Friday, November 21, 2008

A Letter to Fear and Ego Concerning My Once and Future Death

Dear taskmasters,

Sometimes, more often lately, I think I'm supposed to have already died by now. I get this feeling that maybe I survived a car wreck in my past or avoided some tainted food when I shouldn't have. And now, fate not having planned me being around this long, I'm just wandering. Like legs fallen off a centipede; still twitching out of habit but no longer with any greater purpose.

Of course, then I realize I don't really believe in fate, so the feeling of aimlessness becomes something that needs to be quantified another way. Rationalization is always a good treatment for inner turmoil. And what is the feeling that you shouldn’t be alive, if not inner turmoil?

One explanation for the feeling could be the wait. I hate to wait on inevitable events. I'd rather just get something over with. This death business looms over every action of ever death like a cosmic midterm I forgot to study for. Maybe if I convince myself that I should already be dead, that would mean I'm not waiting anymore. The big moment came and went and forgot to pick me up. At that point death would be a simple technicality.

But, that doesn't make any sense does it? You can't have the even be the technicality. You can't assume death missed you, because then you're just waiting all over again. The clever metaphor hasn't changed anything. No, I think the feeling originated from a much simpler and selfish source.

I don't want to feel cheated.

You're watching the news one night and you see that some where an eight year old boy has been killed in a car accident or from some maniac psycho. The immediate reaction is usually some small degree of sorrow, presumably for the loss of someone so young, because youth is such a precious thing. But, really we're not sad because he was young. We're sad because his youth means that he never got to do anything. He never got to experience or express or contribute. His life, although precious and unique, from a logistical stand point was pointless. When thinking about what that life added to the world, a child dying at eight years old is almost the same as a child dying at one day old.

And there it is. There's the feeling.

If I died today, I'd be no farther in my life as a contributor then someone born tomorrow. I'm essentially a giant infant that likes to drink Merlot and scribble in his journal. And, not wanting to be an infant, I decided to look for something to accomplish. Something meaningful on legitimate scale, but, attainable as quickly as possible so I can get it in before some unexpected accident ends my expression before it's even really begun. And, barring that accident, I also wanted to work on something that I could enjoy the benefits of after its completion. Something that could afford me some attention before I die. Something that I could look back on for a brief moment, if I'm allowed one after a fatal event, and feel like I made it in on deadline.

It's a train of thought I explore often; the idea of significance before death. It monopolizes so much of my inner thoughts at times I become afraid that my entire life up to this point has been driven solely by a mixture of fear and ego. Then I try to assure myself I'm much to amazing for that to be the case.

So, if the pressing issue in my mind is to achieve before death, maybe thinking I should already be dead is a way to bypass the accomplishment. I don't trust the existence of some invisible Shangri-La to supply me with happiness after a life of hard work. I know I have to attain the happiness myself. If I'm supposed to achieve something before I die to be able to enjoy my life, and then convince myself I should have already died, it's like I've found a loop hole that allows me to relax. I can skip the contribution and go right to the good life, right? I can just wake up and go to work and let myself be soaked up into the millions of kilowatt hours powering the nation's entertainment demagogue and become euthanized in blissful peace, right?

Apparently not.

Until I've made some sort of meaningful, lasting contribution, in my own eyes, it feels any play time I manage to snatch from the day has been acquired illegitimately. It feels like I've defrauded those fleeting moments of happiness from the time in my life that I should be creating. The original idea that since I've already passed my end point and can now just relax has actually caused and anxiety to erupt out of my mind that reminds me that if I'm already supposed to be dead, then, I'm on borrowed time every minute of every day, and have a responsibility to use that time to create the things I didn't get a chance to in my real life.

On top of that is the fact that accomplishment isn't guaranteed to anybody. So that must mean that happiness isn't guaranteed to anybody. It means that we all just have to keep climbing in the fog without any promise that we will crest the peek and get to ride our red Radio Flyer down the other side.

Of course, this is just what it means to me. I can't tell you if life for others is filled with days of foggy climbing and nights full of dreams of red wagons. I just know that when I sit down to write it's not out of love. I don't think it is anyway. I think it's out of a mixture of fear and ego, because that might be the only thing that can motivate me anymore. Maybe it was the only thing that ever did.

Sincerely,
Chiggie Von Richthofen
Cheerful to a fault

Friday, October 31, 2008

A Letter to Mariam Concerning My Accident

Second, this letter was written about a year ago before I even started the Letters to the Internet, but I updated it and fleshed it out a little the other day. It's totally made up, for entertainment purposes only. I figured a spooky letter for Halloween would be a good a thing as any to take a break on.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy it. I still can't believe any of these ever get read.


Dear Mariam,

How are you? You and Max? Doing well, I hope. Is he still getting you where you need to go? For the training you both went through I hope he can at least get you to the market and back in one piece.

I miss you both so much. Yes, even Max. Even fleabag Max. Out here any familiar face would be welcome. Even a long furry one. Hospitals always have so many people, but it never really helps the loneliness. But, you didn't know I was in a hospital. I'm rambling. Let me back up.

I saw Robert last night. Again. Out on highway 83 this time. My meeting ended early so I decided to get a head start on the next leg of my trip. 10 PM, middle of nowhere, looking just like the day he left. Just like last time.

I hit him, Mariam. I was going at least 87. That's always where I set the cruise. Odd number, huh, 87? Might as well be going 90 but those 3 less miles per hour just make me feel safer. I mean, the cops have never appreciated the difference. I guess people put so much stock in multiples of five and ten that anything in between just doesn't seem real. 87 might as well by the speed of blue or hot dogs.

So, anyway, I hit him.

Dear God, honey, the man came apart like 150 pounds of loose hamburger meat. He split apart in the middle at his waste. The lower half was still exploding when it was pulled under and masticated by the under carriage of the Buick. The top half came flying over the hood and his face flattened against the windshield. Like a goddamned cartoon. His arms were spread wide and flailing in the wind. Like when he was a kid and would pretend he was an airplane.

I tried to keep going, baby. I didn't even slow down. I shifted in my seat to look over what was left of his shoulder and just kept going down the highway. I thought I could make it. To a town, a gas station, a house, anything. I swerved a little to throw him off, but he wouldn't budge, so I decided to floor it.

Then he started talking. Jesus, Mariam, why did he have to talk? He never used to talk. Not with you.

At first I didn't notice. Then, the windshield splashed red. I looked at his face and it was blood, pouring out of his mouth and nose. The impact had busted out some of his teeth and the gaps had become valleys for rivers of blood to rush through. It flowed out in a thick stream and then sprayed spatter across the glass as the air burst out of him to speak. Or, actually, to scream. It was mostly screaming. My name, your name, your sister in law. What was her name? Sheena?

I couldn't take it, hon. The sight I can take. I mean, I don't LIKE to see Robert all torn to pieces like that but I can take it. And, I'm not saying I'm a stronger or a better person than you because you COULDN'T take it. I'm just saying he's not, or you know, wasn't, my brother. Not blood brother. So, I can take it. But, the screaming. That fucking screaming. It was like a mother screaming while watching her baby burn to death. Part anger, part pain, mostly pure hell.

I slammed on the brakes and, I guess, fish tailed into a ditch. A state trooper happened to be a few miles up the road so he found me before I bled to death. I didn't tell him about Robert, who was gone by the time the patrol car pulled up. And I didn't tell the doctors about you.

I'd already ruptured my right ear drum when they pulled me out of the crushed Buick. The doctors here say the hearing loss for that on is permanent, but without much sympathy. I imagine it must have been a lot like how they found you. Only, I was trying to push a ball point pen into my left ear instead of using a letter opener to take out my eyes in the middle of a crowded daycare.

If I had told them about what happened to you they would have used words like "hallucination" and "toxins" and told us to move to a new apartment and see a shrink. When, what we need is a goddamned priest.

Oh well. For now I still have one ear to hear your sweet voice with.

So, Im about to go to bed. As with the others, I'm not mailing this. Wouldn't be much point in giving you a letter now, anyway. I'm just going to toss it in the trash and let the nurses try and read my hen scratch if they care to try.

