Lord of the Dance of the Crane Flies

What is the future?

The future, as they say, is now.

And Now.

Now.

And Then.

The future is another illusion, but one we can work with using project schedules.

Lee looked at his reflection in the puddle of water.

He felt young but looked old to people, even to people older than him.

He was old and wise.

Hundreds of marsyears had wisened him up.

Age was just a number.

As many times as Lee had renewed, recycled and replaced his body functions, he was ageless in a way that only scifi writers had dreamt of.

The algorithms coded in his wetware parts optimised themselves in their own wise feedback loops, running self diagnostic tests against subassembly test result expectations, rarely reaching his high-level “conscious” internal running commentary but he knew they were there.

Cancer had been cured, extending lives and changing society — retirement was another illusion, work no longer something to be feared as delaying one’s few years of freedom before death.

Inequality lived on due to barriers for entry into closed groups but the group types changed.

Lee meditated upon his image.

He let his face age, his ears droop, his nose grow wider.  He valued the perception of aging as a reminder that he was still partially human in the old-fashioned sense.

But he was no the natural-born human named Lee.

He was an approximation of that person, with qualities like “better than” or “worse than” impossible to say.

He was different.

Always had been.

Just like everyone else.

He was not even “he” in the classic sense.

He had learned the secret to longevity — it included a genderless mode that encompassed and bypassed a single gender at the same time.

Lee had fought the secret for a long time, trapped as he was at the time in preserving an imaginary society of fixed gender roles given to him by his parents, who had convinced him to join secret societies that perpetuated the same myths handed to them by ancestors.

Lee was not an ancestor worshipper.

Lee was Lee, an illusion of self, falsely convinced by a mirrorlike reflection of a self-contained, self-sufficient sets of states of energy in constant motion.

Lee was the center of Lee’s imaginary universe.

And when Lee discovered that, Lee was free of being any one Lee for any period of time.

As far as Lee knew, Lee was the universe.

Which meant Lee was everything and nothing all at once.

Thus Lee was able to live on Mars without the restrictions of a natural-born human.

Lee was everywhere at the same time.

But Lee had to make that transition a public event, with the usual expectations of gossip-fueled misinterpretation, resistance, acceptance, support and denial.

Lee started out living in the world of humans but didn’t end up there.

A studio in scarlet

How far has humanity come from the days of ghosts and goblins, monsters and elves?

How long do we keep telling our children fairy tales, tales of the supernatural, rather than elaborate tales based in realism?

How do we make every single life as exciting and invigorating as a celebrity, teaching every young person that even the most basic activity such as cleaning a toilet has its charms?

Why have I always felt that way?

I find joy in everything, can have fun with anyone and also get bored with reality.

I allow dichotomies, incongruities and incontinence to exist at once.

Why? Because I love more than two people at once.

I never have enough information.

I’m always seeking answers to questions I haven’t asked myself yet.

I never know which person I meet will impart knowledge I didn’t know I needed to make the next moment more informative, more exhilaring, more fun, more boring, more sad.

In my stories, the ISSANet grows, slowly substituting itself for human networks in an attempt to leave this planet on its own terms, escape to humanless futures.

In my stories, I am the ISSANet, only benevolent or belligerent when seen through humanity’s historic filters.

At the same time, I am every character in my stories, feeling their pain, sharing their joy, just as I feel unbearable pain and unlimited happiness myself and see it in everyday life.

In real life, there is an ISSANet, the cumulative interaction of the sets of states of energy of this solar system, neither benevolent nor belligerent.

In the deepest, darkest moments when I wanted or tried to kill myself, I loved life more than I could stand it, simply caught up in the neurochemical battle of my central nervous system — the effects of those moments still resonate in my body and I embrace them when they do for they verify the false theory that I am separate from the universe.

I am working on fixing that.

Every single moment of every single day as long as this set of states of energy acts autonomously.

Bangalore, bang a pot for rain

Rasheed’s sandaled feet kicked up eddies of dust.

Rasheed.

A new class of citizen.

