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This is the text that I write when I should instead be doing laundry.

This ximwix design is called Lucky 13. I guess this would be version 5, but it actually resides in a sequential folder called "design13". It's also the title of a song. The song uses the F word in it one time.

I got bored of php and decided to use good ol' javascript for this whole thing. So, it's sort of open source since I can't really hide it from you (though I could, I just don't care that much).

Not only is there a CAD program for Legos, there are actually multiple CAD programs for Legos. That little guy in the corner is what I used to use for people with my legos. It was before the little lego guys were out, I think. At least, I didn't have any until later. My guys were way cooler anyway, since I could make my own weapons and mount them on there. I never really had a guy exactly like the one in the corner. Legos weren't very big on pastels back then. I did have a few off-white 4x2 bricks, but those were some other knock-brand. You know, the ones that still worked with legos, but just not as well. Like, the bottoms were different and would slide around or pop off. I can't recall their names. I had one set, Tyco, but those were better than these ones.

I built mostly space ships.
give me time, part one
11:28 PM 10/16/2004
I was walking down the road, no particular destination in mind. Maybe some food on the cheap -- a free samples buffett at the shopping plaza or some complimentary bread and then a rush out the door -- I'm not broke, just poor, you know? I'd walked down this road a couple of times before. It bleeds a feeling of nostalgia. I know not too far behind me are the highways and office buildings, but right here there is none of that. Only trees and bushes, fences and powerlines, imperfect lawns and piles of leaves. It's a level of suburban atmosphere that transitions in and out of a rural landscape so smoothly, so gradually, that you barely seem to notice.

I eventually crossed paths with an elderly man. He was holding on to a leash, a black lab on the other end. The leash was strictly for formality's sake, as there was no way this man could have held back the dog should it decide to roam deeper into the bush or across the street. I actually come into contact with quite a few elderly people. Kids are in school and parents are working, it's just the elderly and the unemployed who get to actually enjoy the sunlight. I've made my conversations with the elderly into a sort of game. It seems that no matter what I say, it will always remind them of a story. I've heard quite a few, believe me, and I've come to the conclusion that they will lie to you just to keep the conversation going. Some of the stories I've heard are down-right absurd. So, now, whenever I talk to an elderly person, such as this man with his dog, I make it a point to lie to them about any question they ask me.
give me time, part two
11:15 PM 10/18/2004
I gave the man the upper hand by letting him initiate the conversation. He wasn't into small talk, nothing of the weather or current events, he went straight to the personal stuff. As I expected, he wanted to know what I did for a living. I told him that I was between jobs, which is partly true, except that I am in fact very far between jobs. I made up some professions that I had previously held. Janitorial work, travelling salesman, landscaping, deli worker -- again, partially true. I was on a roll and just kept listing job after job after job, just to see how long this guy would stand here and listen. I got about a dozen of them out there before he cut me off. He made a snide comment about how horrible I am at not getting myself fired. I assured him that I had great reasons for "resigning" or being "let go".

At this point I had noticed the dog had done its business and the old man really didn't have a reason to remain part of the conversation. I had nothing better to do, so I took the role of the old man and just started blurting out a story. The last job that I managed to list off to him was deli worker, so I went with that. I told him that there was a woman who would come in every day around lunch time and place orders for her office. No, it was offices. She had made a small business out of delivering lunches to a few offices. They just called her or faxed her or whatever and she would get it to them come lunch time and get paid. Since she visited everyday, I told the man, I ended up in a relationship with her just by talking to her as I made the sandwiches for her order. It never amounted to much, really, just some friendly chatting around lunch time every day.

I paused for a moment to give the old man a chance to react. He knew that there was obviously some kind of relationship going on, so I had managed to catch his interested. The lab had gotten bored, it seems, and laid down as a mass of black fur on the ground, panting all the while.
Eight, part one
reposted @ 11:13 PM 11/7/2004
As I drove back to my part of the island, I couldn't help but wonder if I would see Benny in the spring. Clyde was definately smaller, but he looked like a maniac. We all know whoever arrives in the desert first gets to pick their opponent, but the way he looked, I just wasn't sure if he had ever gone back home at all in the fall. There's no way he could have stayed there for three months without snapping. Oh well, I guess I'll find out when spring arrives.