I'll call you later to let you know where I am and how work is going. I think I'll leave Robert and my ear out. No sense in upsetting you. Pet fleabag for me. Don't let him lead you to any more liquor stores. I know you haven't gotten used to the brail books or your cane yet, but, a bottle of Johnny Walker isn't going to help any of that. Besides, Robert hates it when you drink. And, if he's decided not to come back for me tonight, my blood chills to think where he'll end up.

For God's sake, Robert. I know you're reading over my shoulder.

It was an accident. It was an accident and we're sorry. You know we're sorry. You aren't scorned or completing unfinished business. This state you're in, this place, it's freed you to be the psychopath you always wished you were. A goddamn monster with all the trimmings. Fuck you, Robert. Fuck you until the hounds find you and drag your crazy ass down to the bowels of Hell.

If I had it all to do over again, I would have shot you instead. I would have shot you in cold blood you mother, fucking, freak.

Sincerely,
C.v.R.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Letter to My Mother Concerning Parenting


This is a substantially large sized letter that contains no real outrage, no hippy explanation of the world, and not a lot of humor. It's just a public display of something I feel like talking about. And, will probably be extremely unpopular, to boot, as it deals with my opinions on what a lot of people do wrong.

It's also an attempt to write a letter that actually means something to me, rather than one that is just making fun of something petty, or airing a justified grievance. I know you guys got used to the format of 'funny rant' and I apologize ahead of time for not making with the chuckles. I really, sincerely, am sorry for that.

Maybe I just need to work some of this crap out before I can feel like making jokes again. Maybe I never will and I'm just wasting your time.


Dear Mom,

Parenthood is a funny thing. An oddity to me. A series of exhaustive exercises designed to constantly program and then deprogram another human being in their formative years. Only to then stop abruptly and assume that the constant rebooting has resulted in a perfectly normal human, ready to start and stop his own child's brain after finding an appropriately rebooted mate.

It can't possibly make sense to you, can it? I mean, I know that you tend to adopt the lifestyles and habits of the people around you, and you decided to leave your Christmas decorations up year around even though you don't believe in Christ, and you have this interesting knack for hanging out with exactly the kind of people you shouldn't for that given situation, every single time you go out. But, I also know that underneath the epidermis of your random life there is a woman who is travelled, educated, cynical, and maniacally enraged at the drop of a hat. Because, I'm that way, and I knew you before it was cool to know you.

So, given that we share the same base code, I know that parenting can't possibly make sense to you, and maybe never did.

It's hard to tell, though, because there is an aberration. Your daughter, my sister, is someone who does, and will always, require constant supervision. So, it looks like you are doing the parenting thing full steam. But, supervision isn't the same thing is it? It's not. I supervise hot pockets in the microwave; it doesn't mean I ground them if they don't do their homework. I don't mean to say that you don't provide for my sister, or that you don't try to make her life as comfortable and fun as possible. I just mean there's not really a way to separate the parenting from the care giving in a situation like that. So, for now, let's forget the Autistic variable and focus on your normal kid.

I won't go into details but for a long time now you and I have been on equal footing when it comes to our places in the world. I have always thought that was very fair, but, recognized that it wasn't very common. You haven't told me what to do with the expectation of it actually being done since I was about 11.

You're not a dumb woman, so I think that means you realized at some point, you were a colleague in our relationship; someone to consult on decisions but with no real veto power.

Oh, you got pissed. Let's not pretend it was all head nods and hand shakes. But all that did was teach me how to lie to you just enough to get you to go away so I could continue to do exactly what it was I was doing before you knocked on my locked bedroom door. Just like you used lie to me just enough to get me to stop asking questions.

But as time went we didn't lie to each other so much. What would be the point? We liked hearing the lies but it didn't cover up all the accumulated evidence against our cases did it? So, we became more honest, but less interested.

As more and more time went by where you were pretty much only responsible for stocking food and supplying clothing, and, the longer that went on without me becoming a crack head or a serial rapist, the more you decided that your time card had been punched at the Mom factory and you focused that little left over attention on your work as a teacher (irony is so awesome) and my sister.

And now, this is where we are. You are the mother of a happily married, college dropout, with aspirations of notoriety, and nobody's been in jail or had to move back in with their parents or even fathered an illegitimate child.

So, why the recap? Why the letter dragging all this stuff you already know out into the open?

It's an apology.

It's an apology for putting you through all that guilt you may be feeling for thinking you were a bad mother. For thinking that maybe you didn't pay a lot of attention to me because you went back to school to get a career when I was 8. Or, for not realizing I hadn't been home for 3 days once in high school. Or, because we lived in a house 6 miles away from my nearest friend when I had a Dad that lived most of his life in Singapore, a sister that couldn't have a conversation with me without screaming gibberish, and a Mom that left cold pizza in the fridge for breakfast because she needed to student teach on Saturdays.

It's an apology for bringing that up and thinking that I'm owed something. It's an apology for the sense of entitlement I wear around me like a dark tattered cloak whenever we're around each other. For forgetting that there was just as much attention as neglect.

Remember you used to check me out of school so we could go see the early matinee movies at the theater? We wouldn't have to deal with crowds and you knew I hated that goddamn school anyway. And we used to spend weekends watching old black and white comedies before you went back to school, remember? You taught me about Steppenwolf and Led Zeppelin. You didn't mind it when I would monopolize the house for whatever kind of experiment or building project that had struck me that day. You thought it was awesome that your 9 year old understood and loved the movie Doc Hollywood when it came out.

They fished with dynamite! That's always going to be hilarious!

And for all the pissing and moaning and fighting and awkward silences, I just can't decide what I think would be better if you had been there for me my entire life. I don't know what I think I would have achieved at this point. I get into moods where I think I'm sad that you weren't around, or that I thought you just didn't care about me, but I know that I could really give a crap.

I don't mean for that to sound harsh, but it's the truth. I could give a crap whether you cared or not, and, that seems like the way it should be, you know?

I mean, what do parents teach? They teach babies that there will always be someone there to protect them and to nourish them, but that's a lie. Later they teach that there will always be someone to help with homework and drive them to events and to take them trick or treating. That's a lie too. Then they even go so far as to teach them that someone will always be there to pick them up from a car crash, or bail them out of jail, or pay off their debt. Big lie. Huge.

Every stage of the learning process from "loving" parents is just another set of truths that are later revealed to be total bullsh*t. Is that something you do to someone you supposedly love? Set them up for a big nasty reveal every 6 or 7 years?

You taught me what things were and why they were that way to the best of your understanding and then you let me handle it on my own. You didn't go so far as to kick me out and you also didn't tighten down and set some kind of invisible arbitrary boundaries. At first you tried punishment. No TV, bed at 8, no phone, but it was too late. You'd taught me how to deal with pain and so every time you took something away I just dealt with the loss and moved on to something I could still have. Something that couldn't be taken away.

I wrote stories and painted pictures and (tried) to compose music, and, when the TV got put back, I watched TV. Not all the time. Just when I wanted to. And to keep me company.

You know. Like someone is supposed to.

It must have been frustrating, but, I hope at the same time it was a little comforting. If I had a child I'd like to know that something like a television wasn't so important to his very existence that he couldn't conceive of a life without it.

You taught me that a lot of life's changes are bad ones, because if you're happy, a change almost by definition has to interrupt that happiness. You taught me that if I don't do something, it doesn't get done, and then on top of that, you taught me that if I don't care it doesn't get done, then it didn't matter in the first place.

You taught me a lot, almost exclusively through inaction.

I got rebooted once from infant to child, and then rebooted again from child to adult, and that's it. None of those pussy baby steps that other people go through. You let me stay in a state long enough to evolve it instead of just throwing up a checkered flag and saying, "CONGRATULATIONS!!! YOU ARE NOW A TEENAGER! YOU WILL RECEIVE AN OLD CAR, A LATER CURFEW, AND THAT'S NOT ALL. YOU'LL ALSO GET A CREEPY SEX TALK, A MORE RELAXED DRESS CODE, AND, A LAPTOP FOR SCHOOL!!"

