He gave his only begotten son.
kitten   June 30, 2002

HEAVEN BOUNCER: "Please state your name."
TOM: "Tom Watts."
HEAVEN BOUNCER: "Well, Tom Watts - do you think you lead a good life?"
TOM: "Yes sir, I do."
HEAVEN BOUNCER: "Tell me about it. Why should we let you into Heaven?"
TOM: "Well, I was always an ethical person. I didn't lie or cheat. I never stole from anyone."
BOUNCER: "How about your family? Treat them well, did you?"
TOM: "I think so, sir. I loved my wife and kids, and worked hard to make sure they were always cared for and had food on the table. It wasn't easy, but it was worth it to see them happy. I set up an insurance fund for them so that when I died, they would continue to be taken care of."
BOUNCER: "Anything else you care to tell me?"
TOM: "I gave as much money as I could to charity, volunteered my time for soup kitchens and such, and when my wife or I found a stray dog or cat, I would take it into my home and take care of it."
BOUNCER: "Did you go to Church?"
TOM: "Well, I, uh, you see -"
BOUNCER: "Yes or no?"
TOM: "No, sir, I did not. I never really knew what to believe."
BOUNCER: "Away with him to Hell! Next!"
JIM: "Hello."
BOUNCER: "Name."
JIM: "Jim Torres."
BOUNCER: "Do you think you lived a good life?"
JIM: "Well, I.. where I come from, a man may not incriminate himself."
BOUNCER: "The law is different here. Answer the question."
JIM: "I guess I didn't always do the right thing, no."
BOUNCER: "Explain."
JIM: "Well, I wasn't always real nice to my wife.."
BOUNCER: "Go on."
JIM: "Okay, I admit it. I beat her about once a month. And I had a few affairs behind her back."
BOUNCER: "I see. How about work? How'd you do there?"
JIM: "I worked as an analyst for a retailer."
BOUNCER: "Ever steal from work?"
JIM: "Actually, I made off with over a hundred thousand in cash and merchandise during my time there."
BOUNCER: "Do you believe in Jesus?"
JIM: "Oh yes! I believe that Jesus was the messiah and savior come to cleanse the world of sin!"
BOUNCER: "Give him a harp!"

One nation, under Jesus, with Thought Police and facism for all.
kitten   June 28, 2002

For those of you who have been on Mars for the past few days and are just now getting back, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the phrase "under god" in the Pledge Of Allegiance was unconstitutional.

Naturally, the theocratic senators and congressmen are in an uproar, as is the media and a great deal of the citizenry. There is an almost uniform opposition across the board to this decision, with arguments being trotted out from every armchair politician, street lawyer, god-fearing fundamentalist, and elected member of the House and Senate.

And each time I hear the inane, twisted, factually incorrect psuedologic that passes for rational thought these days, I become more angered with the Fundamentalist gold-digging twits we've elected to represent us.

"This decision is just nuts," said Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D - SD. "Our Founding Fathers must be spinning in their graves," said Sen. Kit Bond, R - MO. "What is next? Will the courts now strip 'So help me God' from the pledge taken by new presidents?"
Trent Lott was heard to remark, "This doesn't make good sense to me."


Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to take this opportunity to address a few issues. If you pay attention, it's possible you may learn something - and it may not be entirely boring, either. Constitutional law is fun for everyone!

The Declaration Of Independance
As has been pointed out ad nauseum by various politicians and laypeople, the Declaration of Independance mentions a higher power (specifically, a "Creator", as in, "All men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights..") no less than four times. They then go on to suggest that in order to remove all references to God in the government, we would have to declare the Declaration unconstitutional.

What these people fail to realize is that the Declaration of Independance is not a legal document; that is to say, it is not a law, and therefore cannot be declared unconstitutional. It was written a full eleven years before the Constitution (which was drafted in 1787 and adopted in 1789), and has absolutely no bearing in legal matters or in matters of government.

The Founding Fathers, and this Christian Nation
Dissenters to the court ruling point to the Declaration of Independance and conclude that the 'Founding Fathers' were clearly theists, and moreover, Christian (it is no secret that when 'religion' is being discussed in this country as it relates to the government, it means Christianity).

This is entirely incorrect. Some of the founding fathers were Christian, and some were not. Ben Franklin was as close to being an atheist as one could be in those days without being lynched. A huge number of them were Deists, Thomas Jefferson being among the most vocal.

