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What do you need to move

Emotions roil within the depths of the mind
Questions as to actions untaken
Regrets as to mistakes made
When you need to move, you don't, when you need to stop, you can't
What can you say or do.

Fairness is a language that the world cannot speak
A inconsistent, incomplete mess of syntax and syllogism
To claim something is unfair is to couch it in unfair semantics
Yet, we are forced to do this day to day
either that or become hermits.

Is it possible that all suffering is fair, deserved and just
Is it possible that all success is justified, proper and right

But then, no matter what actions we take, the results will be just
We have no free will.

What do you need to move?

The temptress

The highway ran up the cliff side from the lower dregs of the city to the richer neighbourhoods above, a four lane monstrousity carved directly out of the side of the cliff. A treacherous walkway ran alongside the ledge, a place to wander up or down the cliff by foot. This is how they brought me to their operation.

You see, out of those tens of thousands of cars that make the journey up and down that cliffside each day, very few pay that much attention to the scenery around them. If they did, they might notice a strange little metal door about half way up the cliff. Those that did notice it probably just assumed it was just used to gain access to buried cables or a transformer for the electrical system, especially considering how inaccessible it was. That was what I thought until they stopped just across the highway from the door.

"Run," she said pointing at the door across the way.

"For that door?"

"Yes, run."

"Are you mad? That's 6 tight lanes of highway with a high meridian between them, there's no way I'll make it across safely."

"Would you rather you try to walk across?"

"No, I'd rather find an entrance that doesn't involve playing real-life frogger."

"Well, this is the only way in, so you run or we're done here. I'll see you on the other side." She ran across the highway, deftly leaping over the meridian divider just as a motorcycle skidded around her narrowly missing a delivery truck. Standing cautiously on the divider between the two lanes she waited for a gap and made it to the door, pushing her body against the wall to avoid the traffic as her hand reached over to open the door inward.

"YOU COMING?" She yelled over the din of the traffic. "If you aren't I'm going in and locking the door... you can find your own way."

The traffic opened up behind a large 2 trailer semi, I took my change, racing across the road like a maniac possessed. Faster than I expected, I reached the concrete divider and realized that it was many feet taller than I had expected just as another large semi came barreling around the bend on the inside lane. I desperately scrambled up and over the divider throwing myself into the next lane of traffic. Mercifully the driver on the other side saw me coming and veered to avoid slamming into me.

With no time to spare I dove across the remaining lanes and threw myself breathlessly through the open door...

and into one of the largest and grimiest warehouses I had ever seen. She shut the door behind me and began walking down a flickering hallway beckoning me to follow. "Well, that was easy enough. Now's where the real fun begins."

Regrets.

The meaninglessness is inherent in the philosophy.
The philosophy bans all final causes, so nothing can have purpose.
The rational thing is to say there is no reason.

It screams insanity, and yet, why not? Struggling to fit to some other person's paradigm is just as mad.
Ponderings censored with fear that those who read it will offend.
Accept everyone else, lest they not accept you. Yet, you don't even tolerate me, much less accept.

The trolls fill the airways, the beautiful and the ugly.
Demanding that the way things are is the best way things can be,
Destroying anyone out there who believes in the old world, or who wants a new one they disagree with.

The repression sits tight on our chests, until every day it's a struggle to breath, to move
How can one accomplish anything when there is no energy left for them to work with.

The daily demands of debt, credit, work, play, friends, family, self, others, nation, church, atheism, news, knowledge, wisdom, academia, philosophy, responsibilities, literature, dreams, hopes, breathing, pulsing, living all lead to the inevitable break down.

All of that effort for what? Someone else's gain? No one else's gain?

Just to prove that you deserve food and a house, rather than prove that you can do great things and make the world a better place.

There is no point to it, because the society deems it so.

We reject any possibility of a point because that would break the golden rule.

You cannot do anything wrong if there is no purpose to anything.

However, you also can never do anything right either. 

The cliff

I walked up to the edge of a cliff, overlooking a raging sea. The mist from the sea filled the air, coated every stone, made every step a treacherous one. Yet, I needed to look over the edge; to see its fury for myself, storm be damned. My heart pulsed in my ears, louder and louder as I approached the cusp, and stared into the foaming angry sea. The storm was coming in with the tide, rage and fury growing with time. The waves getting more treacherous with every thunderous crash. I knew that one rogue wave would wash me away forever, pulled into the foaming morass, cleansed from the world and history in an instant.

Despite this danger, I had to watch. No, not despite this danger, but because of it. I had to feel the water on my skin, expose myself to the abject terror of the abyss, witness its untamable power.

I wanted to be cleansed from the world. Or more correctly, I wanted the world to be cleansed from me. I stretched out my arms, ready to embrace the void on my own terms...

