The American Dream

A steady job, kids and happiness, that’s what everyone wants when the become an adult. As a kid, they watch their parents struggle through the daily grind, unaware of the difficulties that they faced, knowing that when they got older, they’d have the privilege of facing the same struggles on their own terms. Eventually everyone will come out on top and life will work out for them, as long as they’re happy with a steady job, kids and happiness.

Day in and day out, people do the same work that some no name did before them, they’re paid in nickels and dimes, and then they go home to a family that, just like them, spends more time at work than with the one’s they love. From 8:00 in the morning to 5:00 in the evening, the days pass by and time seems to move faster as everyone waits for that next impactful moment in their life when everything changes.

When life grows stale, kids arrive. They throw their parents out of their comfort zones and create a new list of demands and dreams. The goals that the parents had set for themselves are passed to the young, and the parents wither away as the children grow into another group of unachieved ambitions.

Once complacency sits in, happiness is inevitable. There’s nothing to worry about anymore as the kids become adults and are self-sufficient and you’ve gotten enough job security to become less expendable. Fears and insecurities shrink and leave the parents to the same lives that they had before kids but with more certainty with a comfortable death. Cyclic lives, like their parents before them and their children after, create the unending rotation of new spirit to crush on this godforsaken planet, with no sign of it ending.

Last Minute

flowers marguerites destroyed dead
Photo by Gratisography on

Scott McShawshank

I never knew what I would be thinking when I got here. I always assumed it would have been something about my friends and family. Don’t get me wrong there is definitely some of that but not as much as I expected.

As I stand here, I think about how my family will feel once I’m gone. I think about the burden that they have been left with and how they will think about it everyday. I don’t know if they will ever get over it, but I don’t much care about that anymore. I’m just thinking of myself. Maybe it’s selfish but it doesn’t matter what others think when I’m gone.

The only other thing that keeps running through my mind is a scene from the Shawshank Redemption. That scene where the words “Brooks was here” are scratched into the rafters and he starts to rock his chair back and forth until it collapses beneath him. I always thought Brooks was a coward, but I get it now. He made the only decision that made any sense to him and all I can do is respect it.

I was curious as to why he chose the route that he did.  Why he chose the rafters and not a bridge or a weapon. It’s not really a choice, but rather, something forced on you by your mind. I never knew I’d choose it either but I did and it feels calming.

But now I’m done having these days thoughts. I will follow the path that Brooks had. Rock to the left then right. Rock to the left then right. Rock to the left then –

Dragon or Na?

I wrote this after watching How to Train Your Dragon and having an existential crisis… so this is what you get!

I’d rather die fighting a dragon than anything else. Well, I’d also be okay with dying to some other mythological creature, my personal favorite creature is a hydra, but if Cerberus or a minotaur killed me, that’d be cool too. If I die from a car crash, it’s tragic but shows the morality of man, and their willingness to get into, what my dad called automobiles when he was teaching me to drive, “speeding metal death traps.” If I died from old age, I’d have lived a long, potentially fulfilling life, but I’d fear the uncertainty of how or when I would pass. What if I died without saying I love you to my family one last time?

Image result for dragon

I’m not old, so the idea of death is still foreign to me and difficult to think about. It’s impossible to think about the end when you’re still at the beginning, and that’s why I want to die fighting a dragon. If I catch fire and burn to death, then I’m a valiant warrior and heroic person. If it bites my head off because I didn’t dive out of the way, then maybe I gave it enough food to protect a nearby village from its treachery for another day. If I tried to ride it, pretending like I’m a cartoon in a kid’s book, then I’d fall to my death as the most daring man who’s ever lived.

Dragons are fucking cool, and no matter how big and dangerous they are, dying to a dragon is awesome, and you would feel like a god. I’d be the guy who attacked a dragon and lost, but I’d be the guy who attacked a dragon. Instead of the failure that I’ve become today, I’d be a dragon warrior tomorrow. I wouldn’t regret all of the things I haven’t been able to do, but instead, I’d be remembered as the guy who failed to kill a dragon.