"I have examined all the known superstitions of the word, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology." - Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to William Short

"The doctrine of the divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity." - John Adams

It's curious to me how many people today are attempting to use the founding fathers as support for state-sponsored religion ("This is a nation founded on Christian ideals!"). They seem to be ignoring that it was these very same founding fathers who authored the Establishment clause of our Constitution:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...
The founding fathers knew what they were doing, and specifically forbade church and state from meddling in each other's affairs.

And what else do we find in the Constitution? An interesting article which states that any treaty ratified and signed by the President does become law. And lo and behold:

"The Government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion." - Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli, signed by John Adams
Like it or not, there it is: a treaty, which is therefore a law, which gasp! is even signed by a founding father.

It may also interest the Bush administration and the duly appointed Supreme Justices thereof, that having firsthand knowledge of the state-established religions of Europe, only 7% of the people in the 13 colonies belonged to a church when the Declaration of Independence was signed. A major reason for many colonists to leave England and come here was their frustration at being kicked around by the Church-controlled governing body of England; these people knew firsthand what happens when government and religion tangle with each other.

"So help me God."
This is the traditional ending to the Oath of Office taken by the President when he is inaugurated. The key word here is traditional, not legal. The Constitution tells us the legally binding oath, and it is as follows:

"I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and I will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Many, if not all, Presidents have added, "so help me God" to the end of this, as a personal affirmation of their beliefs, but it is not required. You can view the oath here; that site is Christian-oriented, and even they do not add "so help me God", because it is not a legally recognized part of the oath.

Godless Communists
The Pledge of Allegiance was written by a Christian socialist in 1892. It did not include the phrase "under God", but merely stated "...one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

The phrase "under God" was added by President Eisenhower in 1954, during the height of McCarthyism and anti-Communist hysteria. At the time, Josef Stalin was promoting atheism as a (Soviet) state-sponsored religion; this, coupled with the increasing concern that the rote and mindless recitation of the Pledge resembled Communist indoctrination, gave impetus to the "under God" phrase being added, to distinguish ourselves from the Evil Empire of Soviet Russia.
Eisenhower's final nudge came from a campaign by the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic men's service organization, and other religious leaders who sermonized that the pledge needed to be distinguished from similar orations used by "godless communists.'' (As an aside, this is the same time, and for the same reasons, that "In God We Trust" was added to US currency.)

As Eisenhower himself put it,

"From this day forward, the millions of our school children will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and every rural school house, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty."
Read it again. The primary reason for adding the two small but controversial words to the pledge was to promote religion, and a specific brand of religion (monotheism) at that. This is a clear violation of the Establishment clause that our forefathers had the insight to put down on paper, and our current political leaders need to quit grinding their doctrinal axes and pay attention to the facts.

The Spirit of '76
Some of our Founding Fathers were deeply religious, and some were not. Yet all of them were aware - from firsthand experience - that the only path to true religious freedom is a secular government. The phrase "under God" was added in 1954; modern politicians see no problem with it, and point out how close it was to the 'true spirit' of our forefathers. Now, I ask you - who is more close to the intent of the Founding Fathers? Is it the Congress and President of 1954 and today? Or is it the Founding Fathers themselves, who worked so hard to draft the Constitution to prevent the commingling of religion and governance?

Let's just push the button; we'd be better off dead.
kitten   June 21, 2002

As anyone who spends any appreciable time online knows, the Web (or, if you prefer, "teh Interweb!") is mostly noise and very little signal, and it's only getting worse with each passing day.

livejournal.com does very little to help the situation, and hurts it quite a bit.

I've always been opposed to things like AOL, which markets itself as "So Easy To Use", thrusting an obnoxiously dumbed-down interface at those too stupid, lazy, or ignorant to take the time to get a real ISP where they might - gasp! - have to learn at least something about How Things Work. livejournal does much the same thing, allowing those who have no clue what they're doing and nothing to say to crapflood the digital world with endless mindvomit.

