“Writing is collaborative. You’re not just perfectly rendering a world. You’re making a pact with the reader, and it’s a new agreement, every time the book is read, even with the same person. Also…If you’re still worried about your personal safety, IMHO it’s better that you don’t do it, since the readers’ image of you is always fuzzy and changes all the time.”

I stare at the words for a long while. I wonder if I can agree.

I often wonder this. Every time I confront an opinion on the internet with which I strenuously disagree — modern political discourse comes to mind — I stare at it and project forward several decades. I contemplate the world, still carrying on, after the offending individual is little more than a pile of dust. And I like Kali-ma am treading the bones on the battlefield and smiling that somewhere among all the putrid rubble of humanity, my editor is being crushed underfoot.

Chef glances at my stern face and lowers his ordering paperwork. “What’s she nit-picking now?”

“My face.”

“How can she do that from two states away? She’s never even seen you! You haven’t started putting up photos have you?”

I would never do something so rash. He knows my fears about facial recognition software, databases, and meta-data. He knows I value his privacy as much as my own, and while he will sometimes steal my phone and annoy the readers who converse with me, he prefers to keep his distance. This is my experiment or personal search, and while he respects it, he is only a tertiary part of it.

“I have considered commissioning a portrait.”

“Why the hell would you do that?”

I stare at him narrowly as I swivel my chair. “People continue to ask for pictures of me.”

“Fuck them.”

While succinct, his criticisms are not quite perspicacious. “Kristina’s argument is a trifle less derisive of my fans. But I disagree with it similarly.”

His mouth falls open and he regards me blankly. “You’re still pissed about all those big words she made you change, aren’t you? Whiny Emo kid.”

Stretching as I rise, I surreptitiously roll my eyes upward. “You only say that because you have no idea what those big words mean.”

“Like trying to suck face with a god damn thesaurus,” he mumbles. “Mouth full of paper cuts.”

“Self-inflicted, you overgrown infant.”

I wander into the bathroom and stare into the mirror. I glance over my features, those odd things I cannot seem to capture when I attempt a self-portrait. I stare into my dark eyes and let the white light sculpt my cheeks and chin.

“Would it augment their experience, or detract from it, I wonder?”

He appears behind me, arms crossed. I know the look on his face; he worries any time I change the rules. He treats it as if he will be one of the things excised by the press of time as I squeak through.

“You don’t owe them anything. They paid for the book, that’s all. Next thing I know, you’re going to be making an appointment on some national television show to have your guts exposed.”

He is adorable in his distress, his eyes shimmering and his face like alabaster, but he needn’t be so concerned. I have no intention of being the first to step forward. It would be betrayal to my cousins, who choose to live in anonymity. It would make their masquerade impossible, our disagreements notwithstanding.

“Even if I did, it would be considered a massive hoax, or did you not hear of the Alien Autopsy debauchal?”

“Yeah, but with inconclusive non-human DNA and an X-ray of your weird ass organs?”

“David Blaine can fly, and before him, Dan Brown could read minds, and oh, yes, there was Houdini and his water tank. I doubt anyone would even take my call.”

I open the plastic case for my eyebrows and lashes. They are handcrafted of mink and cost as much as a new laptop. Their application would be daunting if I had not done it a thousand times. The glue becomes tacky as he stares at me with those uncannily penetrative eyes.

“Where are you going?”

“For a drive.” But that is a half-truth. He follows me down to the car. As I extricate myself from the eager mutt, and slip into my seat, he scrutinizes me. After I have driven away, I receive a text. In my car’s female voice, it sounds strange.

“I love it when you lie to me.”

I shake my head. I know what the next message will be. Chef enjoys being lascivious whenever the opportunity presents itself. You might be tempted to think this is because he cannot accept me and is overtly compensating for my dearth of emotion, but I know that this is not true. I think perhaps, foremost on this earth, he is a person who truly understands me.

“When you come back I’ll be waiting for my apology.”

I park in front of the bank and fish the tiny key from among its many fellows. The manager jumps as I knock on his door jamb. Whether or not he realizes it, I have been a customer of this bank since its founding. I have funneled my assets from place to place for centuries, turning them over like one tills a field, rotating stock and bonds, planting wealth in fertile soil. I am here often, and the entire staff knows me by name.