I’d rather be someone who failed at something amazing, then the guy who died in some other meaningless way. I could save a baby from the hands of a dangerous wizard but get killed by a lightning bolt. I could cut the first six heads of a hydra off but have the seventh take me down. I could even get so close to medusa that she turns to stone because of the reflection off of my eyes as they turn to stone too.

I just don’t want to go in some way that makes me easily forgettable. I want to meet my grandkids and live long enough to see show my parents that I’m successful, even against the most terrible odds. I would like to see my siblings all be as happy as they can be with people that fulfill their every need. I want this dragon to eat me, so that I don’t have to be disappointed when I fail on everything that I’ve set my heart to.

One Week With Depression — The Psych Talk

Check out the post that I wrote for The Psych Talk. It was a lot of fun and I hope to do more work with them soon. Click the link below to read the whole thing and then read some of the other stuff that they’ve put up too. It’s worth your time.

To me, depression is one of the most unique things for someone to go through. No one likes to talk about it but if you find the courage to, it’s hard to find someone who truly understands it. People take depression as far as they can, before it chews them up and spits them out. […]

via One Week With Depression — The Psych Talk

Wait Until It’s Over

Nothing that I write it supposed to inflict depressed thoughts on anyone. These are just some struggles that I have shoot through my head from time to time.

Scott McWaitingroom

Does it ever feel like you’re just wasting your life? You haven’t done anything impressive and everyone around you has. Some people have kids and dedicate their lives to that and others spend all of their time doing meaningless activities, but they both find fun and satisfaction in it. But what are you doing? Nothing.

When you play a game, it’s a waste of time because you’re not accomplishing anything. You’re just using your time and speeding like a bullet towards death, where every wasted minute is another that you’re feeling like there’s no point in having another minute of existence at all. You can’t have kids. They’d grow up to be the shitty ones at school that either bully the good kids or are too dumb to get anywhere in life. No matter the thing that you dedicate your life to, whether it’s friends, family, career or some other thing, you’ll fuck it up and be left as miserable as you are now.

headphones man music person
Photo by Burst on

That’s when the suicidal thoughts really hit. They hit when you feel like you can’t do anything right and that no matter what decision you make or what you spend your life on, it’ll still be a waste of time. You’ll still be nothing more than an object flying through space until the universe ends. If you can’t find purpose in something that’s directly within your power, then why push forward?

Everything feels so hopeless sometimes. Nothing you’re doing matters. Nothing that you’ve done has been good. Nothing that you will do will make you feel better. Maybe it’s best if we just lay in bed and wait until it’s over.


Scott McCrayola

multicolored smoke
Photo by on

Hue was a man whose heart was made of gold. His crystal blue eyes could comfort all of the people around him; they cradled you like the ocean cradles a boat. The wispy white hair on his head was a constant reminder that age doesn’t have anything to do with youth since he had the spirit of a new born, even though he was past his prime.

Hue was the kind of person that could make flowers bloom into beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow as he walked by. He lit up every room he was in, turning the blacks and grays into delightful mixes of green, pink and every other color of the rainbow.

Hue was a joyous old man who knew what to say, along with when and how to say it. He was the man that you would go to with problems that you never knew you had and he would help you with them. His calm demeanor made him everyone’s best friend, even if they never shared words. Hue was the person that everyone wanted to be around. He found joy in helping others.

So, when Hue died, the world seemed to stop. All of joy that he brought to so many was just a memory. His influence on the world was no more.

Hue was the best person that I have ever met. He brightened the world with kind words, thoughts and actions. Now that he’s gone, everything around me seems darker. It’s as if the brightness and the colors have dimmed. With Hue gone, it’s only a matter of time until the colors fade completely.


Ratt and Sia were right.

