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I Don’t Give A Fuck About Birds

A few years ago, a pigeon flew into the comic shop I frequented while I was at the register.

Literally everyone else stopped and stood and gawked at this poor, confused bird and oohed and awed and I merely stood at the register looking at my phone, waiting for the guy to come back from fighting it to finish my payment. Reflecting back on this moment makes me realize just how absolutely detached I am from the world. And before I go on, I want to clarify, I’m not saying I’m better because of this. If anything, I wish I could be like everyone else. All people seem to need is a little distraction that they’ll tell to their friends, family, co workers. These stories will grow. The others who hear it will add on. Suddenly THEY were there and it happened to THEM too.

 “Yeah this pigeon came in while Mike and I were at the store and it screamed that his name was Rungar and that the owner had killed it’s father, and then the owner and the pigeon drew samurai swords and it got fuckin’ WEIRD, man.”

pigeonEventually the tale of the heroic pigeon who slain the murderous shop keep to avenge his fathers untimely death will be written in the aviary history books and told to the young chicks in school, when birds eventually rule the world like we all know they will. But, before we get too ahead of ourselves (I like to fantasize about bird societies as much as the next girl), let’s discuss my detachment from society. People just need little things to amuse or entertain them. A bird flying into a shop. People slow to a crawl to see a fender bender. I mean, Twitter basically was invented for this reason, filling people in on the mind numbing minutia that we all go through, day in and day out.

But what happens when you’re like me, and you’re so disinterested in the world, or at least the world as it pertains to people, that you wonder what’s wrong with you?

I mean, let’s face it. That’s not normal. I mean to me, a bird flying into a store isn’t new. I’ve seen birds in billions of places that birds are not expected to be. Shops. Restaurants. College campuses as they prepare their morning lectures on philosophy. Birds are weird, dude, they really get around. But I’ve seen it. Nothing interesting about a fender bender. No reason to slow yourself down to witness people calmly exchanging insurance information. Is it in the hopes that they’ll witness something better? That somehow this mundane simple exchange of insurance information will come to violent blows? And if so, what does THAT say about society? That we’re bloodthirsty? That’s…discouraging, to say the least.

Then again, I just about wrote an entire novel about a bird society and their pigeon warrior god, so maybe violence is built into human behavior.

It worries me. It makes me contemplate the possibility that maybe I’ve taken so much bullshit from people over the 28 years that I’ve existed that I simply don’t care to participate anymore. I don’t care about New Years. I don’t get involved in trending topics. I DON’T CARE ABOUT A BIRD FLYING INTO A STORE. In a way, I suppose I could also look at is as a blessing, because maybe it makes me detached in a good way? Like, maybe I’m above it all because I realize that low shit doesn’t matter. I don’t know, I’m just reaching to find any reason to not hate myself these days.

A bird flew into a store and the world didn’t change one bit.

But I guess if that’s what humans need to make their mundane, repetitive, tedious lives a bit more entertaining, even if for just a few mere minutes, than maybe it’s a good thing they can be so easily bemused, and I secretly wish I could join in too.

I for one welcome our pigeon overlords.

Hi, I’m Maggie Taylor. Like my blog? Maybe you’d like my other work too. You can view more content like my depressing space webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry” or my new site “Sad Party”, where I encourage people to revel in their sadness so others don’t feel so bad themselves. Also, you can donate at my SquareCash if you’re so inclined. It’d be more than appreciated.

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A Picture’s Worth A Thousand Lies

There’s one photo that encompasses my entire childhood (that I will not be posting here).

My stepfather was a professional photographer. He not only made it his living, but his hobby, so much so that we often had to pose for stupid photographs like the one I’m speaking of, which has me sitting, nicely dressed, backwards in a dining room chair, making me appear as if I’m on the back of a NYT bestselling crime novel I’ve just published to rave reviews. Not only this, but we actually had a large framed photo on our wall where my stepsiblings I all got two rows to ourselves to make goofy faces and then smile at the end, because that’s the sort of household I grew up in. Give someone an outside appearance at a happy family to cover up the inner turmoil. That’s the thing I love about photography, more than anything. IT FUCKING LIES. 