“Mr. Alkenmayer! Do we have an appointment?”

“No, forgive me. Today I’d like to visit.”

He sees the key in my hand and raises his own in salute.

I almost never come to my safety deposit box. Most of my belongings are more secure in a safe in my own home. Only a few get shoved away, put in the hands of mortals. Only a few things would ever mean anything if they were found to be in my possession, but if hunters ever do come to my door, they will miss me. I will be here, collecting these few things, readying myself to move along.

I follow behind him, my mind tracking his peculiar lumbering gait. I knew his grandfather. The man was stocky, built like a lion, but with the most graceful sea legs. He could run across a heaving deck in the slick of a storm and pull a full net better than a pack mule. That his lineage have become skip-stepping bankers is an interesting development.

“Your diet is doing you good.”

“Thirty pounds!” He looks back at me. “I’ve started jogging!”

He removes my box from its sconce and gives it to me with a curious and eager smile.

“Please tell me you’re about to pull out another ancient promissory and make my week.”

He can count the number of times this has happened upon one hand, and finds my constant, dragon-like obsession with my wealth to be amusing. That is because he has no idea I have witnessed the rise of banks and still find them terribly bizarre and untrustworthy. I haunt them lest the numbers dwindle, a kind of fiduciary phantasm.

“I’m afraid not.”

With a shrug, he vanishes, but I know he will be hovering right outside.

I open the lid. The book is on top, tightly wrapped in gauze. The leather binding is nearly a century old, and the paper is yellowed with age. I crack the spine and leaf through the pages, falling through time.

My fascination with technology is as old as the subject. From the tinder box to the electric coil, from the fire iron to the washing machine, from the telegraph to the internet — I have tinkered with them all. Photography has not escaped my notice.

I stare down at the turn of the century hat, the unused side arm, the beaded ballgown I wore to a local charity event in the mid thirties. Me after me, in many forms, all assiduously collected and curated, for no one other than myself.

In the Old Age, certainty was easy. I could control exactly how and when I was seen. Now it is almost impossible, and I have given up the fight, or rather, taken it to a different front. Now I cheat time with makeup and prosthetics, human assumptions and easy gender transformations, such that even should I walk right into the manager’s grandfather, the salty dog would never know me.

The photograph I seek is on the last page. I remove it carefully and tuck it away.

Human Evolution Has Stopped

An interesting discussion arose with one of my readers, about the evolution of the human species. My thoughts on this topic are rather well-informed, and I do hope they do not read like a lecture, but I really do feel it necessary to make very valid point: Humans are no longer evolving in the traditional sense.

Let us first review the standard model of evolution — mutations occur in a predictable rate within a genome, sometimes caused by simple copying errors, sometimes by disease or environmental factors (like toxic waste in the old Godzilla franchise). These mutations are either fatal, and therefore cannot be passed to offspring, or they are beneficial, and thus allow the organism to survive and pass this benefit to their offspring. Thus “new” conditions are either added or plucked from the gene pool.

There are only three factors that affect this process: environment, gestation and maturity times, and sexual selection.

The environment figures as follows: it may remove a mutation in an instant, or make one more favorable, as in the case of the moths during the Industrial Revolution. The species contained mostly light-colored moths, but a mutation formed so that a few moths had darker patterning. As factory soot collected on tree trunks, the white moths were eaten, until only dark moths remained. These dark moths became the only surviving members of the species and therefore passed on the trait. Now that species of moth is largely dark in color.

Gestation and maturity timespans are of vast importance. If a species takes many years to reach sexual maturity, and many months to spawn, then the species is very vulnerable to mass extinction. If a disease (or a very hungry monster) were to come along and kill off most of the children, there would be a large gap in procreation, and indeed an entire species could be wiped out in just such a way. To give some perspective, in only a few decades, the Black Death had decimated nearly a third of the population of Europe. The human race was not rendered extinct, because it has a robust immune system, and those who survived, had either innate or acquired immunity. Measures were taken (albeit silly measures like throwing cats in bonfires) to control the spread of the disease. So even many years later when the plague reappeared, it could not do as much damage as it did the first time.