Scott McHerooftime

Every day is a gift. If you’re given the privilege of opening your eyes to see the yellowish-white ceiling with that ugly design that every ceiling in history has had, then you need to make the most of your day. Get a shower and start it off right. Eat breakfast, three eggs and a bagel, English muffin or toast, whatever you have available, and get dressed to take on the world.

The traffic to work isn’t bad because it could always be worse. Like the good little employee that you are, get to work five minutes early so that you’re sure you’re not going to be late. Then, when all is settled, take the first sip of life-giving coffee because it was too cold to drink up to this point.

The computer screen flashes and it begins. You’re back doing exactly what you had done the day before. You’re moving forward in time, but every day is a time machine to the day before, like a movie that’s on repeat. You’re moving forward in time, but every day is a time machine to the day before, like a movie that’s on repeat. Each day the coffee gets staler and the conversations with your coworkers get duller. Every morning that you come in, you’re closer to death, and no one is moving forward – just repeating the same day.

white analog clock
Photo by Ilya Bessonov on

Time is the only thing passing, and I can see it in the people I talk to. The bags under their eyes droop more and the smile lines start to crack, ink pouring out because they’ve drawn on fake grins since they joined the world because of the archaic things you’ve been told by people who have already signed their lives away to time and don’t want it back. “Don’t tell people how you really feel. Just be good and do your job. Then, when it’s all said and done, you die, just like the rest of us.” That’s what they say. I’ll never know if they believe it or not, but I know that I’m expected to believe it too… and I can’t.

Why can’t I believe that the world is meant to be a place full of true emotion and happiness around every corner? Why am I told to keep pushing forward and accept my fate when the people that are telling me to push forward and be a puppet to those born before me are the same that didn’t see travesties happening all around them? Why does it feel like I’m the only one who sees that anytime someone gets hurt, whether it’s an impressionable, unsupervised boy at youth group or a government that can’t feed its people, that it’s totally avoidable?

I don’t think that the world and the people in it are stupid, but why does everyone just accept this new fucking way of life that’s only existed for like 200 years and has hurt so many people. This is the first time in history where people are starting to get access to medicine, emotional support groups, food, technological advancements and an infinite number of other positive things, but because of the outdated hierarchy in place and idiots with ancient principles at the top, we’re still going to destroy the planet with our greed and gluttony.

Photo by Luka Siemionov on

So why the fuck, do I have to get up every single day, and carve a smile into my face with a knife (because I’m not fake enough to use a pen. The ink fades too quickly.) Why do I crawl out of bed and get told to vote one hundred times a minute for candidates that have no moral standing to follow their goals once they win? Why does it seem like I have to wait until the people in charge of the system die to make a difference? It’s because everyone’s moving clockwise, which is just another way to say running in circles.

Mt. Snoring

I wrote this while in a kind of weird state of mind. It either turned out okay or it’s complete garbage. I haven’t made up my mind yet.

Scott McMountainclimber

snowy mountain
Photo by Brett Sayles on

All I want in the world is whatever I want in the world.

I want the freedom and creativity to write rhymes

That don’t rhyme and stories without glory.

I want to wake up in the morning

And say that no one is boring

Because when people are boring

It’s like Elon Musk is boring

A hole in my head the size of a make-believe mountain

Named Mt. Snoring,

Where every Wednesday at 9:23 his sleep apnea machine breaks

And his snore wakes

A village and stirs an entire lake

Made of the most decadent pie

You’ve ever had in your life, one to

Die for. I want to wake up and smell the roses

With my nose’s

Holes instead of the twists and bends when I use three hoses.

I want my poetry to have such little consistency that the free-form

Feels like chloroform

On a most fragile mind.

Nothing makes sense, and something is wrong, but in the end, this poem is about Mt. Snoring and the people it’s boring. This isn’t a poem. It’s fucking garbage. It has no place here. The world is boring… and so is life.

Childhood whimsy is the messiah because when it doesn’t make sense, it’s fun. It’s stupid. It’s pointless. It’s everything that it’s meant to be.