You know what I got? Left the hell alone. Thank the Big Cheesy, Jeesy Creesy, for blissful, uninterrupted silence.

I was raised in this wonderful sweet spot between provision and neglect. I got good food and a warm house and presents at Christmas, but wasn't expected to live up to any kind of preset expectation as payment for these items. That is probably why I'm not a crack addict, or a serial rapist.

What can a kid rebel against when his parents don't really give a sh*t about how he spends his time? I tried achieving, but that just got the same cardboard smiles and nods, and was really hard. I also tried drinking, destroying public property, and running from the police. No response, except a warning that any consequence earned by my actions would not be shared by my parents.

So, how did I turn out? Well, I'm travelled, slightly educated, cynical, and maniacally enraged at the drop of a hat. But, I'm not bitter. Anymore.

I never was. I just thought I should have been, so I acted that way to fit in with the way other people act. That was a mistake. My mother raised me better than that.

Anyway, I'm sorry for the holier than though crap I've been giving you the last few years. You know there's more to it than what's in this letter, but the core of my attitude towards you is the subject of the letter so that's what the apology is for. You never interfered with me, so, you just do what you want to do, please be careful, and call me sometime if you want to catch a movie in the middle of the day.

Sincerely,
Your Son,
Stephen

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Letter to Obligators Concerning Obligation

Dear shit filled, shit-eating, shit heads from shitsville,

Stop.

Fucking.

With.

Me.

You know who you are, and you know what you did. What you do. What you always do to those who try to make their way in this world the way their randomly appointed, mandatory public guardians at their geographically specific, government funded, learning institutions always wanted them to. Mrs. Whats-her-face from 3rd period English would be spinning in her "took her whole pension to pay for it and her grandkids still had to shell out for the flowers" coffin if she saw such efforts by her students rewarded with nothing but spit in their faces.

She would spin because she was naive. Because she believed we were all individuals, capable of making individual decisions and contributing individual achievement to the world. She saw each child's face and thought she was looking into a microcosm of the American people. She saw what she needed to see to do her job. To make her individual contribution to the world.

But that's not how it works. The people that lift the rocks are eventually crushed to death, and the people that dig the holes eventually trip and break their neck after falling 20 feet. What we do to pay the bills eventually punches our ticket. No contribution. No individuality. One day you clock out and you don't clock back in and they erase your employee number off the ledger.

I know this because lately, for years now, I've noticed a pattern. I keep getting fucked over, and, I didn't use to get fucked over. I didn't really use to do anything. I didn't get crushed until I started lifting rocks, you see?

At least, that's what I thought. As it turns out I don't really believe I'm being crushed by the rocks I lift. I think it's a lot more sinister than that. I think all that crushing weight is the mile high stack of the collective fat asses that want to benefit from my lifting.

Asses belonging to guys that say things like "zero sum game" or that their in the "people business." You know who else was in the people business? Pharaohs.

Those giant geometric tombs aren't going to build themselves, right?

And it's not just asses. It's also the stomachs of these lazy bastards. Stomachs filled with the remains of every decent person they chewed into a paste out of pure gluttony, and those people, already crushed and eaten, are rotting away inside the belly of the beast. Only adding stress to my shoulders.

You can see these poor chewed up bastards everywhere you go. Their diners have given them cute little names like "chief sandwich artist" or "dry clean specialist manager" or "head of topping technology", and they've been put in slight positions of authority, maybe to give them some glimmer of hope that one day they could eat someone of their very own. They sit and they push their zombied existence forward in hopes of success, like a dog sitting at the dinner table, thinking it's people, and waiting for the pot roast that everyone else got.

Well, I don't think I'm people.

I mean, if were a dog I wouldn't … it's not that I think I'm a dog it's just that, for the metaphor, I needed a bold-you know what? Fuck you, you know what I mean.

Look, I'm just tired of getting shit on. I show up to work on time, I feign as much interest as I can in what I'm doing. What else do you want from me? What else do you really expect you'll get, would be a better question.

People don't like to work. People like to eat and be warm and watch movies, so they work. In the beginning if people had the option of eating and staying warm and getting some joy from day to day that required absolutely no effort on their part, they'd do that.

They'd all do that.

But not now. Now you, that fat asses with the full stomachs, have gotten everyone so trained to blindly toil away at nothing, that it is socially unacceptable to WANT to loaf. I'm not even talking about loafers. I'm talking people that honestly wish they could just lay around all day and get taken care of like a child.

You've created this delightful grinder of self loathing where I am embarrassed to tell some people about the job I have to earn money, because it's dead end and pointless and makes me miserable. But at the same time, I'm embarrassed to tell other people about my dreams and wishes because those dreams are lazy and self indulgent and beg for attention.

We don't have to be worker bees. We don't have to spend all day gathering all that fucking pollen to bring it back to our shit-hole hive and make all this goddamn honey every miserable bitch of a day.

We can give up our lives in the hive, and join the monkeys in the trees; at least, mentally. Have you ever seen a monkey that didn't have a problem with arbitrary authority? I haven't. But, do you see monkeys totally on board with being given tasks that are fun first and productive as a by product? Fuck yeah, they love that shit.

I've watched a monkey drive a car. He wasn't going to a job interview or racing to a big meeting with his investors, he just thought it was awesome. To him, the fact that he can go from point A to point B is secondary to "awesome." Do you see where I'm going?

This philosophy of the "working man" is all in our heads. There's nothing inherently noble about wasting away at a lever for 40 years. Nobility comes from community creation, and sharing ideas, and working together on the things that we find interesting and fulfilling. I don't find answering the phone fulfilling. I do find blurting out all my opinions to anyone that will listen fulfilling.

Guess which one I can buy food with.

Don't you think that's just a little bit fucked up?

My dad is a working man, and he's miserable. He might not say he's miserable, and he might not even know he's miserable, but the few times I've actually been able to spend time with him it's been obvious. The joy has been sucked out of his body and replaced with some hollow sense of responsibility.

And I can feel the same thing happening to me. I'm being cored out like a Thanksgiving turkey and stuffed back full with a bunch of crap about pulling my weight and being part of a team, like I owe it to somebody to reach for the glass ceiling.

Well fuck the team. Fuck the responsibility and fuck you. I'm doing what I'm contractually obligated to do so I can get money so I can pay bills, and, if you fire me, I'm just going to go somewhere else to do what I'm contractually obligated to do, to get money, to pay bills. If you have a problem with me thinking that everything I work for is useless shit then hire yourself a robot because guess what, I don't care what happens to your product. I don't care what happens to your business reputation. I don't give a damn about you or anyone else up here, and if anyone says they do, they are brainwashed and a moron, and they get what they deserve.

You say you're going to pay me, so I show up and I do stuff you'd like me to do, but I'm not wasting my good feelings on this place. I'm saving them for all those hopes and dreams you've made me too afraid to even voice out loud for fear of retribution from the "workin' folk."

I can't change where I live and I can't change where I work right now, but, that doesn't mean I have to keep changing myself to fit in where I am just because my mentality doesn't mesh with what I'm doing. I'm done with pretending to give a crap.

I don't give a crap, and neither should anybody else if their day to day has no meaning to the whatsoever. It's OK to not care about things you don't care about, everybody.

I only hope that the parts of me that have already been scooped out, haven't been dead too long to put back in.

Sincerely,
Chiggie Von Richthofen
Wishing he was a free loading mooch, because, who doesn't?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Letter to The Fog Concerning The Fog

Dear people I can only guess are still there,

I want you to know that we can all still see, and I being part of we, can also still see. But, I can't still see you. I can't see you because I can't know you because I don't understand you. And since we see to know and knowing is the beginning of understanding, I can't see you.

You are sight unseen and I am seer unsighted and that is something that I cannot stand to stand.

And, that is why I want to give you a gift. You and all the people I have trouble seeing. I wish to make my own world clearer to me by letting those not seen see what I see, and know that trying to know them is like knowing an unknowable.

Like knowing a flame.

