Yes, you read this right! One LUCKY poster will awarded a free Asylum toaster. When? Sometime during The Asylumnation Birthday Bash & Bacchanalia.|
Truth is, it was originally Dingle's toaster, but that jackass Wonderaz pawned it and Sir Dingus no longer needs it. One-of-a-kind item here. More details will be forthcoming! Amen.
Dagnabbit! I don't rightly know if it's the full moon that causes that jackass Wonderaz to be so extra peculiar sometimes. Oh, I know peculiar is in his genes, but there are times when the goofy sumbitch goes waaaay beyond the call o' duty.
I'm sure ya'll recall his hi-tech disaster with the rollin' movie-deli. Well, I'm here to tellya, a little while back, he got it in his mind that he could save the big bucks on travel. Not only that, but he figgered this particular scheme o' his would also have several other added benefits, namely: No hassles with crowded airports; no lost luggage; and free transportation right to the doorstep of his chosen destination.
Yes, I know. An explanation is in order. Well, it's a comin', but y'all gotta pardon me fer a moment, whilst I git another pint o' George Dickle.
Aaaah, that's better. Now, where wuz I? Oh, yeah . . .
A few weeks back, his jackassedness started hammerin' together some pieces o' wood. I watched him sweat, cuss 'n' grunt the whole time without sayin' a word. I knew he wanted me to ask what the hell he wuz doin', but I wouldn't give him the satisfaction. On top o' that, the smell o' yet another disaster in the makin' wuz gettin' stronger 'n' stronger with each passin' day. Anyway, the contraption began takin' shape and I'd venture t'say the dimensions were about 6' x 6' x 8'.
After several days, the jackass blurted out, "JEB, if'n you wuz a real pal, you'd lend me a hand! I'm fixin' to revolutionize long distance travel and rewrite the history books while you're just sittin' there on your no-good, lazy ass!"
Lazy ass? Some nerve. Ol' Blue had been sittin' there on empty all month cuz my check, as usual, had been consumed by his bail bondsman. "Uuuh, my back's hurtin', ya JACKASS!" I replied.
He retorted from inside the box, "Well, you lazy shit, you might as well git on over here an' check this baby out!"
Yep, Mr. Wondertech couldn't stand it any longer. He had to show-off his latest creation to somebody, an' since I wuz the only "body" who'd put up wit' his shit fer any length o' time, that meant I got the honors. Honors, my ass. Hell, I deserve a medal. Nay, lots o' medals. Oh well, I mosied over, stepped up on the little ladder he had leanin' against it, and looked inside.
Well, I had to hand it to him--it looked purdy cozy inside, in a trashy sorta way. The whole thing wuz lined with that ratty used red shag carpet they'd taken outta the Odd Fellows' Lodge a month earlier. The jackass, wearin' a smug expression on his mug, was sprawled out on a cot with two seat-belts attached that he'd pilfered from Nurse Boucher's Dodge Dynasty. On top o' that, he had the inside wired to a bank o' car batteries he'd slid under the cot. The wiring wuz necessary for the little microwave, refrigerator and TV/VCR combo he'd bolted haphazardly along one "wall". That wasn't all, though--he had a compact chest o' drawers with latches on each drawer sittin' next to a little rust-covered chemical toilet. I didn't ask him where he got all his li'l accessories, cuz instinct told me the less I knew, the better.
"I even have a bottle o' oxygen fer high altitudes!", Wonder said, gesturing to the foot o' his cot.
"What in God's name do you mean, HIGH ALTITUDES?!!" On closer inspection, I could see the ignorant sumbitch had apparently pilfered an acetylene bottle, I suppose under the mistaken impression it was a bottle o' oxygen.
"I'll be flyin' first class on Federal Express from now on, fer a fraction o' what those dumbasses pay to fly on the major airlines!"