This photo irritates me on a number of levels. Not only was I ever a happy or a good looking daughter (hell, I’m not even the best looking woman in the world. I mean, I know I’m up there, but I’m not #1), but it signifies the fact that not only was my childhood a lie…but it’s a well documented one. Having your parent be a photographer means being stuck with photo album after photo album of family photos ranging everything from christmas mornings to graduation. So the photos lie just as much as I was lying about myself to everyone around me regarding my lesbianism and so much more. And it’s all documented. Wonderful. It’s not necessarily that I HATE the photo, but it’s more along the lines of…I hate what the photo is showing. The photo itself is well taken, but it’s presenting yet again a false image. That other one I mentioned? That one with the rows? That was hung literally next to our front door as an instant image to be seen when you entered as a guest.

Oh, what a happy family!

Far from it, lady. Childhood is hard enough, but it’s even harder when you have to deal with declining mental health or a rejected sexuality. I’m certain the difficulties vary person to person, but for me personally…it’s the photos that are the worst. A lie of a lie. And the worst part is that it makes me feel like I didn’t even start really being alive until I came out, so there’s a documented childhood for a person I never identified as. That’s…unsettling to say the least. It also explains my enormous self hatred for having my photo taken as a kid, to the point where I’d leave the room or cover my face. I didn’t want to be documented. I DIDN’T KNOW WHO THE PERSON IN THE PHOTO WAS. Other people look back at photos and say, “What a happy child I was!”. I look back and say, “Who the hell IS this?”

These days though, I take a lot of selfies. It’s not because I’m vain (you have to first have self esteem for that, so I’m safe) or anything, but simply because I finally kind of like how I look. It’s a small consolation for the hell I had to put up with, but at least what I’m working on fixing my self esteem. But, that’s what suburban life is, at least when I was a little girl. Parents didn’t want their neighbors to see how screwed up their family was. Judgment was important to them. They wanted their family to be portrayed as happy, good, people. So they kept trimmed lawns and took lie filled photographs and they upheld to the highest standard an image of excellence and perfection to hide the problems they had. Nobody talked about divorce. Nobody talked about mental illness or homosexuality. It’s amazing how far we think we’ve come from the 50s, when really the only thing’s that’ve changed are our cable packages and how we process our food. There’s still bigotry, and hatred, and total lack of decent humanity, ESPECIALLY regarding treating your children and, a lot of times, often, yourself right.

So yeah, there’s one photo that encompasses my entire horrible childhood.

But there’s a billion that encompass my bettering adulthood.

And that’s kinda cool.

Hey, I’m Maggie Taylor, and this is my blog. If you like what I do here, you should check out my depressing space webcomic, “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, or my new site “Sad Party”, where I ask others to revel in their sadness so others can see they’re not alone. If you wanna support me, you can always donate at my SquareCash. I’d really appreciate it.

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This Won’t Hurt A Bit: Go Fuck Your Self Help

this won't hurt a bit(2)The self help books have started.

Much to the chagrin of both doctors and actual literary readers alike, the bookstores are now lined floor to wall with self help books about recovering from no longer having to recover from anything. People who were once terminally ill, thanks to death being cured, now can read books with such titles as “Til Life Do Us Part: Coping With Your Terminally Ill Spouses Recovery” and “7 Stages Of Grief; One Mans Journey To Legally Die”. Now on the Dr. Phil-esque shows on daytime television, we’re witnesses to a parade of people who are being affected first hand by this situation. Women who had accepted their parents impending demise from Cancer who’re now disappointed they won’t get what was willed to them and men who were ready to move on after their sick child passed away now having to stay with the family. It’s changed media too. Now the trope of “sick girl falls in love, teaches cute boy everlasting life lessons, dies anyway” is long since a thing of the past. Now it’s more “sick girl falls in love, sick girl gets better, guy leaves her anyway”.

