It is growing up different. It is extreme hypersensitivity. It is a bottomless pit of feeling you're failing, but three days later, you feel you can do anything, only to end the week where you began. It is not learning from your mistakes. It is distrusting people because you have been hurt enough. It is moments of knowing your pain is self inflicted, followed by blaming the world. It is wanting to listen, but you just can’t anymore because your life has been to full of people that have judged you. It is fighting to be right; so for once in your life someone will respect and hear you for a change. It is a tiring life of endless games with people, in order to seek stimulus. It is a hyper focus, so intense about what bothers you, that you can’t pay attention to anything else, for very long. It is a never-ending routine of forgetting things. It is a boredom and lack of contentment that keeps you running into the arms of anyone that has enough patience to stick around. It wears you out. It wears everyone out. It makes you question God’s plan. You misinterpret everything and you allow your creative mind to fill the gaps with the same old chains that bind you. It narrows your vision of who you let into your life. It is speaking and acting without thinking. It is disconnecting from the ones you love because your mind has taken you back to what you can’t let go of. It is risk taking, thrill seeking and moodiness that never ends. You hang your hope on signs and abandon reason for remedy. It is devotion to the gifts and talents you have been given, that provide temporary relief. It is the latching onto the acceptance of others---like a scared child abandoned on a sidewalk. It is a drive that has no end and without focus it takes you nowhere. It is the deepest anger when someone you love hurts you and the greatest love when they don't. It is beauty when it has purpose. It is agony when it doesn’t. It is called Attention Deficit Disorder.
Shannon L. Alder
Maybe it’s not metaphysics. Maybe it’s existential. I’m talking about the individual US citizen’s deep fear, the same basic fear that you and I have and that everybody has except nobody ever talks about it except existentialists in convoluted French prose. Or Pascal. Our smallness, our insignificance and mortality, yours and mine, the thing that we all spend all our time not thinking about directly, that we are tiny and at the mercy of large forces and that time is always passing and that every day we’ve lost one more day that will never come back and our childhoods are over and our adolescence and the vigor of youth and soon our adulthood, that everything we see around us all the time is decaying and passing, it’s all passing away and so are we, so am I and given how fast the first forty-two years have shot by it’s not going to be long before I too pass away, whoever imagined that there was a more truthful way to put it than die, pass away, the very sound of it makes me feel the way I feel at dusk on a wintry Sunday—’ ‘And not only that, but everybody who knows me or even knows I exist will die and then everybody who knows those people and might even conceivably have even heard of me will die and so on and the gravestones and monuments we spend money to have put in to make sure we’re remembered, these’ll last what—a hundred years? two hundred?—and they’ll crumble and the grass and insects my decomposition will go to feed will die and their offspring, or if I’m cremated the trees that are nourished by my windblown ash will die or get cut down and decay and my urn will decay and before maybe three or four generations it will be like I never existed, not only will I have passed away but it will be like I was never here and people in 2104 or whatever will no more think of Stuart A. Nichols Jr. than you or I think of John T. Smith, 1790 to 1864, of Livingston, Virginia, or some such. That everything is on fire, slow fire and we’re all less than a million breaths away from an oblivion more total than we can even bring ourselves to even try to imagine, in fact, probably that’s why the manic US obsession with production, produce, produce, impact the world, contribute, shape things, to help distract us from how little and totally insignificant and temporary we are.
David Foster Wallace
It is a measure of a nation their cunning! It is a measure of a nation their strength! And it is a measure of a nation, I leaned forward and screeched, their mercy! I leaned back and surveyed the crowd and for some bizarre reason kept right on shouting. The condemned you see before you have been tried justly and meet their sentence fairly. They have done wrong and they will pay for it. But I am not the Winter Princess of a nation who does not see that even the condemned deserve to be treated with respect as they face death. You may think they do not deserve it but it is your duty as Lunwynians to rise above their actionsnot fall to their depths. They will hang for their crimes and you will watch this sentence carried out.How could that not be enough for you?I tore my eyes away from the now whispering crowd as those close sent my words far,feeling Frey’s arm still tight around my middle but I ignored it and looked down at the scaffold.Bring her to her feet, I ordered the guardstanding around Viola and they shifted andstared up at me in stupefaction so I snapped, Bring her to her feet!They jumped toward Viola who I avoidedlooking at as they helped her up and movedher to her noose. Instead, I looked back tothe crowd and, yep, you guessed it, kept right on shouting.Today, you witness something infinitely sad. Three people who have gone wrong somewhere in their lives, done wrong be-cause of it and therefore are paying the ulti-mate price. Do not stand there shouting and jeering, demonstrating that they were right to move against this great nation, those for-tunate enough to inhabit her ice-bound earth and those privileged to wear her crowns.Stand there and, as the Lunwynians I know you to be, stand strong, stand proud and stand filled with mercy.
Kristen Ashley
Doris loves Superman as well.unfortunately, she got knocked down by a van last year and it was a big, long recovery for her, really. It took about six months, didn't it, before she was fully back to normal. She never gone back to normal. She's got a bionic leg now, which made her twice as fast and twice as stupid. You know, but she's just such good fun. But anyway,like she had a bit of a low point, you know, when she got really fed up, you know, with those stupid lampshade collars, you know, that they have on their head. Ugh, bumping into everything, she was walking about sighing. Ugh, like that, you know and if you've ever been known or been with the terriers, but that ball of energy,you know and she wasn't allowed to be for a walk or anything. It was awful. So to cheer her up, I bought her a little Superman outfit for dogs. When you get home, you look online. They are absolutely brilliant. You can get Wonder Woman and Darth Vader, all sorts. They're the funniest thing I have ever seen in my. The front paws, the front legs go in Super man's legs, you know and it like covers up the paw with these little, red boot things on the bottom. And it comes up and ties around the neck and there's tube stuff down from the front. So from the front, it's like a tiny, little Superman with a dog's head. And then, on the back there's this cape. So when she trots around, it looks like she's flying! Ah, it's brilliant! And she loves it. I couldn't get it off for about a week. It's honestly, they're absolutely brilliant, you must check it out. So anyway, tonight this is for Doris.
Kate Rusby
Inching into the room, it’s clear something is wrong here. There’s a tingling sensation up my legs and back before I can even really focus on the parlor’s details. There are silhouettes of people, but I can see through them. It’s like shadows were cast and left behind to do as they please. Lost in the surreal sight of them for a moment, I inch further into the room without noticing that some were now moving behind me.There is no warning. I’m suddenly in the air and moving backward rapidly toward the wall. It’s almost a full second before my body registers the actual pain of the blow my stomach just took. Being hit by a car doesn't even compare to this and I didn't even see it coming.For a shadow, you hit like a sledgehammer! The words barely escape before something else slams into the base of my skull embedding most of my upper body in the wall and all but removing my head. These things are like Lucy; the disembodied dead who haven’t moved on. I've never met others that can actually touch things physically, they must be fairly potent.I pull my face out of the hole it had been planted in, letting plaster dust fall, coating my chest and legs like snow. Looking around quickly I try to gauge my surroundings. I can’t see them, but I know they’re there. Is one easy night, without a huge dry-cleaning bill, too much to ask for these days?I only have time to dwell on it a moment before my head is bouncing off the hardwood floor; once, twice and then a third time in quick succession. Now ‘pick splinters out of my forehead’ can be added to my Saturday night to-do list. Damn it, this is not going as planned.& Spirits
Dennis Sharpe