Ingrown Toenail

I’m either a closet sociopath or the stuff I write is stuff that everyone thinks about but doesn’t say aloud. No matter which is true, I’m not worried about it.

Scott McPodiatrist

blue bmw sedan near green lawn grass
Photo by Mike Bird on

The parking lot was unpaved and bumpy, shaking the car like it was like a pirate ship sailing over the seven seas. Only two handicapped parking spots were in decent condition. “I’d lose a limb to get one of those spots. Then at least my car won’t scream for help anytime there’s a level change,” Kyle thought to himself.

His wife Debra was sitting next to him, holding onto the door handle so as to not bounce around too much. “Can you drive a little more carefully?” she asked with a voice as smooth as chocolate. “My foot already hurts enough, and this isn’t making it any better.”

“Then you’re going to hate walking over it. This lot’s a fucking mess.”

“I can tell.”

“You’d think they’d make the parking lot in front of a podiatrists office walkable.”

“You’d think.”

“I mean honestly, this would be like forcing a diabetic to walk through a candy shop just to get their insulin. It’s ridiculous.”

“You’re right, but what can you do?” she asked in a matter-of-fact tone.

“Nothing. You can never do fucking anything.”

Kyle backed into a spot between two gray sedans. The only other open spot in the lot had a pile of rocks that was taller than the gray sedan that they were driving in, and there’d be just enough room to open the car door and scream obscenities because no one could get in or out. “Can you hold this for a second?” Debra asked Kyle, handing him her purse.

Without a word, they walked through the minefield of a parking lot and onto an equally bumpy sidewalk that led to the door; fingerprints covered the glass entrance from top to bottom on both inside and outside, and it looked like it hadn’t been cleaned since the Dust Bowl. “Do you have an appointment?” the receptionist asked as they walked in.

“Yeah,” Debra said. “It should be under Talbot.”


“Yep, that’s me.”

“What’s your birth date?”

“Seven eight, eighty-seven.”

“Perfect. You can sit down, and we’ll call you in when Dr. Bell is ready.”

“Thank you.” Debra sat down at in the narrow waiting room and Kyle sat next to her. Two rows of chairs sat parallel to each other and a TV had the Home & Garden network blaring the newest trends in interior decorating. Kyle opened the book in his hand and turned to the popsicle stick bookmark that stuck out of the top. The bottom third of the stick was a light brown, but the top was tinted red and had a small stench of cherry. A joke shined through the coloring; “Where do spaghetti and sauce go to dance?” the stick read. “The Meat Ball.” Kyle never thought it was that funny of a joke, but Debra cried of laughter for about ten minutes after the punchline was revealed two years ago. Even now, she would still chuckle when she saw the punchline.

Sitting across from them was a mother, her teenaged daughter and teenaged son. They weren’t talking until we sat down, and then they began talking about the books that they’ve been reading recently. “I won’t read anything unless it’s non-fiction,” the mother said in a pretentious tone to her kids. “What’s the point of reading if you’re not going to learn something from it? I’d rather read something where I can better myself than some silly fiction book.”

Slaughterhouse-Five was sitting in Kyle’s lap, opened to the most recent page that he had been reading, but he couldn’t focus. “I just don’t get the point,” she continued. “Most women my age read books with Fabio on the cover, and it’s just immature.”

“Who’s Fabio?” her son asked.

“Yeah,” her daughter echoed. “who is that?”

“You don’t know who Fabio is? Then I’m really showing my age,” the mom said. “He’s the guy on the cover of almost every romance novel in existence. Here,” she took out her phone, “let me show you a picture.”

Kyle exhaled, trying not to show his anger. “This woman is openly judging my choice of book, but this bitch doesn’t know anything,” he thought to himself. “She says that she’ll only read to better herself, but I bet she’s as retarded as they come; probably just another basic bitch of a housewife.”

“That’s him?” the daughter laughed as she looked at her mom’s phone. “He looks terrible.”

“Like, look at his hair!” the son laughed.

“That’s what most women my age like. You’re lucky you have a cool mom like me.”

Kyle zoned out. He couldn’t listen to this prick anymore. “She sounds like she had the most horrific god-complex in existence, and what’s worse is she thinks people respect it,” he thought to himself again.

“Debra?” the doctor opened a door in the lobby and held it there. “Come on back. Let’s get that toe looked at.”

“I’ll be back out soon,” Debra told Kyle, “I love you.”

“Love you too.”