It was already snowing when I got back in the morning. Another season, another dead. After the outbreak, with just us eight survivors, we made a bunch of crazy rules. I mean, there was total panic at first. All our families and friends were dead or wishing for death. Even most of our strangers were suffering. Somehow, us eight were immune. Like, entirely immune. Not a cough or sniffle or anything. Still, after weeks of searching, it was just us eight remaining. We took on the task of getting rid of all the corpses. That took weeks itself. Actually, and this was Benny's idea, we decided to burn all of the bodies. We certainly couldn't dig graves for all of these people, so we just sorta lit them on fire and kept adding bodies as the days went on. The stench was pretty terrible, but when there are corpses on every street you tend not to be too optimistic about it. The fire let off a good amount of smoke and we were hoping that some place had found a cure and were flying around looking for signs of life. That never happened. Wishful thinking, maybe, but even then this is just an island. It isn't likely they would have looked for us too soon anyway.

After those horribles times, we decided that we had to set some rules. Now, you'd probably think we'd be fair about this. Like, we'd vote or something, or a leader would be appointed and we'd do whatever they decided. Not as such. There were just the eight of us, but we couldn't stand each other. Different ideals, differrent religions (or lacks thereof), different styles, different customs. It was just too odd. Everyone wants this "world peace" but we can't even get along with our neighbors. All that we could agree on is that we all, at least somewhat, hated each other. Faced with such a tragedy as the outbreak, emotions were just too strong to supress. We decided to split the island up into eight parts and live by ourselves. We decided that when the next season started, we would all come back to the desert to catch up on things. You know, see if any other survivors were found, or if there was some kind of replenishable food supply. And maybe, just maybe, we wouldn't hate each other as much.

My first season alone was pretty bad...
Eight, part two
11:13 PM 11/7/2004
My first season alone. Just what do you do, exactly, when given your very own ghost town? It's like looking at old photographs or movie stills, except you're there. You can touch everything. You can hear the wind, the birds, your own echo. I'll tell you what I did with my town. I slept. I found myself a bed, and I slept.

I walked the streets, looking for a house to go into. Really, there were houses everywhere, I was just looking for something that would strike a chord with me -- something to invoke a sense of deep nostalgia. Idealy, something like the room I had as a child. It seemed so picturesque to me -- laying on a small bed in a small room, taking in all of what has happened and all of what will come. None of this being very realistic, mind you, but I now own an eighth of an island due to a freak breakout. My life at this point is not realistic. But then, I didn't grow up here, so I'm never going to find that room that I'm searching for.

I walked for about an hour, crossing through people's yards, peeking inside of people's cars, and checking people's mailboxes. Eventually, while crossing a backyard, I came to a swingset that looked very familiar to me. A few swings, a slide, and nothing more. The paint on the aluminum appeared only in small patches, leaving a rather ugly design on an otherwise clean structure. I sat down on one of the swings and rocked slowly as I started reading the mail I had collected. I had looked for only envelopes with hand-written addresses. I didn't care for business mail, only personal mail. If there were no one else here with me, I would at least read about other people, real people, rather than make up my own. I opened the first letter. I was expecting something along the lines of "this may be the last time I write to you" or "if i never see you again, i want you to know", but this was completely different. It was a regular letter. That is, simply a communication between the author, a woman named Sarah, and her parents. Nothing of business, nothing of last wishes, just plain retellings of ordinary everyday occurances.

The sun, playing against any kind of cinematic rule set, decided to shine in full today. I had failed to find a nostalgic place of rest. I had failed to find someone's letter of last wishes. I had failed to do most anything fitting to my current mood. I threw the other letters aside and placed Sarah's in my back pocket. I walked over to the slide and fell back on it with a loud, yet confident, sigh. The slide was quite hot from the sun, but felt good along my back (if not a bit painfull at first). This, I decided, was as good a bed as any. Before I even had a chance to mull over my very serious situation, I had fallen fast asleep in the sun, on a child's swingset, with Sarah's ordinary letter in my back pocket.
7:05 PM 12/9/2004
I woke up today on an unfamiliar bed. It had happened again. I grabbed my shirt and my few scattered belongings from off of the floor. The room itself seemed familiar, but nothing inside of it made any sense. The walls were an entirely different color, mostly white. There were no pieces of furniture, aside from the bed. And, there were two doors - neither of which were in a place that seemed to be right. In fact, the bed would be blocking where I thought the door should be, but there was clearly no door there.