A large wave crashed hard below, reaching up for me. It`s long cold tendrils wrapped my legs, soaked my shoes, and pushed me back. I tasted salt in my mouth as my feet slipped, and I could feel the panic explode through my body. I threw myself away from the cliff, my body hit the wet rocks and began to slide towards the edge as the sea slammed into the cliff, this time throwing itself over my entire body, covering my face and flushing me further towards the precipice.

I scratched at the ground, desperately searching for purchase as my feet dangled over the ledge. Squirming my body one inch at a time back onto solid ground as the ocean raged behind me.

Finally, I was able to stand up on shaking legs, standing back away from the abyss, watching the storm rage.

"You won't be able to wipe me away that easily! This will be my choice, and mine alone!" I yelled into the black storm as another immense wave crashed and the storm began in earnest.

"Damn you... damn you all..." I muttered as I collapsed back to the ground, shaking my head, my clothes soaked to the bone. "What the hell am I supposed to do now?"

"Who are you talking to?" A young voice said behind me, jolting me once again back to reality.

"Wha..? Who are you? Why are you bug..." I turned and saw a young woman in a soaked sundress. Her face lit up by her lantern, she eyed me curiously with her blue eyes.

"Who are you talking to?" She repeated calmly, sitting down beside me and staring at the waves.

"No one." I wiped my eyes clear of tears and rain.

"You talk awfully loud for someone talking to no one... I guess you wanted to be heard above the storm."

A smartass, just what I needed. "Fine, then I'm talking to everyone. I'm telling them all to go to hell. Who the hell are you?" Lightning reflected over the waves, lighting up the dark waters. I looked over, she couldn't have been a day older than nineteen.

"I apologize for how I look, I must look absolutely dreadful. These storms are lovely to watch, but they do have a habit of messing up everything, don't they?" Still watching out calmly at the storm and fury, her sun dress clinging to

"Yes, they do. However, I must be going." I stood up and began to make my way back to the car.

"Oh really? I'm sorry if I drove you away. I can move somewhere else if you wish. This is just one of the best places to watch. I love watching the storms." She blinked at me, her wet hair framing her face in the lantern light. There was an innocence to her, and yet a strange alluring strength as well. She reminded me of a time long before all of this started, a place where I made one decision and now I'm still sorting through the consequences.

"Is everything ok? Weren't you leaving? Did you forget something?" I must've stood and stared too long.

"No, everything is not ok, it never is... You know, I'm already soaked, I may as well stay and enjoy the show." I sat back down close beside her. "I'm John." I held my hand out to shake hands.

"Nice to meet you John. I'm glad you are staying." She said turning back to the storm, either ignoring my hand or not noticing it all.

I turned back as well to watch the storm, catching glimpses of her in the corner of my eye with every flash of lightning.

Aphorisms of the moment

The best book you will ever read is the one you most disagree with.

Stagnation is death. Life is always changing.

Don't be surprised when the world turns without you.

Just because it is irrational, doesn`t mean it`s not true.

The worst time to join a gold rush is when the papers talk about it.

The hardest thing is whatever is holding you back.

Nothing beats freshly picked food... nothing.

The ruling class will always find a way to turn tragedies into farces (or else they will soon not be ruling.)

"Let's do something crazy"

She was wearing her bright red sundress when I walked in. The golden flowers on the dress flowed down her back, out of her long brown hair and blending into the sunlight shining through the thin material as she stared at the traffic below. This is a good sign, she usually wears her sundresses when she's in a good mood. She turned as I entered.

"How are things going?"

"I want to go and do something crazy today." She said as she took her coffee from me and returned to monitor the traffic below.

"Well, we could go down to the park by the river and have a picnic."

"No, I mean really crazy."

"Umm, we could rent a boat and have a picnic in a boat."

She stared at me as if I has just stepped on her dog.

Finally she spoke up. "Let's fly to Toronto."

"What?"

"To Toronto, let's go fly there tonight, one way tickets. I have a friend with a condo on the Waterfront, we can crash with her."

"With what money? Plane tickets aren't free." Regardless of all of the other obvious problems, we were barely covering rent month-to-month as is.

"I don't know... Let's take the money from someone... Let's rob a bank." Her eyes widened at the possibility.

"Yes, that sounds like a fantastic idea, let me just dig up my secret cache of weaponry I keep hidden under the sink..." I took a sip of coffee and sat down at my laptop just in time for her to slam the lid shut.

"Listen to me. I'm just tired of this."

"Tired of what?"

"This! You, me, this place, this life... I'm sick of everything! We never seem to do anything more than eat, drink, smoke and sleep."

"And you think because you are feeling restless, we should rob a bank."

"I don't hear any good ideas coming from you." Her dress fluttered in the wind.

"Well, I know what we could do right now." I reached over and wrapped my arms around her waist.

"So instead we will just eat, fuck, drink, smoke, sleep? God, you are so predictable." She took another sip of her coffee while swatting away my advances.