Now we come to it: sexual selection. This is the species’ own thoughts of fitness — attraction. It is the mind of the creature directly controlling what genes are propagated. A bird looking for brighter plumage, a monkey looking for clean, shiny fur, a human looking for symmetry of features — it is all the same. These traits are now shown to be directly linked to more important traits, like overall health. You ask, what does that mean? I reply, that “body patterning” or the genes that control the duplication of features from one side to another, are also directly linked to how your organs develop. A person with two evenly space eyes are more likely to have higher functioning organs, perfectly constructed brains, et cetera. This does not mean “beauty” has anything to do with fitness, as it is quite possible for a human to be “ugly”, but have two perfectly level eyes.

Simon, you say, come to the point, if you please. How have humans stopped evolving?

Thank you, gentle reader, for sitting through this pontification. I needed to make certain we all understood how evolution works, so that we can discuss how it has halted for your species, since I know it is still a hotly debated topic and no longer is taught in many schools.

The trouble is your brains. No really.

You are now so smart that you have undone traditional evolution.

Allow me to explain.

Firstly, the environment. You have invented medicine — from pharmacology to surgery, you remove many of the maladies that might have killed off offending genes or inmate weaknesses. Now a person with asthma, who should never have lived to pass on this imperfection, can survive to sexual maturity, look pleasing enough to a mate, and procreate. Leading to a reemergence and growth of the “asthma” genes. This is of course, a metaphor, as to my knowledge, there are no “asthma genes”. The point is, medicine has made it possible for more of you to survive and sculpt the gene pool in an entirely unfortunate way. People rant and rave about vaccinations causing autism. That is utter tripe. Autism is not fully understood, but I’d be willing to wager that its seeming growth within the population is either because of statistical error or the fact that it is being bred into the population.

In any case, medicine has also made it possible for people who would not have been able to conceive, to do so, and bring fully functioning offspring into this world, for good or ill. Medicine has kept premature babies alive, has made it possible to preserve infants that would have been stillborn. Medicine is changing everything.

Then there is farming and the distribution of a greater variety of foods. Your ancestors ate whatever they could get their hands on in their particular region. There was no complex nutrition or sampling of the world’s cuisine. People scoff at things like lactose intolerance, gluten sensitivity, the seemingly large number of allergies that have appeared. They haven’t appeared. They always existed, but this is the first age in which a human whose ancestor evolved to primarily eat rice and fish can now eat wheat and cattle. Of course there will be more allergies.

Pardon me.

Nutrition has literally changed the face and body of humanity in but a few generations. I can point out specific cases. I can tell you that it would have been impossible for the famous 300 Spartans to have such sculpted abdominal muscles as those depicted in that ridiculous movie. And I can go on and on, as you know, since food is my particular joy.

But we must move on.

We must discuss gestation and sexual maturity. Many adults would argue there is no sexual maturity, and while this is amusing, it is not true. The fact is, modern culture has shifted. People are getting older now — as in, living longer. They have unnaturally extended childhood. For most of your history, women were married off as soon as they began to menstruate, i.e. sexual maturity. They mated, had babies, and probably died in childbirth or soon after. This was the truth. But modern humanity is living longer and requires their children to have more expertise, more social responsibility. Now the young must go to school until they are 18, and must not be considered fully mature until their early thirties, it seems to me. Now it is not uncommon for a woman to wait until she is nearing the end of her mating ability to have children. Society has developed judgements against those who mate young. If a woman has a child while in high school, she is a whore. In point of fact, she is entirely normal and is doing precisely what her genes were patterned to do. It is society that has made it impossible for her to have a “normal” life.

Thusly, maturity and the gestation periods of human fetuses have ceased to matter. It is easy to have children, the time for doing so is extended and coddled by medicine, the diseases that would have annihilated fetuses are of no great concern. Infection no longer kills a young, frail mother after one child. In fact, it allows a healthy, well-fed, strong young woman to squeeze out several pups and raise them all into maturity.

This brings us to sexual selection. It is the only thing that still has a bearing upon how humans pass along their genes, and yet, not in the way you would imagine. Now you teach your children tolerance and respect. You socialize them to find all appearances and body types to be worthy of love and friendship. You train your children to admire the intellect. You heap scorn upon those who look for the pretty face and perfection of the body. These are all “good”, “noble”, “ideological” things, except that they interfere with standard evolution. Now it is possible for a person with a particular genetic deformity that would have been forcibly ejected from the population, to find a mate and procreate. Under the old ways, it would not have been largely impossible for a dwarf, a “lobster man”, or a conjoined twin to find a “normal” mate, and the heritable genetic flaws would have been bred out of existence. Now they are being reincorporated, now medicine is assisting them in staying alive.