I approached the doors. Both doors were also white. Well, an off-white, really. If I were to see them alone, I'd say white. But they stood out from the walls, which were definately white, so they couldn't have both been white. Both doors had peep-eye lenses. I looked through the one on the left, and then the right. They were for looking in, it seems, as all I could see was some kind of reverse fish-eye view of the other side. I thought to myself that I may be dreaming. I read some where that things get reversed in dreams, like numbers and words. Naturally, I would have opened the right door first. If this were a dream, I thought, then I should probably go with the left door. Of course, if this were a dream, my thoughts of normally going right may be incorrect. Even the thought of being in a dream could be backwards. I had just woken up and was still a little groggy. This kind of thinking was making me dizzy. I went with the right door.

The next room was, once again, white. The walls, anyway. There were a few minor diffences. For one, this room was much larger. I'm bad with distances. Let's just say - well think of your big your house is. Now put two of them next to each other. That's about how big this room is. Unless you have, like, a small house - think three and a half, maybe four in your case. Then there's those with apartments. Like I said, I'm bad with distances. Suffice to say, this was the biggest room I had certainly ever seen. Other changes, right. In the far distance, I could see a forest. There were no clouds overhead (that is, there was a ceiling). It looked as if the forest also had a ceiling. But enough about ceilings. The floor was really the best part. The floor that I was standing on was also white, but elevated. Looking out over the room, there were several of these platforms. Below the platforms, about three feet below them (I'm okay at small distances), was nothing but water. I wasn't sure how deep, or even if it was water. It looked clear. The floor beneath it (the real floor, I suppose) was black. The whole thing had this eerie glow.

Stacked beside me were a bunch of planks. Just regular wooden planks. I could see other stacks of planks throughout the room. I had four planks, but it would take at least six to get to another pile. I checked again to make sure that there was no shorter path that I could take. There wasn't. I thought, perhaps, I could pick up the planks after I had walked across them. I mean, all I would really need is one. I picked up one of the planks and laid it down. It wasn't a very good bridge. I thought it would snap under my weight. It didn't. I counted how many hops it would be to the forest (since that seemed to be the only other place to go). It seemed about 50 or 60. I kept losing count.

It occured to me a few islands later that I do, in fact, know how to swim. I didn't want to lose all of my stuff, so I fashioned a crude bag out of my shirt and put all of my stuff in there. I briefly returned to my 'this is a dream' theory and wondered if there was anything that would make me forget how to swim in a dream. I concluded that worst that would happen is that I'd drown and wake up. I'd drowned in plenty of dreams before (which really made me wonder if my dreaming-self actually knew how to swim). I was tired of thinking. I grabbed by bag/shirt and jumped in.

The water was warm. Sort of a bathtub that's cooled down kind of temperature (I'm not good with temperatures, either). My swimming problem ended up not being an issue. The water was only a few feet deep. From here, it was just a slow walk to the other side of the room. It would take me about 10 minutes, I figured.

I wondered what was behind the left door.
12:13 AM 12/21/2004
I had always liked this theater. The staff was old, the seats were old, the movies were old. The whole building was old. If not for the cars in the parking lot (which was overrun by various weeds) you'd swear that the place was abandoned. The current owners of the theater, an elderly foreign couple, had brought with them a few movies from their homeland. To be honest with you, I have no idea where they came from or what language they speak.

