“A blood black nothingness began to spin.
Began to spin.
Let’s move on to system. System.
Feel that in your body. The system.
What does it feel like to be part of the system. System.
Is there anything in your body that wants to resist the system? System.
Do you get pleasure out of being a part of the system? System.
Have they created you to be a part of the system? System.
Is there security in being a part of the system? System.
Is there a sound that comes with the system? System.
We’re going to go on. Cells.
They were all put together at a time. Cells.
Millions and billions of them. Cells.
Were you ever arrested? Cells.
Did you spend much time in the cell? Cells.
Have you ever been in an instituion? Cells.
Do they keep you in a cell? Cells.
When you’re not performing your duties do they keep you in a little box? Cells.
What’s it like to hold the hand of someone you love? Interlinked.
Do they teach you how to feel finger to finger? Interlinked.
Do you long for having your heart interlinked? Interlinked.
Do you dream about being interlinked?
Have they left a place for you where you can dream? Interlinked.
What’s it like to hold your child in your arms? Interlinked.
What’s it like to play with your dog? Interlinked.
Do you feel that there’s a part of you that’s missing? Interlinked.
Do you like to connect to things? Interlinked.
What happens when that linkage is broken? Interlinked.
Have they let you feel heartbreak? Interlinked.
Did you buy a present for the person you love? Within cells interlinked.
Why don’t you say that three times? Within cells interlinked. Within cells interlinked. Within cells interlinked.
Where do you go when you go within? Within.
Has anyone ever locked you out of a room? Within.
Where do you go to when you go within? Within.
Where is the place in the world you feel the safest? Within.
Do you have a heart? Within.
Did you pick asparagus stems?
What comes from something else? Stem.
Have you been to the source of a river? Stem.
When’s the first time you gave a flower to a girl? Stem.
What did she look like? Stem.
Is it a slang word for people’s legs? Stem.
Have you planeted things in the ground? Stem.
Have you ever been in a legal battle? Stem.
Within one stem.
Is that an old fashioned word? Dreadfully.
Did you ever want to live in the nineteenth century? Dreadfully.
What’s it like to be filled with dread? Dreadfully.
Do you think you could find out all the answers to all the questions? Dreadfully.
How good are your eyes? Distinct.
Do you have a particular personality? Distinct.
What separates somebody from somebody else? Distinct.
Who do you admire most in the world? Distinct.
What was your most shameful moment? Distinct.
Were you afraid of the dark whan you were little? Dark.
What’s it like to hide under a bed? Dark.
Did they keep you in a drawer when they were building you? Dark?
Was it dark in there? Dark.
Do you have dark thoughts? Dark?
Did they program you to have dark thoughts? Dark?
Do you think it’s some kind of corruption these dark thoughts? Dark.
Maybe it’s a spot of rust or something? Dark.
Who’s the darkest person you know? Dark.
What is it like when someone gives you the silent treatment. Dark.
Who did you get your darkness from? Dark.
Against the dark.
What kind of power do you have against the dark. Against the dark.
Do you think there is such a thing as evil? Against the dark.
Do you think you can protect people against the dark. Against the dark.
Why are these things happening? Against the dark.
Do you prefer the day or the night? Against the dark.
When is the last time you saw a starry sky? Against the dark.
What’s your favorite part of the moon? Against the dark.
Have you seen the Trevi fountain in Rome? Fountain.
Have you ever seen the fountain in Lincoln center? Fountain.
Have you seen fountains out in the wild? Fountain.
What’s it like when you have an orgasm. Fountain.
Have you read the Fountainhead? Fountain.
Is it pure white? White Fountain.
Is that a metaphor? White Fountain.
How did the white Fountain make you feel? White Fountain.
A tall white fountain played.
When you were little did you ever fall into a Fountain? A Tall White Fountain.
Do you like fire, earth, air or water. A Tall White Fountain.
Do you like skipping around in the water? A Tall White Fountain.
A blood black nothingness.
A system of cells.
Within cells interlinked.
Within one stem.
And dreadfully distinct.
Against the dark.
A tall white fountain played.”
A year ago today I had a vasectomy. I’d been talking about it off and on over the years, even going as far as attempting to make an appointment on several occasions and having been flatly denied the procedure due to my (young) age and having never procreated. Then plan was to have the surgery before turning 40, but, as with most things I was a little late on it.