With the scale of the universe and the tremendous amount of weight that each of us puts on ourselves and others, it’s no wonder we all feel empty.

Scott McTiny

Image result for whale vs hamster

When I look to the stars or to the sea, there are endless things to observe. There are so many different creatures and planets; so much empty space that’s full of imagination. When I look around, I see all of these things that are much bigger than I, which in turn, makes me see how truly small they all are… and that terrifies me.

It makes me tremble thinking about the scale of the universe around me. If you look at a hamster in a cage or a fish in a bowl, they know nothing of the outside world. They only know what is directly in front of them, and they are completely content with that.

Even a whale, the biggest animal known to man does not think of what’s above. It doesn’t ponder the thoughts about what’s outside of its immediate presence. It just thinks about what it needs to do to stay alive. It’s a pity. A behemoth in a world that offers it nothing but the constant race for continued, flourishing life. It truly is a pity.

But then I continue to think about what this world has to offer me. I am simply a man in a world created by others. The more I pity the ease of a whale or a hamster, the more I wish to know their thoughts. I would like to know what it feels like to know nothing of the outside world. I would like to know what it is like to not think about the stars above.

Who am I to complain? I am a genius among the other creatures. Maybe not among humans, but I am certainly smarter than the other creatures of the world. I can love and think and feel like no other creature. I should be grateful. But the more I think about it, why should I be grateful?

The emotions that I feel and that make humans different; more intelligent… all they have done is disappoint me. I have struggled with them for my entire life. It seems more like a curse.

I would give anything to feel as small and insignificant as a hamster or a whale. Two things that are so different in size, but just as small as the other. I want to know how it feels to not think about how it feels.

Close-up of Woman Holding a Hamster


This is related to a game that a few of my friends and I played when I was younger. I personally think growing up is a joke and people forget their roots or abandon their imaginations too easily. This is kind of an homage to that.

Scott McExtraterrestrial

There was always a UFO somewhere. The world that we created with a Roswellian utopia, with aliens and monsters around every corner, trying to get the drop on you before you could do something to stop them. We protected ourselves and our clueless classmates with an arsenal of weapons that could have hung in a super-secret, Men in Black closet. The rocket launchers would take down the larger ships, while our pistols and assault weapons would take down the hordes and hordes of alien enemies that came in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

The school bus was our twelve parsecs. Every trip was more dangerous than the last because they wised up and became veterans in the war against us. The attacks changed from one or two aliens to many. Then when we tore down the hordes of many, they would bring more advanced weapons themselves. Once that failed, they made vehicles that would grow to sizes so unimaginable that only we could imagine them. No matter the enemy, we took them down, and when we got back from school, we would bring the battle to them.

We would hide behind the bushes and plan our next attack against the bald green creatures. I would circle around while they suppressed with an infinite number of bullets and attack from behind. I used the trees as my cover and stayed as hidden as I could, only taking out a few of the stragglers that spotted me. When I made it to my position, I started shooting. The enemies shrieked and fell. The ones that surrendered were either mercilessly mowed down or taken back for interrogation. We couldn’t let them go back to their mothership and tell them what we did because then there might be too many for us to handle the next time.

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Photo by Francesco Ungaro on

One day, when we were least expecting it, they took one of our own. Our squad of three dropped to two and we were left unprepared for the alien warriors. They came in larger hordes than before and our weapons could do nothing to fend them off. Grenades bounced off of their large, calloused bodies and bullets missed or did nothing at all. We couldn’t think of anything strong enough to take down the infantry, so when they attacked with their ships and vehicles, we could do nothing but cower, retreat and regroup – but we were demoralized.