I certainly enjoy those movies, though. Old black and white films in a language I don't understand. Lacking any kind of subtitles. I'm in my usual seat now - on the right side, right up against the wall, all the way in the back. I call this movie "Delivery". It follows a man, I call him Jeremiah, in his car as he goes from town to town delivering things to people. At each stop, he talks to the people for a while (and catches a quick meal at one of them), and then goes back to his car towards the next town. In the end, his car breaks down and he decides to sleep at a local barn. The last scene is him talking to a horse. When he stops talking, the horse whinnies and the actor looks at the camera with an odd look. Then it just fades out to the credits. I think it's a comedy.

One of the lights on the side of the theater is flickering every couple of minutes. There's a girl sitting next to the light, so I can briefly see her every time it happens. She seems to be watching the movie. This may not sound like a big deal, but if you try watching something for two hours without having any real idea what's going on, you tend to get distracted. Such as me with her, but not her with anything else. No, she was watching the movie. I wondered if she actually understood the mystery language, or if she was just trying to figure it out. I thought I might try and ask her after it was over.
9:57 PM 1/31/2005
I got back in the van and put my sandwich down on the table. We had a table in the van. Not like some kind of fancy folding van table or something, just a table that we found on the side of the road one day while travelling. It didn't quite fit in the van so we had to break off the ends. Ah, good times, but that's another story.

I started to tell Grant about what had just happened. Grant, I should explain, was a drifter, much like myself, who had been traveling around in this van for the past three years. He picked me up as I was hitch-hiking about a year ago and we've stuck together. He likes that I still have money in my bank account. I like that he has a van that I can sleep in.

Anyway, we were in the parking lot of a small deli. It was quaint, family run, and, best of all, affordable. I put my sandwhich down on the table and tell him about this strange phenomenon that just occured. Now, I wasn't positive, but I had reason to suspect that whenever someone said the phrase "salt, pepper, or oregano" I would instead hear the phrase "does anyone have the time". Steve tried it out. I told him about two o'clock. He didn't believe me. Can't blame him, I mean, I could easily just say that I heard "does anyone have the time" and tell him the time. He doesn't know what I've heard.

I gave him half of the sandwich and we starting eating. He asked me what would happen if I said "salt, pepper, or oregano". I tried it. I heard "salt, pepper, or oregano". He gave a slight triumphant laugh. I shrugged and kept eating my half of the sandwhich.
10:20 PM 3/12/2005
I lied back, unable to move, staring at the clear blue sky. I had never been at such peace my entire life. Jerry interupted my view. His face was noticably bruised. He was panicked. Words rushed out of his mouth faster than I could pick up on. "Are you?...you move your...so sorry...". I tried to raise my hand to hush him, but found myself still unable to move. I manged to force out a brief "shh". He walked away, still filled with worry, to someplace I couldn't see.

The crash had been horrible. We were just driving along one moment, and the next everything was topsy-turvy. You see all of these scenes in movies on tv, but you never really know how to respond when it actually happens. You just can't process the possibility of it possibly happening to you at that exact moment. It's all a blur of colors, faces, screams, cries, and scenery. It's terrifying, yet poeticly euphoric at the same time.

I don't know how I ended up outside of the car -- I don't know where I ended up at all. I imagine myself in a ditch of some kind, in a small ravine along the side of the road or something, but I really have no way of knowing. I do know that I can't move. I was panicked at first, too. I was stuck. I, I am stuck, but at first it was frightening. I was a broken being, no longer able to control anything. As chaotic as life can be, this was worse. I told myself that this was the worst that could happen. And yet, as I stared direcly upward, something snapped inside of me. Everything was instantly focused. Absolutely nothing mattered.

I couldn't remember the last time that I had completely stopped. I could always remember laying back and staring at the sky as a child, but I never remembered how happy it had made me back then. Here I was now, forcibly placed onto the ground and made to do the one thing that made me happy, the one thing that made me realize how insignificant everything truely is. I was broken, most likely dying, but I was at peace.