Jeebus. The cat wuz finally outta the bag. He'd made hisself a travelin' crate. As if that wasn't bad enough, he proudly announced his plans fer his maiden voyage to Joeycat's place. Yep, you heard me right. The jackass planned to give Joeycat one o' his big "birthday suprises". Well, I already knew more'n I ever cared to know 'bout his damn "birthday surprises". Most importantly, I knew that somehow, someway, honor demanded that I use any means necessary to spare the divine Ms. Joeycat from such a foul and wretched abomination.
Well, the big day arrived. It was May 23rd, the day before Joeycat's birthday. The jackass had already confirmed that, with Fed-Ex's one-day service, his travel crate'd hit Joey's driveway at about 6:00 p.m. the following day. Of course, he needed my help closin' and fastenin' the lid as well as just bein' there to give the delivery instructions when Fed-Ex arrived to make the pick-up. Naturally, I told ol' Wonderturd not to worry; that ol' reliable JEB'd take care o' everything.
The followin' evenin', I called Joeycat to wish her a happy birthday. She answered the phone, excited as all git-out, but it wasn't about her birthday. Before I could say anything, she squealed, "JEB! JEB! Turn on your TV to CNN!! RIGHT NOW!! You gotta see this!!"
Thankfully, I was able to oblige since the jackass hadn't pawned my TV this month.
" . . . as Federal Agents swarm around a large, wooden crate just delivered by Federal Express to reputed NAMBLA headquarters in Jamaica, New York! Long suspected to be trafficking in illegal contraband to fund their organization, the authorities responded to an anonymous tip and arrived just as the crate was dropped off. . . ."
Joeycat wuz still on the phone with me. "Is that? . . No, It can't be. . . . IT IS!! . . . Oooooh!! Gross me out!!! . . . JEB? Why is Wonderaz wearing a red bra? . . .Eeewww!!! That is SOOOO SICK!! . . . JEB? I didn't know Wonderaz played the ukelele? . . . What in the?? . . . They . . they can't show stuff like that on TV!?!? Can they?!?. . . OHMIGAWD!!! . . . JEB? . . . JEB???"
"Happy birthday, Joeycat!", I replied over the sirens, screams and cursing blaring in the background from my boob-tube. "Happy birthday!"
Remember your dead. Remember your fallen heroes.
You already know, from glancing at the color of my flag, that our ideologies clash.
You remember smiling fathers, who had marched off to liberate distant lands, never to return.
You remember brothers, uncles, sons, who fought and fell in an effort to preserve your possessions, your freedom and your way of life.
That is as it should be. Someone must remember.
On this day, I remember also.
I remember the hoarse-throated cries for equality, silenced by the finality of the rifleís crack. I remember the wailing of hungry children, blanketed forever beneath the baleful thunder of the falling bombs. I remember those whose fierce courage allowed them to stand in the face of insurmountable odds and demand change.
I remember the forgotten children of every failed revolution; every miserable struggle for freedom that ever rose to fruition on the crest of passion and the demand to be treated as men rather than chattel or slaves. I remember, too, that armies exist to quell such distasteful spectacles, and whether just or vile, silence and sorrow cover the land like a shroud wherever they pass.
And, that is as it should be also. Someone must remember.
But, whichever side of the line you find yourself standing on, remember this also:
Of nations, causes, and distant lands whose people and plights come to you only as rumor, divorce yourselves. There is a long line of men who have stood, fought, loved, suffered, and fallen so that you might be here today. Their line stretches out behind you to the most distant horizon, and every passion they carried existed so that you might, one day, live and come to realize your potential.
I do not speak of your potential as soldiers, bankers, doctors, lawyers, or anything else that bears the title of a profession or pass-time. I speak of your potential as human beings. Define it as you will, deep within you, I know you grasp the heart of it.
Remember those that have gone before. Remember yourself, and strive, somehow, to be worthy of it all. That, alone, will ever be enough to justify the fallen.