I sighed, "Well, I just don't think robbing a bank is reasonable."

"Why not?"

"Well, first there is the whole going to jail thing."

"Only if we get caught."

"Which is pretty much a given considering I don't have any experience with robbing banks, and I'm pretty sure you don't either. Unless you have some sort of secret past I don't know about."

"The only way you get a secret past is by taking the leap in the present. Plus, don't you have experience with this stuff, you just 'don't do it anymore'?"

She did have a point. However, you need to crawl before you walk. Maybe there is a middle ground that can be reached with crazy. "Robbing a bank is insane, but maybe we can start smaller. Something a little easier..."

Haikus for the moment

How can it be hot
I live close to the north pole
This much be a joke

--

Couches feel empty
with only one person here
No head on my lap

--

Read all that you want
Believe all that you would like
You will still be wrong

--

Science is not real
It is a tool to find things
Not reality.

--

Sacred cows must die
For anything important
To come to pass

The bridge

The bridge's massive arches dwarfed all of the buildings at it's feet. Its intricate ironwork glistening in the morning sun. Every morning on my way back home with my coffee I would admire the triumph of engineering, while its shadows spread ominously across the city and river below.

It was four immense columns of concrete, topped with steel and iron arches; always in need of some paint or restoration. The architect said he was inspired by the Eiffel Tower, and you could see it in the intricate detailing on the ironwork if you stared long enough through binoculars. He built it to hold 16 lanes, 10 express and 6 collector. However, inevitably  a couple of the lanes would be under construction, slowing down the traffic to a dead crawl. It spanned the entire valley, almost two full kilometers, and by my estimates, it had to be at least 30 stories up, considering all the skyscrapers in our arrondissement sat cleanly beneath it.

Many thought it was an eyesore, an waste of government dollars. Most would rather see it torn down and the material and maintenance money put to better use. To me, it was a piece of art from another age, where the little details still mattered. From an age where single pieces of beauty mattered more than digital databases full of abstracted data points.

Our arrondissement consisted of a eclectic mix of old brick heritage buildings, three or four stories tall, and giant glass spires, evenly divided between condos and office space. We lived in a loft on the top floor of one of the old buildings. It was posh to own a condo in the glass spires, so our rent was dirt cheap. As well, there has never been a working elevator in our building since we moved in which limited the type of people willing to live on the top floor to mostly artists, athletes and insane people.

In other words: Perfect for us.

As I approached our loft, I gave the bridge once last glance, wondering how late the commuters were going to be today since five of the lanes going east seemed to be closed due to an accident. Margery, the nicest old lady you'd ever meet, was sitting on her patio just outside the entrance to the building, sipping a glass of red wine and staring at her phone.

"You know that stuff will kill you, eh?" Margery muttered looking up from her phone and eyeing my coffee. "You shouldn't be drinking so much of it. It's hard on your heart, that's what all the newsfeeds are saying."

I rolled my eyes. "I know, I know, and next week I won't be allowed to have wine anymore right?"

"No, no, wine is still good. Wine is always good, especially red wine. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise."

Margery was sweet, but she put way too much faith into the paranoid news feeds. However, I guess when you get to that age it keeps you alert and active to be constantly changing what you are supposed to be afraid of today. If I remember correctly, last week, it was sugar, ironically the week before that, it was artificial sweetener.

"Well at least we can agree on that."

The stairs spiralled around the non-functional elevator, dark, smelling of old cats, people and wood. Each and every step creaked as I made my way up, trying to avoid having the coffee splash. I cursed the landlords for still not replacing the broken lights on the second landing when I turned that corner and nearly ran right into Geoffry as he jogged down for his morning run, spilling coffee onto my shirt.

"Coffee, eh? You should really join me for a run instead, it wakes you up just as much. You know, they are saying that stuff can kill you."

"Yes, I was duly informed by Marge downstairs."

"Well, the offer is still always on the table, you will get much farther running with me than you will drinking that poison."

"Right now my shirt is drinking more of the coffee than me, but thanks for the offer."

I eventually made it up to the top landing, a little out of breath, but glad to finally be back home, ready to start my work.

An ode to my belly

My belly is angry with me,
it wants me to eat cookies,
which will make my belly big,
make me angry at my belly.

At the bottom of the glass.

We raise our glass each night in celebration of but nothing,
not realizing that our malaise rightly lies not in our tragedies, but lack thereof.
For tragedy is only death, and never is an end
Except in tales regaled around the fire, upon the stage

Without a challenge overcome, a man cannot achieve
Can't strive to be more than his birth.
No chance to fail becomes no chance to win
No chance to win a chance to celebrate again.

So raise your glass to drink away your piddly time on Earth.
Or stay your ground and celebrate when celebration's deserved.

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kjrose
Kelly John Rose
kjro.se

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