Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2020/09/21 (Week 163)

“There’s this thing about history that no one teaches you,” sometimes roaming city streets was a better teacher than any book.

It was Cinthia who asked the first question of the trip, “What do you mean, professor?”

“I won’t tell you, because you won’t really understand.” I kept walking across the parking lot, to the road, where the city was putting in new fiber optic cable. “You’ll remember the lesson that way.”

“Why are we outside, in the cold, and the dark, at stupid o’clock?”

“Ah, Beverly. We are here to learn this.” I stopped, and pointed at a space on the pavement of the road, next to the trench the construction crew had dug for the cable. “What do you see?”

Cinthia didn’t disappoint me, “History.”


The asphalt surface of the road had come up next to the cable trench, most likely because of ground stresses, as the adjacent pavement  had been ripped up, along with everything beneath it. The missing asphalt revealed cobblestone pavement.


“Yes, Beverly. Brick. And you won’t find a record of it anywhere in the city’s archives, blueprints, road plans, or anywhere else.” I took a picture of the brickwork, “It’s what the road was made of before the layers of asphalt.”

“You mean, there was a  time the road through here was brick?”

“Yes. It clearly was.”

The entire reason I was at that location was to record everything I could about what had been found. The trench for the cable cut straight across several layers of earlier construction. When the construction team spotted the brick, and the other layers, they’d stopped work, and reported their discovery, as they were required to do.

In response, the city requested an archeological team to examine the discovery, and determine if the layers needed to be preserved.

“And what,” I looked squarely at Cinthia, “do the layers here, and in the trench we are about to explore, tell us.”

“There’s more to history than what is written down.” Cinthia didn’t disappoint. But then, she never had. Sometimes, I thought she already knew how history worked, how archeology worked, and how the past wasn’t recorded, but was forgotten, and rewritten into something that worked better for the current day and age.

We examined the nearby trench, and found several layers of history, two layers of earlier brick, a layer of gravel, and through it all, several layers of electrical cables, and pipes, all of which were no longer used.

“No one knew this was here. Because. Whoever writes the history of a place, of a people, of a nation, only writes what they want those who come after them to see. Only writes what fits their beliefs, their understanding, of the place, and the people who live there.”

Cinthia once more didn’t disappoint me, “Like now. How things in our history people don’t want to remember are being erased from the books.”

“Yes. Just like now.”

490 words

Written in response to the prompt for week 166 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. You can learn about Miranda’s challenge here. The stories people share for the weekly challenge are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. Please go read them all.


Robin Williams Has Gone Home.

Things started off normal enough. CNN had a banner headline across the bottom of it’s feed that announced the breaking news was Robin Williams was dead at 63.

We were in the Jersey Mike’s Sub Shop. I couldn’t hear the news, the volume was off. All I got was the headlines, and any text on the screen. But that was enough. I knew, reading the words on the screen, all hell was about to break loose.

See. I knew how people would react to the news.

Just like I knew, in a few days, or maybe a week or two, the thing would blow over, and nothing would change. That’s how life is. That’s how people are. Things don’t change until there’s a reason for them to change.

Let me say that another way. If it was your spouse or lover that had ended their life, you’d change. But, because it was someone you only knew from a movie screen, or a TV screen, that wouldn’t change a thing. You’d say, “That’s too bad.” Then, “People should get the help they need. It’s there. They just have to ask.” Then, you wouldn’t say a thing, ‘cause it wouldn’t matter anymore.

Just like donating platelets or blood. If you best friend gets cancer, you’ll consider it. But only while they’re in Chemotherapy.

Did I mention I hate people?

I hate people.

I hate more, knowing that nothing will change. That time will pass, and another big name will commit suicide, and we’ll all go through these same motions again. And again. And again. And nothing will change.

It never has.

History’s littered with suicides of depressed, different people. Big names. Freddy Prinze. Curt Cobain. Robin Williams. Jimmy Hendrix (yes, a drug overdose is the same thing). You can name them yourself.

The first person that tells me how selfish those people were to kill themselves, or that they took the easy way out, I’m going to push all their teeth down their throat in one brutal move. All that shows is you’re stupid, and don’t understand a God damned thing, and don’t want to. You’re just being “social” and behaving according to some mythical rule set that we’re all supposed to follow.