The Asylum has been asked to join the Witness Relocation Program. We will be receiving a steady flow of new members who for various reasons, will be making up shit about themselves. These people are not necessarily criminals but we would ask that you do not hold that against them.There will be the occasional sudden disappearance of some of these members and it is requested that you pretend like they never existed.Now, back to your regularly scheduled programs.|
I was stirred from sleep by a soft touch on my arm. It was still dark and I was all warm and cozy in the loft bed, curled up with the house cats. My friend, Tito, stood by the bed. ďLane, wake up. The nurse called, we have to go, itís your mom...Ē|
I sat up, suddenly wide-awake. It was time.
I jumped out of bed and dressed quickly, glancing at the clock; it was almost 3 a.m. I went to the bathroom where I brushed my teeth and washed my face. My hands were shaking ; my teeth chattering. I stopped for a moment to look at myself in the mirror, to compose myself. It was an odd feeling to see my face. I knew that from this time forward, things would be different.
I ran downstairs where I found Tito and my Aunt Val talking quietly to each other. My aunt had arrived from Oregon two days earlier, and had been staying with us in our busy communal home. I didnít know her very well; I had met her when I was a child and my memory was of a nice, pretty blonde lady in a pale blue chiffon dress. I thought she was an angel. Little did I know that she would really turn out to be one.
The three of us collected ourselves and went to the car. We made our way through Seattle and got onto the freeway, the roads were empty. We drove in silence, with just the whir of the car heater and pools of yellowish light from the street lamps casting their glow at regular intervals across the windshield. It was hypnotic, no one spoke; we were all lost in ourselves.
The endless corridor with the green tile floors, the occasional noise of someone snoring, the squeak and sigh of a chair as a body shifted. We found our way to the room and pushed open the door.
It was a queer sound, like a humidifier that mother would put in my room when I had a bad cold; a bubbling, gurgling sound. A light was on in the corner, a few chairs next to the bed. We moved slowly across the room, Titoís hand on my shoulder, steadying me, my auntís hand in mine. There was my mother, with an oxygen mask over her face; eyes almost closed, her mouth slightly open. Her terry cloth turban was missing and her head was uncovered and bare, it looked cold. She had no hair. It had been gone for awhile. I touched her arm; her skin felt cool and waxy, thin like paper.
I asked the nurse, ďWhat is that sound, are you trying to keep her alive?Ē She looked at me. ď Your mother is making the sound. Itís normal. We are just giving her some oxygen to make her comfortable.Ē
A normal sound? This...rattling, gurgling? It didnít seem normal at all. I looked at Titoís face, his eyes were wide. A single word came out of his mouth: ďOhhhhĒ
We sat in the chairs close to the bed and talked. We tried to speak about normal things, what the weather had been like, what it would be like today, what we had eaten for dinner the night before. We sat and watched and waited. Every once in a while my mother would shift or moan and we would all stop breathing for a moment and sit perfectly still, waiting for a word, a smile, anything. Sometimes we would talk to her. My aunt and I took turns touching and stroking her arm or her face.
The hours passed quite quickly, morning came and sunlight and the sound of birds warmed the room. The noise of the nursing home coming alive, a doctor being paged, someone coughing, cars on the street outside, people driving to work. It all seemed so... ordinary.
The gurgling sound became worse and my mother seemed uncomfortable. I called for a nurse and she got the doctor, who came to examine her. When he finished he gave the nurse some instructions, then gestured me to follow him. We left the room and he said to me, ďIt wonít be long now.Ē My aunt joined me at the door as he walked away and I told her what he had said. My aunt became quite serious, a little intense. She told me that everything would be fine, that she had gotten my mother to accept Jesus Christ as her savior the day before, that my mother would go to heaven. My aunt Val was a very religious woman, and while I wasnít and her words disturbed me, I accepted it. I figured, okay, at least we have all the bases covered.