You can remember a flame. You can recognize a flame. You can detect a flame. But you can no more know a flame than you can know the past or a god. Just as it is with them whose actions make them detectable in my life and nothing more. And, it is the unknown to what I wish to give the gift of my clarity.

But, how do you give a gift to something that you're not even sure is there? You can't. Giving is from one to another and since I am just one I have to leave, instead of give.

I will take my clarity, a piece of it that I can spare, and I will leave it hear for you. When you find it, I hope you know what to do with it, for as I cannot see you, I have no instructions with how to use it. But here I will leave it; the boundaries of my own sight. The things I cannot see. I hope in these boundaries you can find yourself, and know why you are obscured.

*

I cannot see the blind hatred of innocent sadness.

I think I might have started to glimpse it one day, briefly in a lit hall. A traveler faced a piece of a journey that few find welcome. A bend in the road that lead back up a hill. A bend that would make anyone question the path, regardless of the age of the asker.

I saw the traveler clearly, and I saw his question, and then I saw anger. Not from the traveler but from the guide. Anger at the traveler for doubting the path. Anger at the question. Anger at the resistance. And, finally, anger at the innocent sadness of a traveler. A sadness only traveler's can know, but since we are all traveler's, a sadness that should relate to all of us.

That's when I lost them both in the haze of my own blindness.

The anger had become to alien for my eyes, and I could only hear the traveler, wail his begs for forgiveness. Pleading to an angry God. Promising humility in exchange for calm waves and safe return home.

*

I cannot see revenge for perceived future.

Sometimes arrows come from the fog. Found in the air by my senses. Heard and felt. The fog twists and clouds into soft silhouettes, and then the arrows come. The arrows come from the past of an untold future. They come from the plan of someone's mind. A plan built upon a past or present transgression that one wouldn't think has foundation enough to support another's structure. But that structure stands, and is the home of the archers. An unstable and dangerous domicile, yes, but archers being archers, they need not a steady building to fulfill their obligations. Only a platform to lift them to the medium of their art. Over the tree line. Overlooking the glade.

Being unable to catch sight of the towering barracks, the source of malcontent, I simply wait. I wait for the arrows to come from the fog from archers hired, and highered, by the sheriffs of some similar village. And when the arrows strike my body with no armor, I pull them out for a brief fond moment, as I recognize the wood of the shaft, as being from my own forest.

*

I cannot see relinquishment over assumption.

There was a carriage traveling past and I could see the driver. The driver was urgent on the horses, as an escapee would be. But the traveler was alone on the road. There was no other carriage or soul, save what could have passed for a passenger. I say this because I could not see the passenger. Covered by the cloak of the carriage curtains the passenger remained only a possibility, but a probable one.

So, I road up next to the driver and asked why the need. My answer was an increase in speed. And a look. Towards the cabin of this carriage. A cabin that could be concealing a cacogenic cargo. I asked again why the speed and looked ahead of myself to make sure I was still keeping my own way.

When I looked back I could no longer see the driver.

The cloak that so cleverly concealed the cargo was now curiously covering the current captain.

But the driver I could still see. Clearly visible as there was no cloak, no cabin, no where at all for her to lie as the carriage sped along its path.

The driver was being dragged. Caught, by the caballine cabriolet, careening into a canyon of carnificial cacotopia. Claimed at the clambake of her own cataclysmic catachresis.

She was being shredded under wheel for having the assumption that she could simply escape her cargo. Torn to pieces by the dirt and stone sander she, herself, had brought to this fatal speed. Not fully realizing that her speed in no way separated the driver from the passenger, but only made it that much easier for the loss of control the passenger ultimately, and so desperately, yearned for.

*

So, here I have left my clarity, defined by its limits, for those that don't understand why I squint in their direction. My gift to those I truly can't know. Given selfishly so that I may gain more vision for myself, but, intended selflessly so that the collective sight will gain in the big picture.

Maybe after taking my gift, you could give me one of your own. Something given to me selfishly, but, intended to be given selflessly. So, that I can be seen better; perhaps only by myself.

Because if we all understand that we need to see, and we all understand that we need to be seen, and to be seen is to be known and to be known helps us know, maybe, we would try a little harder to be a little clearer. Maybe then those things that are so hard to see will no longer need to be defined, because they won't exist to require definition.

Sincerely,
Chiggie Von Richthofen
Remembered. Recognized. Detected. But hardly seen.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Letter To An Animal Concerning Its Greater Role In My Universe

Hey, everybody. How are you doing? Good?

Lately, I've had the bug for letter writing, and, on a regular day that would mean that I have been getting my last nerved stomped on by an army of country line dancers. But, today, I just want to write about something.

I just want to take a thought, a conviction, and send it to someone or something just for the sake of expression. I'm not really angry. I'm not feeling vindictive or persecuted. I'm in a rare form today. One that I usually try to hold on to with both hands and keep tight to my chest until the sun punches out and the moon takes up the sentry.

I'm in a good calm mood. The kind of mood a snow bordered brook brings in the stillness of a winter wood. The kind of calm the clouds bring when they fill every inch of your peripheral vision as you stare up from the reclining position on your front lawn after wrestling the mower under that last thorn bush.

I'm just happy, and I want to record it for posterity. Because, just like the rare beasts of the world we call Earth, happiness is not something to be captured and bread in captivity. It's better to just set up your cameras, wait, and record, for the shared experience of everyone to come later and see what you saw.

So, without further ado, I bring you, my first earnest, honest, and benign Letter to The Internet.


Dear spirit animal of my road to work,

I noticed you again today, walking along Buncombe Road with your sleek black fur still shiny as the day you were born. How old could you maybe be now? 2? 3? You look my dog's age, so I think it's a pretty safe approximation.

As always you were walking towards my oncoming car. Not directly at me, but off to the side, in the grass, casually trotting the opposite direction I was heading so determinedly. You noticed me, but not like I notice you. You glanced and sniffed and meandered off further down the incline of the ditch to make sure our paths wouldn't intersect.

And then I was gone from your day. As you so often aren't gone from mine.

I wonder about you, animal. I wonder how someone so stray could stay so fit and comfortable with their day to day.

I suppose there are no mortgages in the spirit kingdom. There are no 99 cent menus or fine print on contacts. Your day is the day that I would be having thousands of years in the past. Your day is the day we shared before my kind decided there were better things. You kept your appointment, and still do, as your kind is the kind that keeps their promises.

I've noticed you many places around my home and wondered where it is that you live. I didn't realize that I had already answered my own question.

You live where I see you. You live where I don't see you. My home is your home, but your home is not mine.

You've seen me many places, around my home, but still in yours, and maybe you've wondered why I go so fast, when in your eyes my origination and destination are one in the same. You watch my car whoosh by, traveling from your train tracks to your field like I watch the bees that fly from my flowers into my trees.

I think about how they live their lives in my back yard, as I live my life in yours.

I'm glad you were there this morning, animal. It always makes me question my actions when I see you. It makes that part of me that is sure die, and lets the uncertain offspring grow fat on its body.

So, animal, I'm always glad to see you.

But, I dare not do more than see. I dare not name, or feed, or attempt capture. Because names and food and fences mean that you are not a spirit animal. They mean that you are a dog, like my dog now, and my dog before. And you can't be a dog. Dogs are mortal and dogs are seekers of guidance.

And you are neither.

You are the spirit animal of my road to work. And, if one morning I see that a car has struck you from my road to work, I will know that is because you kept your appointment, and I wasn't there.

I will know that your body's death will be an ultimate reflection of my failure, as your life has been an ultimate reflection of my desire to turn around and casually walk the other way.


But you will not die from the blow. Your body will remain in your old home, but you will not die. And when I move, I will look for you on my new road to work. I will try to subvert my ignorance and my impatience and I will try to find you, spirit animal, so that I may see you again.

But dare not do anything more than see.

Sincerely,
Chiggie Von Richthofen
Your faithful follower, always traveling in the opposite direction

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Letter to Millenigenarians Concerning Sports Cars

Dear ancient, ancient elder monkeys of the road,

Specifically the road I'm on, directly in front of me, going 20 miles per hour, on a major interstate.

