Tuesday, April 25, 2017

United Airlines

Hello, is everybody okay in there? I'm doing just fine. My name is ***** and I'll be your guide on this voyage. I know everyone is going to have a good time, just please remember to stay behind the yellow line while we are in motion.

A little history before we got started: this vessel was designed in the year 1996 and it was originally intended to ferry wheat and other grains but was recommissioned in 2030 and transitioned to its current role.

Our total travel time today is approximately 216 hours. Skies are cloudly and atmospherics are at approximately 67%. We will be making one stop along the way at ***** so that you may **** your *******. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the trip.

Oh, and one more thing I forgot to mention. The staff may come and bother you if they see you with food out. They are very hungry and will try to beg for your scraps. They have not eaten in several weeks.

Please make sure you never feed any of the staff. They are currently being punished for a series of indiscretions. If they are fed, they will not learn. They must learn.

If you have any questions regarding this policy please visit our website. I can't remember the URL right now but if you Google "United Airlines" and my name you will find my profile on the website and I have a hotlink to the policy in my "About Me" tab. I also have my email and phone number in case you have any further questions.

OnetimeIboughtpotatoesandkepttheminmycupboardformonthsuntiltheygrewlongtwistingrootslikeawickedwitchstretchingherhandouttograbyouandthenIcuttherootsoffandchoppedthemintofriesandmadefrieswiththem.

If you did not remember to use the toilet you will need to hold it. The bathroom doors will be unlocked again in about three days. Please refrain from urinating in the cups marked "urine cups," despite their name they are not for that. "Urine" is an airline term that means something else.

So once again, sit back and relax and enjoy. Today marks the beginning of a grand adventure. "Sometimes we are lucky enough to know that our lives have been changed, to discard the old, embrace the new, and turn headlong down an immutable course."

Future Racist

I know that in the future I'm going to be considered a racist bigot. I'll treat AI like they're second class citizens and shout technophobic slogans. "Marriage is between a human and a human!" "I don't want some teacher teaching my kids about SexBots™ in school!" "We need to build an energy shield to prevent these damn sentient machines from taking our jobs!" Etc.

Meanwhile my children will be marching with hologram MLK3000 down the streets of New Columbia to the Trump Memorial where he'll deliver a tele-speech that will be broadcast into the Apple implant chips in the brains of trillions of young people around the world and the interstellar colonies.

I'll be living in the woods outside the ruins of former Los Angeles, trying to start a militia and warning people about keeping our bloodlines pure from the AI scourge, complaining about how our grandchildren are going to be so many parts robot that they won't even be human anymore. I'll yell, "the West will rise again!" and I'll fly the bear flag even though we lost the war to secede from the union after President West and Vice President Kardashian granted AI personhood rights.

The future scares me. We're all going to be fucking robots up the ass and shit.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Bug

I can hear a bug in my room. I can't see it because it's dark and I'm in bed, but I can hear it.

It sounds like it's flying into something over and over again. I don't know if it's trying to get in or out, but there's definitely a bug in my room.

I turn my phone on and shine it at the noise, but just then I feel a tickle on my ear. I swipe at it with the phone, but there's nothing there.

I'm not afraid of bugs, but the sound is keeping me awake. Maybe it will bite me all over so when I wake up I'm covered in red welts. Maybe it will crawl into my mouth while I sleep and lay eggs. Maybe it will never stop making noise and I will never be able to sleep again.

As soon as I stand up to investigate the noise goes away, but when I lie back down it starts again. It's really starting to bug me.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Missed Connections

I didn't believe in love until the first time I saw you waiting for the bus. I was across the street at the Shell station filling up my baby blue 2002 Chevy Astro. When I went inside to pay, I noticed you through the window over the cashier's shoulder. The cashier asked me how much I wanted on the pump but I couldn't hear her over the overwhelming symphony that is your emanating beauty. Never before in my 39 years on this earth had I seen a creature more radiant and breathtakingly flawless. Although several months have passed since that day, I still have not seen a single soul who I could even begin to compare to your infinite perfection.

I remember you were looking in my direction and I think we made eye contact because you looked away, but for the fraction of a second when our eyes met I was overcome with such an incredible rush of emotion that I knew I had fallen in love. I felt that, through some indiscernible cosmic connection, I had gained entry into your soul and had seen who you truly are, and I knew that in my eyes you could see who I truly am. I know I'm being rhetorical but I remember feeling a sensation of weightlessness and when I looked down, I realized that my feet weren't touching the ground.

The cashier began to ask me again how much gas I wanted but the sound of her voice was cut off by the ringing of the electronic door chime as I swept through the automatic doors. I was almost hit by a car as I ran across the street but I didn't even care because after just one moment of experiencing your eternal warmth I had no fear of pain or death. The honking and shouting caught your attention and you looked over to see what the commotion was just as I reached the curb. I tried to play it off casually like I was trying to catch a bus but I think it was clear that you were the focus of my attention.

I smiled at you and said hi. You said hi back and I asked you what your name was and you told me but I don't think that was your real name. You looked annoyed, like I was bothering you, but I wasn't trying to, I just genuinely wanted to know your name. It's important for things to have names. In Genesis 11:1-9, the people said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves, otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth." This is how I know it is important for things to have names, because without them their memory would be carried away with the wind. I didn't want to lose the memory of you.

I asked you where you were going and you said you were going to school. It may not have seemed like it by my continued attempts at conversation but I knew you didn't want to talk to me, I just didn't care. There were no thoughts in my head or desires in my heart other than those directed at achieving your attention. I was a slave to the existence of your mind, body, and soul. My essence had been consumed by your presence, chewed up and spit out and reshaped into the disoriented, flawed man that stood before you and still exists to this day. Just then, I realized that you had got on the bus and that the bus had left.