Therapists are now overbooked by people who had once been told by a doctor they had 6 months to live, who now have to cope with the fact that their lives are no longer shortened. Here’s a statement I read from one of them:

What happens is that when you’re told that you’re going to die, the first instinct the human mind has is to deny it. That’s why we have the 7 stages of grief, the 7th being the acceptance of this information. Over a period of time, you come to terms with your demise, you accept that this has been your life and that it’s just time to move on. However, when you suddenly find yourself with your lifespan no longer shortened, your mind isn’t sure how to deal with that. You were prepared to be dead. You’d accepted the inevitability of nonexistence. Now, suddenly, here you are with the next 40 years ahead of you and unsure what to do to fill the time. It can really mess with a person.

People are now enrolling in classes to relearn how to live. Rediscover hobbies, interests and what to do with their free time, along with how to live a day to day life. Out of one medical change, an entire market has boomed, bringing along with it the financial prosperity of the 90s. I went to one of these classes on a whim, just to see what it was like, and the first thing I discovered was that, much like the death industry, what was now being coined “The Life Industry” is a big crock of shit. In fact, the medical community has such faith in their industry, they’ve even started putting out promotional material, including this infographic they posted on the wall at the hospital I work at.

living forever

Yeah. Things are going great on this side. In fact, the only real downside is that we don’t have much work to do around here these days. Mostly, myself and the other nurses find ourselves playing card games or reading when we have nothing else to do. Oh, sure, sometimes someone comes in with something wrong with them (a sword through the chest or something minor like that), but the flurry is over in a matter of minutes and the patched patient is back up and ready for another day.

But the classes…they’re something else. A “teacher” will often talk to the class about how they came to the conclusion that life isn’t something that should end, and that we should fully take advantage of the gift we’ve been given. He or she will ramble on and on about how we could use our extensions for good, to better the world, society, ourselves, etc. What they won’t say is how advocating for life really helps us. Overpopulation is already a big problem, and with people refusing to die, it’s only going to get more and more crowded as we continue to reproduce. I might just be a nurse who hasn’t been in the field that long, but from what I can tell, this is only going to lead to serious overcrowding.

Save the world. Kill something.

“This Won’t Hurt A Bit: Memoirs From A Post Medical World” is a satirical health column created & written by Maggie Taylor. If you enjoy what you’ve read here, maybe donate to my SquareCash, so I can continue doing this for you guys. It’s much appreciated!

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Training Wheels

I feel like I’m still on training wheels, but now there’s no safety net. There’s no hedging bets, no guarantees, nobody there who’ll try and catch me. I feel like no matter what I do, I cannot ride this bike. It lays in my yard, one wheel turning, while inside I sit, yearning for a way to learn, for a way to be taught that doesn’t reveal what little I know. How far I could go. The things I could do. If only I could learn to ride you. If I could conquer this tool, if I could ride this bike, I know I’d be happy and do things that I like, but no, I am stagnant, there’s been no progression. I’m listless, hopeless, and have given into depression.

Everyone else, it seems, had no trouble riding. Their parents, their teachers, every one of them guiding them to a better bike trail, a clearer bike lane, while I remain stuck confused and in pain. Why can’t I rid myself of these wheels? Why do I crash into all the walls? I’ve got a bell, a nice seat, but I continue to fall fall. My bike is well built, it’s sturdy, no doubt, but my lack of experience keeps me locked out from all that there is, all of my chances, while I get pointed at, with stolen glances, because I can’t ride and they know that, no question, and embarrassed I cancel my next learning session. I can’t ride this bike, the sad fact remains, I’ll always have wheels that are just meant to train. I’ll never balance, never stay up on two wheels, and nobody cares how poorly this make me feel.

To them, it comes easy, to them it’s a breeze. But me, I struggle, nothing comes with ease. I can’t ride this bike, so I walk instead, knowing that I can walk right past what comes ahead. We all strive our own ways, we push on how we like, so who cares if I can’t ride some stupid bike.

