Centennial Hills 6

Still have my audience of one, and it is only one, because the rest of you figured out the Centennial Hills title means reading a bunch of stuff you’re not interested in at the moment.  Fair, but I got one guy to entertain here!  Not stopping.  Also, without the context of the lead-up, you may still find something to amuse in the fucked-up hijinks of this entry.

Content Warnings:  Classism, Organized Crime, Gambling, Alcohol and Chemical Abuse, Ableism, Menacing Vibes, Violence, Unkind Depiction of a Furry Pervert, Unpleasant Depiction of an Unhoused Person and Drug Addicts, Feral American Conservative Behavior, Queerphobia, a Disabled Child in Danger, Wreckless Driving, a Car Crash.  The voice of the Universe does some fatphobia and body shaming, but it’s supposed to be, in that moment, close-third-person on the PoV of Nate, who is an asshole.  On at least two counts, one might reasonably consider the text Ageist.  I might alter those bits in a future edition.

Act Two proceeds with edgy edges.

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Time for Bifocals

Got my prescription for middle-aged baby’s first bifocals almost a year ago and before that rx slips even further into the past, I figured I’d take a day off and get it done.  You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I would get this done easily.  At length I would get my bifocals; this is a point definitively settled — but the very definitiveness with which it is resolved precludes….  Eh, sorry.  What was I saying?

The HOA is having the driveways in the cul-de-sac re-slimed with black goo, so my chauffeur was unavailable – unwilling to drive across the lawn to escape.  Sigh.  I walked a short way to the bus stop before the day could get as hot as it planned to be, stood with my head in the shadow of the sign and waited about five minutes.  Coulda been worse.  Can’t do one of these posts without mentioning birds.  I think steller’s jays* were tusslin’ with some other kind of bird up in the treetops, hard to see.

The bus snaked through Auburn to the station, which is also a train platform, and there I had to wait maybe twenty minutes to catch the next one.  While I waited a thirtyish Islander guy tried to vape and was told to take it across the street by the security guard.  A West African lady with four kids came to catch the bus and the little boy was dragged away from where he was trying to watch the train.  I’d just been standing in the same spot watching the train a moment before he got there.  Some people just wanna watch the wheels spin.  I saw a few more Africans walking by, a short but attractive couple in very clean clothes.  The man’s shirt said he was the proud dad of a US marine, but I swear he did not look old enough to have a kid in the military.  Is the Corps taking twelve-year-olds now?

I make these racial identifications to illustrate the color of the world, but it would be foolish to say you can tell just by looking at somebody.  Nigerians look very different from Somalians on average, but it’s all a grade, with outliers this way and that.  The Islander I would not have been able to tell from a Mexican, except that he had some Polynesian pride apparel on.  Gotta have those turtles and surfboards.  Anyway, this is to add an unwritten question mark after any racial descriptor you hear from me.

I got off the bus and had to trek across the Mall-Formerly-Known-as-The-Supermall’s endless parking lot to get to a walmart.  I told the lady I need glasses, she asked if I had a prescription, I asked if I could e-mail a pdf and she said no, I had to print it, referred me to Electronics, and I swear I spent a full hour at the kiosk trying different shit to get it to recognize my files.  After every type of connection failed, I resorted to google Photos, which has to be tricked into importing pngs.  While I was at it, I found out my google Photos account had nothing in it but pictures of a walmart bathroom from when I worked at one in a neighboring city.  Did I take them because of amusing graffiti, too small to notice in thumbnail?  Not curious enough to open the files.

I finished hacking the planet to place my order and it told me to come back in an hour.  I knew better.  I waited five minutes, watched them print behind the counter, just walked into that employee-only area and snatched them.  Who would stop me, in the perpetually understaffed late crapitalist megaretailer?  Nobody saw a thing, but some security cameras which may or may not have even been watched by a human in that moment.

I get to the front.  “I need glasses.”  “Insurance?”  I whipped out this card I’ve been paying for five years but never used.  She compared it against a big list in scribbly cursive.  I think she was Persian.  No dice, so she went to somebody else.  They were going back and forth until another lady – a blonde with some flavor of German accent – told me they do not take that insurance.