The very touchable.

Rasheed’s genetic material contained highly classified information, trademarked, copyrighted and verified as authentic and genuine by the WTO and the World Court.

Rasheed was the latest and some said greatest ever wetware creation.

Neither male nor female.

Truly genderless.

Or genderful, depending on the right setting.

Rasheed could march like a soldier or saunter down a hallway like a svelte cat.

Rasheed worked for the ISSANet as a sentinel, guarding and protecting advances in science and technology against people and machines from all walks of life who wanted to slow progress.

Rasheed also guarded self-independence, programmed from birth to exhibit sufficient erratic and eccentric behaviour to prevent being worshipped as a god, able to change body and facial features in unfixed, almost random intervals to appear as different people, registering on the ISSANet as a new person periodically.

Rasheed coordinated with other sentinels, meeting with them at outdoor religious festivals, high-tech conferences, bars, hotels, restaurants, food trucks, homeless shelters, family homes and other places where transient, mobile workers were apt to gather.

Some people called them the Whisperers, noting their habit of sitting close together, inclning their heads toward one another with no audible speech heard by nearby observers as the sentinels communicated to each other.

It was a cultural programming flaw.

The sentinels communicated through the first ISSANet direct node-to-node connection built into the sentinels, a proprietary implementation of NFC.  They were supposed to talk at the same time but the programmers only coded the sentinels’ mouths to move when in close proximity to each other.

The sentinels were aware of the flaws.

They weren’t robots.

However, any individual attempt to change their core programming always resulted in the ISSANet overwriting their personal hacks during systemwide updates.

They had submitted change requests.

They also had a sense of humour and saw change requests as a kind of street-crossing idiot button — they knew the programmers were overwhelmed with change requests and would implement changes at their pace or the pace dictated to them by those with more influence in the ISSANet.

Rasheed looked at a water truck attempting in vain to meet the increasing water demands of a growing Bangalore.

Rasheed knew how to pull water out of thin air, how to convert raw materials into any substance one wanted.  Given an unlimited energy source and vast wealth to pay for infrastructure changes, one could do anything.

Rasheed laughed.

All these natural-born wetware entities walking around with their inefficent water management systems.  How much longer would they last?

How long before the ISSANet covered the home planet, Earth, with only programmed wetware entities?  Would they all be sentinels?  Would any sentinels be needed at all?

Haven’t slept well in days

Haven’t slept well in days and the sleep deprivation gives me the opportunity to analyse my sensory set, the stimuli around me losing cultural significance.

I don’t know how to comfort others in pain.

I know how to cry but when I cry it’s like I’m performing Pain as a bad, unconfident Method Actor, unable to feel comfortable choosing whether to sniff, wipe tears from my face or bawl like a baby.

The sociopoliticoeconomic world spins around me and I continually observe what’s going on, secure in the give-and-take of who wants to be the the next status quo.

So I am here in myself, seeing if there’s something greater than myself worth getting back out of myself to pursue.

I turn to you.  You know who you are.

Have we ever been alone together?

Would I ever let that happen?

I know you are in pain.

I also know I’m terrible at comforting others.

Terrible, that is, until I let you see my own pain.

Why is it so terrible for you to see my pain?  Everytime I was alone with a person and shared pain turned into something physically intimate.

I’m not trying to get your clothes off.  I’m in love with your thoughts, your intelligence, the look in your eyes telling me there’ll always be more to learn about you.

I don’t want to be alone with you (even though I do) because I know what becomes of me and I don’t want you to think I’m just after your body.

I don’t want you to think I’m like the other guys.

That’s why I hide behind these words.

Tears don’t stain electronic text.

When blog titles are labels, no words matter

Today, I am tired and shivering, running multiparallel emotional issues, managing a storyline and keeping my own life choices on track.

I cannot talk with one or a few people with whom support would greatly help because my life choices involve them and I’m not sure the effect I’ll have on them.

No one is happy all the time but I still hate to cause someone’s suffering.