I canít tell you what happened the last 30 minutes of my motherís life, but I can tell you about the last five of them. I donít know how we knew, we just did, and this was it. My aunt said ďGo to her Laney, talk to her tell her she can goĒ. I held my mother as best I could. Her body was so strange to me, she had always been warm and soft and comforting, now she was nothing but skin and bones. It was hard to touch her. I leaned in close, speaking softly and evenly into her ear, ďMom, itís all right, you can go now, I will be okay. Aunt Val is here with me; itís time for you to go. You donít have to worry about me. I love you. I am safe. Please donít be afraid to go. I am right here with you.Ē
And with those words, after a 14-month battle with cancer, my mother stopped breathing and her heart stopped beating at 9:00 am, May 22, 1990. She was 71 years old.
Adrenaline and exhilaration like nothing I have ever known coursed through my body. Tears of sadness and happiness ran down my face, and I remember laughing and hugging my aunt and the two of us wiping the tears off each otherís cheeks. My aunt and I went to kiss and hug my mother. My fingers touched her eyelids, trying to close them, I smiled when I saw that it didnít really work like in the movies, her eyes wouldnít stay shut. I left them be. It seemed silly anyhow, trying to do something I had seen a dozen times on the screen. This wasnít the movies.
The day my mother passed on was a beautiful spring day, sunny and warm. Tito took us home and fed us tea and muffins. There was a brief moment of strangeness for me as we sat eating in the kitchen, the three of us talking about my mom, the person that she was, things she had done. On the kitchen wall there was a huge mirror and every now and then I would glance into it to see the reflection of us, kind of like it was a window into someone elseís house. I saw something I canít quite describe, and truth be told, it wasnít that pleasant: my motherís face in my face, my motherís hands in my hands, part of them, intermingled with me. Not the warm soft face and hands I knew to be my mother but the gaunt, bony shell that held my motherís soul at the very end. It was terrifying and compelling all at once, I couldnít bear to look or look away. And then it was gone as quickly as it had come. I was back to...me.
I could have chosen to honor the memory of my mother by telling you something about her, the person she was and the life she led. But what would that have meant to you, really? All of our mothers mean something to us, she was no more or less special then anyone else.
It is her absence from my life that tells me what I was given by her. The years I have spent not being able to share things, my triumphs and failures alike. The person who hasnít been there to call up to ask for a recipe or what to do when I have an earache. The laughter that is no longer there, the unconditional love and acceptance. While she was living I took her for granted, and thatís okay, I didnít know better. But in the many years after her death I can see clearly how valuable she was to my development as a human being. How valuable she still is.
Somehow I think it is quite fitting that the first words ever spoken to me were from her lips and the last words she heard came from mine.
Helloooo - and welcome to my swanky new column. A while ago I came up with the idea of interviewing a number of asylumites and running them as a series on the forum. Someone liked the idea enough to make it a column - so here it is.
As it goes, its a pretty lazy column... because the interviewee gets to write the bulk of it.
Anyway, on my first outing with my tape recorder and my pen and paper I flew out to Arizona to meet the Asylum Veteran, Wonderaz. This was what happened:
When you first heard about the idea of the asylum, did you think you'd wind up as involved in it as you are now? What were your expectations of the idea?
Not at first, but very early on in the formation of the original concept, there were a number of factions all working independently and it was obvious to many that the concept would never get off the ground if there wasn't some unity.
I was asked to spearhead the project and get some unification so I wound up in the middle of it rather quickly.
I have to say that I am into offbeat projects and the formation of the Asylum was a perfect example of the sort of thing that would attract my attention.
As most know, my knowledge of computers is limited (OK, I am a moron when it comes to this shit) and that made the idea of sailing off into uncharted territories, that much more appealing. Once things started materializing, the Admins started getting organized and focused enough to where it was clear that there was a great potential to turn the original concept into a workable community site, which it has become.
Who was it who asked you to become involved? can you remember?
hmmm Anti, Dingle, Gypsy, quite a few, Although I donít remember the first one.
