My name is Scott McKinney. I don’t know how you stumbled on this website, but I’m happy to have you here! Before we get started, let me tell you a little about myself.
I’m 22 as of this post. I graduated from Penn State Behrend with a Marketing degree in December 2018 and snagged a job in Pennsylvania as a Multi Media Sales Executive, which is a fancy way to say that I sell advertising. My favorite hobbies are writing (the whole reason for this website), spending time with my loving girlfriend, Alex, and family and just generally creating stuff. I’ve experimented with painting, creating songs and YouTube video’s under the name “Mr. Eighth Wonder”, where I’ve amounted a whopping 14 subscribers. The only song that I’ve written so far is called “My Girlfriend Thinks It’s Hot When I Rap,” which if you want to hear some cringy shit, listen to that on SoundCloud.
I hope the main reason that you’re here is because you heard about my writing. That’s my main passion and my long term writing goals are to publish a book and hopefully put a compilation of short stories on the Amazon eBook store. I also hope to become a bit of an emotional outlet for people. Life is hard and sometimes it’s even harder to put into words why it’s hard. I hope that my writing can help people with that.
Hopefully you like what I write and keep coming back for more. Not everything will be perfect and you won’t like it all, but I hope you bear with me as I try to become a better writer.
I strongly believe that if I won the lottery, I would be disappointed. I don’t want free money. There’s no value there. I want to work hard and earn it all myself. I don’t have rich tastes so I wouldn’t spend it anyway so why does it matter?
If I had all of the money in the world…
I would buy my dream house.
I would own my favorite car.
I would never work another day of my life.
I would not need to worry about my well-being.
I would be happy.
But, if I had all of the money in the world…
Would I have any ambition?
Would I value my relationships?
Would I find purpose in what I do?
Would I enjoy what I spent it on?
Would I truly find anything but emptiness?
If I could have all of the money in the world…
Would I want it?
Don’t look up. Ignore them. Keep going.
Keep your eyes down. Keep them away from those that you pass. Keep them where no one can see what’s inside of them. Keep your eyes down to the ground.
Don’t dare to look up. Avoid confrontation form a passerby. Avoid the uncomfortable feeling of having your eyes meet with a stranger. If you keep your eyes down, you’ll avoid all of the discomfort and simply watch where you’re walking.
Watch where you’re going. Stay out of everyone’s way. Don’t touch their shoulders. Don’t do anything that will make you stand out. Don’t draw attention to yourself.
I’m not afraid of looking up. It’s just unpleasant. When you do look up, you see into people’s blank, expressionless faces. You see through the shield that they put up when they’re with people that they know. Their defenses are lowered and what takes their places are raw emotion.
When I look up to see this emotion, it feels relatable… and that alone is depressing. When I stop to really look into these stranger’s eyes, they’re no happy than I am. They’re just going on with their lives in the same way that I do, with the same existential questions that I have. When I truly gaze into their face, the gateway to the soul, all I see is the same sadness that I have.
When I see the eyes of people older and younger than me, I become aware of the never-ending escape from the misery that I feel every day. People everywhere deal with the same issues that I have. To some, that may feel comforting; knowing that nothing will change and that you are as happy as you will ever be. For me, it is a rude awakening – an awakening that makes you consider if it’s truly worth seeing tomorrow.
But if I keep my eyes down, it’s easier to pretend that tomorrow will be better. If I avoid these blank stares that remind me of the inescapable future. If I simply avoid looking anywhere but my feet, I’ll keep the illusion that it will all be okay within my reach.
“Reading this one gave me a pretty good understanding of what it feels like to have a stroke.” – Kyle
Do you hear the sounds? The way the orchestra plays in the back of your mind is like a train smashing into the side of your car. The way the notes tickle your inner ear, making you dizzy to the point of nausea. It’s trying to tell me something, but I can’t figure out what.
The piano is thumping, and the keys of the drums are ringing. I can hear the way that the bass drum thuds on the strings. My violin sounds like a flute and the trumpet sounds like an oboe. I don’t know what it means but the confusion feels like ecstasy. The way the dancers sing, and the choirs slide around the ballroom. It all makes sense but it’s all so wrong.