The meetings happened less often. We couldn’t muster up the strength to take down the hordes of enemies anymore. We were one short and then, as time progressed, they got him too. Then it was only me against these extraterrestrial aliens which we had sculpted to be the most sophisticated, battle-ready foes in the galaxy. I tried to fend them off for a while, but eventually they overwhelmed me. They made it through my last remaining stronghold and I was left alone and naked, with nothing to stop them. I had to submit to their looming threat and I had to let them take me.

They stopped appearing. The days went on, but we had lost. They crushed our spirits and one by one, took out the squad that had been built through years of friendship, comradery and most importantly battle. The aliens are still out there, but we let them win. They watch from a distance, wondering… hoping that we’ll build up the courage to attack them again. They know as well as us that we won’t. The squad is dead, and they reign supreme, because we let them.

Down the Rabbit Hole

Scott McAliceinWonderland

“Turn the TV off,” she said. I know that we were running late already, but she didn’t need to tell me to turn the TV off. I’m not that easily distracted. I can have some background noise on if I want. It probably helps me work faster than otherwise, since being left to only silence is distracting all on its own.

close up of rabbit on field
Photo by Pixabay on

I can work and have the TV on. I actually can’t believe she told me to turn it off. Does she really have that little faith in my ability to work at a moderate pace so that we can leave? Is that what my own abilities lead her to think? I’m just so incapable of accomplishing such a menial task without getting distracted, so she needs to create circumstances that I’m more suited for. That makes sense. I know I’m a screw up, but damn – I thought I could at least pack up in a reasonable time.

I’m steaming. We’ve been together for over a year now and this is what she thinks of me? She must think that I’m just the dumbest fucking moron to exist. If I can’t even convince my girlfriend that I can pack up with the TV on in the background, then I’ll never be a published writer or start a successful business. She’s the one that’s always supposed to be by my side, but she thinks I’m fucking retarded!

I know how I’ll get back at her. I’m not going to talk to her while we drive. That’s it. That’ll teach her. If I don’t talk then she won’t know how angry I really am, and it will eat her up inside. God, that’s a good plan. I’ll do that.

At mile marker 170, I reached out to grab her hand. I still haven’t said anything, but I don’t want her to feel bad about anything. I mean, I’m not malicious and I don’t want to be emotionally abusive, so I don’t get why I’m even doing that. I should talk to her, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.

At mile marker 160, I said hello like the awkward person that I am. I haven’t talked to her for twenty minutes and that’s the best I can muster up? Hello? No wonder she asked me to turn the TV off to pack. I can’t even apologize in a timely matter for being ridiculous. I should have turned off the TV. I should have known better. I shouldn’t have had it on in the first place. I’m the reason that we’re going to be late to Thanksgiving dinner. It’s all my fault.

close up photography of brown rabbit
Photo by Flickr on

I waited to say something again until the 140-mile marker. Fuck man, I know how stupid I’m being, and I can’t stop it. I don’t get why she puts up with me. I was so angry like thirty minutes ago, and now look at me. I’m never going to become a good writer since I can’t even focus if the TV is on in the background. I’ll never create a business. I’ll never be a good boyfriend. I can’t believe I’ve lasted this long, but all good things come to an end someday.

I should just kill myself. I’m a burden to everyone that I know and love. If I disappeared overnight, no one would care. My writing would perish and so would all of the other work that I’ve poured my heart into, but it’s for the best. I don’t get why I even try to do something with any amount of passion or ambition. I’m a nobody and everybody knows it. If I killed myself right now, it wouldn’t be through selfish means, that’s for damn sure. I would do it because it would make your life better.

Don’t Move

Scott McStationary

apartment bed carpet chair
Photo by Pixabay on

Lay still.

Don’t move.

What will happen if I stand?


The window looks welcoming.

The mouthwash looks delicious.

There’s a knife in the kitchen.

There’s a gun in the basement.


Don’t move.

Eyes open.

What will happen if I stand?


I could swing from the rafters.

Start the car, garage doors closed.

Swallow a bottle of pills.

Dive in to traffic.


Eyes open.

Tears streaming.

What will I do if I stand?