Anti-Stile and Dingle put a lot into the actual code and layout for the site, and it comprises much of the site at the moment. What do you think you contributed most to early on? gelling the idea together?
I guess just primarily giving a focal point to the project and keeping everyone focused on the same thing I remember the ideas and the brainstorming for the Asylum when it first started out.
Of all that the asylum is now, what are you most proud of? Whatís its biggest achievement?
Tough question. There is no one part that I am proud of, per se. I am proud of the site as a whole. It has certainly become what we envisioned and then some.
The site's biggest achievement has been the fact that it has survived. Consider what it is up against, it is a guppy in the Internet Sea. To still exist and to have grown to what it is and to still be growing is a noteworthy achievement.
Is there any one idea or thought you personally came up with about this place that stands out as something you are particularly proud of? - whatís your own favourite thing about the asylum?
The layout of the mainpage was my idea. it is offcentered and lopsided and totally appeals to my preference for asymmetrical images, I would pick that as I still like it even if I am the only one that does.
I like clutter, you should see my computer area, even my whole livingroom.
We all know that you do a lot for the asylum, but what is it you actually do (apart from the flaming), what are your responsibilities?
Ummm... Lots of things. I yell at people and make sarcastic comments about things. I am sure there are other things that I do. Can I call a friend?
No you can't. Where has the nasty mean flaming wonderaz gone? He seems to have been left back at SPF.
Well, he still exists, it is just that there is not the endless flow of idiot newbies that need my attentions like there were back then. He pops up occasionally but rarely with much abandon, the members are all pretty wussy now and tend to collapse in a puddle if I growl too much.
This was always billed as a pretty open place when everyone created it, censorship et al at a minimum, but now the Admins are collectively called Nazis, do you feel there is there an air of distrust about the running of this site?
Not at all. As with any regulatory position, you can't make everyone happy all at once. I still think that there is a tremendous amount of freedom in here to say and do as one pleases. Someone screaming because a thread got moved or a questionable post got deleted is to be expected and I don't think that anyone has suffered any irreparable damage from the rare administrative action that we have taken. Considering the time the site has been up and the people that have posted in here, the fact that there is only one name in the ban list says something.
I think this place is still very open, it has just gotten more organized. That unto itself is reason to cause suspicion.
What about the appearance to newbies; moderatorship @ signs and adminship as well as having columns, all this is something that people aspire to do, you can see from the amount of begging that happens each time a new forum is added.
I will answer in two parts...
When it was just the Admins moderating in chat, we never kept the @ up, as we didn't need to openly op up in the chat. It has gotten to where the adman are not always in chat and needed help monitoring the room...
In order to give power to non-admins, they needed to op up and that shows the @, very simple. Although the chat is moderated a bit more than the forum, it is the nature of the beast, chats require more moderating and a proactive presence.
Few realize how difficult it is to commit to writing a weekly column, I used to do it professionally, writing for a couple of papers around here and it was hard then and is now...
Everyone wants a column but very few can produce on a regular basis, look at how many have come and gone...
We aren't denying anyone the ability of writing a column it is just that we are careful about setting on up for a writer to fade out after one or to columns. The User Update is the perfect venue for everyone to offer their work and if they show a serious interest and the ability to produce a regular flow of work, they get a column. Nute is a good example.
Oh yes... but I gather people are rather picked for stuff before they ask to do it I mean, I've been a moderator and an op and I never asked (seriously) for either.
Yes, we do often pick people that havenít asked for anything based upon our (constant) observations of the members. That is one of the things that I do in here, we are constantly studying what the members are posting, looking for promising writers, mods, editors, etc... looking for people that really want to get involved in those veins.
What can you see in the future of the asylum over the next six months?
I see a slow and steady growth of the membership. The site itself will continue to expand as we are certainly not out of ideas and plans. The input of the memberships is constantly giving us new directions to go in. Besides the stuff that I am aware of, one has to also consider the fact that Dingle is constantly popping up with stuff that none of us are aware of. Who knows what the Asylum will look like in 6 months. All I can say is that it will be bigger and better.