Allow me to point out that I do not have a judgement upon this practice. I think it is, in many ways, very beneficial to the human race to record and understand the variety of human experience. This lack of darwinians evolution is in fact making you smarter — which goes to my point.

For many centuries every skin color remained closely controlled and linked to location. The “races” did not mix, because they hardly ever saw one another, and when they did, prevailing ideas of the “savagery” of the other prevented people from intermingling. But now there is global cultural, travel, the lust for experiencing life. Now you mix very well. Now genetic traits are being swapped in infinite combinations. People are evolving in their thoughts on one another and changing the appearance of the species.

So too is it true that your ideas of beauty have transformed. In the Dark Ages, a man looked for a woman of goodly size. She must be strong like an ox, with a pleasing amount of fat, large breasts were wonderful, but a large backside even moreso. She must be “curvy”. This is because skinny women could not survive. It was more important that she have good teeth and be plump, than that she be a walking skeleton with “bedroom” eyes. Now, the standards have changed. Women should have “thigh gap” and be able to turn sideways and vanish into thin air. But this goes both ways. For many centuries men exposed their legs, wearing tights, hose, shoes that showed off their ankles. A man’s legs were often the first thing people pointed out when giving a list of his finer qualities. Shapely calves were the “cat’s meow” to all the eligible females. Now humans seem to care less about legs and more about the “six pack” which is only helpful if a person intends to sit up and lie down regularly. And may I point out that large biceps directly interfere with the ability to swim.

In point of fact, I would be very pleased if standards of beauty reverted backward a bit. It is devilishly tricky to find anyone with a goodly amount of meat or fat on them these days.

So you see, you are not evolving. Mutations are not being bred out of existence or quashed by the universe. You are not at the whims of the natural laws. Instead, old mutations are not only surviving, but returning, standards are shifting. The one aspect that has any bearing upon how your genes propagate — sexual selection — is completely at the mercy of your ideas. And these ideas replicate over your populations with tremendous force. In many ways, they govern all that you do.

Human evolution is now only happening in the mind. Will it prove that you are too smart for your own good, I wonder.

This entire discussion brings up an interesting point: how have my species evolved. And the answer is somewhat profound. Upright hominids have been evolving and intermingling for 3-5 million years or so, with lifespans of about 30 years, minimal nutrition. If it has taken 3-5 million years to produce the 20,000 or so years of civilization humanity calls “mankind”, then take a moment to ponder this. If I am as ancient as I am, and have never once entertained mating, how slowly have we evolved? How long have we been here? Perhaps we did not evolve to mimic you. Perhaps you evolved to mimic us.

And I will leave you with that.


I’d walk close to buildings counting 
bricks, run my finger in the grout 
till it grew hot and numb. Bricks 
in a row, rows on a floor, multiply 
floors, buildings, blocks in the city. 
I knew there were numbers for everything—
tires piled in mountains at the dump, 
cars on the interstate to Maine, 
pine needles blanketing the shoulder of the road, 
bubbles in my white summer spit. 
I dreamed of counting the galaxies 
of freckles on Laura MacNally, 
touching each one—she loves me, 
she loves me not—right on up her leg, 
my pulse beating away at the sea 
wall of my skin, my breath
inhaling odd, exhaling even.

To know certain numbers 
would be like standing next to God, 
a counting God, too busy 
to stop for war or famine. 
I’d go out under the night sky 
to search for Him up there:
God counting, next to Orion 
drawing his bow. I’d seen 
an orthodox Jew on the subway, 
bobbing into the black volume 
in his palms, mouthing words 
with fury and precision, a single 
drop of spittle at the center 
of his lip catching the other lip 
and stretching like silk thread. 
At night I dreamed a constant stream
of numbers shooting past my eyes so fast 
all I could do was whisper as they 
came. I’d wake up reading the red 
flesh of my lids, my tongue 
flapping like ticker tape.
I come from a family of counters; 
my brother had 41 cavities in 20 teeth 
and he told everyone he met; 
Grandpa figured his compound 
daily interest in the den, at dusk, 
the lights turned off, the ice 
crackling in his bourbon; my father 
hunched over his desk working 
overtime for the insurance company, 
using numbers to predict 
when men were going to die.