As I stared at the sky, I could pick up on everything else going on. I could hear Jerry's voice and the voice of strangers. I could see flashing lights and rolling tires. I could pick up on everything.
Not a Dream, pt 1
10:20 PM 3/26/2005
Words illuminate the screen:

The headset seems to fit as it should. All of the readings are turning up normal. After four months of coding and testing, I think this thing will finally do what it's supposed to do. To be honest, I'm a bit scared. Nothing like this has ever been done before. I've considered trying it on someone else, but I don't think the possible side-effect of "long-term brain damage" would bring about many results. Not anyone worth testing, at least. Besides, this has been a solo effort since day one. There's no reason to involve anyone now. Since I have no way of knowing the outcome of the parameters that I pass, I'm just going to leave it up to the computer. For some reason, a pseudo-random process seems more sensible than a completely random one. Go figure. Anxiety readings are higher than normal. I guess everything's working, then. Here goes nothing.

* * *

It was dark. Too dark. I had to sit there for what seemed like half an hour before my eyes finally adjusted. I could see very little, still. The light source wasn't any kind of direct light, but more of a dim ambient light. It was as if the walls surrounding me were all very lightly glowing. It absolutely reeked of apples, too. That's what bothered me the most. I could deal with not being able to see what was directly in front of me, but I wanted to know why it smelled like an apple. Having run out of options, I decided to resort to violence. The walls seemed soft to the touch. I punched it a bit and it collapsed into itself. Just left dents, really. I walked back as far as I could and rammed into the wall with my shoulder. The wall opened with a great cracking noise. It sounded exactly like biting into an apple.

When I was outside of the apple, it was much brighter. Not really 'bright', mind you, just much brighter than my eyes had recently adjusted to. I squinted a bit to try and find out where I was now. The walls and ceiling looked like an old cave. The floor was checkered, black and white. I love checkered floors. I turned around, expecting to see a giant apple or something, but there was nothing. I dismissed it. It was odd, sure, but so long as I was out of there I was fine. I saw a figure walking around in the distance. They weren't walking, actually, more like gliding along the floor. I saw a sign nearby. It said "No Rollerskates".
give me time, pt 3
9:32 PM 5/9/2005
The old man took notice of my pause and laughed. He said that I was no good at relationships--that he could tell this sort of thing (I never asked why or how). He was, of course, right. I was telling a story, but it wasn't entirely a work of fiction. I worked at a Deli. I fell for one of the regular customers. Nothing happened. I like to think that she liked me back, but I like to think that a lot. Nonetheless, I told the old man none of this and pushed on with my story.

Things continued like this for about a month, I told him, and then one day she came in and ordered only enough food for herself. I made some remark to her, something about business being bad. It was a failed attempt at wit, I admitted to the old man, especially since business was, in fact, bad for her. As it turns out, her bike had been stolen while she was picking up some of her orders and she wasn't able to deliver the food. That was yesterday, though, she went on to say, and she had decided to give up on her job since she was bored of it. I asked her why she had returned here, then. She didn't look like the kind of person who liked sandwiches (I don't know how I knew this). She said that she was buying it for me, as a sort of thank-you present. She had ordered peppers on it. I told her that I didn't like peppers. She rolled her eyes and handed me a slip of paper. She left the Deli and I never saw her again.

The old man looked puzzled. He was a bit upset by the fact that she would quit her job just because her bike had been stolen. She could have bought another bike, he said. He went on for the next twenty minutes, relating it to a time when he had lost his bike as a child. It sounded completely contrived, moreso than my own story.

His dog had stood back up while he was talking and was starting to pull him to some foreign lawn. He ended his story abruptly and said that he had to be going. As he was being pulled away, I asked him if he wanted to know what written on the slip of paper. He made a hand gesture indicating his lack of interest.

I was by myself again. I hadn't expected things to end so abruptly, so I had half of a story left to tell. I decided that what was written on the slip of paper was actually the other half of the story, and that only the two characters in the story really knew how it ended. Two characters that I had created in my head had knowledge of something that I, their creator, would never know. I envisioned myself telling the same story to other people, making up a new ending every time, and having these two little characters (one on each shoulder) whispering to me that I had it all wrong. I laughed to myself, and continued walking down the road.
red, green
11:24 PM 8/8/2005
I was returning from a job interview. I was nearly positive that I had done a magnificent job of underwhelming them. Everytime I get interviewed, I completely lose track of what's going on. I can't grasp the simplest of concepts or answer even the most basic of questions. It's gotten to the point where I expect this sort of thing to happen -- that I, in turn, will expect to feel exactly how I'm feeling now on my drive back.