What do you want to be able to offer to people?
I see the community expanding, more services, games, references, diversions...
Are you trying to move away from the forum in anyway? I know its the key feature now, but in the future?
The forum will always be the base of the site, it is the livingroom
The forum is the center of activity for this type site .
Do you ever expect to turn a profit from the asylum, or is it a total non-profit making scheme now?
Now? It always has been a total non-profit making "scheme". I would say the answer is, no. The Asylum is not designed with any profit in mind. Any money making endeavor that we engage in through the Asylum will simply provide funds to further expand the site and provide opportunities to offer things to the membership.
One thing that I personally want to see is rewards for the various contests that go on and perhaps a periodic drawing.
Are you a half empty or half full kinda guy?
Half full always.
Okay, so what do you do outside of the asylum? Do you have a job?
Even though it may seem that I am here all the time, I actually do have a real life. It has toned down over the years but I still keep things stirred up as much as I can. We live in a spectacularly beautiful part of the world and take advantage of that. We hike, hang out at the creek in the summer, hit the bar occasionally, have a very eclectic group of friends, we stay as busy as we can. Most over our expeditions are short ones due to our all consuming occupations though.
I wear a few different hats and have a very long resume.
Currently, this is how I get by:
I am a commercial pilot, I currently fly hot air balloons and work as the lead pilot for the largest balloon company in Northern Arizona. I fly every morning (weather permitting) and I spend about 4 hours a day doing that.
We have an Art studio called Sedona Glass Works where we work in hot glass and Raku (an ancient Japanese form of firing clay). The studio is located at our house and is in constant production with kilns firing virtually every day. We have developed several successful lines of artwork and exhibit in quite a few galleries. Big Al is swamped with orders for fused glass mobiles which she has developed into a variety of designs and sizes that sell for up to $500 each. We are being browbeaten into producing more Raku kaleidoscopes and I am slowly succumbing to the pleadings of one of my oldest galleries to create more large Raku masks.
Who is this Big Al of which you speak?
Ahhh Big Al....
She is my other half. I can only give my biased view to answer that question.
Her real first name is Alessandra and I call her Big Al because I have a Little Al too, my daughter Alexis. We also have a son, Chance.
Alessandra is a native Italian, born in Milano and schooled all over Europe.
She has worked as a fashion model and was involved in the graphic design field doing work for Warner Brothers and Disney to name a few. We have worked together for five years now. I hired her as an apprentice and within a year, she was my partner, her mad skillz and talent added tremendously to the studio.
She is filled with passion of mind, spirit and body and is the kindest soul I have ever met. She is also the most contradictory person I have ever met, ever ready to debate any and all subjects with gusto. Never a boring moment and I wouldn't change a thing about her.
We share a rather idyllic life and are quite happy with each other. I find her to be incredibly beautiful both inside and out and as different a creature as I have ever encountered. I could go on...
You did go on... But its nice to see someone so in love. Whatís your favourite food?
Well... Italian, of course.
Thanks for that, If you could change the membership in just one way - what would it be?
The ONLY thing I would change is the numbers. I think a slow growth is important to the health of the site. I find the diversity of the people to be delightful and a steady feed of fresh blood keeps everyone sparky.
The diversity of people here is important - do you feel there is a balance? or that there needs to be a balance?
Yes to both, the balance here is very good, the diversity is essential a slow growth feeds us with fresh though without overwhelming the forum.
You're one of the oldest asylumites, how old are you?
I AM the oldest. I invented time... my first pet is now oil...
What are you doing in a place like this?
It basically goes all the way back to a bad upbringing. My parents committed constant errors in judgment from the very beginning, like using the rhythm method and expecting it to work, chasing down the driver of a RV that I had climbed into at a gas station during a vacation, although that was mainly my mother making my father do it.