Now, I'm not saying everyone who uses a computer should be Hacker Extrodanaire, just as I don't say everyone who drives a car should a master mechanic. But I do insist that those who drive or use computers should take the minimal time to at least have some knowledge about what's going on. I am certainly no IT God, but compared to most Users, I may as well be Lord Of The Internet. And that's sad.

livejournal, for those of you who don't know, is an online diary of sorts, a means by which those with accounts can update a small page (typically, livejournal.com/users/username) - not entirely unlike the weblog you're reading right now. (My nonexistant god only knows why.)

But the myriad of annoyances livejournal produces is truly staggering.

First, getting an account isn't as simple as signing up, or taking out some space on a hosting service somewhere, or any other free online weblogging system (such as BlogSpot, which - like livejournal - does not require that you have your own webspace somewhere). No sir, at livejournal, you have to either pay, or have an 'access code' granted to you from on high by another user, who himself only has a limited amount of new signup referrals he can make. Can you say "elitist", boys and girls? I knew that you could.

Then there's the "Current Mood:" option which is default for all accounts unless you specify otherwise. This is for those of you who are such piss-poor writers that your reader would be unable to tell what you're thinking or what kind of mood you're in without you smacking them upside the head with it. This goes hand-in-hand with the "Current Music:" option, because really, we all care what you happen to be listening to at the moment.

Next, the "friends" list. Furthering the elitism of livejournal, each user constructs a list of other users that they like or find interesting or regularly read or whatever. In this manner, livejournal users can participate in an insular circle-jerk, forever shutting out anyone not in the uberl33t cadre.

This feature is vaguely related to the next feature, which is the ability to comment on posts made by a user. Other weblogs have this, certainly, but because of the circular nature of livejournal, these comments are usually one-liner "LOL"s or "nice post", strongly reminiscent of the "me too!" AOL battlecry. This, coupled with the friends list, sometimes also hints at the hostility bubbling just below the surface of this Friendly Community, where users snipe at each other about who's on what friend list and who got removed and why, or why User X thinks User Y is full of shit or a liar (keep in mind that most livejournal accounts do not allow anonymous comment posting; one must have an account to comment on another). Watching the children bicker with each other about trivial minutae is fun for about three minutes, at which point one usually decides one's time could be better spent smashing one's head with a clawhammer.

And that's just the features available to the user. The content is even worse. livejournal's front page allows you to select an account to read purely at random, and by clicking that twenty times as a sample (hey, when you're bored at work, you find ways of occupying your time, okay?) you quickly realize what sort of terminally braindead people get livejournal accounts. A typical post will consist of one or more of the following:

  • Today I did this, then I did this. So-and-so was there, and we did this. LOL! We saw such-and-such and so-and-so got so mad!!!!11 A very simple, just-the-facts explanation of the banal events of the day. Borrring.
  • I wrote some shitty poetry I feel the need to share with you.
  • I wrote some poetry that I think makes me artistic and insightful because I included lots of colons and ampersands, and I didn't capitalize anything.
  • I'm so confused about my boyfriend/girlfriend/ex, but instead of being even mildly interesting about it, I'm going to regale you with a fifteen-paragraph dissertation which will include every mind-numbingly boring detail that nobody needs to know or cares about - and I'm not going to include any line breaks, either, so it's going to be an endless block of text that's impossible to read.
  • And the all-time favorite of livejournal denizens: Here's eighty online quizzes I took for no reason and spammed to my account so you, gentle reader, would have the glory of knowing what color I am, what Trainspotting character I am, what drug I am, what anime I am, what toothpaste I like, what sexual position I prefer, what video game character I am, what kind of vomit I produce, how evil I am, how nice I am, what cologne I'm most like, and which Trent Reznor I am. Because my life is so meaningless and hopelessly full of drudgery that the only intersting thing I can find to say about myself to the world at large is based on inane online quizzes!

So. That's nine-tenths of the livejournal accounts out there: Boring, poorly written, horrendous spelling, and laden with pointless and irritating quizzes and graphics. Add the matter-of-fact paint-by-numbers updates, all without even the slightest hint of introspection or even a glimmer that the person is somehow opening themselves up to you (or, opposite end of the spectrum, the ones who turn the most mundane happestance into a life-shattering event of emotional crisis).

Now, some would say that I'm being a bit hypocritical. After all, I've got the walled city, haven't I?