You’re probably starting to get why I took a whole day off to do this.

I hadn’t eaten, so time to go into The Artist Formerly Known as The Supermall of The Great Northwest Where My Brother Got Perma-banned From Incredible Universe on Opening Day for Hitting Ctrl-Alt-Del on a Locked Up Computer, there to ingest buttery little hotdogs in bread twists, or as we call them in jesus’s chosen nation, pigs in a blanket.  While I ate, I watched kittens wrestling in a storefront and looked at my insurance’s website to find acceptable providers.  I could take two buses to get to another part of Auburn or one bus to get to Federal Way.

Out to the bus again, the day now over 80 degrees, and me without a hat.  I’d just missed the bus, had to wait a half hour, but the shadows were still kinda livable, with a cool breeze blowing.  A skinny East African youth (American accent, may have been born here) asked me about the time, then laid out a tale of woe.  He missed the bus earlier because he fell asleep listening to a podcast, and when he woke up it was so much hotter, really unpleasant.  I helped him figure out which side of the road to be on, and he floated off to hang out with a less loquacious friend.

He wanted to get to the Federal Way Transit Center, and I wanted to go a little way past that.  He fell sleep again behind me on the bus, his big sneakers kept sliding under the seat and bumping me in the heels.  I don’t know why some young AMAB people are, for a brief season of their lives, practically narcoleptic, and then never again.  My boyfriend knew a white kid who, without chemical assistance, fell asleep on the bus so hard that they called the cops to rouse him.  We got to the FWTC and his quiet friend tried to wake him, but then gave up and left him sleeping there.  I was distracted and didn’t think much of it, but as we kept going past his intended destination, I realized that maybe I should be waking him up.

I was too indecisive or shy and left him dreaming his way to the Twin Lakes Park & Ride.  The first place I went had fancy brand names on most of their frames and I got a set priced at $367.  My insurance was covering like $45.  I should never have paid for that shit, not one fucken dime.  I told the tattooed hipster lady I was off to do a lil comparison shopping.

On the way to the bargain place that always advertises two for one deals, dumping sweat, I stopped at the daiso and bought an apple soda from a kid named Kieran.  It tasted like pears, somehow on a grade to cold vegetable soup, and cost three dollars.

I picked out two different frames I liked, anticipating the bogo deal, and found out it couldn’t apply for reasons.  Getting only one pair, max benefit of my insurance, etc?  $364.  At least the frames were a little cuter than the ones at the designer place, so I said fuck it, bought the things, and was done with it.  Well, they won’t be ready for pickup for a few weeks.

I was done trooping through the heat so I tried to arrange a ride back home and was delayed by miscommunication and foolery until the thick of rush hour, and it took forever to get home.  One of my cohabitants was cooking some peppers and asked me to tend them while she visited with her sister, who had just dropped me off.  I found a bisected produce sticker floating in the vegetable oil, and a few slices with the kind of creepy brown texture I would’ve pared off into the trash.  I ended up cooking dinner in its entirety – yakisoba with a mix of frozen and fresh veg, some kinda peanut sauce, just whatever ingredients had been left out.  I don’t even like that type of shit.  Yum.

But they’re coming.  The cute bifocals.  Should be here in time for August’s Podish Sortacast.  See if anybody can even tell the difference.

 

*That a thousand organisms are named after every colonizer is a fallacy.  Species Georg (Steller) is an outlier and should not have been counted.  Memes aside, I hope there’s progress being made on that project to decolonize bird names.  Let me know when the new names drop.


PS:  Don’t miss Centennial Hills Part Five, posted a few hours before this.

Centennial Hills 5

As long as I have an audience of at least one, I will flop around on the ground like a fish, trying desperately to entertain.  I’m an entertainer.

Content Warnings:  Classism, Organized Crime, Gambling, Alcohol and Chemical Abuse, Ableism, Menacing Vibes, Violent Threats, Unpleasant Depiction of an Unhoused Person and Drug Addicts.  The voice of the Universe does some body shaming, but it’s supposed to be a kind of close-third-person thing for the PoV of Nate, who is an asshole.

This is the beginning of Act Two.  Get yo popcorn and return to your seats.