You know, that reminds me of a time when I was around ten years old. We were on a vacation, driving endlessly through farmlands and forests, heading for Gawdawful Falls National Park or one of way too many points of interest to be found on the annual trip itinerary, packed into an enormous station wagon.
Driving along, I had gotten bored and began torturing my hapless younger siblings, as rotten little shitassed boys tend to do, which eventually incurred the wrath of my father who punctuated a vicious verbal attack with a few ineffectual swings over the back of the car seat.
Being one of the most brilliant children of the era, I immediately transformed myself into Vinnie Barbarino and pointed out his lame attempt to cause me physical pain. I was given the line, "One more and I pull the car over."
In my best Vinnie ever, I came back with, "And what?"
My face slammed into the back of his seat as he skidded off the road, all four tires locked and screaming a trail of smoke. He jumped out, ran to the back of the car where he grabbed something from the tool box, came back and jerked me out of the car. He dragged me, kicking and screaming down into the woods where he duct taped me to a tree. The only words he spoke were at the finish of his well done taping job. He said:
"There, get out of that, wiseass. hehe"
Off he went driving up the road with the sound of my mother hollering at him, fading in the distance. It was me against Mother Nature. And a half roll of duct tape.
Many thoughts raced through my head, it seemed like a long time had passed and I was beginning to think that my old man had finally persuaded my mother that they would be better off in the long run with me off on my own, so to speak.
I thought about the fact that I had just read a book on the area I was in and it was a well populated forrest, rife with a host of large and dangerous inhabitants including bears. In fact, I was surprised he had forgotten to rub me down with a side of bacon as I had plagued him with lengthy dissertations on the local fauna fresh from the page to my lips only an hour before.
The tape held fast as I struggled futilely as the sun seemed to raced for the horizon bringing the darkness and my certain death at the claw and fang of some slavering beast, it's glowing eyes rushing towards me out of the inky black being the last thing I see.
I was taped to the tree facing into the forrest and could hear the occasional car or semi driving past, ignorant of my screams for help. That was the only sound I heard until the muffled rustlings began in the distance, deep within the forrest just beyond my range of vision. I refused to freak out knowing that thrashing about was only going to tighten the tape up more and I continued to pick at it, staring into the trees for a sign of what was lurking out there.
I had just managed to tear back a piece of the tape enough to maybe peal it back far enough to free one of my hands when I heard a crunch. I froze and then another crunch. Something was closing on me and it was big. I was completely helpless. there was absolutely nothing I could do and it was very obvious that it was aware of my presence and very close. Then I heard:
"Can't get loose, eh? Dumbass,"
I almost fainted. The sneaky bastard had coasted back to where I had been dumped off stopping across from the speed limit sign that he had as a marker, I found out later, and had been standing back watching me struggle with the tape. He asked me while cutting the tape,
"You all through with your silly shit or do you like it out here?"
I reckoned as how I was pretty much through with my silly shit as I had not forgotten the sounds out in the forrest and that it seemed to be his subtle way of offering me a ride which seemed almost palatable at that point. Man, was I glad to be free of that tree. That turned out to be the longest twenty minutes of my life. Ah well, enough about me, next question?
What do you see in it, The Asylum, and what makes you keep coming back?
It is a community that I am part of. It is the dawn of a new era of interaction between humans.
This is the virtual world and a marvelous addition to the palate of life. It is a virtual town that I helped create, an amusement park in a glowing box, a surreal global saloon where I tend bar and cross paths with every man and every woman.
It is a close, familiar place that is filled with a ceaseless flow of new and interesting thoughts, images, concepts and people.
Wonderaz - thank you for your time, could you give me a lift back to the UK in your magic balloon now?
I'm not a superstitious person by nature, but I believe there is a lot of stuff out there that I don't understand in the least. And, if cornered, I would have to say that people like the Native Americans and Wiccans and self-proclaimed witches probably have a better bead on "The Truth" then, say, Christians. |
I'd never really thought of anything like spirit animals or any of that sort of stuff. It just wasn't a notion that had any resonance or even meaning to me.
