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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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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.

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They Were Just Like Us

“Did you cry again last night?” she asked, her eyes peering at her from behind those oval glasses. She was sitting on the other side of the table, in her nice, grey business suit, calmly writing down anything Sara would say.

“I cried more than just last night,” Sara said, sounding ashamed, looking down at her hands, cuffs around her wrists, “I cry multiple times a day now it seems. Not even just, like, what I used to do, but full on sobbing now. It’s awful. I feel so disgusted everytime.”

“It’s understandable,” she said, “It’s a natural feeling most have in your situation when faced with feelings they’d rather not be faced with. Any other feelings you’ve been having lately that you think I should know about?”

“…anger. I’ve been so angry at myself for being this way,” Sara mumbled, her brow furrowing, her nails digging into her pant leg, “If I hadn’t been this way, things would’ve been different. I would be out there and not in here. I would have a life. I’ve been feeling jealous too, jealous of the people who can control this so easily. How do they do it? Why don’t they have these problems?”

“Again, all understandable emotions to be feeling,” she said, before putting her pen down on the table with the clipboard and sitting up straighter, cupping her hands on the table and smiling at Sara, “Miss Meakes…you’ve been in here now for…I think it’s been almost 4 and 1/2 months now, yes? Do you want to be out there? Do you want to be like us?”

“I…don’t know, and that’s the worst part, I…I feel like I don’t because feeling these things makes me so unique…I’m different. Of course, being different is what’s got me locked away from everyone, but…haven’t you ever wanted to feel this way?” Sara asked, forcing a confused look scamper across the womans face for a moment.

“What?”

“Haven’t you ever wanted to feel this way?” Sara repeated herself.

“God no, not at all. No, it’s so much easier being the way I am, the way we all are. I admit that sometimes when I read about the past, about how you need to be able to feel a certain thing to comprehend a piece of classic art, literature, what have you, that I do on occasion wish I could feel that way for a brief moment, if only to understand the piece better…but in the end, it isn’t worth it. These things, they’re what made our world so bad. They’re what caused all the pain and suffering. No, things…things are better now, believe me.”

“…I think the worst is feeling love. I love my parents, but I know full well they don’t love me,” Sara said, “Because they can’t, not because they wouldn’t if they could. I understand the difference. It still hurts though. I wish they could.”

A timer on the womans watch beeped, and she looked at it, then collected her things and stood up, Sara doing the same. She reached over the table and shook Sara’s hand and smiled.

“Thank you Miss Meakes. I will see you again in a month, and we’ll pick up from there, and I do hope things change for you,” she said, before turning and heading out of the white room, leaving Sara alone again. As she exited, she found a man standing by the exit, waiting for her, eating an apple. He was dressed just as she was, same casual business attire, same boring expression on his face.

“So?” he asked.

“She’s not going anywhere for a while. If anything, it’s getting worse,” she said, “I wish I could feel bad for her. I wish I could, so I could really understand how much she’s hurting, but I just don’t.”

“It’s better you don’t,” the man said, and she nodded.

“I know that, but still…sometimes I think about what it’d be like to feel these things. To feel love, anger, sadness. To have emotions. These poor people, kept away from the rest of the cold, emotionless world, all because they feel what we once considered basic human emotions. What they have was once considered normal. Human. Now they’re different. ‘Unique’. But I know it’s better this way, I do know that.”

“Come on,” the man said, finishing the apple and tossing it into a garbage can, “Let’s go file this, we have other cases to get to.”

As they left, the woman glanced over her shoulder and saw Miss Meakes being taken from the room by her handler, presumably back to her cell. When their eyes connected, Sara smiled at her, and for one fleeting second, the woman swore she felt good inside.

Like what you’ve read? I have other fiction on this blog. Just check out the “fiction” tab! Or, if you wanna see more content from me, maybe help me out by donating to me here? Be greatly appreciated!