I write to you today out of confusion. I've noticed lately that you, and many others like you, have had a sudden onset of affection for a class of automobile usually reserved for bald spots and shrunken penises. Of course I mean clich├ęd, mid-life crisis sports cars.

You know the ones I mean. Factory stock Corvettes and Porches that come with customized key fobs and license plates that say "TOP GUN". Painted bright hues of Yellow and Red and Orange like beautiful road flowers using their spectrum to attract bees to their pedals. Bees, or in this case, vagina to take back to their rented condo.

But, I digress. I am describing the usual owners of these particular automobiles. Owners that, even though are usually disgusting and annoying, I don't have a problem with. Why? Because a balding former high school quarter back with a large alimony payment and tiny, tiny balls has everything in the world to prove. They get in their BMW Z3 and they hit the road like a banshee escaping the fires of hell.

So what if they have the sense and coordination of a fetus? At least they are away from me.

But you. You people with your hip replacements and your Lasik on both eyes. You don't need to be in these cars. These cars aren't for you. I know they're not for you, because I'm behind you while you drive them. Stopped. In an intersection.

Oh God. Did it happen? Are you dead? Maybe I should get out and che …

Nope! You're awake! There you go. Fucking asshole.

Why did you even get that car? What are you? 60? 65? Get a goddamn Camry and just accept that you are no longer the sex symbol you were during the Spanish American War. You can't just pull up to a Luby's and have any woman you want. Or, at least any woman that is allowed to leave her assisted living bus as long as she signs out.

So what is this car? A way to reclaim your youth? The youth you can't remember along with where you left your shoes or who your grandchildren are? Or is it really a way to get the old wrinkled sex ball rolling again?

I don't think your sporty two seater is going to be the lube machine you're hoping for. Have you ever seen what honey does to a bag of sand? Let me give you a hint. Afterwards, you still have a bag of sand, and you're out a bottle of honey.

You see, sports cars are a symbol that mixes danger with wealth. They are a way to make regular, stupid, ugly men to feel like James Bond. The idea being the speed and the price will excite the young ladies into carnal acts of expression. Young being the operative word.

When you take speed and high dollar and introduce them to the stable of ladies you are eligible for, all you get are strokes and hour long piss and moan sessions about how much milk has gone up. So you get the car to spice up your 85 year marriage and the first time you take it for a spin, the wife is gripping the arm rest and squeezing her eyes shut because she knows you're legally blind in 5 states and it's only a matter of time before you plow right into a telephone pole going, what is that, 28 miles an hour.

But, you don't want to take the car back, because then that would be admitting that your ratio of hair to skin tipped a long time ago and you are, in fact, old. So guess who pays the price.

That's right, me.

A young man in a moderately priced mid-size CAR. Cursing your fragile bones as I realize it's going to take me twice as long to get dog food because the advanced state of atrophy in the driver in front of me is actually causing him to go slower and slower as the muscles that allow him to press the gas pedal deteriorate to goo inside his own leg.

I'm not asking you to floor it, I'm not even asking you to speed, I'm just asking you to stop wasting that vehicle on yourself. Trade it in for a gigantic SUV for your wife that she can use to wipe out a school bus while she's trying to answer her cellular telephone. Give that car to someone who will use it for what it's built for, statutory rape.

You know, someone like a high school track coach or a recently divorced dermatologist.

Just not you, dude. Just not you.

Sincerely,
Chiggie Von Richthofen
Trying to choose the lesser of two completely fucked groups of people.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Letter to Helpers Concerning Helping

Dear thickheaded, obnoxious people who think they are helping,

You're not.

I feel like there has been some kind of line crossed in your head where you think you can contribute to what I'm doing. Well, let me assure you, that line is still very much there, and will continue to be there until I have some sort of brain trauma or you reveal to me that your stupidity has been a large practical joke on your part this whole time.

Well, if it was, you got me. Because I was just sure that you were a complete fucking moron.

So here's the deal. I'm going to do the thing you asked me to do, and you aren't going to be involved. You're not going to be involved because you can't fix it, which, and follow me here, is why you asked me to be here in the first place. And, yes, I know I'm wasting my time with just coming out with the point of the letter like that right off the bat, but don't worry. I know you have trouble understand sentences that don't have words like "hamburger" and "Deal or No Deal" in them, so I'm going to walk you through this.

I get that you want to be part of the process that makes things that are broken, into things that are working. I get it. But, you have to understand the situation from the point of view of a fixer. I get there, shit is fucked up, and the only thing I see is you standing there kind of shrugging with your arms out.

So, you broke it, and now what? You want to help? What could you possibly bring to the table besides the skill of seeing if something CAN be broken?

Let's imagine this situation in a different setting. Pretend I'm not in your store fixing your computers. Pretend we're in a kitchen and I just found out you ate all the cupcakes for the big bake sale, which is in just two hours. And, with your mouth still stuffed full of chocolate icing and yellow cake, you mumble that you need me to make another batch of 40 and to hurry because I'm going to make us late.

Then you look at me funny when I threaten to jam a soft rubber spatula into your abdomen.

So, now that I've established that I'm mad because you did something you weren't supposed to, let me get on to what you can do to help me fix your situation. It's very easy to remember. Try chanting it, as a little mantra, to help solidify it into memory.

Get the fuck away from me.

Get the fuck away from me.

Got it?

Get. The mother fuck. Away. From. Me.

And while we're at it, here's a heap of things that you can print out and read before I show up to the call in the first place.

1. Don't watch what I'm doing at a distance that allows me to feel the heat of your testicles against the back of my neck as I crouch down to pick up a cable.
2. Don't sigh at the Windows errors EVERY FUCKING TIME THEY POP UP.
3. Don't stand in front of the thing I'm trying to fix. Just writing that one down makes me wish you were dead.
4. Don't ask me what I'm going to try next and expect an explanation you can understand.
5. Don't offer me tools like a hammer and saw and think you're being funny.
6. Don't talk to me about your grandchildren while I'm trying to read through a database.
7. Just don't talk to me at all.
8. Oh really? Your daughter recently decided to become a bail bondsman? That is so interesting. No, I mean it. I'm really thrilled.
9. I lied. I would react to this conversation the same way whether you told me you had just won your weight in gold or if you just told me that the previously mentioned daughter was killed in a car accident. And you were the murderer. Because you had gotten her pregnant. I don't want to talk to you THAT much.
10. Get the fuck away from me.

You have to understand that I have a stressful job. I come in, look down, see the aftermath of your wrath, and am just expected to know which one of these eight atrocities is the problem. It's going to take an investigative team weeks to sift through this wreckage.

If we had robot equality rights, what you just did to this pc would be considered aggravated rape of a minor, and you would go to robot jail. Where they would robot beat your shit and robot pound you in the butt all day while they robot sell your pink ass for robot cigarettes.

But as it is, there won't be any Enforcers bursting through the windows any time soon, so I just have to piece together the poor girl knowing that as soon as I leave, you're going to have your way with her again.

I also have the added bonus to this line of work that after I leave, and you break this thing again, then it will be my fault. Because when dealing with technologies that knuckle dragging dipshits won't take the time to learn, responsibility lies with those who last laid hands on said technology.

It's like a cursed statue to you people.

What? The screen is making beeping noises? Call Chiggie, he touched it last.

But I fixed your printer. I didn't touch your monitor. What? The cables connect everything?

Well, the roads connect the nation. I was going to blame that big turd in my front yard on the neighborhood dogs, but, seeing as there are roadways that would allow you to make it to my house, I'm going to go ahead and blame it on you.

So I'll come fix your screen, if you promise not to shit all over my driveway. You know, like you have been lately.

It all comes down to this. You broke something and need it fixed, and I would be happy to do so. Without you there. Think about other people that fix things. Mechanics tell you to come back later. Doctors make you sit in a little room. Dentists, contractors, electricians, plumbers, all don't interact with you unless absolutely unavoidable.

I'm no different. And you're being a jackass.

Get the fuck away from me.