When I saw the tenth digit added 
to the giant odometer in Times Square 
tracking world population, I wondered 
what it would take for those wheels 
to stop and reverse. What monsoon 
or earthquake could fill graves faster 
than babies wriggled out of wombs? 
Those vast cemeteries in Queens—
white tablets lined up like dominoes 
running over hills in perfect rows—
which was higher, the number 
of the living or the dead? Was it 
true, what a teacher had said:
get everyone in China to stand on a bucket, 
jump at exactly the same time 
and it’d knock us out of orbit? 
You wouldn’t need everyone, 
just enough, the right number, 
and if you knew that number 
you could point to a skinny 
copper-colored kid and say
You’re the one, you can send us flying. 
That’s all any child wants: to count. 
That’s all I wanted to be, the millionth 
customer, the billionth burger sold, the one 
with the foul ball, waving for TV.

Douglas Goetsch

I am not yours

I am not yours, not lost in you,
Not lost, although I long to be
Lost as a candle lit at noon,
Lost as a snowflake in the sea.
You love me, and I find you still
A spirit beautiful and bright,
Yet I am I, who long to be
Lost as a light is lost in light.
Oh plunge me deep in love — put out
My senses, leave me deaf and blind,
Swept by the tempest of your love,
A taper in a rushing wind.

by Sara Teasdale

I do love this poem. Because it does not rhyme, because it will not obey. Because by its very construction it references its own argument.  This is what poetry is meant to do.

Fossil Record

You know from reading my book, gentle reader, that I often discuss history — and in, quite possibly, and unexpected way — from the standpoint of someone who not only lived through it, but continues to find it fascinating. Humans tend to think of history as something that no longer has any function except as a standard, but that is not how I see it. I have a much more metaphysical perspective.

Let us craft a metaphor: I assume you know about gravity and the rules that govern the tug between very large objects, the complex and inextricable patterns that weave when many such bodies interact — for example, the solar system. These planets tug at one another, like dancers with hands clasped. History is not dead. It is not something that ceases to matter, no matter how long ago it transpired. History is, in fact, a large orb, ever-increasing in volume, dwarfing the tiny instantaneous present, rolling over the possible future. Everything you do swivels around that massive sun, though you perhaps, do not recognize it.

I do, but that is not because of any innate superiority. I merely have the benefit of perfect hindsight.

Given this, I have noticed something over the last, oh…perhaps three hundred years or so. It began with exploration— not the sort you did in the 1200’s for the sake of trade, but the sort done with science, immediately after the great enlightenment. Men began to wander around, picking up rocks and dusting them off. Men began to hypothesize incredibly simple (and therefore obviously true) things like evolution. Men began to wonder whence they came, and how long ago.

Their efforts, however, were greatly hampered, by the slow momentum of technology and one other thing — the mysterious vanishing of knowledge.

This is when I saw it: the eerie emotional state that slowly, creeping along like a fog, overtook the human mind. Psychology began to shift, and the focus of horror and revulsion became, not “the other”, but “the other within”. There is a profound gap in your mind. I compare it to walking into a room, and forgetting why you have gone. Standing around, looking at the place, wondering what it was you meant to do — Douglas Adams coined the term “woking” for this, and it is a lovely phrase I intend to utilize. So, deep in the subconscious dungeons of the human mind, a lost soul is woking…wondering what in the hell happened before the burning of the Great Library at Alexandria, wondering what was lost with war and the Dark Ages, wondering just when humanity began to be “human”, wondering if everything it knows…

Is wrong.

You maintain many misconceptions about antiquity. You look back upon tiny tablets and instruments you uncover and propose frankly insulting notions. For example: you look at the pyramids and an increasing number of you shrug and say, “Well, they could not possibly have done that, and so they must have had help from aliens.”


Superior beings from interminable distances away, came to this rock in craft we know not how to classify, and decided to cut up massive rocks and arrange them in clever stacks. Of course. How could I be so stupid to suppose that in fact, it is highly likely that there is a vast lack of information and that humans probably did it themselves. It is probably impossible that they moved these monoliths by encasing their ends in wooden wheels, thus turning the entire stone into an axel, and then slowly, via ropes, leverage, and sheer focus, rolled the things into place as was done in my lifetime. I suppose it is improbable that the evidence of canal and diamond saw usage found recently in the Valley of the Kings is ridiculous — I mean, they’d only been mining diamonds for… what? Ever.