Of course I do. But we conciously chose to disallow comments from people; we don't paste dozens upon dozens of moronic quizzes; we don't talk about things that are likely to get us in trouble from the people we know read this and then complain about the person getting pissy afterwards; we try (try, not always succeed) to be at least mildly entertaining; we spell correctly for the most part and understand how to format things so as to be readable; our grammar would not make our third-grade teacher weep; and though I can't speak for Bryan, I at least like to think that my writing - while nothing spectacular - is at least a grade or two above normal weblogging, and goddammit, when I'm done with this post, I don't need to TELL you that my mood is "annoyed" or "bitchy", because you can already see that.

Bottom line: Bryan said it best when he opined that "livejournal is the /dev/toilet of the net."

From Atlanta, good-fucking-night.

Current mood: ironic (insert cutsey graphic of an animated four-frame cat-like thing spinning around for no readily discernable reason)
Current music: "I Hate You", Edge Of Ettiquette

His veins burned gasoline.
kitten   June 17, 2002

There's a blog, the URL of which escapes me, that purports to be written by a cat. Sure, that's kind of silly, but when you read it, it's almost charming. Uses simple, broken language, very much how I imagine Molly thinks - to the extent she can be said to think at all. Who knows what's in a cat's mind.

At any rate, this was the Valentine's day excerpt. I know it's sappy, deliberately not well-written, but.. I don't know. I thought it was touching, and reads like poetry.

Sort of makes me sad.


it is now Valentines day and for some reason that means hearts
if you dno t have a valentine I will be yours
it is a service I offer to everybody because sometimes you don't have one and it it sad
that is what I'm told

I figure cats canbe valentines as well as people but without the smooching
sorry I don't do that
but if I am in a good mood you can scritch my ears
and call me valentine

Another forty-eight hours.
kitten   June 16, 2002

Putting aside the heat for a moment, there is one thing I like about summer, that point in the Earth's endless cosmic ballet around the Sun in which our hemisphere is tipped towards, rather than away, from that fiery ball, trillions upon trillions of superhot exploding hydrogen nuclei being smashed into helium.

It's been several revolutions around our midsize star, far off in the backwaters of the universe, on the edge of such an unremarkable galaxy - several orbits, each season swinging through green grass, dead cold sky, opening petals, scorched asphalt, and tumbling crimson leaves on a high autumn wind - orbits, revolutions, years, however you choose to look at it, that I've paid any attention to fireflies.

Tonight on a long road by a hot June mountain replete with foliage and flora, they came twirling out of the darkness by the hundreds, blinking and dancing through the sky, the trees, like little pixies and fairies. You watch them long enough, you discern patterns in their movements, tiny Christmas lights swooping down and back up in the shape of a J.

When I was little I'd try to catch them - didn't everyone? I'd clomp out into the front yard, lit by a rustic streetlight meant to emulate a gaslamp, and try to attract them with a flashlight, or simply reach out at the nearest one and close my hand around it, careful not to crush the tiny life inside my fist.

Thought I'd put them in a jar with some scraps of leaves and twigs and keep them on my nighstand all night where they could blink at me and keep me company. Those of you who have tried this will know this already: The sad little fireflies won't light up when you keep them confined.

When I woke up the next morning, my fireflies were dead, face up on the bottom of the jar, a steady but incredibly faint glow of death eminating from their bellies, the last vestiges of whatever chemical reactions produce their light, a far cry from the wonderful dancing luminous beings they had been only hours before.

I cried and dumped them out my second-story bedroom window, and I never caught fireflies again.

But I still like to see them every night, twinkling and flashing little reminders that some things aren't meant to be bottled up.

Remember, the Force will be with you. Always.

When you depart from me sorrow abides, and happiness takes it's leave.
Much Ado About Nothing, Act i, Sc.1

All the meat, and all it wants.
kitten   June 8, 2002

Let it be known that I have the worst sense of direction ever seen on this mortal coil.

I was supposed to go meet people at a park this afternoon. I ended up at a park alright - but not the one I meant to. I just pulled in there for the express purpose of calling Bryan to find maps online and tell me where the hemmoraghing fuck I was, because left to my own devices I'd end up in Kentucky.

And my cell phone is a complete piece of crap as well, I think I should mention. Kept dying in the middle of calls, or not actually dialing when it said it was, or randomly dialing other numbers; when it did connect, all I could hear was static hissing down at me from some celltower, somewhere. Then it would die again.