This poem, in case it wasn’t clear, is about becoming an adult on your own, without any help, and having nobody ever taught you anything. You look around you and see everyone else seems to be capable of making it, but you can’t be like them, and yet you keep going. There’s no shame in surviving anyway you have to. That’s been the hardest lesson for me to learn, but a crucial one nonetheless.

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This Won’t Hurt A Bit: “Don’t Fear The Reaper”

this won't hurt a bit(2) We’ve done it, we’ve cured death. Did you see the infomercial last night? We cured death. Our species, long since plagued by the finality of life, no longer has to fear that forever burdensome habit of dying. Now you, your children, your children’s children and any children they might have (which you’ll be around to meet now, thanks to this breakthrough), never have to worry about funeral costs, life insurance, last wills and testaments and all that other petty crap we used to dump on our families after we died. For far too long, the funeral industry profited off of peoples grief. Selling something to someone when they’re in a clearly emotional state for the loss of their loved one? Disgusting, and now a thing of the past.

See, what happened was this. The richest people in the world were tired of dying. Realizing they couldn’t take their financial savings with them, and perturbed at the thoughts of either having the will them to someone else they didn’t think do enough to deserve it or being given away to CHARITY, they decided to finally, once and for all, defeat the concept of mortality. This way, they could live forever and be even richer. Unfortunately, this meant that they would be curing death for everyone, including poor people, which would just not do, so, they came up with the next best thing. They not only cured death, but then profited off of it by selling it only to those who could afford it. Capitalism at it’s finest, if you ask me! This weeds out the “worst offenders” and ensures that population control continues ever onward.

When the news broke, stocks in the mortuary, funeral and medical industry sunk to new lows. No more headstones, graveyards, coffins, embalming costs, medical bills, you name it, so long as you can afford it. Health care? Forget health care. It’s now life care. As a newly minted nurse at [redacted], I cannot tell you how many grown men I saw (doctors, mostly) sobbing to themselves simply because they would no longer profit off of illness, because we all know, there’s no reason to pretend at this point; it’s more cost effective in a monetary driven society to treat something and keep people ill than to cure them and lose profits. Even the surgeon general released a statement:

Does everyone know what a Utopia is? A Utopia is the concept of a perfect society, in which everyone is treated fairly and equally, there is no crime and now, thanks to the ‘miracle’ that is modern science, no more death. In essence, Utopia is the eugenics of the world. It’s the idea that everything should be one way; perfection. Unfortunately, this is not how things were designed to be. Human beings are meant to die. We’re meant to cease life. We’re here for a short amount of time, and then we move on. Look at all the damage we’ve done, for god sakes, just in the short span of time we’ve been here. Now think about that damage multiplied because we can’t die. It’s lunacy. No. I cannot, and will not, condone this.

The hilarious, ironic twist here is, with death basically obsolete now, you have to fight for your right to die. That’s right. It’s always been a fight for your right to die if you’re terminally ill or of some sort like that, but now they’re trying to take away your right to death. I mean, let’s be honest, the concept of suicide being illegal has always been hilarious, has it not? What are they going to do if you succeed? Arrest your corpse? Posthumously execute you? Get fucking real. If people have the right to live, then people have the right to die. It works both ways, but what do I know, I’m just a nurse.

Frankly, I don’t want to live forever. It’s tedious enough as it is, and I’m only 35, but god damn, 185 more years of this? No thank you. And it’s not like you naturally stay youthful. You just don’t die. There’s steps to be taken to staying fit if you want to stay alive forever, but hey, that’s more money lining the pockets of the people who started this whole mess in the first place. Death was the only thing I was guaranteed in life, and now they’re trying to take THAT away from me! Be proud of your inevitable expiration date. I know I am.

“This Won’t Hurt A Bit” is a weekly satirical column I’m trying out. If you like this, or any other content you read here, perhaps you’d like to donate to my Kofi via PayPal? Just a few bucks helps my girlfriend and me buy groceries, pay rent and more. Please don’t make me get a real job.