Sincerely,
Chiggie Von Richthofen
Did you pour antifreeze all over the cooling fan? No, it doesn't work like that.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Letter to Living Zombies Concerning Actual Reality

Dear inconsiderate walking slobs, so caught up in your own little universe that you can't even hear me right now can you? Hello? This letter is for you, you ass.

Fuck it.

I write to you today to try to pierce the diamond palace you've built for yourself and educate you on the world outside. That, while uncultivated and dangerous, is full of adventure and fortune.

At least, this is what I would say to someone with a legitimate reason for becoming detached from the world, like, a plane crash victim or a soldier back from war. But, for you, the average modern human, I would put it a little different.

Something like, "please take your eyes off of your iPhone long enough to see that you are pressing against the chair rail on the wall instead of the handle on the exit door. Your outstanding idiocy has reached a level that is actually frightening the other people at the Pizza Hut. You fucking moron."

Now, of course, along with that phrasing I'd also have to scream at the top of my lungs, as well as physically shove and shake you to get your attention. Since in your world of instant-low cost-Bluetooth enabled-wireless internet-phone-plans, complete with mp3 recognition, video camera, and high tensile steel grappling lines, if a person isn't acting like he's afraid of a mummy in an old black and white film reel, well he just isn't even there is he?

At first, I was actually surprised that you even bothered me, being bit of an escapist myself. Ever since I first owned an mp3 player I have rarely left my house without one. I just find that music is such a pleasant contrast to what real life actually sounds like, that it has pretty much become a requirement to me. But, in my defense that's mostly because real life is full of stupid ass people like you. I'm an after effect. A symptom of the illness.

It's the all encompassing entertainment boxes that you carry around that make me cringe when I see them. Because I don't see a GPS that is going to help a lost family find a Holiday Inn Express, or an mp3 player that saves a beach party after someone forgets the CDs, or a video phone so that grandmothers don't ever have to miss their granddaughters' recitals. No, I see a 16 year old girl with a tramp stamp and huge bug eyed sunglasses, moving in slow zigzags in front of me in a Fossil outlet barring my passage to the door.

And what are you wearing? An animal print skirt and cowboy boots? A denim jacket over your t-shirt when it's a hundred and four fucking degrees outside? Dear lord, child, you look like a basket of clothes my mother once gave to Goodwill. Did the [b]phone[/b] tell you to dress like that? I would avert my eyes but that would just sweep my vision to three or four other carbon copies of this girl, all looking at their feet, all slowly wobbling to find their footing as they attempt to walk. If this was a movie and violin music was playing, I would be allowed to shoot you while trying not to be covered in your infected blood.

Of course, the walking dead of Teen Magazine are nothing compared to the bewildering road behavior of those taken over by the thin digital siren call. It's like I've been sucked though the hole from Sliders and shot out in a universe where everyone makes driving decisions like they were the Captain of the Titanic. Just briefly looking up to see a turn coming, rotating the wheel, and expecting everything to go to plan as they glance back down at a clip from the Daily Show. Content that their massive vehicle and slim to none chance of there being anything in front of them make up for acting like a complete retard.

I bet the designers of these devices never even thought this breed of people would come about from their creations. They were thinking Tricorders from Star Trek, Ziggy from Quantum Leap, Rimmer from Red Dwarf. Thinking that the faster Man could receive information the faster he could use it to better his life and his enjoyment of that life.

What they probably didn't count on was you. And by "you" I mean complete idiots. A population of stumbling mouth breathers that have turned Steve Jobs into Herbert West.

I don't mean to attack all internet phone users. There are lots of people I see use them the way I would expect a balanced person to. Getting the phone number to the theater or passing a joke back and forth between friends while they wait on a bench outside a restaurant. The ones I can't stand are the people that can't seem to stop playing portable Bejeweled long enough to keep themselves from rubbing their genitals all over me as they stumble onto my seated form while I wait for a take out order at the deli.

Yeah, that has happened to me, more than once.

Is the draw of entertainment just that powerful? Are you so devoid of any substance whatsoever that you have to fill your every waking moment with nonsensical input from a little portable oracle? You make me scared for the future of our planet. I see you frantically texting your girlfriends while your children sit across from you at the Applebee's doing the exact same thing and all I can think about is how Futurama warned us all not to start making out with robots.

Electro Gonorrhea, people.

Or maybe it's not the pleasure of it. Maybe you just can't stand to be inside your own heads for more than 15 minutes anymore. Is that it? I'm just asking, because without knowing, I just have to assume you are buried in your phone all day because you hate being with yourself.

To me a life full of entertainment is a life devoid of introspection and experience. I picture you on the deck of the Santa Maria as the sailors point to the beautiful naked Indians and you are thumbing through your Yahoo news. I picture Dave texting Frank about how his "round ass" space pod is "so lame" and not noticing the corridor of flickering light opening up before him. I picture Leonardo snapping a quick pic of a pretty brunette with a subtle smile with his 5 mega pixel camera phone and calling it a day.

I don't know. My phone is circa 2002 so I can only report on what I've seen other people doing. Maybe your life, that of a lump of shit staring into a one and quarter inch screen, is a life of pure happiness. Maybe it's like modern meditation and you are one iTune download away from true enlightenment.

I doubt it, but maybe.

For now I will be content with having a Zune for mp3's and podcasts, a cellphone for calls, a computer for the internet, and a GBASP for the occasional traveling game of Metroid. Because, frankly, iPhones and the phones like them, are starting to look like evil goddamn Skynet brain slugs to me.

For now I'll continue to keep my technology separate, so that I may remain separate from my technology.

Sincerely,
Chiggie Von Richthofen
He probably wrote this letter with a pen, how quaint

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Letter to Movie Goers Concerning Theaters

Dear loud, annoying, sacks of, you know what? You don't deserve an intro.

Dear fuckers,

Yeah, fuckers. You know who you are.

This building we're in, that's called a movie theater. This is a place where people go to see films. Films are like pictures except they move and have sound. They are like really big and really long Youtube clips, and, instead of imbedded in your Myspace page, they play on that big white sheet in the front of the room.

We know where the front is because that's the direction all these chairs are turned, so that people can relax in a position that allows them to see the screen. The screen the movie plays on. Because they, and I, paid to be here and watch it. And when I say watch, I mean see, hear, absorb, understand, and interpret.

I don't mean look at the picture long enough to commit that ironic one liner to memory and repeat it to your friends immediately after hearing it like you're that first ant that finds food and rushes back to the hill to inform everyone that food does, in fact, exist.

Now, I don't expect you to understand that some people watch movies like other people listen to music or read books. And by music and books I don't mean Hannah Montanna, and Hannah Montanna's biography.

No, I don't know if she actually has a biography. I was just using an asinine example to illustrate, oh fuck this!

Here is a list of things that aren't acceptable in movie theaters. Don't worry about why. You're too stupid to understand, I promise.

Number 1: Don't buy more food than you can handle when you are sitting down. You're going to be in that chair for, what, 2 hours? Maybe. Do you really need a large bucket of popcorn, a box of nachos with the cheese in a little cup right in the box, 2 hotdogs, a box of bunch'a'crunch, and three 92 oz. Diet Cokes? If I laid all that out for my dog he wouldn't be able to finish it in two hours. Because his body would violently force it back out of him before he was half-way through.

This is one of the only times during the day that it's critical that you not get out of your fucking chair for a period of time, and you decide to begin your movie by wolfing down a large sack of junk that your body can't even begin to process as nourishment.

Now you've got to hurry down a flight of stairs in the dark while trying to hold in a good 7 pounds of waste that your body just basically refused to acknowledge as food.

Honestly, I don't know why I don't see more people in movie theaters tripping and crapping their pants during their tumble down the stairs.

Number 2: When it says "Silence your Cellphones" it's supposed to be a general statement about not USING cellphones. Not something that you can side step on a grammatical technicality.

I know that it doesn't seem like a big deal to send a "quick text", as I've heard it called, but, when you open your fucking cellphone in the middle of a dark theater and I'm in the seat behind you, that 9 million candle watt beam you call a backlight shines out of your phone, ricochets off your fake lopsided tits and shoots right into my goddamn eyes.