So instead of actually meeting people, my afternoon consisted of waving my hands around while I screamed into the phone "Hey!... Are you there? ...I can't hear you! Hello?... Yeah, I need you to look up a map for me. *click* ...Fuck! *redial* Me again. No, I don't know where I am. No, I don't know what road this is. I think it's Whitlock. Or is it Burnt Hickory? ...Can you hear me? Are you still there?"

It was real fun, let me tell you. And these weirdos kept leering at me, and tennis-playing housewives kept giving me strange looks and steering their children away from my car, as though I was going to leap out and eviscerate the little snot with my katana.


Anyway, this is hardly the first time I've gotten horribly lost, either. When Bryan came down from Philidelphia and I thought I'd give him a 'tour' of the asphalt-skyscraper void that is Atlanta, I ended up driving in circles for an hour:

"Washington Avenue? We're on Washington Avenue! In fact, didn't we just turn off Washington Avenue? How the hell can the same street intersect with itself three times? We must be at the nexus of the universe!"

Or or, the time I was supposed to pick my mother up from the hospital and got lost on the highway systems of Georgia for six hours. Yes, that's right. I drove up 85 and down 75 and around 285 and spent time on highways I don't even know the numbers and names of, for six hours, utterly and completely clueless.

I swear I could get lost travelling in a straight line.

I wonder how much those GPS tracker thingers would cost.

kitten   June 7, 2002
And you will know him by this sign..

I got asked the question so many times during my less-than-stellar academic career, by various guidance counselors, teachers, psychologists, and even my parents. The question came either verbally or on cute pre-printed and mimeographed forms, but it was always the same question:

Where do you see yourself in five years?

My standard-issue, sarcastic stockphrase reply was always, "Sitting in a padded cell, making knives out of toothbrushes."

I gave that answer because it was as inane as the question. I gave that answer because I thought I was being clever. I gave that answer because I was a cynical bastard, jaded even at that age.

I gave that answer because the truth was, I had no idea. Not a glimmering of a clue, not an electronic sausage. Nothing.

And now I am there, that mystical distant static-filled future that was such an impenetrable fog in the heady days of yesteryear. And in retrospect, I still don't know what I should have offered as a more meaningful response to the question, but I'm sure that the life I'm living now wouldn't be it.

Sometimes I feel old. Tired, worn out; a now-useless relic of some ancient society's vision of the future, to be regarded only as a mildly interesting antique, but nowhere near as bright and shiny as the offerings of today.
It doesn't seem so long ago that I was one of them. In truth, it wasn't that long ago that I was one of them.

But every now and then, there is someone who penetrates like a shaft of summer sun on a hazy winter's snowfield, someone who reaches from their time to yours and bridges the gap.

Cassi is such a person, a bright and beautiful young woman who burns hot inside with passion-fueled flames that are woefully kept at bay by the cold and stifling world around her, the pitious writhing mass of slavering medocrity that she is forced to call her peers. In her, I sometimes feel I have a kindred spirit, the type of optimistic idealistic dreamer held back by a cruel and heartlessly objective world that quenches dreams under an iron fist of pessimistic reality.

But her touch and her words spark a hope in me. She makes me feel like I am young again.

She is a remarkable woman.

* disclaimer: Don't even ask. :)

Society's priorities.
kitten   June 3, 2002

CNN.com's poll today - I check every day, not because it's important, but because they're so laughably banal or overblown - is: "Are you watching the World Cup? Yes / No"

The World Cup, the World Cup. I am sick of hearing about the bloody World-fucking-Cup, and I live in America, where the only people who watch it are sports fanatics who will watch any sport, or pretentious twits who want to prove how worldly and cultured they are by partaking of a typically non-American pasttime. I imagine these people also arrogantly twist slices of lemon over salmon steaks while discussing the state of modern high art.

At any rate, it disgusts me how obnoxiously enthusiastic people get over things like this. Look, I'm all for getting excited about things, but come on. It's a fucking game. A bunch of people chase a ball around (this is somehow much more refined and elegant than, say, American football, though nobody can provide a coherent reason why). And everyone bickers and argues and struts around while watching the games and comparing scores of this country versus that country, as though the spectators had anything to do with it, any personal responsibility or investment for the wins and defeats.