I don't like the city. The less time I spend here the better, as far as I'm concerned. More than I prepare for an interview, I prepare an escape route. This time, however, I've not anticipated how far backed up a road can possibly be because of a single traffic light. At least, I'm assuming it's a traffic light. I can't see whatever it is that's causing this queue of cars, but, every few minutes, ten or so of us seem to be able to move beyond it and the rest of us move ever closer to the front. I suppose it could have been an accident. There could be a cop in the middle of the road, gesturing with both hands in such a way that they would become a human traffic light.

I was listening to Sigur Ros, I think. It was something ambient or something with words that the vocalist refuses to enunciate properly -- something that I could close my eyes and listen to, to forget about existance for a while. I was sitting in this sort of relaxed state (which I don't normally do when I'm driving, but I wasn't exactly driving at this point) when a woman on a bike caught my attention. She was on an old green bike. It was some ugly shade of green that they don't make anymore, the kind that you can see in the house sets of numerous 60s sitcoms. The woman herself had long black hair and was wearing some shirt/vest/scarf combination that I couldn't accurately describe if there were a picture of it sitting in front of me. She rode past my car, but stopped just before I lost sight of her. She leaned her bike up against a wall and went into a nearby store.

The sign above the store's entrance read "Stacey's". What it was that Stacey had there was a mystery to me. The sign, I could tell, was hastily nailed atop an old sign. I could still make out part of the word "market" from beneath. There was no window, so I couldn't see what was going on between the store clerk and my newly-found center of attention. I shrugged it off and looked back to the road. The cars had moved again, leaving a small space ahead of me. I inched forward a bit and closed the gaps.

With Stacey's and the black-haired girl behind me, I decided to get back to my music. I turned the volume up on the car stereo and one of my speakers began to crackle. I turned it back down, and then up again, to see if it would crackle again. It did. I spent the next minute or so trying to find the exact point on the dial where this phenomenon would occur. When I thought I had found that point, I looked ahead and saw that the cars had moved again. I inched forward again.

I poked my head out of the window to see if I could see around the traffic to the obstruction up ahead of me. It was a traffic light for sure. I was almost there. As I pulled my head back inside the car, I noticed the same ugly green bike from before. Like when I had last saw it, it was leaned up against a store. Luckily, this store did have a window, and I could clearly see the black-haired girl inside. She apparently had been wearing a small backpack that I didn't notice before. It was now slung over her shoulder in such a way that she could get to its contents without taking it off. She pulled something out of it, I couldn't see what exactly, and handed it over to the clerk. Well, she didn't exactly hand it over. She placed it on the counter, slung her bag back over, and then slid it over the counter to the clerk. The clerk, upon examining the object, made a rather frightful face, and then proceeded to pay the girl with what looked to be a rather large sum of money from the register. The girl put the money in her pocket, nodded her head at the clerk, and then left the store.

I looked forward again and noticed that the cars ahead of me had once again moved. When I had come to a complete stop, I was the first car at the light. There was no unusual obstruction, simply the street light and plenty of traffic on the intersecting road. I pondered for a moment if someone on the other road might have had a similar experience as me. I doubted it. To aleviate this last bit of boredom, I looked down the lane of cars and started counting from the far back up until the car that was nearest to me. Since the cars were moving, it took a bit of practice, but I easily got the hang of it. I counted 32 cars.

After counting the 32nd car, I noticed that familiar bike and familiar girl. Our eyes connected for a moment. I smiled. She smiled back.

"Is that Sigur Ros?" she asked.
"Um, yeah, it is." I clumsily replied.
"Turn it up a bit."

I obliged. We sat at the light for the next couple of minutes, waiting for it to change and listening to the unclear vocals and etheral string arrangements blending with the sound of passing motorists. It was a very rare moment where I didn't at all mind being in the city.

The light changed.

"It's green. Thanks for the song." she looked to me and said.
"Yeah, " I muttered, thinking of something else to say, "can I ask your name?"
She turned her head and looked down the road. "No." As she started to move away, she gracefully looked back and said "Oh, your speakers are crackling."