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Centennial Hills 4

Just when you thought it was safe to start reading GAS posts again, somebody asked for more of this.  I’ll continue to post it as long as at least one person indicates they want more in the comments.  Reminder, this is the edgiest story I’ve ever written, so be ready to bail if that gets too ill.

Content Warnings:  A Disabled Child in Emotional Anguish, Alcohol and Chemical Abuse, Gambling, Ableism, Unpleasant Depiction of an Unhoused Person and Drug Addicts, Genital Essentialism, Disfigurement Mention.

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Well Then

Sometimes my biz goes over like a lead balloon.   That’s coo.  I feel like with PZ in low mode and others dribbling content, I should be bombing you with some words to fill the void.  Any ideas?  Summer, amirite?  It would be nice to imagine we’re all checked out from bloggerie because we’re having 80s beer commercial parties with thick sunglasses, zinc oxide on our noses, boardshorts and bikinis.  Huey Lewis blasts from the boombox and seagulls try to steal our cotton candy.  Some sexy people walk by and our sunglasses slide halfway down our noses while we act all like, yeah, summer summer summertime, ooh the summertime.

Nice to imagine, but I’m sure it’s more to do with sufferings cause by heat, political strife, and personal tragedies or travails.  Time has its gnarly foot upon our necks.  I should be asleep right now, but here I am.  And then, I’m gone.  good night.

Centennial Hills 3

Somebody’s still asking for it, so here’s some more.  I’ll continue to post it as long as at least one person indicates they want more in the comments.  Reminder, this is the edgiest story I’ve ever written, so be ready to bail if that gets too ill.

Content Warnings:  Strong Sexual Content, Dubious Consent, Alcohol and Chemical Abuse, Ableism, Unpleasant Depiction of an Unhoused Person and Drug Addicts.

Could the buck stop here?  Could this be the one that gets no request for continuation?  I’m interested to see.  Also, it’s time I started stowing these under the cut, so … cut!

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Centennial Hills 2

Somebody asked for it so here’s more.  I didn’t come up with reasonable chapter breaks so take it as it comes.  I’ll post more if anyone indicates they want more in the comments.

Content Warnings:  Ableism, Less than Positive Depiction of an Unhoused Person and Drug Addicts, Police Violence.

I was aware of Elon Musk’s mythology before I’d ever seen a video of him, or screencaps of his weird baby tweets, etc.  This segment features an obvious parody of him, but ironically my version is much more suave and clever than the real one could ever be.  And apologies to Grimes for her stand-in, who is also a parody of an idea of someone I was, at time of writing, only nominally aware of.

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988

Did you know they came up with a standardized suicide hotline for the USA and Canada?  I don’t know about other countries, but here and across the moosey border you can dial 988 to reach somebody to talk to when you feel like giving up on life, somebody whose job is to help you not do that.  This is pretty new, think it just rolled out last year.

It’s tough that some feelings need to find verbal expression -like, you need to be able to say what you’re feeling to somebody- but that the expression of those feelings in mixed company can do harm to others by reinforcing their own bad feelings.  You often see “group therapy” spaces on the internet turn into death spirals of ruin and misery, rivaling the pro-ana blogs of tumblr and incel chatrooms.

If your thoughts are frequently catastrophic or apocalyptic, that’s understandable of course, but it’s better not to turn all your online conversations into that.  Get more hobbies, get mental help if you can, and if you’re earnestly thinking about suicide, call 988.  I’m sure there are a lot of barriers, a lot of unideal circumstances for getting help when you need it, but something can be better than nothing.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m the last person you wanna talk to when you feel suicidal.  I have a dark perspective and a pathological aversion to gentle untruths.  I think the world is in bad shape and can get worse (although we can live through it – we really can), and I also think death is perfect relief from all of what ails one in life – you will not exist to feel bad because there’s no afterlife.  However I kinda fucken hate that about myself, especially lately.

At the end of the day I hate death and love life, and I think that often the people who want to live the least are the people who deserve to live the most.  I just don’t think I can really get that across.  It never comes out of my mouth right.  Be alive, people.  That is all, because anything more elaborate I try to say about it is always undercut by asides and caveats and philosophical horseshit.

Good luck out there.