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It’s Okay Because It’s Not Me

Lately, I’ve taken to watching Forensic Files at night, because nothing says “sweet dreams” like watching asshole neighbor Carl get dismembered and shove into 18 different shopping bags, right? This isn’t a new thing for me, either, as I’ve always been a fan of violent media, be it horror movies, thrillers, action flicks, or gruesome television like Hannibal. Part of this is because my taste can range between high brow intellectual art and hahaha farty fart jokes from the butts. In fact, I generally only have a problem with media when something is BAD, not if something is low brow, because even low brow can be enjoyable if it’s done correctly.

So, with that in mind, I’ve also been watching a lot of horror movies this summer. I realized tonight that there’s another reason I enjoy these things…it’s because they aren’t happening to ME. Let’s face it, my life is a very obvious mess as I’ve stated time and time again to you good folks here. I am not happy, I am not in control of anything that seems to happen to me, and at this point, even the smallest annoyance can make me enraged for hours, forcing me to mutter under my breath about that woman in Walmart who just wouldn’t move her 14 screaming demonic children out of the way of me purchasing my goddamn cupcakes at 2 am. But…despite all of that, despite being held up at my cupcake purchase and a dozen other problems in my day to day life, I can safely say that I am NOT being dragged from my car to an empty, moonlit field and beaten to death in the head by somebodies homemade ash tray their kid made them for Christmas that’s now become their murder weapon. Yep. Life may be terrible, but at least I’m not getting brutally murdered. That’s a step in the right direction.

I’m not unable to feel for others. God knows enough of my life is about trying to help other people. I’m always there on Facebook chat and on IRC chatrooms in case someone I am friends with needs an ear to listen or advice on something. I have always made myself available to those who might need me. I feel for other people too much, is actually my biggest problem I think, so don’t think I’m watching these shows without feeling bad these people are dying, but I AM watching these shows with the thought “thank god that isn’t me” running through my head, because it puts how bad my life really is in perspective, which I desperately need, because having to deal with how bullshit my life is on a day to day basis gets really fucking overwhelming and hard. In fact, this isn’t a new thing, the German actually have a word for this, and it’s called schadenfreude. So yes, this is a legitimate emotion, and it’s one I desperately feed on right now simply because it keeps me from feeling like I have the absolute worst shit luck imaginable, which I NEED. In fact, here’s a blurb I found interesting and applicable to me:

A New York Times article in 2002 cited a number of scientific studies of schadenfreude, which it defined as, “delighting in others’ misfortune”. Many such studies are based on social comparison theory, the idea that when people around us have bad luck, we look better to ourselves. Other researchers have found that people with low self-esteem are more likely to feel schadenfreude than are people who have high self-esteem

So, with all of that in mind, with the fact that we look better to ourselves by seeing others fail and that it’s more people with low self esteem who are likely to feel this than others (both of which are absolutely me to a tee), I think it’s fair enough to say at this point that I’m not wrong in feeling this way. It helps me cope with my life, and how bad it is, especially right now.

So go forth, watch those horror movies, revel in peoples gruesome, chainsaw related deaths, and feel better about yourself because it. isn’t. YOU.

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There’s No Room For Me

I can remember every single room I’ve ever been in.

It doesn’t matter where it was; family members room, friends room, my room, parents room, classroom, etc. Any room. Not even bedrooms, either, no, it extends to bathrooms, kitchens, garages. It doesn’t matter. If there was a room and I was in it, I can recall every single detail about it down to the rivets in the goddamned floorboards. What’s really “funny” about this is that I actually have a rather sketchy memory. A lot of my adolescence I’ve actually blocked for my own sake and then there’s just a lot I don’t remember in general, but I can remember every. single. fucking. room.

I’m sentimental, that much has been made abundantly clear from this blog by this point I’d think, but even so, I’m amazed at what I can recall. For a major example, one of the few friends I had growing up, his mother was an apartment manager and they moved around the city alot, which meant he wound up occupying multiple bedrooms in multiple apartments and all within a 3 or 4 year radius. I remember every single one. I remember the one overlooking the parking lot and the dumpsters with the big window, I remember the one right by the pool that was essentially filled with nothing but his futon bed, and I remember the one in the small house they rented when we first met. I remember them all.

