Monthly Archives: March 2018

Makeda

There Hills were her shrine. They had been created for her. She had created them for herself, along with the rest of the world.

When the succubi were first introduced to the universe, they quickly realized that they would not be able to survive in groups. Their constant need for desire and worship would lead not only to fighting and jealousy, but to the rapid depopulation of the world. Each set out to create her own world, with her own feeding supply, and she had created this one.

She made it beautiful, with deep seas, wide plains, flowers of every color, and rolling hills. The hills were her favorite part.

Then, she populated it with worshippers. Her worshippers, of varying degrees. She planted people like seeds, sowed reverence into their hearts, and watched them grow. As they grew, she walked among them, cultivating societies and expanding civilizations. It took her 1000 years.

At first, she fasted, not wanting to feed until the world matured. Then she realized her hunger was blocking her progress. When she grew weak, her world faded.  People bickered, and the hills began to die. So in order to protect her work, she broke her fast.

It was easy. The whole world loved her. People travelled to bring gifts to her Hills. Every day, a new person offered Themselves to her. Some she immediately took into her body and devoured. With others, she went into their minds. All she had to do was Look at their eyes, and she got into their souls. They would become enchanted, mindless, and run across the world doing her bidding. With other bodies looking after things, she was free to retreat into the Hills. Eventually, her hold on the souls would wear on her ambassadors, and they would return, obsessed with the idea of connecting with her fully. They would beg to be devoured as well, and she would oblige. It was all out of love. She loved them.

That was why she left, finally. It occurred to her that it might have been wrong to create life simply to be used and destroyed. She wasn’t sure how morality worked in a world of one’s own devising. Still, some part of her felt monstrous, especially when she watched the surviving family members of her sacrifices. She could see their loss, and it made her feel lonely. Everyone loved and worshipped her as strongly as ever, but that too began to feel bad.

She knew that if she were to stop feeding, the whole world would die. She also knew that she no longer wanted to feed on her own people.

So, she made arrangements. She shielded her eyes and took lovers without eating them, willing herself into pregnancy, and maturing her daughters into priestesses. She only had daughters, and they lived in the hills. Her daughters had her blood, her mind, and her eyes, but they had their fathers’ hearts. Thus they could enchant and bewitch and entice, and as they coupled with worshippers of their own, the world continued to flourish. But they could not feed as she did, which made them almost perfectly safe.

Then, she left. The rest of her life was spent casting around the universe. Fifty years were spent ruling a nation in the Eastern Earth. Daughters and prosperity remained wherever she had been. At what should have been the end of her life, she realized she had left enough energy behind her to stick around intangibly.

She brought her body back to her Hills, finding them as glorious as ever. Most of her priestess daughters had set out on their own adventures, but a few descendants remained. When her body died, her spirit sank into the hills. Every so often it would lust itself out of the hills and find amusement by jumping into a descendant at random. In this way, her exploits continued, and her world prospered even more.

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PoK

The most popular attraction of the attendant’s world was a large hot spring the worldspeople had named the “Pool of Knowledge”. 

 It had started as a relatively unobtrusive body of water, until one day a couple of teenagers had jumped in for a dare, and suddenly found themselves spouting the secrets of the universe. Two more had jumped in and promptly broken up, as they locked eyes and each realized the other was sleeping with someone else. 

 It didn’t take long for word to get around the entire world that bathing in the waters of the spring allowed one to know Everything there was to know, Ever. It took even less time for the banks, lawyers, patent offices, architects, engineers, and advertisers to swoop in and turn the hot spring into one of the greatest tourist attractions the universe had ever seen. The people of her world built an enormous bath house around the spring, complete with changing rooms, a little terrace cafe, and a photographer who would take your picture before you came in, and just as you were leaving.

She was the sole bath attendant. More truthfully, she was the sole surviving bath attendant. The Pool, as it was commonly called, was tricky, for it granted people access to all the knowledge there ever was, only as long as one was in the water. As soon as you left, you forgot all that you had just learned. This led to some extreme reactions. The bath house pictures twisted into a cruel joke: while everyone’s “Before” picture showed happy and excited faces, the majority of the “Afters” portrayed someone sobbing, raving, or on occasion, dead. 

People did drown in the Pool. Some believed that if they kept their heads under water for long enough, they could carry the information out with them. Not only did this result in their drownings, it also resulted in the drownings of the several bath attendants who attempted to rescue them. The attendants would either lose track of themselves in the informational overflow, or they would lose their lives while struggling unsuccessfully to bring the bathers back up to the surface.

Many bathers were scholars would come back, determined to steal knowledge away. She had always refused to deal with these people, as they appeared to her both foolish and greedy. In any other setting she would also think them immoral, but any morality in the vicinity of the Pool seemed to be suspended.

These scholars would always bring journals and pencils, and coerce naive bath attendants into taking note of every new bit of information they screamed out. Unfortunately, there was new information to be screamed every second, much too quickly for it to be gotten down. The inevitable outcome was that when the zealous scholars eagerly left the Pool to find nothing but gibberish-filled pages, they would fly into uncontrollable rages rendered impotent by their hoarse voices. At this point, they would simply shoot the disappointing attendants, who were too cramped from writing to defend themselves.

One scholar, imagining himself rather clever, brought a tape recorder, but upon triumphantly leaving the Pool and seizing the recorder, he slipped and electrocuted himself.