See. I’m autistic.

That fucking rule set you can’t live without doesn’t exist to me. And I see stupid behavior everywhere I look. Every day. That’s why I’m in therapy. Not because I’m fucked up. But because the world’s fucked up, and I have to live in it.

I particularly love the commentary along the lines of, “If you’re contemplating suicide, get help! Talk to someone!” Helpful words. Like saying, “Here’s a cup of water. Hope you can put out the fire with it.”

Yes, if you haven’t noticed, I’m rather emotional on this topic.

Robin Williams escaped the hell he was in. And the first person that tells me it’s too bad he took his own life, and so he’s going to hell, I’m going to send that person straight to hell myself. Because you understand nothing. Nothing at all. Except what you WANT to understand.

Robin Williams escaped the hell he was in. A hell he never made. Do you think he caused his depression? Do you think he elected to be depressed? Do you think he elected to have no one to talk to? Do you think he elected to live where he lived, alone, or nearly so? Do you think he didn’t talk to anyone? That he didn’t seek help?

He did all those things. That you can’t understand why he ended his pain, and misery, and turned from the nightmare he saw everywhere, everyday, isn’t his fault. That you wonder why he ended his life indicates you’re part of the problem. Part of the reason 38,000+ people end their lives every year.

Find someone to talk to. OK. I did. I found a handful of people to talk to. Then, on October 11th, 2010, they told me I was not allowed in the same workplace as them. Then, on October 25th, 2010, they told me I was to not talk with any of them, even through smoke signals. No contact.

The people I needed. The ones I’d found to help me through my depression. Turned and walked away.

So shut the fuck up about this shit of, “Fiind someone to talk to.” Be honest about what the fuck you’re saying. You’re not saying find someone to talk to. You’re saying, “Send yourself to a psych ward, and talk to a bunch of clinical analysts, and other freakazoids like yourself, and when you’re normal, like us, maybe we’ll talk with you. But don’t bet on it.”

Think about that a while. Because that’s what your world tried to do to me.

What does it mean, what does it say, about the world, when the world says, “Find someone to talk to,” and doesn’t say, “So long as it’s not me. Leave me out of your disturbing shit. I don’t want to get involved. And quit disrupting my harmony! Go the fuck away!”

Because, let’s be honest here, that’s what our social system actually says. What it actually does. It’s like the prayer game. You know. Where everyone says, “I’ll pray for you,” and that’s all they do for you when you need help. “I’ll pray for you, and beyond that, go jump off a fucking cliff, ‘cause I’m not getting involved!”

Did I mention I hate people?

I hate people.

You want to know why Robin Williams killed himself? Because he saw things as they really, truly are. He saw past the lies our social system tells. He saw the misery our social system inflicts on people, especially people who are different.

See. Different equals disruptive. Knowledge equals disruptive. Independence equals disruptive. And we’ll remove anything disruptive from our social system, so it won’t gum up the works. As the song says, “Girls will be boys, and boys will be girls, it’s a mixed up, shook up, fucked up world. Except for Lola.”

You close your eyes. You pretend the world is OK. You imagine our society is functional. You pretend it’s sad when someone decided they’ve had enough, and leave. You get pissed off when they leave.

You get pissed off because you can’t. You’re still here. In a world you never made.

Shut the fuck up about all this. Nothing’s going to change. Don’t pretend it will. And if you pretend it will, then don’t get pissed off at me for recognizing it won’t. And look back, in a year or two, and see how things have changed because of this.

And yes. In case you’re wondering. I’ve donated platelets over 70 times now. And there will be more donations in my future. And Gina A Baker is long past her chemo therapy. Of course, for all I know, she could be dead. She’s one of the few friends I had that ordered me to go away on 10/25/2010. And I haven’t heard from her since.


I was disruptive.

And you know. We can’t have that shit in the working world. We can’t have that shit at all.


#FlashFriday #17 : We Have To Correct History

The floodlights we’d set up to illuminate the castle’s ruins were scattered everywhere. I guided the robot to the center of the ruins, where the others turned on the time machine. The robot faded away.

Legends said the castle fell before fire breathing dragons and hordes of orcs and goblins. We were sending the robot back in time to learn if there was any truth in the legends. The good thing about sending a robot back in time was you didn’t have to bring it back. Time would do that for you.