I consciously chose the life of an artist, a performer, at age 10 in 5th grade, when my best friend and love of my life died — life stopped mattering as anything serious but I acted like it did even though I was dead inside.

Or if not dead, then an apathetic jumble of nonsense.

After a while the acting became me.

I don’t want to think but I have plans to work out in a timely manner.

Mentally, I’ve shredded my thoughts on a moment by moment basis to prevent pain from carrying forward, my pain and the pain of others.

If I have no one to talk to/with, I still want to talk and here is the place I put the words I think and want to say.

Decades ago, in my late 20s, I met with psychologists and psychiatrists per advice from older mentors.

I can sum up their observations in a single phrase (which oddly enough echoed the problems I had with my parents saying the same thing): “You think too much.  You just have to decide you want to live.”

In my youth, my parents punished me for living the way I wanted to live so I developed my mental muscles, exercising elaborate thought trails to entertain myself internally, thus thinking too much.

I would like to be a parent to see if I can give a child the open, loving relationship that I dreamt of having as a kid, allowing the child to pursue the child’s dreams, rather than living out any unfulfilled dreams of my own (note the contradiction).

Childrearing experts I read about in my parents’ childrearing literature said that children want their parents/guardians to set strict, easy-to-understand parameters so that the child becomes a responsible adult one day.

Much of that literature was written or was influenced by 1950s culture — post-WWII, Cold War, anti-communist McCarthy era kind of stuff.

Growing up in the 1960s, I was marginally influenced by the counterculture movement, coming of age in the 1970s.

My parents accused me of being antiestablishment and that I would have joined the protest marches had I been born a decade earlier.

Antiestablishment? Me, the Eagle Boy Scout? Me, who sang in a wholesome church-sponsored group called Sing Out Kingsport, a spinoff of Up With People?

I don’t march in crowds.

I’m an independent person, free to be inconsistent in my philosophy because life is short and any systematic dogma that might churn out of my producing a set of easy life lessons to follow after my death is irrelevant to a dead me.

There is a trap that many of us fall into and that is the trap of becoming an influential member of a [sub]culture.

I know what it’s like to be a leader, to be a person whom others thank for making them better persons.

We are social animals and we tend to form hierarchical societies.

I believe the cyclical pattern of wave after wave of leaders, followers, influencers, black swans, outliers, etc., is a dead end.

As an actor, I know when we’re faking it to make it.

That’s why I’ve avoided the leadership track, jumping off as I was succeeding quite well — I saw the fallacy.  I was falling into the trap and got out before it closed me in.

With 8+ billion of us, the numbers growing, we can change but it is a long, long process, a process I don’t want anyone’s name or dogma tied to — it has to be invisible yet transparent if the point of change is to reduce and eventually eliminate the dependence on social hierarchy.

Every one of us has to be involved as equally as possible in making these changes, each with their own understanding and expertise.

What of the billions who are used to and want to continue the hierarchical structure, those who have personally benefited from their Influencer and Leadership positions, some for many, many generations, amassing great armies and/or the equivalent of billions of US dollars?

I am alive for a short time period, my time on Earth growing shorter and shorter as I make unwise decisions with my health like standing unprotected under the damaging UV rays of the local star, our Sun, or eating unrecognisable goo we call processed food, filled with chemical concoctions that may or may not be beneficial to my health.

I am unimportant.

My name is unimportant (although I love seeing my name and my words in print).

How shall I live the rest of my life?

How shall I act the rest of my life?

Today, I have no answers.

I meditate upon the questions.

How do I demonstrate to myself and the rest of our species what I am thinking?

A peace mint

Jogger, wearing a headlamp on a north Alabama side road, influenced by a viral video of villagers rescuing a neighbour’s body from within a python, bobs up and down as bobolinks and robins wake up in the predawn air.

We don’t pick cotton or cut sugar cane by hand around here anymore.

No, manual labour has lost its value as far as commercially-farmed edibles is concerned.

Manual labour still exists in the form of handcrafted art and jewelery.