But a few years ago I had a dream, and this dream was re-occurring for about a month. I still get visions of it now and then. Tastes of it.
It was probably the clearest and most powerful dream I've ever had, and in telling it it's kind of hard to see why. It was just....different, then say casual dreams. Like one of those epiphany dreams in Stephen King novels. Just one of those dreams that you wake from and it is burned indelibly onto your soul, and that seems monumentally personally important even though you have absolutely no fucking clue why. Ever had a dream like that?
I was in a dark a thick forest and was feeling quite uneasy, just a general sense of dread that weighed on me to the point where it felt very physical. Like a yoke around my neck and shoulders. I was wandering through the forest, trying to find my way to somewhere, a clearing, a glade, anything to escape the dark and overpowering forest. I was wandering around, making a lot of noise as I would stumble in a general direction I felt I needed to go in. I wasn't lost exactly, but I didn't really know where I was or where I was going. I felt like I had been in this forest for a long time. Far too long. And the urgency to escape, to simply GET OUT, was overpowering.
In any case, I could begin to make out an area ahead, a clearing in the forest. Now, in the forest, there was almost no light. It was day, but the trees were so heavy it blocked out much of the light, and the light that did come through was itself dark, like the light during a very heavy thunderstorm.
In any case, there is this big ditch, and then a rise next to it, in the shape of like a medium sized ocean wave. I stumbled toward it, desperately wanting to get past it as it seemed to me that a clearing would be just beyond it.
Next thing I know, a bunch of wolves start coming out around me. From behind trees, just generally surrounding me, snarling and obviously wanting to do me harm. The Enemy.
They made their way around me and formed a circle, me being in the middle. I grabbed a big stick that was next to me, and starting brandishing it threateningly, waving it around and shouting, trying to scare the wolves off. From above me I could see more wolves on the top of the rise, I was at the bottom, in the trench. The wolves were closing the circle, and I was more scared and anxious then I can ever remember being, in life or in dreams. One came too close so I swatted it in the face with the stick, and it backed off a bit. But still they were closing their circle.
Suddenly there was a flurry of activity. One of the wolves above me lunged down at me, and I swatted it in the side with the stick and moved out of the way, into the path of another lunging wolf, that I also swatted and dodged. Then all the wolves started lunging at me, and in that split second I leapt forward, using one of the wolves back as leverage, and leaped to the top of the rise and started running for what I now saw was a gorgeous clearing not 10 feet away. The wolves were right on my tail when I made it to the clearing.
Suddenly I was there. In the clearing. The wolves had stopped pursuing at the edge of the dark forest, and in the clearing I was bathed in warm light, but still I kept running, although this was a run of joy now. It was as if the woods were in the dead of a winter storm and this clearing was enjoying a gorgeous spring afternoon. Despite the fact that the wolves were obviously too scared to go into the clearing and were now retreating, I was still running.
Running in itself was absolute a remarkable experience. I felt the wind beat my face as I ran swifter than probably is humanely possible. It was euphoric, exuberant, whatever.
As I was running a herd of horses enveloped me. They were running also, running with me, I was dead in the middle. The one beside me was more beautiful than any horse I had ever seen, and we gave each other a knowing glance. I felt akin with them, a part of them, and a great affinity for them. This was safety, this was where I belonged. We weren't running anywhere in particular, just running for the sake of it, running as One. Even though it was just a dream, it was an experience I'll never forget. I felt more alive then I have ever felt. I was awash with vitality, love, happiness, and peace. Quite zen. It was a dream, yes, but that feeling was very real, and I have yearned for it everyday since.
When I awoke that morning, I was still not superstitious by nature. I still didn't have a clue as to "The Truth". I still had no clue about the Way Things Work.
But I knew with lucid certainty that the Horse was my spirit animal.
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