When the castle fell, our robot dug a trench and buried itself at a specific Latitude and Longitude. We went to that specific point and dug it up, recovering the recorded information.

When we analyzed the data, we were stunned. The castle had been besieged by a Chinese army. The dragons were flame throwers. A combustible gas was forced through a pipe under pressure, exiting the pipe over a flame, erupting into a sheet of fire twenty or more feet long. The flame throwers were decorated as Chinese Dragons.

We also learned there were a lot of mistakes in our recreation of our history. Dragons. Who would have thought of that?

203 Words


I wrote this for Rebekah Postupak‘s #FlashFriday, Week 17. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #Flash Friday. They are good reading.

Another Clip From JuNoWriMo 2012

Scream stood on the peak of a mountain in the Black Mountains. Looking south. Over the Gray Hills. He had landed to sleep. Even dragons had to sleep. Something that only made him angry. By sleeping, he couldn’t watch the village. A village in the Southern Plains. Where there was a special little girl. A girl that played a flute. A girl that made Scream happy. Made the anger that he felt fade away. Put out the fire in his blood. I tiny fairy girl. Named Musica.

A fairy girl gifted with Wild Magic.

Scream would not let the fairies destroy her. He would protect her. No matter what it took. No matter who he had to fight. He would protect this child. This Musica.

Scream woke with the rising of the sun. And when he woke, he screamed. A scream that split the sky. That would be heard in the Gray Hills. That would remind everyone that he was there. Watching. That he would strike again if they abandoned another child. Sentenced another that was blessed with wild magic to death.

Scream knew all about wild magic. The dragons had long ago accepted it. And it had spread. First in just a few young dragons. But over time, it grew. And now, every dragon was gifted with it. Wild magic. Scream had his own wild magic. He used it every time he screamed.

Like that morning. When he screamed a second time. And the clouds along the horizon parted. Leaving the sky clear. So he could look at the Northern Plains. And the village where the child lived.

Memories : History

I no longer remember the date.
Or the number of the room.
But I can remember
So very many details
Of that day.

I was in 7th grade.
It was the first 6 weeks
Of the school year.
Like everyone
In 7th grade.
I was taking US History.

The book was just damn boring.
Brutally so.
It was so very hard for me
To read that stupid thing.
To study history.
Things that happened
Way back when.

Studying how the USA
Came to be.
The vikings.
The Spanish.
The French.
The British,
And so many others.
That sailed across the Atlantic.
Finding their way here.

I ignored it all.

Didn’t read a word.
Until the first test
Came along.
And I realized
I didn’t know a thing.

As I sat there
On that day.
Staring at the grade
I’d made
On that test that day,
I realized I had a choice to make.
It was a choice
Left up to me.

Read the book
Of history.
And learn.

Or perhaps for the first time
Fail a class in school.

I never did take defeat

It was the first time I remember
My anger at myself.
And anger can be
Such a destructive thing.

It was the first time
I decided
To not let that test grade stand.
I picked up my history book.
And started reading it.
And asking questions
In almost every class.
Starting with that day.

It was the first time
In my life,
That I’d attacked a class.
With the same ferocity
That I’d used at work
For 29 solid years.

It would not be the last.

I remember that day
Very well.
The decision that I made.
For that was just another step
Along the path
That lead to my destruction.

A path of self-denial.
Of self-inflicted pain.
That slowly turned into

And as I walked that path
I lost all track
Of me.

Leaving just a shell
Of the person that I was.
A machine.
That could only do his job.

It was a decision
That changed everything.
Leaving only a machine.
With no heart
Or soul.

It was a decision
That lead me to the point
When I would walk
In the ice and snow.
Or in the rain.
Until my toes and heals
And then bled.

Until I couldn’t tell at all
If I was hurt or not.

Until I’d forgotten completely
Everything that mattered
To me.

I remember history
From back in 7th grade.
And the decision that I made
One day,
To never fail
Another test.

I remember
How that day
Changed everything
For me.

And I can’t help but wonder
How many people I know
Made a choice like I made.
Many years ago.
And now are completely lost.
And don’t even know.

And you wonder
What has caused
My soul’s tears…