And yet, despite all of this, I have never once felt at home in any one of them. How sad is that? A lifetime of rooms, even my own bedrooms, and I have never once felt at home in any of them. Maybe one day I will find my room. Maybe I won’t. Who knows. All I DO know is that I can remember these rooms better than I can remember relatives I knew for years or ‘friends’ I’d had forever. Voices. Faces. All lost to time. Rooms, though, rooms are the constant.

I think it’s because a room is something you yourself occupy; your energy, your space, and so you’re fit to remember it, even if it isn’t your own room. So, for the sake of some transparency for once, here’s some of my old rooms. Enjoy.

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Once More Around The Sun

Today is my birthday.

When I was a little girl, I never dreamed I’d live past being 10. Then it got pushed up to 20. Then 30. Granted, while I’m only turning 28, I’ve learned a few things. The first is to stop counting upwards using only increments of 10’s, and secondly that for as long as I can put off ending my life, I might just make it further in life. I’m not happy, don’t mistake what I’m saying for growth, cause it’s not, but what I am saying is that for some people, existence isn’t a struggle. They enjoy being alive, at least on a base human level, enjoy seeing friends, having their families, getting jobs, having relationships, etc. But for others, it’s a struggle, and for me it’s an absolute slog. So, other people go through life, sometimes having a midlife crisis or so along the way, until they finally reach their 80s and die. Meanwhile, I’m actively bored of existing, yet because there’s such a stigma surrounding suicide, shaming people who simply don’t want to hurt anymore, and also because I’m always constantly in the middle of something (a movie, laundry, writing this blog post you’re reading), I keep having to put off killing myself.

Now, people may take that and go “Well, that indecision means you really don’t want to do it then!” and while I respect everyones right to their opinion, no, they’re wrong and they should shut up. Did they make this diagnosis from the comfort of their bedroom doctors desk chair? You don’t know me, or what I’ve been through or how I feel. I WANT to die. I do. I just keep having shit come up that has to be taken care of, and I’m not one to flake on responsibilities and abandon projects. In essence, my perfectionism is extending my life sentence, and yes I say life sentence and not life span, because much like prison, I didn’t ask to be here and I certainly want it to be over with. Now, I’ve written a blog post in the past about how if you can come up with things to do like “I can’t kill myself until this tv show is over” or “I can’t end my life until I feed my dog” then you can keep yourself from dying, but this isn’t that.

This is about literally being so busy to never have time to die. People complain all the time about being ‘so busy’. Every single college student will tell you that, that they’re ‘so busy’, like getting up at 11 is so hard when they forget that they used to get up at 7 to go to high school. People stay busy with jobs, with social lives, with hobbies. Everywhere you look, at any given point, somebody is doin’ something. They’re reading a book, or riding a bike or watching a movie or having dinner with friends or going on dates or working until closing, or, yes, being in school. Everyone has a constricted schedule in which what they want to do often takes a backseat to what they have to do. In my case, the thing that keeps getting pushed back is killing myself, and it doesn’t mean I don’t want to do it. Just like those other people, it doesn’t mean they don’t want to take the weekend off for themselves and try and learn a new language or see the new action flick, they just don’t have the time or the energy, and let’s face it, killing yourself takes a lot of effort. My preference has always been to hang myself, but then I gotta get a rope so I gotta probably go to the hardware store and buy a rope and then learn to tie a knot good enough that it won’t come undone, and then find somewhere to hang myself, find a surface high enough that it’ll kill me when I’m not standing on it anymore. I mean, by the time I got to the actual act of hanging myself, I’m wasted half my fuckin’ day just prepping, and that’s without a note! Honestly, who’s got the fuckin’ time?

So, this is just what’s working for me. I hope those who are struggling also continue, as I don’t want anyone else to die. I just personally don’t wanna be alive, but I am, and I’m working with the hand I’ve been dealt. So let’s go for one more round universe, take me around the sun another time.