Blank Stares

Don’t look up. Ignore them. Keep going.

Scott McEyecontact

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.

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Photo by Serkan Göktay on

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.

Ax Me a Question

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.

Axe Me A Question

Grandfather Clock

When depression and anxiety hit at the same time that you’re working on a project, time becomes a very unwelcome enemy.

Scott McFatherTime

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.

shallow focus of clear hourglass
Photo by Jordan Benton on

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.

Spotlights and Attack Helicopters

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.

Spotlights and Attack Helicopters

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.

Ambient Noise

Scott McTinnitus

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.

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Flesh-Eating Bacteria

person s hands covered with blood
Photo by it’s me neosiam on

Scott McNecrosis

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.

Get Out of My Head

The voices clang harder than someone chewing with their mouth open, breathing like they just ran a marathon or the vibrates of an unsilenced phone. They ring in a way that causes unbearable stress. I can do nothing but leave the room until they stop bickering and barking at each other, aggravating me more than any outside annoyance.

Scott McHeadache

Get out. Get out. Get out! Why won’t you let me think for one goddamned second! Just let go of me. You do it so easily for everyone else, why can’t you do it for me?

You let everyone else go faster than a lightning strike, but for me you linger. You stay and dangle a string before my eyes, always distracting me from what’s really in front of me. There’s always something else. Always something that keeps me from what I really want. You’ve done it for so long that I don’t know what I want anymore.

It’s a sick game for you, isn’t it? Just seeing what you can get away with before I snap? Seeing how far you can get and how many buttons you can push before I give in to you. You want me to suffer and I don’t know why.

I would give anything to know why you do it to me. I always thought that you were the one place I could go when everything else abandoned me, but instead I feel more alone than ever. And it’s all your fault.

grayscale photography of human skull
Photo by ahmed adly on

Even now, you taunt me. I don’t know why you have this never-ending ambition to ruin me, but it’s working. Is that what you want? Is that it? Then I fold. I give up. I’ll try it your way for a little bit, but I don’t think it’s going to be helpful.

Why would it be? I wish I could escape you for just the smallest bit of time imaginable. Whatever you are trying to do to me, just stop or pull the trigger. Why do you force me to struggle more than anyone should ever need to? I’m not special. I know that I’m not special. So please, for the love of god, just let me go.

Filling Buckets

Scott McFantasia

Every time I disappoint you, one drop of sweat forms on my brow. I wipe it away with a handkerchief that’s moldy and ripped, then ring the sweat into a bucket. The bucket has filled by only the smallest amount every day. At first it was just a few drops the seemed harmless enough, but as time passed, the bucket started to fill.

white canoe over calm water
Photo by Skitterphoto on

When I saw how quickly the bottom of the bucket was covered up, I began to sweat more and more. How could I be disappointing you this much? I’m trying to be helpful and nice and kind and sweet, but I manage to screw it up anyway. Some days I can’t convince myself to keep trying, and then before bed, I can ring out an entire cup of sweat into the bucket. The bucket fills but what I worry about more is what will run out first, room in the bucket or your patience.

Occasionally, I’ll go down a rabbit hole and try to fix problems that aren’t there in a way that’s so self-deprecating and unnecessary that it starts to feel like I’m involuntarily harassing people. I’m still haunted by visions of me trying to fix things that were never wrong in the first place. Too many people from my past haunt my dreams and when I wake up, my pillow drips into the bucket as well. Today, nothing has changed. I misread people in a way that makes me feel like I should be back in second grade learning social skills again.

Enough time has passed to let the bucket fill to the top. Every drop could be the one that overflows it. I don’t know what will happen when it pours onto the floor. Will I start filling it again? Will I start trying to fill bigger and bigger basins until I’m the reason that Florida is underwater, or will I drown in the bucket so that I’m no longer the disappointment that I think I am? A drop of sweat burns my eyes. I’m afraid to see what happens when it drains over the edge.