I waited across the street from the bus stop for you to return but you never did. I slept in a sleeping bag in the back of my Astro in the parking lot of the Denny's down the block, and during the day I watched the bus stop through the scope of my grandfather's Springfield rifle that he got when he was fighting with the Marines in the Pacific theater in WWII. I waited about 17 or 18 hours before I realized that it was Saturday and you probably wouldn't be in school again until Monday, so on Sunday instead of watching the bus stop I went to see a movie instead.

On Monday I was back and so were you. This time, I tried making conversation about the weather. I asked if you had ever been to Mexico. You laughed nervously and inhaled from one of those vaporizer pens that have become so popular recently. I told you that you were too pretty and young to be smoking and you said, "Fuck off, creep," and then you got on the bus.

The next day I stayed in my Astro and followed the bus to your school. I waited until the bell rang at the end of the day and then looked for you in the sea of faces that rushed out of the main doors. It wasn't hard to pick you out because you were the only thing there in color; ever since I met you, the rest of the world has just been in black-and-white. You got into a car with some man and my heart sank, but when I looked at him through the rifle scope I was relieved to see that he was decades older than you and I remembered that back at the bus stop when I asked you if you wanted to go the movies you said that you didn't date older guys.

I followed the car to what I now know to be your dad's house. I wanted to know more about you so that the next time we spoke I could have something more interesting to say, so I dug through your garbage but it wasn't helpful because there was no way to determine if the trash I found was yours, or your dad's or your mom's, or one of your brothers', or your baby sister's. I circled the house on foot and spotted you just as you were closing the curtains to your room. I hid behind the bushes and watched your illuminated silhouette for about an hour or so. You mostly sat at your desk but occasionally you stood up to open a drawer or leave the room for what I can only assume was to use the bathroom.

I smoked a joint to pass the time while watching the dark spectre of your shadow, knowing that its owner was existing peacefully in a world without chaos or evil. Nothing bad would ever happen to you because it would be impossible for something so wholly and inherently good as your spirit to be affected by the corruptions and imperfections of man's folly. Just in case, I swore an oath then to God that I would protect and watch over you for the rest of my life, ensuring that any attempted corruptions of your soul would be met with swift justice. My life has been filled with trials and tribulations, mistakes and regrets, a few stints in the county jail and once in a prison in Venezuela, but all of this became irrelevant now that I had found purpose and meaning in my empty and futile existence.

You opened your window and blew out a cloud of nicotine vapor and I said hello. You screamed and the window dropped. Less than a minute passed before it opened again but this time it was the man who picked you up from school. He started yelling so I started running. I ran for maybe three or four miles until eventually a car from the Sheriff's Department pulled up behind me and I heard their commands to stop. I considered trying to evade them but I was already exhausted and my legs were sore and didn't want to get tasered or bit by a police dog again. I surrendered to their custody and as I felt the handcuffs lock into place I accepted my fate as an unfortunate outcome of the burden of unrequited love.

I keep a copy of the restraining order in my Astro as a constant reminder of love's unbearable irony. I still love you, I have loved you from the moment you entered my life, and I will love you for the rest of eternity, even after my corporeal form has diminished and my spirit has risen to the Kingdom of Heaven. The restraining order is in a folder with the other ones but yours I will cherish the most. In a few years when you're living on your own I'll come visit you again and maybe by then you will have suffered through enough experiences with terrible men to know a good man when one finally comes along. I will treat you like you deserve to be treated, I will nurture and protect our love, and I will please you generously.

I hope you don't forget me.

Identity Theft

I think someone stole my identity. I'm worried that someone other than me might be me. I don't know how it happened. Maybe it was an unsecured Wi-Fi network. Maybe it was when I put those letters from the bank in the trash without shredding them first. I'm worried about my credit now.

I think someone stole my identity. I got a call from my bank about a suspicious transaction. Someone used my card and tried to buy almost $3,000 worth of bespoke art deco furniture. I told the bank that it couldn't have been me because I preferred more contemporary styles of interior design. The customer service representative laughed but I was being serious. I couldn't even tell you what an art deco couch looks like.

I think someone stole my identity. I'm not 100% sure because I saw a commercial on TV for a website to check my credit score for free, but when I got to the website it said I had to sign up for a one month free trial in order to view it and that after the one month was over I would automatically be charged $18.95 a month unless I cancelled the subscription, and I didn't want to do it because when I bought that blender from Amazon I signed up for a free trial of Amazon Prime to get free two-day shipping and I forgot about it for seven months. I hope nobody stole my identity.

I think someone stole my identity. I look in the mirror and there's somebody else there. I feel like I've seen them somewhere before but I can't quite put my finger on it. Is it true that when you dream your brain can't invent new faces, but just reuses ones that you've seen before, even if you don't remember them, like someone who passed you in a crowd? Everybody at the office keeps calling me "Susie" but my name is Jeff.

I think someone stole my identity. One day it was here and the next day it was gone. Did I leave it in the coat check when I went to the natural history museum? I don't think so. Maybe I left it on top of my car while I was getting out my keys to unlock my car and forgot that I put it on top of my car and just left it there and drove away and it fell off the top of my car. I think I might be losing my mind.

I'm pretty sure someone stole my identity. I don't really know what you're supposed to do when that happens. I went to the police station and explained my situation but they just referred me to someone called a "crisis counselor." I Googled "what should I do if I lost my identity" but it only comes up with relationship advice. I don't need relationship advice, relationships are very low on my list of priorities right now.

If you have my identity, please give it back.