Climb to see higher and understand the room. The room is on fire, but the furnace is an icebox. The freezer is a chair and the meats are on the sofa. People are ablaze, but the pool is full of snow. The oil below is lit but water spews like a geyser. The trombonist is in a bathrobe while the Tibetan monk is in the shower. Nothing makes sense except for a dollar, but my wallet is full of kittens, not currency.
The meat stands from the sofas and dances with the monks. The steps keep going on and on, ever reaching and fruitful. The banister’s are carrots and the stairs are hermit crabs. The room is confusing and the writing on the walls is moving like ants. The words move to spell out what you’re thinking, but you don’t understand your own thoughts. The bass drum play’s Clare de Lune and the piano plays a jazzy hi-hat.
The stairs disappear but they still exist. Nothing is true, but all is accurate. I step higher until the beauty rips me down from my pedestal. I am the flower while the petals are the confused. They fall one at a time. They love me. They love me not. They love me. They love me not. They love me. The money in my wallet purrs like a jet plane’s engine and the kittens play with the dancing choirs which were nothing but yarn.
Finding an effective way to relax is either too difficult or too easy, but either way, you need to use that time wisely. In this episode, I ramble on about how I relax and what works for me.
This is not meant to disrespect anyone. Every lifestyle that’s chosen is difficult in its own way and is arguably just as difficult as any other.
Written by: Scott McWordplay
Art by: Kiersten Lee Ketter
I’m either going to work my ass off and become a big success, or I’m going to drive the blade of an ax through my skull. Either way, somethings going to touch my temporal lobe with everlasting effects more impressive than Willy Wonka’s candy. If I stop moving, then I’ll slide into a pit of quick sand. When the tip of my finger gets pulled under as I reach for my last breath of air, I’ll fall into a bed of Indiana Jones-esque spikes, and a tripwire-controlled ax will drop from the ceiling.
If I slow down that much, I’d welcome both the spikes and the ax. If I just kept sinking until I died of old age, never being totally pulled under, I’d be miserable for much too long; so long that it should be a violation of human rights. I don’t understand how people find it acceptable to work upwards of nine hours a day, spend the five after driving home, cooking dinner, and watching TV until they fall asleep. Then, the next morning, instead of working for some change or quitting altogether, they do it all again, hoping that it gets better, but not enough to inspire the hidden ambition beneath their skin.
The ambition crawls like a baby xenomorph. They’ll touch every part of your soul and do everything to break out, but humans have this impeccable ability to reach deep down and refuse to let it burst through their chest because of “security” or “comfort” or “energy” or “family” or whatever else they can muster up and throw at it. They pour the excuses onto the little alien until it’s drowned as much as their childhood whimsical spirit. It refuses to break out because their excitement’s gone.
People can say that adulthood slows you down because of responsibility, but I think that’s closed-minded and ridiculous. Just because your parents and friends have taken one generic route and that seems to be the easy one doesn’t mean it’s the only one. It’s easy because it doesn’t take as much effort. It’s the route for people that are okay with settling down. It’s not okay with people who equate settling down to an ax through the skull.
When depression and anxiety hit at the same time that you’re working on a project, time becomes a very unwelcome enemy.
The chimes of the loyal timekeeper echo through the halls, vibrating my bones. It’s midnight again. It’s midnight again. It’s another midnight. Another entire day of nothing.
When all else fails, I still have the bells of my six-foot master. When no one is around and nothing that I’ve done brings me feelings other than sorrow, the clock always reminds me of where I fall; between the clutches of sunlight and the strangling’s of night.
They bring me a sense of empty contempt. I’ve made this simple, inanimate creature my nemesis. For far too long it’s dictated my life, telling me how to live; how to exist.
It controls me, stealing my remaining sense of calm. Every midnight I wait for its lulling, infuriating ding-dong to command me to sleep. It talks to me. The optimistic sounds conveying that tomorrow will be better…the tomorrow will be better.
But I know all too well that it’s a lie. The optimism isn’t real. The chimes are inaudible when the deafening silence of anxiety take hold. The optimism is gone. The hope ceases to exist.
Even the clock leaves me alone. I thought the one constant was this simple, reassuring ticking and tocking.
In time, even the grandfather clock leaves you alone, to sit in an endless cycle of midnight.
Welcome to Room 101, where no one can hear your screams and the rats are hungry.