Honestly, Dollywood, what fucking world do you live in where something can be both urgent enough to interrupt everyone else and not important enough to take yourself outside at the same time? It's a movie. A MOVIE. Get your shit handled enough that you can go a couple hours without checking in with your dog's hair stylist every 5 minutes.

I remember going to movies and after I got out having to push quarters into a payphone to tell my mom to come pick me up. I'm guessing you're so far up your own butthole that you didn't even understand half the words in that last sentence.

Number 3: Stop laughing out loud when people are being attacked and/or tortured on screen. No Country For Old Men is not a comedy. If you can't handle the subject matter then leave. Don't chuckle and act all casual like what you saw didn't almost make you pee on yourself. Be a man and deal with the message, or get the fuck out of the theater.

Number 4: If your foot touches the back of my head I will keep it.

Number 5: Don't take your fucking kid to see fucking Wanted at fucking 11 PM. What is the matter with you?

What is the matter with you?

Are you really surprised that they are pitching a fit? It's nothing but gunfire and blood and shouting. Your kid isn't being a "dick." She's crying because she doesn't understand why she has to stay up and watch people being killed over and over and over again when all she wants is to go home and lay in her tiny princess bed and dream about being Dora the Explorer.

You are a fucking psychopath, you know that? What you're doing is unbelievable to me, and I don't even like kids. This goes beyond kids. You are torturing another human being.

Yes, that's really what I believe you're doing. You're a shitty parent, and a shitty person, and I hate you. I hate YOU, for what you're doing, when it is so avoidable and unnecessary.

You can't go see the grown up movies because you had a baby? Tough shit. End of story. You had a kid, things change, get a DVD player and some headphones you worthless sack of crap.

Number 6: Don't wear your hat cocked to the side. You look like a walking turd.

Oh, I'm sorry that's a different letter.

Real Number 6: Go do something else. You shouldn't need a list. The theater isn't a diner or a fucking 4H building. It's like a library, but one where everyone can enjoy the story at the same time and take the journey together. If you don't want to take a journey, or don't even know what that means, just walk away and never look back. This place isn't for you, and it never will be for you.

The only exception I will accept from this rule is teenagers trying to get it on.

It's dark and your parents aren't around, I get it. People got needs, I feel you. Just go in the back, please.

Don't fuck so close to me that you rock my chair.

For the people that like my list, enough said. We are all on the same page. No instructions necessary.

For the people that might respectfully disagree with the ideals I was going for, go fuck yourself. I hate you, and if you sit in front of me, I will kick you in the head hard enough to kill you.

Sincerely,
Chiggie Von Richthofen
Film Enthusiast

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Letter to Insects Concerning Trespassing

Dear Nature's Hobos,

So, I was at the coffee shop the other day and I saw this huge guy who had, uh, what is that on my back? It feels like someone taped a OHMYMOTHERFUCKINGMONKEYRACECAR that's a wasp!

Get off me you little piece of shit. I'm not a big meaty perch. Nor am I a giant snack for you to take your aggression out on. Just go about your business and get the hell away from me.

That's right. Fly away you tiny bastard. Just keep on flying. But, not into my house.

No! No, you are not allowed in there! That is not for you, don't you dare AWWWWW damnit! Asshole!

I hate it when you fly into the house. You don't fly in like a bird does. A missile of terror that knows not where it goes but surely it is to freedom. You don't even fly in like a bat. A Tasmanian devil blur of fury and confusion, squeeking as if do gently say, "WHERE THE FUCK AM I WHERE THE FUCK AM I WHERE THE FUCK AM I!"

No, when you fly in, you stop right inside the door way and, for lack of a better term, case the joint. I can almost hear Curly's voice from the Three Stooges attached to your every action.

Aw, nice digs professor.

I'm not a professor, get out of my house.

Hey, brownies!

Get away from those!

Wooopwoopwoopwoop!

Asshole!

Look, this isn't your house. You can't live here, it makes people uncomfortable. The buzzing and your enormous stinger are kind of off putting and, get off the chair, and I just don't think it's going to work out. Do you see where I'm coming from? I'm just trying to make it so that everybody is, don't touch my headphones just get the fuck off of them, just so that everybody is happy.

Why can't you be like your cousin out there building his own little home under the carport? I mean, granted, he is probably slightly retarded, what with building his home in on of the small wind chimes. I mean his house literally vibrates every time the wind blows. But, at least he is attempting to have a place of his own. He's trying. He's putting himself out there.

You, you just think you can move back in and that every thing is going to be handed to you on a silver GETTHEFUCKOUTOFMYHAIR! AAAHHHHH! SHIT!

ASS! HOLE!

OK. That's it. It's go time.

That's right; I got the squeegee on a stick. No soft broomstick straw for you, my friend. This is nice sturdy rubber coming right at you. They will speak of this battle in the tomes of your people, for you will be the quickest one of your kind ever to be dispatched by the hand of the mighty giant. Prepare to meet your tiny asshole maker, you tiny asshole.

What the? Get off the ceiling! That's some bullshit! Come back down here so I can smoosh you against the easily cleanable wall!

No, sir! No! We do NOT try to crawl into the heater vent! No, we do not! Time out you little shit! Time out! Fuck me! Fuck!

Oh, you may be cunning, but I'm big enough to turn the thermostat. Let's see how much crawling you do with a torrent of hell fire blasted against your crimson carapace! Ah HA HA! That's right! Feel the burn you flying mini-satan!

That's right, fly back down here so I can get a good major league swing at you! AGH! That's ok. I missed but that's ok. You're not going anywhere.

Damn, it's a little hot in here. No, matter, you will perish nonetheless.

After I throw up.

Jesus, is it like 300 hundred degrees in here. How come you're ok with that? Don't you feel that? I think I might need a ten minute break is that cool? I think we both deserve a little sit down and DOOOOONTTOUCHME DONTTOUCHME! GET OFF OF MY FACE OHBABYJESUS DON’T STING ME IN THE FACE!

Oh you bastard. Your legs feel like a tiny witch's bones! I won't be able to sleep for days.

Look, I don't want you in here; you probably want to leave too. I'll just stand back and open the doors, and you just head out whenever you're comfortable, OK? That's civil. A mutual agreement that we are both formidable opponents and that living in harmony is better than all this senseless violence and bloodshAAAAAHHHH STACY! STACY THERE'S A WASP IN MY SHIRT! I CAN FEEL HIM BUZZING AGAINST MY NIPPLE! STACY! STACY, HE'S GOING TO STAB MY TUMMY WITH HIS HUGE INSECT BUTT-KNIFE! CALL THE POLICE! STACY!

Sincerely,
Chiggie Von Richthofen
SONOFABUTTNUGGETMONKEYFUCKINGDONKEYBALLSOFARABIA!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Letter to Managers, All Managers, Concerning Threats

Dear Fat Idiot That Has Wasted His Life And Now Thinks I'm Going To Let Him Waste Mine,

I've noticed lately in our meetings and our phone calls, and just in general conversation, that, well, you don't seem to know what the fuck you're talking about. Ever. It took me a while to pick up on this because, when you first arrived here as our Director, we didn't really talk much. Therefore, it wasn't until our first conversation that I realized that you were a big ol' useless sack stuffed with about as much bullshit that I've ever seen in one place at one time. Still, you were a manager with absolutely no background in what our department does, and then were put in charge of it, so I wasn't really expecting more than you. You meaning a dumb sack of shit.

Anyway, I've notice that you and I haven't really been seeing eye-to-eye lately so I decided to make you a list of "No-No's" for you. Just things to avoid in our professional discourse.

1) Don't ever think I owe you a fucking thing in this lifetime or the next you arrogant, numb-nuts, asshole. Did you save me from a rushing river? Did you help me with my rent one month? Did you lie to the principal to keep me out of trouble when I was 12? No.

You are just my manager. And, what does that mean to me? Fuck. All.

2) Don't condescendingly describe parts of my job I've been doing for three and a half years when you've only been here nine months. "Do you know what the after hours number is for? It's so people can get in touch with us after hours." Really? Do you know what keeping you goddamned mouth shut is for? Because you're about to find out.