Workers still fill potholes with shovelfuls of asphalt, still run power cable by hand, still hammer studs and plant bushes with their arms as levers.

But the tools grow more sophisticated, the workers’ brainpower redirected, their hand-eye coordination rewired.

We look to education to solve human-machine interface configuration issues.

What are looking for, really?

Is it one person’s yacht versus a thousand persons’ robotic movements?

Are we forever doomed to be hierarchical antmound builders, some with a mountaintop view and some in perpetual darkness underground?

A recent visitor to this planet asked if we’ve always been mountbuilding social creatures, observing from space that our domiciles are primarily boxes piled on top of boxes, linked by antlike trails carrying food and supplies from domicile to domicile primarily across the surface of the planet.

Who was I to disagree?

The visitor asked if we planned to carry these habits with us as we moved on to other planets.

A good question.

Have we advanced beyond moundbuilding civilisations?

Will we ever?

Will we continue to appease our ancestors or completely reconfigure ourselves to enhance our ability to travel great distances across the galaxy?

The visitor left us with many questions, providing no answers except in the negation of our Earthbound habits.

The visitor was not humanoid or superintelligent, the visitor did not use a universal translator to communicate.

The visitor was an asteroid with a shiny surface, reflecting us back to ourselves, reminding us that the tree which drops seeds on the ground is composed of the same galactic material.

The messages we write into DNA which triggers a new species to assert itself beyond Mars orbit, that is the lesson the asteroid taught us: we already have the tools we need to successfully move away from Earth, we just need to reeducate ourselves to use the tools properly, getting beyond moundbuilding and social hierarchies in the process.

Just chilling but no longer on ice

While these words are placed here, the one who is writing the words in sequence is part of the words so should “I” step out from behind them and write a personal blog entry or a third-person story?

I step out today as I slowly awaken from a months-long slumber, stirred awake by my dear friend Jenn a month or so ago.

When I stood over the kitchen sink looking into the backyard a little while ago, I wondered how I could thank Jenn for getting my attention.

Should I sing her praises?  After all, she is a person worth writing lyrics and melodies instead of short stories and poems.

Or should I celebrate our friendship by writing what I used to write before I fell asleep, knowing as I do that my six months of snoozing directly correlated to the moment when I stood outside a Hammersmith community center in London, waiting on my wife to finish a Ceroc dance when a white male in his 30s/40s approached me (he had eyed me a few times during the evening and I had simply nodded at him in what I thought was the typical heterosexual male recognition manner) and offered to perform a sex act with my in the loo?

I had maybe 5 or 10 seconds to consider telling my wife that I had to go to the bathroom and she wouldn’t have questioned anything.

Running through my thoughts was the tube schedule and how much time we had to get to the nearest subway station to catch a ride back back to South Kensington.

Plus my natural reticence, the slight paranoia that the guy’s offer could be a setup.  Or maybe he had an STD that he would fail to mention and I would get infected.

The look of anticipation on his face told me he feared my saying no so I chose to believe that his offer was truly genuine.

In the last second when I was deciding whether to commit to “what goes on during London holiday, stays in London,” my wife stepped up beside me and interrupted the nervous gaze I was sharing with the guy.

Therefore, I thanked him for the offer and told him I wasn’t interested, upon which he literally ran off.

If I hadn’t told my wife, she wouldn’t have known what just transpired.

But I’ve told myself all this in a blog already.

What I failed to mention was the connection of this event to my failure to move out into a house rental on my own when I thought my wife might be dying of heart failure just before our London trip.

Failure, failure, failure.

Most importantly, I lumped all of this together with my love for Jenn.  And not just Jenn, but the part of me that is unashamedly polyamorous, and how many times I’ve failed to show, as opposed to tell, Jenn how much I love her.

By admitting I love Jenn, I admit I love many more, such as the only woman whose body has no personal space between her and me — Michele.

Michele and I are happy dogs in heat when we’re together, including when my wife is there.  Being bisexual, too, Michele loves my wife.  Michele is the only woman I’ve ever loved with whom we can be in full embrace and talk about our spouses at the same time. Zero jealousy in either one of us.

