A" spends so much time desiring reality that it decays their
- writing it like this makes the pronouns too ambiguous or clunky towards the end

microfiction: spending so much time desiring reality that it decays your head to a point that you can no longer
actually match the displayed reality of whoever you might find. you meet the most real person ever & can
only babble inarticulately as they express things you remember feeling in yourself prior to the onset
of that decay & only ever wanted to see reflected as they are in this sickly ironic moment

april 10th, 2023

microfiction: person A compliments person B. A has a preemptive understanding that their compliment will
come off as either flattering or bizarre, without much in-between. but they opt to take the risk anyway. B,
in their reply, also recognizes that the compliment rode a precarious line between flattery & strangeness
&, not being perturbed by it, actually expresses respect for A's willingness to take a risk in
the interest of inviting the possibility that they would brighten someone's day a bit

one could question, though, if there isn't a certain perspective one could take on the situation where, since A could not possibly have
predicted B's response, their delivery of the compliment was indistinguishable as an act from delivering it to any number of people who
might have variously responded positively or negatively, & all of whom A would be taking the liberty of foisting their risk-taking
upon. thus, even though we are in the world where B responded positively, it could be said that, relative to A's original
intent, a conceivable negative response from B is still "valid" in a way, & it could be said that, even though
A "lucked out" & subjected no one to any personal discomfiture, one could feel that they were still a bit
irresponsible & should be regarded as such. yet would anything ever happen without risks being taken?
is that just a fact of life that anyone in a moment of perturbation briefly bears the burden of?

april 11th, 2023

microfiction: one day you talk to a new person & quickly develop a sense that you love them. to you, this feels less like a miracle
& more like they simply make sense, in contrast to all the absurdity which came prior to them & continues to surround them, &
it is the uniformity of that absurdity which is in fact a miracle in a repugnant direction. here, the world only takes mercy in
extending that basic courtesy of making any sense, pausing the otherwise ceaseless attack with which it tries to convince
you that you are essentially homeless. then the person vanishes, irrevocably. now irreversibly saddled with proof
that homes can exist, you are forced to venture out & investigate the extent to which they actually do

april 22nd, 2023

suppose there were two people in your life, each disparate, unique, complex, & engaged always in efforts to better themselves, but you simply
adored one & despised the other. & something you had no way of realizing about the situation - but which can be analyzed in this omniscient
narrative framing, this thought experiment - was that if you could trace back in time along each of their personal developments, you could
find that the split between your adoration or disgust happened to come down to a certain indescribable lesson that the preferred one had
learned way earlier in life from a certain work of art - a certain "ethos" they had taken & internalized in a way that was genuinely
useful for them. & even though the despised one couldn't be blamed for not simply happening to have such a work careen out from the
unsorted chaos of life & into their field of awareness, & potentially spark against them in the same way, you still could not stand
them & it would be dishonest to your genuine interpersonal inclinations & preferences to tell yourself otherwise. & so you had no choice
but for this to be the state of affairs. & this seemed to highlight a way that it didn't seem to have much to do with you as individuals
with agency, & was more like an ecosystem of different ethoses & temperaments, propagating around the world, with people as their carriers

april 24th, 2023

"a person identifies with a condition of having once played in serene green fields..."

i suspect that i cry at songs about missing people even though no one has ever significantly exited my life because such a reaction contains
the consolatory fiction of having felt a tangible presence in the first place, & the song doesn't lack a necessary pain in its expression.
& it is not that i am buying into that fiction as i cry but rather mourning all potential tangible presence that never was

may 9th, 2023

microfiction: a person desires to stop being reminded of something. they briefly consider making an attempt to sanitize their life of
things which might act as recurrent reminders, but in the end they do not do this, figuring that going through so much trouble might only
create a paradoxical effect which would worsen things. so they let things come as they will without interference. what they don't
realize is that, due entirely to poor luck, their life does happen to be replete with things which could be fairly regarded as
reminders. failing to see this & believing that by simply letting things be they've created a neutral state of affairs wherein
they nonetheless continue to see traces of "it" all the time, they begin to believe that they might be going crazy