Written by: Scott McMusophobia
Art by: Kiersten Lee Ketter
It’s not 1984 or Brave New World. Each of them would be favorable when compared to the nightmares that I see every day. I see only darkness and spotlights when I go outside. Attack helicopters circle every city block around the world. Orwell must have thought he was being so clever when he designed a world that was controlled by three factions (or not, we’ll never truly know what that world was). I see only one, and the helicopters enforce their rule every step of the way.
I’m forced to take the same routine paths to the drudgery the awaits. When I wake up, the spotlight helps me see in the ice-cold shower. The curtain is covered in mold and mildew. It used to be covered in dolphins that were enjoying a seascape, but they’re long gone. Breakfast is always the same. I wish I could sit out with a cup of coffee and watch the sunrise. I haven’t done that since I… well, I don’t really remember when. The sun never rises. The spotlight is the new sun, but it doesn’t warm and gives no vitamins.
At least I’m able to drive. That’s something that will be taken away soon enough, but not yet. They haven’t decided that driving is too much freedom yet. They even let me play music. Every morning I turn it on, but it’s always sung or played by people who are followed by the same aerial enforcers, and that reminds me of only the same control that they have over me. I turn it on and off in the same hopelessly hopeful way as I did the day prior.
When I get to the donkeywork, the spotlight stares through the paper blinds that don’t do what the name insinuates. My muzzle is tightened, and stale bread fills my mouth. I’d rather eat my shower curtain. The nourishment gives me exactly the amount of strength that I need to work, but no where near enough to fight back. I sit back and do my work, occasionally relieving myself into the tube below. They say it improves productivity if I don’t have to get up and get distracted. It’s hard to focus when the spotlight glares off of my computer screen and into my eyes, but no where near as much as all of the other helicopters, all piloted by different demons.
The drive to my apartment (I won’t call it a home because my heart is nowhere and doing nothing but waiting to stop) is always slower than the drive to work. I have no where that I need to be and no one that I have to please. I am only allowed to go back to my strategically crafted bed of nails, which has one too few to elicit any form of pseudocomfort, so that I can have enough energy to do it all again tomorrow. I sit and wait, until my eyes close like a hydraulic press, hoping that they don’t have to work tomorrow.
Birds chirping. Streams rolling. Dogs barking. Winds blowing.
Lost in thought. Not sure where to go. Not sure what I’m meant to do. Just… lost.
It’s beautiful. These sounds… they follow me. I want to be alone. They make me feel unsettled. They make me feel calm. I’m right where I need to be. I feel lost.
Birds mocking. Streams laughing. Dogs yelling. Winds taunting.
The noises stalk me. They’re unwelcome. They feel scornful. They sound like disappointment. They follow me like unkempt demons.
Not sure where to go. Thoughts jumbled. World moves fast…faster…faster. Not sure what I’m meant to be. Just… lost.
I feel like I can’t say anything about depression until I’m a bit more transparent about who I am and why I feel like I should make a podcast… so here.
I was told that it was treatable but yet, it’s eating me alive. I’ve tried medication after medication and nothing seems to work. It’s hard not to lose hope. With no chance of relief, what’s the point?
I feel like I’ve lived a decent life. It’s not as long as I thought it would be, but it was still okay. Sometimes I think it’s a little unfair that I’m the one that got this… thing, but I think this is just how it’s meant to be. I think I handle it better than most people so if anyone was to get it, maybe it’s best that it’s me.
The doctors say that the medication will help but that’s just a lie. It’s not their fault. They don’t know any better. They just prescribe the medicine that someone else made. It does surprise me that after around eight years of college, doctors are just pushers for some pharmaceutical company’s product, but I’m getting off topic.
I don’t know how much longer I have left. I think it’s kind of up to me at this point. If I keep powering through, it might get better… but if I keep powering through and it doesn’t, then I’m right where I started, except maybe a little bit more exhausted. If I give up then I get the promise that at the very least, I don’t feel the painful decay of my body and mind for any longer.
But I won’t bother with any decisions today. I’ll keep powering through. It just wears more and more. Every day different than the last. Maybe tomorrow will be better. All I can really do is stay optimistic. But what’s the point of optimism if it all ends in the same thing.
The doctors say that a positive mindset is all I really need to keep going. But what do they know. I’m sure their lives aren’t anywhere near as bad as mine.