Once I returned to the land of the Insured it was on the top of the list of things to do with my federally mandated health coverage, and with that in mind I contacted a local Urology clinic and asked to make an appointment for consultation with Dr. Amster.
I’m not sure they knew what to make of me; most of the patients in the waiting room were either older gentlemen with UT problems or frumpy husbands who, after several children, were reluctantly going for vasectomy. No one was making eye contact with each other; there was no small talk or conversation and everyone had a pronounced look of dread on their face- save for me. I was giddily texting my wife and playing Disney video games in the lobby when my name was called.
The consult was pretty quick; Dr. Amster started with making sure I was 100% committed to never breeding (I think I convinced her rather quickly, referring to children as ‘little bastards’ and calling myself an anti-natalist) and then performing the physical examination. She picked up right away that I had previous trauma to my scrotum/testicles, though I sheepishly told her the damage was from a bike accident instead of total transparency; this caused some concern that there may have been scar tissue that would make the vasectomy go from a simple walk-in procedure to a more labor intensive surgery. And with that- my appointment was scheduled for 07.20.2016.
When the big day came, Julia insisted on taking the day off and supporting me. It was nice having her there and our banter seemed to charm the Doctor, who while being a total professional also matched our enthusiasm for taking control of my fertility and the surreality of what we were doing. We asked before going in if she’d mind photos being taken during the procedure- not only did she not mind, but she’d stop and suggest perfect photo opportunities to make sure that the pictures we did get would be dynamic and memorable.
The procedure itself took no time at all; I was fully awake and had a great time interacting with the operation. The pain was minimal and I found myself walking 10 or so blocks after we left the clinic with no discomfort. Healing was quick and scarring almost nonexistent (we used the ‘bladeless’ method) and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience.
There was never a point in my life where I’d considered having children and the same is true for my wife, so being able to permanently remove the possibility (for a grand total of $120, plus the price of a bag of frozen silicone ‘peas’) was an amazing weight off my shoulders. Plus I got to play with my vas deferens… all in all totally worth it.
Due to a flurry of situations totally out of my control, I’ve been listening to the Smiths a lot (more than usual) over the last two weeks. It’s hard not to be melancholic with a steady IV drip of Steven Patrick Morrissey being broadcast into my frontal lobe, but even without Moz’s influence I’ve been having a pretty rough time lately. It’ll pass, good or bad, and I’m very lucky that the causality of this funk is external and not internal- that no matter how many WTF moments are thrown at me (and they seem to be coming with increasing frequency) I’ll eventually hit that shitluck apex and will finally make it through a day without dropping a keg on my toe, slicing my fingers open, forgetting doctors appointments, paying for them anyway, failing at making new friends, dealing with the heartbreaking minutiae of possibly losing one and generally feeling like a magnet for all of the psychic crud that I usually avoid without a second glance.
(Facebook tells me that on this day in 2016 and 2015 I was posting a bunch of random Smiths songs on my timeline- maybe it’s cyclical)
I’ve been having a hard time shaking the guilt of being in a funk when people I love have it so much worse than me right now. I know, logically, that acknowledging my shit week (well, my shit fortnight) in no way invalidates the hard times that friends are going through, that it’s not all or nothing and that I’ve had the unwavering support of my wife, friendship of my bud Natalie and pretty much the ear of everyone I’ve pulled aside to complain about my grumpiness to, but there’s still this lingering sense of embarrassment that I’m a sadsack over things that I can’t control, over things that on their own wouldn’t be that big of a deal. That, too, is something that will pass but right now I just feel like a giant lemonface and I’m worried that I’m overlooking the chill days like H-Mart and Olive Garden with Julia and focusing on the bad ones instead.
Who knows man.
Another year spent binging on film; in 2016 I saw 171 unique movies theatrically with some multiple viewings of several films including four screenings of Zootopia and Rogue One. I saw 13/14 of the 35mm classics that Exhumed Films screened at their annual 24 Hour Horror-Thon, met legendary director HG Lewis and suffered through some truly amazing garbage that wasn’t even so bad it’s good.
1.The Nice Guys.
2. Green Room.
3. Rogue One/Moana. (tie)
4. Kubo and the Two Strings & Zootopia. (tie)
The Love Witch.
La La Land.