The question, to most people, was the Pool’s Usefulness. What was the point, many asked, of having access to Everything, if one could do Nothing with it? This question took lives as well, as people’s intellects cracked from the pressure of how pointless everything about the Pool seemed to be. Scholars who had spent their lives pursuing knowledge suddenly found themselves without a reason to live, once they found themselves unchanged by its source. There was a period of time where it looked like the Pool would have to be shut down, but then some nihilists picked up on it and made the bath house the focal point of all their retreats. After them, the other faiths followed, both in an effort to keep “with the times” and to send missionaries to poach nihilists for their parties. Thus, the Pool stayed in business, the economy of the world flourished, and everybody was slightly less happy for it.

The current, surviving bath attendant had bathed in the Pool once, and quite enjoyed herself. She was, in fact, one of the teenagers who had initially jumped in. At the time, she’d been anticipating getting her hair wet and calculating where her wash cycle would leave her by the next week.In reflection, she often thought that this may have saved her from going mad as so many others did. Having access to all the information Ever had been an interesting bonus to her experience, but also a sort of distraction that she hadn’t minded losing as soon as she’d stepped out. That was all she needed to never go back in. 

There were only two people in the universe who had successfully taken knowledge away from the Pool without losing their minds or lives, probably because neither of these people realized what they’d done. One was a little boy who liked to look into worlds. The other was the attendant.

These days she simply sat by the pool with earplugs to block out the revelatory shouts of the bathers. Every so often, she fished a too-long-submerged bather out of the water with a large net-like scoop that she had devised, so as to allow her to do her job without actually touching the water. Since she had been put in charge (by necessity), there had been no more drownings, although the occasional suicide was still committed in the changing room by a scholar who could not handle the disappointment that accompanied drying off. Those, she could do nothing about. So instead she read, she wrote, she watched detachedly, and occasionally used her scoop to break up the arguments that would arise between competing scholars in the water.

‘Knowledge,’ she thought, ‘Was no good without Sense.’

Barrymore

I don’t really know what the feeling is. Not exactly depression, but a sort of lowness. And also lightness.

Without you, I feel, light?

“Do you still love me?” I whispered.
“Yes,” he replied.
“You do? Love me?” I pressed.
“Of course I love you. Always,” he answered.
“Then don’t leave. You’re the only one who loves me but hasn’t left,” I told him.
“Hush,” said my friend, and wrapped me up in his arms.

When you had me in your arms, before, I remember knowing that it wasn’t enough. Love is not enough. I realize that I’ve learned this before, and then somehow forgot. It’s sobering, sad.

Sometimes love is bad. Or the person you love is bad. Or the love leads you to bad situations. This one wasn’t bad. It was just empty. Without commitment. And the funny thing about empty love is that is drags you down. Or, at least it does that to me.

There’s something awful about knowing you’re with someone who loves you but cannot do anything for you. That their love cannot protect you, or make you grow. Stagnant love.

Here comes a thought…

Now, the stagnancy is gone. I feel like I’m floating away, now. Sometimes I’m up high, looking at possibilities. Sometimes friends tell me to shush and pull me back to ground me, and that’s good.

So, I mostly feel good, I guess.

I’m here, I’m here, I’m here.

Collective Friend Mindsets

I think I went to go back to meeting. Capitalize that M. Meeting.

Meditation, the other m, has not been working. I get too restless for it. Start to stress that I’m wasting my time, begin to feel guilty about taking so much time on myself. I’m not sure what the difference is in my mind between lazing around binging television and sitting quietly by myself thinking about nothing, but it’s there. I used to meditate instead of going to Meeting. Now, I need Meeting to meditate in the presence of others doing the same thing.

Maybe it’s also that in Meeting, it’s okay to have thoughts. Once, before Garnet ever sang about it, a friend told me that when you meditate, your mind must be blank. It’s natural for thoughts to come into your mind, but they cannot rest. You have to let them go right after. I have trouble with that. If a thought goes, I want to replace it with something else. Kind of like people. Only, that’s futile.

I realized that this year is exactly the same as 2012. The dates fall on the same week days. March 24 will be on a Saturday; March 25, day of discovery, will be Sunday, and that Tuesday will be the 27. Six years already, and we’re back.

I didn’t answer my mom’s calls for a few hours, and she panicked. Called my friends and landlord, put out feelers to find me. I was on my friend’s couch, wrapped up in their arms, safe. When I came home, she crumbled in front of me, sobbing. She’d thought I was chasing Edward again, and William. Thought I was dead.

It was embarrassing. Hilarious. Sobering. Overwhelming.

I still can’t do things for myself, it feels, without taking from someone else. Can’t turn my phone off for my mother’s peace of mind. Can’t tell the truth without hurting someone. Can’t stay alone without shutting others out.

“I’ve been watching a lot of ‘The Good Place’,” a friend tells me, “And thinking about my actions and what people “owe” each other. And it’s hard, because there are people who solely concentrate on themselves, because they only care about themselves. That’s wrong. But then, there are people who spend too much time on others and not enough on themselves, and you also owe yourself thought.”

“Besides,” I add. “Spending too much time on others might not be helpful to them in the long run. You’d only be giving them what you thought they were owed, which might not necessarily be what they actually need.”

I want to go back to capital-m Meeting, I think. To get lost with other souls, communally individualistic. Find Friends who don’t know me.