With that, this short but memorable moment came to a rather dissapointing end. I don't really know what I was expecting. Maybe she'd have some familiar name or maybe I'd end up with her number or something. In the end it was just another failed job interview and a lousy hour spent in traffic.

I don't like the city.
8:36 PM 9/30/2005
I have come to find myself trapped in a rather spacious room. I am clueless as to how I ended up here. I can't even think back to the last thing that I had done. I have my memories and all my knowledge, but whenever I try to retrace my steps, I draw nothing but blanks. This is quite frustrating by itself, but it does grant me some relief to know that the rest of my mind's functions seem to be fully in tact.

The room itself is, at its base, white. The plain room was decorated with various portraits on the wall (and only portraits, no landscapes or abstracts or anything else). The floor was old hardwood. There were noticable scratches all accross, rough spots, and at one point there was even a board missing. Ironically enough, below the floor seemed to be another hardwood floor. I didn't bother tearing up the place, though. I'm really not that desperate yet. In the center of the room was a large red and yellow rug. It looked quite elegant. Directly above it was a large sky window. This was the main source of light. In the afternoons the carpet would be warmed by the sun and was especially comfortable to stand on, as well as a prime location for taking a nap (since, being in this unusual place, my nights have been mostly sleepless). Other than that, there was a bathroom, well-stocked kitchen, and two white couches facing opposite each other on either side of the rug. This was the place in which I have lived for the past week and a half.

The reason that I've been able to remain so calm about all of this is due very much to those two couches. I've come to discover that, while sitting in one of them, my thoughts appear on the wall that I'm now facing. It required a bit of practice, but I've gotten pretty good at using it. It seems that if I try to form my thoughts into a story -- some kind of metaphor -- then it works a lot better. These stories that I think of act out in front of my eyes. Being able to see and hear my own thoughts has allowed me to think a whole lot clearer. There are things that I've been mulling over for years that I finally managed to clear up by less than a day's worth of thinking. Removing my regrets and past mistakes from my everyday thought has lifted a huge burdon. This room is some kind of miracle machine.

Yesterday, I started working (I call it work since it is what I do all day) on figuring out this foggy childhood memory. I had discovered before that the two couches in the room do two very different things. The couch that I first sat in shows me my own thoughts as I see them. The second couch -- and this is very hard to describe -- shows me my own thoughts as someone else sees them. It is very hard to conceive what are, essentially, someone else's thoughts as being compatiable with your own. I'm not sure how this couch works, or even if these are someone else's true thoughts. I am keen to the idea of these thoughts being nothing more than thoughts that I have conceived as parallels to my own. Nevertheless, this second couch helps me to think of things in a different way. It fills in gaps that, as far as I knew, were completely lost to me.

Anyway, getting back to my childhood memory. All that I can remember on my own is some great shaking. Some kind of vibrations or something. It was completely disorienting, but I remained conscious through it all. I felt completely helpless, yet still aware. The next thing I can remember about it was a view of grass and part of a chain-link fence. I see this image quite clearly, as if it was in front of me for a long while. The final image that I have is of a blackbird landing in the grass. It stood there and began to flap its wings, as if it could not return to flight. From here, all I can remember is the fast moving wings and things getting darker and darker and darker.

I tried out this thought on the first couch and got most of that displayed back at me. It was a bit clearer than I remember, but it was definately the same series of images. I was craving answers, so I immediately tried the same thoughts on the second couch. The images showed myself walking in the grass along the side of a road. There was the sound of a blaring car horn. The image suddenly gets very hectic, much like the beginning of my memory. When things clear up, I can see myself -- myself as a child -- lying on the ground on the side of the road. There is blood everywhere. This is no way I could have survived. There is a fence nearby.

A blackbird never appears.

I spent the rest of the day thinking up a name for this blackbird in my mind. I was going to give it a story. I was going to connect the dots. I was going to figure this out.
11:12 PM 2/17/2006
I found it odd that I was the one they had chosen to do this. Apparently they have this whole process down to a few checkmarks on a form. A quick background check, a couple of interviews. Honestly, I don't see how I could be the one chosen for this.