may 20th, 2023

microfiction: a person shackles themselves to a rock face but even in
that stillness vomits from the inertia of the rotation of the planet

may 22nd, 2023

dynamic: person A performs a particularly sweet gesture towards person B. B is thrilled because they take it as a sign that A loves
them. B is then informed that the gesture was more because A is just a generally sweet person. B finds themselves in an odd place
where they feel disappointed that it is just that A is generally sweet, as though a person's sweetness were not a positive thing

microfiction: a person using their computer to look at satellite imagery of the area surrounding their house discovers
a clear, sharp line cutting northeast across a nearby field. suspecting that this is an undiscovered walking trail
that they could start spending time at on occasion, they decide to walk a few blocks over & investigate it

they'll find something there when they arrive, maybe a long line of clustered trees stretching into the northeast with a trail
concealed in them. in any case, though, it will be behind a wire fence which will dissuade them from investigating. on
the way back to their house they will meet a new person who will become someone very important in their life

actually, there in their house, they look at some street photography of the stretch of road near the northeast line & see
that the fence is there. so they do not go on the short walk or meet the person after all. the tools on their computer
that they were using to survey the area had opened a door & then closed that same door, both times unnoticeably

may 25th, 2023

microfiction: he spends each night bathed in warm, red light. there is something in him that would like to insist on the
supremacy of red light. one day chance has him spend the whole day immersed in cool, clearing, watery blue light. this
break from red light makes him feel refreshed & new. he is faced with the blatant fact that if he wants real peace then
all shades of light must be permitted to be beautiful, since they are equal in the first place. a part of him doesn't
want them to be equal, though. he doesn't want to be adrift in a system of indiscriminate shades. he wants
there to be a way to follow. he doesn't know how to stop wanting there to be a way to follow

despite this, he hesitantly tries embracing all shades of light, & sustains this for a while. then he is confronted
with a more practical substitute for light. one cannot say that is not light, but it nonetheless lacks some essence
that light is supposed to have, no doubt. he considers how terrifyingly easy it would be to settle for this &
forget the essence that light should have. this can't be right. if he is to accept all light then he
must accept it whether it is real or substitute, whether it has an essence or not

he is not prepared to do that. he was ready to let go of discrimination between essences but he is not
ready to give up entirely on his need for essence itself. he is not prepared to call this anything but
wrong. if something is wrong then that reopens the doorway in his head to the idea that something
else is right. this idea starts out shapeless, but slowly begins to settle into the shape most familiar
to him. he begins to slip back into his old habit of insisting on the supremacy of red light

may 25th, 2023

interior loneliness

a suicide note which simply expresses having felt alone their entire life & which elicits great guilt & regret from very decent people about having not
sufficiently been there for them; they carry on with this guilt but there is never any way they could be made to realize that their presence, effort, or
absence wasn't so much the dependent factor: the person wasn't afflicted with their lack of concern but rather a deep, impersonal, blameless dread elicited
in them by these decent people themselves - a persistent horror at characteristics of the world at large which seemed to meld the genuine concern & love of
them all into a thing that when refracted through the person felt so intangible, distant, & unreal, & how this could be so unapparent to so many so willing
to offer no less than the most sincere smiles & presence which the person had been primed by all means to receive as such soothing things. & so as the
others live on it is precisely this lingering, mistaken sense among them - that something could have been done better in a way mistakenly more specific
than the very general circumstances which were the real culprit - that would continue to elicit dread from the person were they still present

june 7th, 2023

microfiction: a person slowly accumulates an immense degree of ingenuity & courage which they finally
employ towards bringing about a circumstance which contains in it a single prized second during which,
in contrast to all their lifetime which preceded it & which will follow, they get to actually exist

june 13th, 2023

microfiction: a person is confused & upset & wishes there existed a person they loved & against whom they could therefore
recuperate by melting into scattered liquid. then they find someone they love & discover that they have to tolerate the
fact that that love is an experience of sharing in existential aimlessness & uncertainty - that it is, in fact, an event which
takes place within that general circumstance of upset & confused desire to melt - an experience which never comes

june 13th, 2023

sometimes a person doesn't want to commit to expressing a sentence as a necessarily purported truth as
much as they just want to write it, often they'll resolve this by sticking it in the mouth of a fictional
character but still running the risk of the character being interpreted as their mouthpiece