Don't come over to me when you see me busting my ass for hours and then ask some asinine rhetorical question. You don't have to prove to me that you're a total douche bag. I figured that out a while ago so let's just cut out this wooing shit you seem to be doing and get down to what the fuck you want or get the fuck out of my face.

3) Don't send errand boys to threaten my job. If you want to tell me to clean out my desk you do it to my face or I'm going to assume that every single threat that comes out of their mouths is void. In fact. Don't threaten me period. If you have a problem with the way I do things then tell me or give me a pink slip.

I know why you don't do that. It's because you can't figure out half the shit we do without me, because everyone else quit when YOU showed up. So how's about you just back the hell off and admit you wouldn't even know what questions to ask if you were trying to figure out what it is that I do for a living.

4) And while we're on the subject, don't act like you are part of some happy family when you won't even take the time to familiarize yourself with our work. You're supposed to be the one selling this shit out on the open market and you don't even know what it does.

You have a little booklet we made for you and if the question isn't answered in your book, then you pretty much just stand there like a jackass caught in headlights. So don't come down to me and try to tell me why we're losing money. I'm looking at the reason, and it smells like Wild Turkey, Marlboro Lights, and sweat.

5) This one is important, because this one is the reason I almost dump hot coffee in your face on a daily basis. Don't say our CTO's name like it means anything. My name doesn't mean anything. I can't say my name downstairs and expect people to work harder. So why should his?

What you're telling me is that this guy; this beady eyed, greedy, leech that pretends to run this company is more important than I am. I'm sorry but he's not. I'm not a fucking indentured servant. I'm not a serf on some inbred lord's plot of land. I work because I want to feed my family and because I want them to be as comfortable as possible, which means, I work for money. If that evil bastard is hit by a truck tomorrow my paycheck still gets here on time so don't drop his name and expect me to jump. It makes me sick with hate when I see in your eyes that you think his, or your name means a damn thing, to anyone.

That's all I've got for right now, but I think this will be a good base for future conversations.

One thing I feel I should clarify, though, is that I don't hate you just because you're my boss. Everyone "hates" their boss. No one likes being told what to do. But, with you it's different, you see, because I don't hate you just because you're my boss.

I hate you, because of you. I just hate you. I hate the way you smile when you know you are swindling people who work hard and don't know any better. I hate the way you act all offended when you think something bad has happened but you aren't smart enough to understand if it did or not. I hate your bullshit excuses for not doing your job right before you accuse me of not doing mine. I hate how you brought in an old employee so you could force me out because you thought he knew more than me, and he didn't. I hate how you try to convince me that comp days are more valuable than overtime because you assume I can't multiply even though my job requires it.

I could go on but what's the point? Listing your faults is like trying to describe each blade of grass in my front lawn. After a while you just write "Green, Long, Ants" and move on to something else.

I do want to plant this little seed of thought in your head, though. You like to throw your weight around and snap of threats like it's no big deal, but when you threaten my job, you aren't threatening my job. You're threatening me. You're threatening my wife and my dog and my house and my car and my entire livelihood.

Pretend you are in my house, and it's dark, and you threaten my wife. What happens?

They say a better man turns the other cheek, let's bygones be bygones, and has the integrity to walk away. Well it takes two men for that to work. That better man has to walk away from someone. Someone who has a temper, who holds a grudge, who makes quick judgments and jumps to rash conclusions. Someone who doesn't like it when he's shoved and sure as hell doesn't like taking shit off some middle aged walking heart attack.

Look at me. Do I look like someone who loves the idea of turning either of my cheeks anywhere?

Maybe the next time you feel like threatening someone because it makes you feel big, think about who you're talking to. Think about whether that person is the new girl, or someone who knows how every fucking piece of our product works and exactly which pins to pull out to watch it disintegrate.

Maybe that someone doesn't just quit when he's finally had it. Maybe he takes something with him. Something from you. Compensation for stresses rendered.

After that, I guarantee my name will mean something to you. Asshole.


Sincerely,
Chiggie Von Richthofen
Not available between the hours of 5 P.M. and 8 A.M.

Friday, February 22, 2008

A Letter to "People" Concerning Decisions

Dear confused, sleepy, nervous, prosimian, space-wasting jackasses,

I want you to ask yourself a question. And, don't just take it for granted. I want you to really search your soul, you're very being, for the truth. For what you think is your one true answer.

Are you ready? Ok, good, because here it comes.

What do you want to eat?

Did that question catch you off guard a little bit? Weren't expecting something quite like that to be the question I wanted you to ask yourself? Well, it fucking should be! Because we're in a fucking burrito place and you're first in MOTHER FUCKING LINE!

What did you think was going to happen once you got to that sad-faced minimum wage teenager with surgical gloves on inside out? Did you think he wasn't going to ask what you wanted to eat? Just like you thought I wasn't going to get so pissed I wanted to punch you in the neck while you just stand there like a fucking moron?

Don't look at me!

Don't you fucking look at me, Hoss. You look at that goddamned menu! It's go time! It's time to be a big boy and tell the nice man what you want for snackies. Instead you're standing there frozen in fear. Like your back in that harsh spotlight at the '82 regionals all over again, forgetting the words to Over The Rainbow right before tinkling your panties in front of everybody. Just pick something!

Look, this is a fast food restaurant, OK? Let me give you a bit of advice. Odds are any place where you order your food before you sit down isn't going to have too much variation on the menu. So just close your eyes, raise your arm, point at anything and say, "that one." You know, like a pressured witness at a police line-up.

OK. Hard part is over.

What are you doing? Pay the lady. Why did you just put your credit card back in your wallet? You want to pay with cash? What the fuck does it matter? It's 7 dollars, just give it to her!

Ok, that didn't work. It didn't work because you only have 4 dollars. That means that as far as your cash goes, you can't afford to eat here. Give her your credit card! What are you doing? Why are you looking in your wallet again? I can see from here there is no more money in there! It's not going to suddenly appear! Just give her your goddamned cred …don't count your change!

Son of a bitch, Ernest, if you don't pay that lady for your food right now and let me get out of here I swear to god I'm going to slam your head against the counter until your dead. Then, me and the other guy you've been holding up for the past half hour are going to walk you around, Weekend at Bernie's style. All making you wave at ladies and getting into crazy adventures. The only difference being, that instead of trying to convince everyone in town that you're alive, we'll probably just leave you face down in that dumpster behind Courtyard Coffee.

All fantasizing aside, it really seizes the gears in my clockwork brain to see a grown person staring slack jawed and rubber necked up at a glowing menu, like it's a UFO in the back forty, not able to decide if they want a hamburger, or a hamburger. I mean, really, how worse is your life going to be if you mess this one up, Chief? Do you think the ten minutes it takes you to wolf down that half ounce of beef and 3 pounds of grease are even going to register in 2 hours? You know, besides the painful explosive diarrhea?

And while we're on that subject, let's be honest, there's nothing on the menu that's going to change the consequences of this meal, as it is the establishment itself that promotes the full scale evacuation of your internal organs. So just by walking in here you've signed the contract absolving the restaurant of any and all accidental anal demolition for the next 12 hours.

What I'm getting at is this. No matter what you pick from this menu, you're going to need at least five dollars, it's going to be ready in about 10 minutes, and you're going to need a can to shit in later at work in case you can't get out of your cubicle fast enough.

Maybe you already have a can to shit in. I don't know. But you just don't strike me as a prepared individual so I went ahead and threw that in there.

All I ask is that when you walk up to that counter and it's time for you to place your order, just place it. Decide first, then order. Decide first, then order.

Try not to be such a fucking loser all the time. Try not to be such a fucking loser all the time.

At the rate you're going, it's going to be tomorrow before I'm able to piss and moan about how this place got my fucking order wrong while some crack head trucker tries to kill me on the way home.

Sincerely,
Chiggie Von RichthGODAMNIT STOP ASKING FOR HASHBROWNS, IT'S 6 IN THE EVENING!

JESUS CHRIST!