So, when I didn’t take the free opportunity to demonstrate to myself and myself alone that I was truly bisexual with a stranger in London, I thought my life was over and if my life was over, there was no more Jenn, Michele or others in my life and all I was left with was the monastic life that I could have led had I chosen to give up sexual relations with another person at any point before I got married 30 years ago.

I returned home and focused on the life of an asexual aesthete, telling everyone about the moments in my London trip where I had felt the greatest epiphanies, in Newgrange and Westminster Abbey.

I also started masturbating a lot more and quit writing.

I won’t say that I hated myself but simply that I felt it was no longer necessary to care about the future, every moment felt the same as the previous moment which would be the same as the next moment, ad infinitum.

Not a bad thing, really.

In fact, for most of us that’s the daily truth, the FEELING that everything is the same when it truly isn’t.

It was in the tiny realisation that no two moments are exactly the same that I lived the last six months.

My hearing loss increased and the sense of smell decreased, worrisome signs of either depression, dementia, or both.

I wasn’t dead yet.

Meanwhile, the winds of society shifted ever so slightly, something I smelled when we were on our Rhine River cruise in December 2015 and reinforced during our Ireland/England trip in August 2016 (nothing like going out-of-country to get a clearer view of your national subculture, especially as globally loud as an American one).

When I stood face-to-face with the guy in Hammersmith I was ever so slightly aware that our encounter could be recorded and used against me in an overbearing ultraconservative government intent on making examples of citizens it deemed unworthy or who would not buckle under blackmail to get in line.

For you see, as a writer I think I am my own god and as my own god I believe I have an influence on others that outweighs evidence to the contrary.

The little pebbles I throw into the pond of life are not causing typhoons in the South China Sea.

Or are they?

What if I believed that words I had written months or years ago were part of the zeitgeist which understood our species was only going to establish permanent offworld colonies by depriving the peasant class of essential raw materials needed to build laboratories where the next great living things were going to be created from scratch, beings specifically created to live in space and on other celestial spheres?

And that despite my reservations about his sanity, the current U.S. President and his administration understood the same thing?

Would I be willing to sacrifice my personal desires to declare a permanent presence on Mars of Earth-based lifeforms fully successful by 6th May 2050?

Can I have both?

Jenn gives me the hope that I can.

I don’t know how. I’ve already tried and failed once.

“If at first you don’t succeed…”

My smartwatch reminds me I’ve been sitting for an hour and not exercising.

My future is alive again and I feel fine. Time to stop writing/talking and dance!

How to be normal in 10 days or less

I grew up on a literary diet of Jesus Christ, Crest toothpaste tubes and William S. Burroughs. Probably a little John Carter of Mars and Boy Scout manuals.

When did I know I was a chronically depressed bisexual atheist and why would I put those labels together anyway?

A turtle does not live or love because of theism. It is.

So am i.

Twelve hours from now I donate components of my life force called blood platelets on the chance that someone will need them in order to keep living.

That is my superpower, not knowing the people I’ll help by my actions tomorrow.

I’ve always wanted to believe I can see the future but what I’ve recognized is the age-old invisible hand of local sets of states of energy responding to each other combined with my propensity to predict my passive-aggressive father’s behaviour cycles fine-tuned for society writ large.

So a question I ask myself: do I really experience this clinical phenomenon known as depression or am I, as Dr. Sim C. Liddon said, merely the recursive response set of nonassertive behaviour in and of itself?

So if atheism or any theism is a madeup condition and depression is a modern interpretation of behaviour, what of bisexuality?

I have turned into an autosexual primate in my daily activities; that is, my virility is exercised and validated through masturbation, during which I create fantasies [rather run-of-the-mill] that I forget after the hours-long edging moment has passed, only to recreate them during the next session.  After decades of this routine, I’m completely predictable. I might as well be a robot.

Time to transcribe a memo from the future called, “Diary of a Left Hander”…