I barely knew the man. We worked together. Well, we worked in the same company, in the same building, on the same floor. I suppose our paychecks looked similar.

I had lunch with him a few times. He seemed a rather solitary man. He did the kind of thinking that a guy only does when he's utterly alone. The kind of thinking you do when you learn to ignore the loneliness and seize the opportunity to think without any kind of distractions. No where to be. No one knocking on your door. No one ringing your phone.

It's a kind of maddening genius that you only see the end product of. You hear all kinds of stories about their success after they've made it -- after they've put up with the loneliness long enough to come up with something absolutely brilliant.

You could say I have a knack for picking up on these sorts of things. I suppose all of these descriptions of him are what led the investigators into choosing me. They told me it was some kind of new law. Apparently they can't just go in and seize a dead man's stuff from out of his apartment anymore. There's a new checkbox on their form for a guy like me. I have to go in and determine what was sentimentally important to him so that they can't get in trouble for destroying it. Something like that.

So I found myself inside his apartment. The door was closed, but I knew the officers were standing outside. It's almost like being alone.

It was a studio apartment, so I didn't have to do much exploring. There was a certain gravity to the apartment that led me to a round table. There were papers strewn about the floor near it. Books were stacked on all but one chair. On top of this mess was a single composition notebook. Scrawled on it was a single word: Diary.

I sat down on the only uncluttered chair and flipped through the pages in the diary. There was but a single entry, in the front of the book. Scrawled in his horrible handwriting was this:

"I have lived in this apartment for three years now. Has it really been this long? Three years since I left her and three years since I moved out. It's my anniversary -- an anniversary celebrated by a single person and a pen and a notebook.

I decided two years ago to stop being lonely. I knew I would never love again. It's too complicated. There's a certain amount of emotion needed for every moment together. Which emotion and how much emotion...the constant fear of not giving the right one or the right amount. I knew that she would forgive me for not getting it right. She was the only one who would forgive me for it. The awkward pauses and stumbling sentences were just a joke to her. The sentiment was there, just fractured through a prism of self doubt and inexperience. She understood this and she helped me to understand. I am capable of loving and of being loved. I will never stop loving her for this. I will never be with another. And I can never be with her again.

So I stopped being lonely. I put my sentiment elsewhere. I focused my sentiment. I focused my time. I filled notebooks from cover to cover and recorded tapes from one end to the other. I read and I kept notes. I hypothesized and theorized and published. I spent my sentiments elsewhere. Not on her. Not on myself. Not on others.

And so, three years later, what do I have to show for it? A few published writings, a few bits of fan mail. A job I can't stand (but pays the bills). My health. My privacy.

It's a living, but it's not a life. I've exchanged my life of loneliness for a pen and some mail. I've exchanged what it is to be me for what it is to get by. For three years, I have ceased to exist. I've ceased to be me and I've ceased to be anyone else.

I have decided that three years is long enough. Looking back, I wonder if I had, at one time, sought this lack of life that I have. I wanted the loneliness to stop, but I don't think I ever dreamed of growing this detatched. I have decided that I do not want this detatchment. I want an attatchment to something. Not of loneliness, but of literally anything else. Afterall, if loneliness can lead me here, I do not want to be lonely again.

So is this all there is to it, then? I wish it were simply this easy. I have built my own world of books. With this pen, I have willed myself a new life outside of life. With this same pen, I will bring this world crashing down. I reject this life. I want the real things. I am tired of writing my own.

And thus, with no world left for myself, I am forced into the unknown. I will have to find my life elsewhere. Thank you, my diary for the hour. You have utterly killed me."

He didn't date the diary. It was on the top of his stack, though, with a pen on top of it. I assume it was written recently. I decided that this was enough. This notebook contained the history -- the life and death -- of the man that I knew. The man that he became is the man the police are concerned with. I suppose their checklist is missing a line or two. I'm certainly not the man they were looking for.

I walked back outside and answered a few questions for the officers. I filled a brief description of the belongings that I took ("a diary", I wrote) and signed and initialed. With a slight nod, I left them and proceeded down the stairs with a dead man under my arm.