Character said, "life is silliness with horror underneath, although if this is true you would be gravely mistaken
in regarding what's hidden as being the cryptic truth which defines all else - which must be unearthed so that
everything can be looked in the eye as the mere horror that it is - rather than just the one of the two
inseparable elements which is underneath rather than up above, nothing more & nothing less"

june 17th, 2023

concept: a person for whom plan A is "yes i'm an animal but i happen to be a sapient one which
means i have lots of ability to decide what i am for myself & essentializing any ideas about
myself (one glaring example of that action being hetero-normativity) is dangerous" & plan
B is "time to humble myself to the condition of being an animal in selective ways"

"sometimes i feel ashamed of my capacity to express," she said

"i think it comes from a more general fear that someone - anyone - might come to hate me. i guess i only imagine being hated for
what i say. i couldn't imagine any sensible person hating me if i didn't even have it in me to rebuff them. & i wouldn't have
the tools with which to make myself despicable in the first place, with expressions that were self-involved or pretentious.
it's my capacity to express that makes me worth hating, places me in the realm hate lives in, where arguments
occur. it makes me worthy of at least consideration for hate. it makes me bear responsibility.

"surely there would still be people who could come to hate me. but i would have
lease to feel from the outset that they were not sensible in their hatred."

she paused, & then added, "i guess this would just place the onus on me that, if i am to express, i should
always think to do so in a way that produces these conditions - this desired blamelessness - through
the particular content of my expression rather than a void of expression entirely."

he asked her, "why do you care what other people think of you in the first place?" the answer
was that she was a social being like him & most anyone else, but rather than say this, she said,

"i will not directly answer that question, but express a separate thought that feels like it could serve as an answer:

"if a person were to address me in some dehumanizing manner, i wouldn't so much feel like i remained a full-fledged
human being having this other human being's inane judgment pettily cast on her like a splash of muddy water, a
social exchange so shallow that one would feel the absurdity in its being cast against the depth of my
humanity. rather, i think their perspective would overpower mine. mine would become theirs.

"you see, in whatever situation i find myself in, i do not really perceive myself there. i feel that i move through life like a ghost. in a
room with one other person, i see the room as occupied by one person & my perception of it as just some pre-given thing that exists
in itself. but i do still have thoughts about myself, & i react internally when people address me. & because i feel like a ghost, one
person is all it takes to form a consensus. the consensus of humanity would override me. i would feel, inside myself, like some
simpler & lesser thing which could now only petition for decency on the grounds that simpler & lesser things don't necessarily
need to be treated indecently. were i to reply at all, i could only state these grounds & hope that they would be accepted."

june 19th, 2023

"i conceive of the act of carrying out a single truly authentic action or expression like an act of punching a hole
through a thousand layers of culturally ingrained thought patterns of performativity, with an effort like lifting
a thousand pound weight, so that one can desperately hurl a word or gesture through during the brief moment
before all the layers snap shut again like the healing of a bunch of horrible sinewy walls of flesh," he said

"one can imagine that, even without all those culturally ingrained thought patterns present, a person might still have trouble
being fully honest with others or ridding themselves of self-deceptions. here we find a compounded difficulty where if they
are very lucky then the word or gesture that they get a chance to hurl through might even be an honest one," he added

june 21st, 2023

microfiction: there is a knife in a display case in a safe behind a wardrobe in
a bedroom on a shipwreck at the bottom of the ocean. it could cut something