And when it's all said and done, what are we left with, really?
One country gets to say "We chased the ball around better than anybody!"

..woo-hoo? You wanna talk anti-climatic? There you go, kids. Full of sound and fury, but signifying nothing.

It occurs to me that if we devoted even a tenth as much of our time and attention to, oh, say, something that actually mattered, the world could be a much better place.

Look, enjoy the sport, cheer your team on, do whatever. Have fun with it. Be entertained. I'm not saying it's a bad thing - not at all. All I'm sayin' is, it's just a fucking game, people. Keep that in mind.

It's hard to keep good spirits when the bottle's your best friend.
kitten   June 2, 2002

You know the movie is going to be good when it's called Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter.

I wandered over to the Regal Cinema complex, which is the size of a small town, where parts of the Atlanta Film Festival were being hosted. The line for Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter was wrapped around several lengths of roped-off maze, and I was the second-to-last person to be admitted after waiting in line for a half hour.

But it was worth it. He's God's only son, a kung-fu fighting Prince of Peace, and he battles legions of undead lesbian vampires with the help of his pro-wrestling sidekick. And there's a musical number.

Two suited THUGS get out of a Jeep, a MAN and a WOMAN.

Hello, Hey-Seuss. You don't know us because we don't talk to you. We're the Atheists.

We're taking this Second Coming thing down. You can consider this the thirteenth station of the Cross.

Well, let's get on with the conversions.

Six ATHEISTS pile out of the Jeep, clowns-with-Volkswagen style, and form a menacing circle around JESUS, who brings each of them down in turn. Four more ATHEISTS get out of the Jeep and the fight is repeated.

Real enough for you?

All in all, I was immensely amused, although I could have done without the snobby effete "Indy Film" pretentious twits hanging around making comments about every aspect of the movie.

I laughed, I cried, it was better than Cats!..

. . . . .

Last night, I got bored, and I put my car into gear and drove, drove, drove, until I found myself in Buckhead, surrounded by legions and hoardes of drunk party-goers, club-hoppers, and scene-whores.

I threw some money at a parking attendant and wandered around for a while. I got cheered and whistled at by a party-bus full of drunk women.

I turned down offers from sketchy weirdos trying to sell me various forms of cheap jewelry. I smoked cigarettes in the neon glow of a club marquee.

I ended up going into a bar that was called, as far as I was able to determine, Bar. Clever.

And so I angled my way through the crowd and sidled up to the bar itself, watching drunk girls climb the bartop and counters and gyrate to the music, which was, for some inexplicable reason, Bon Jovi's "Livin' On A Prayer".

I ordered a screwdriver, and I ordered a screwdriver, and I ordered a screwdriver, and I got chatted up by a fetching young lady, and I ordered a screwdriver, and I ordered a screwdriver, and I made the mistake of hitting on a cop.

Look, I'd had something like six screwdrivers, okay? I'm not a big guy, either - all of 130 pounds. And I'd had nothing to eat in well over 24 hours.

And it's not like she was wearing a uniform. Still, it probably wasn't the best idea to go up to her and slur, "Hey, pretty lady," emulating a Roxbury character, and then dissolving into insane giggles.

No, hitting on women is not something I normally do. Even if it was, it wouldn't be as ridiculous as what I said. It just seemed to make some sort of drunken sense that she'd know I was just quoting a movie. Stupid drunklogic.

She turned the full force of Cop Eye on me, which I think they must teach at the academy, and then I saw the badge hanging from her hip.

It was about that time I decided to leave.

Anyway, it was fun. At least I had a better time than I would have sitting at Waffle House.

But in a vague sort of way, the kind of lingering doubt that tickles the bottom of your conciousness, it was depressing. My arrival wasn't noted by anyone, nor was my departure.

Not, of course, that I expected to cause anything of a stir. But knowing that you're unimportant and experiencing it are two different things.

Six and a half billion people on this twirling blue-green rock. Four and a half million people in this city alone, this city of commercialism and neon skyscrapers and sultry summer nights. And not one of them cares that I'm here, not one of them cares when I leave. And not one of them cares where I am, or why, or what I want, or what I need.

And not one of them is interested in knowing who I am.

I'm not sure I blame them.

But I was too drunk to notice any of this. And so I continued giggling, and continued drinking, and so passed the night without me.

You cope however you can.