Yes, this is all rhetorical sarcasm.

You have mysteries behind you, and I suppose it is not unreasonable that you will fill in those blanks with whatever thing seems to pack the space best — aliens can do anything (because they are imaginary in this context) and so they explain everything quite nicely. Until there are contradictions, until no one can agree with which aliens, how, when, and for what purpose. Rather like you did with gods, demons, and yes, my species, you can now use aliens to self-medicate your psychological defect.

But why are we discussing this?

Because I know, and have always known, that there is a disparity in the timeline of man. Nearsided men who look backward imperfectly always speak with such absolute certainty, whether or not it is warranted. They declare that civilized man is only 10,000 years old.

I defy them.

When they find things they cannot explain, like copper-lined clay jars that hold a modest charge when filled with vinegar, they shrug. When they unearth — or in this case pull from the deep — something like the Antikythera Mechanism, they make faces and say “I didn’t know men could do that! They must not have been common, the product of one single genius who died in obscurity, because we have only found one, you see.” When they look at the Roman aqueducts, their holding tanks that use properties of physics to move water uphill, their lines so straight that they deviate over vast distances by less than an inch, they often are awed.

They should not be awed. I tell you there is an enormous pocket of information folded into your blood, that no one will ever open. It is lost. But every now and again, men discover tiny hints, develop new ways of looking. First it was genetics, and you discovered that there were many races mingled together, that your entire race was actually composed of a multitude. This is marvelous enough, especially when it can be used to track your migration across the world.

Now that you know how to seek, you find.

Simon, you say, please come to the point. Why are we enduring this drawn out discourse upon the idea that already makes us cringe?

Something happened recently, and I find it fascinating. That is why.

It was recently discovered that Neanderthal, that long lost, red-headed, step-cousin of current man, built some of the oldest structures ever found, the earliest of any hominid. And they did it underground. Deep in Bruniquel cave in France, about 300 meters from the entrance, these “primitives” shaped and arranged natural mineral stalactites into little rooms. You are not the first masons. You are their descendants.


Homo sapiens is not the dawn of civilization, a race of superior entities that resulted when the best of nature got together and “humped”. In fact, the more you look, the more you find that it is more likely that these groups of hominids had very evolved and complicated ways of existing, ways that may have been passed to you. Ways that perhaps, even now, tug at you. It is possible that the desire to build is not yours, but belongs instead, to your Neanderthal lineage. And maybe buried in sands deeper than those which surround Ur, there are other Berbebez, Gobekli Tepe, or Bimini Roads.

It is not aliens, unless you consider those ancient parts of your firmament to be wholly alien to you. I advise you to look into that dark mirror. I advise you to embrace these shadows of your ancestry, and smile.

There are pieces missing, and I know that they pull at you in nearly imperceptible ways, but this unquantifiable force is dangerous. It gives rise to the most heinous of fictions.

These fictions are what bury humanity, better than any desert or jungle.

Be wary

What I am about to do now, may in some ways sting. I would say that I am being cruel to be kind, but truly, that has nothing to do with it. I am not kind. I am very seldom gentle, very seldom generous, very seldom anything close to what you know. I will not ask your forbearance. Rather, I will push you back, so that you can see me fully and know me for what I am.

I came into your lives too subtly, I fear. I tiptoed in, tucked my life, devoid of artifice, in amongst your favorite fairytales. At first, no one noticed, but now they have, and that is my fault entirely.

Since the website began, the majority of readers have delved only so far, probing to suss out the verity of my statements, or making only slight reference to me, choosing instead to focus upon the supposed quality of my work. But things have changed. The book is doing very well, and I do feel something of a measure of pride for it, as I do all the broken things I reassemble; however, I drastically underestimated the quality of its reception.

Many of the most vulnerable have seen fit to follow me, talk with me, lay bare their problems, confess feelings of kinship, friendship, trust. I have told them how unwise this is, but to no avail. And yet, they press. Not to make me uncomfortable, but perhaps, in some way, to have what they seek — a connection to something other than this reality they know. My protestations make very little headway. They tell me that they know I could never hurt them, that I am funny, give me nicknames. They reach out, “With open arms” as someone said, from their own generous spirits.

But there is something amiss. A perspective is askew. This thing, this journal, it has given you a very narrow glance, one tailored by the very thing that is its subject. You see my friendship with Rebecca and my aversion to harming her, and you think yourself safe. You follow my relationship with Chef and view it is a melodramatic love story, you even laugh at my confusions, my misdeeds. All these things are carefully crafted. All these things are tales, told by a monster whose chief desire is to eat, who excels at fine-tuning himself to the circumstances that arise.

You like me.

You have not the slightest grasp of who I am.

Do not mistake the trappings of humor, emotion, and self-reflection to be anything more than clever camouflage. I have known from the beginning that no human would ever care to read of my life without a pleasing presentation. I am clever. I am devious. I am a monster.

You cannot fathom how much time I have watched pass by; so much that I now remember less than half of that which remains hidden from me. These things you do — school, work, entertainment, fashion, gossip, television shows — to me are unfathomable. It is a charming kaleidoscope of strangeness that will inevitably pass away. These conversations that we have will vanish. These things you say to me will drift and lose focus, and eventually, I will not remember ever having them. In my head, are perfect, but entirely unusable maps of long-destroyed cities. In my thoughts, are words from languages no one sees fit to resurrect. I am a graveyard, and all things pass through these gates into oblivion. So please pardon me, if I seem at a loss, bemused, annoyed, or otherwise distant. Pardon me, if I do not rise to your tenderances. Pardon me, if I do not like being given pet names or told that i am charming. So many things have a brittle quality to them, as if at any moment, the clock will strike, and the sheer force of the sound will shatter all of this constant busywork to pieces. It is nearly impossible for me to find sure footing, peace, sanctity.

There are no such things to me, and if there were, no capacity to enjoy them.

I am not kind. No, not even a little. I could list for you whole populations of people I have ended. You declare kindness because I refuse children, help underdogs, carefully select criminals, but I am errant to give you that impression. These are lessons hard-learned, and some of the greater divides in my life are filled with corpses of those who did nothing more upsetting than to look at me in a certain way. Perhaps to the modern human, with so much knowledge of death and carnage beneath its documented belt, a discussion of this is not so upsetting.

Pluck it down then, from that shelf on which you keep it. Examine death for what it is — the total cessation of all that you are. Imagine what it would be like to lose the person you care for most, and then blame me. Blame me, if you be wise.

Those humans who know me, understand this. All of them are broken. All of them walk a fine line between reason and madness. Every single one of them has known appalling violence. Every one of them pegs me for what I am — a signpost at the end. Do you honestly think that any of them truly love me? No, of course not. They are terrified of me. They are certain that I will snap. Every one of them has escape routes, contingency plans. Every one of them knows that I am a ticking bomb that may one day suddenly decide to abandon all of this, as I have before, and leave nothing behind me.

This experiment was meant to prove that no human would believe. Now I see that the situation was worse than I imagined. Humans will believe, but they refuse to be afraid. There will always be a hero, the curse can be kissed away, that creature you should fear, is but a prince in disguise.

I am not. I am ancient, I am cold. I am very very cruel. I meet you now in a shape that is pleasing, I greet you with but one one thousandth of my lifespan. I hand you a few moments here, a few there, and you see this as representative of the whole. You message me and find me agreeable, but never see the twisting discontent inside my skull as I try to compress the enormity what I am into this tiny instant. You tease me, and find my replies amusing, but this is all predetermined, by a thousand such conversations I have witnessed, time and again.

You read this journal. You think you know me.

You are wrong.


Those who follow me know that there is the “book” and there is the “blog” – although now I am told that the youth do not use that terminology. I cannot keep up with global linguistics.
After signing the various contracts, I was told that the books (yes, I was told that they should be pluralized, which to me is very funny, given that I intend to keep living, regardless) should contain “plot” and the website should contain self-promotional material like recipes and additional content. To me this is tantamount to saying “Please advertise your work by using the boring shit you do as interesting, eye-catching flare!”

Rather like asking a model to audition with their DMV or passport photo, isn’t it?

I can only apologize for that and promise to “spice it up” – haha! – on the blog…or whatever they are called now.

What are they called now?