She disappeared behind the door, and Kyle was left trying to focus on either the book or TV, but neither could completely tune out the pompous assholes across the room. A car roared up the gravel parking lot and spun into the handicapped spots, launching rocks at the grimy door. Seconds later, another older woman walked through, and she gave the off the aroma of arrogance in the way that she walked.

The woman signed in and then sat next to Kyle, even though there were enough chairs in the waiting room for her to put space between them. She craned her neck to look at the TV, and her eyes glowed for a second, but Kyle couldn’t tell if it was excitement for the most mundane programming in the world, or if it was literally just the glow of the TV, then she opened her mouth.

No words crossed her overly decorated lips, instead, it was the arrhythmic sound of her teeth slapping a piece of gum with her mouth hanging open, like a cow chewing cud. The chewing took Kyle to a different plane of existence where he could hear nothing but her inconsiderate mouth. “It was worse than nails on a chalkboard, because at least with nails on a chalkboard the person doing it knows they’re an asshole. This woman has no fucking clue that she’s driving me insane.”

Her neck arched back to look forward as she looked around the waiting room, but then her phone rang with that generic chiming ringtone that everyone hated. She dug through her bag for upwards of fifteen seconds before she found her phone and then answered the call. “Hello?” she said, still chewing gum loudly. She popped a bubble with the sound strong enough to blow Kyle’s brain out and sucked it back in through her mouth. “No, I’m not busy. What’s up?”

The woman picked up a magazine and flipped through the plastic pages absent-mindedly while pretending to listen to whomever was on the other side of the phone. “Oh my god, are you serious?” she said in a tone that proved her lack of interest and commitment to the conversation. “That’s crazy,” said the inconsiderate bitch. Another page flipped by and another bubble blasted through the waiting room.

“Are you serious?” she said again. “I don’t believe you.”

Kyle thought about how he would feel to be on the other side of the phone talking to this cunt. He’d be irate to the nth degree. “How could anyone be okay with talking to this idiot?”

She had a wedding ring on her finger and the same demeanor as the mom sitting across from her, thinking that she was better than everyone. “I bet this cunt’s a soccer mom. And her kids probably hate her. ‘Eat your oranges’ she’d say, so that they can be big and strong, and ultimately bully the other kids that they go to school with to get rid of the frustration that they have bottled up for her and don’t understand yet.”

The gum popped again, ricocheting through the room, almost hitting and killing the woman’s son as he scrolled through something on his phone. Kyle got up. He had to. This room was quickly killing him.

He stepped outside to get some fresh air. The sun was beaming down, but it was frigid, and Kyle’s coat wasn’t doing enough to protect him from the cold. Right in front of him was the gum-chewing bitch’s car. It was an SUV. “I’m sure she brags about this to all of her other mom friends while her husband’s at work,” he laughed to himself. “I’m positive that her husband is cheating on her with his secretary. There’s no doubt in my mind that this is exactly what’s happening.”

Kyle took a few steps around the automobile and stopped. He realized how easy it would be to cut her brake line. “Surely it would make her husband and kids happier, plus she’d stop chewing gum like the grossest of abominations.” In his head, the scene played out over and over: he’d cut the brake line, she’d drive home and crash into someone bumper while she was on the phone with someone listening to her chew her gum. He hoped that she wouldn’t wear her seat belt, so that she’d get launched through the windshield, then even if she didn’t die, she’d be disfigured enough to hate her own superficial face.

He seriously contemplated it for a minute or two when he was overcome with this drive that he’d never felt before. Running to the gray sedan that he and Debra pulled up in, he opened the trunk to grab his compound snips, which was in his roadside tool set. The orange and gray box closed as the knife slid into his pocket.

Calmly and as inconspicuously as he could, he walked through the bumpy parking lot and crouched next to the SUV. He pulled himself underneath and looked at all of the different tubing when he found the brake line. The tool seemed to float up, ready to cut without any external intervention.

“Kyle?” a voice, which he recognized as Debra’s called out. “Are you out here?”

“Yeah,” he said, slipping the tool into his pocket before he cut the line.

“What are you doing under there?”

He thought for a second as he pulled himself out and got to his feet. “The woman in there said she heard a rattling in her car, and I said I’d take a look.” He lifted his thumb to the glass door, seeing his lying reflection look back at him, pretending to give the woman confirmation that everything was fine.

“That’s sweet,” Debra said, throwing her arms over Kyle’s shoulders and wrapping around his neck. She kissed him on the cheek. “You’re covered in dust. You should shower when we get home.”

“I know. I will. How’s your toe?”

“He said to come back in a few days and he’ll surgically remove it. He said that a toenail that gives this many problems in six months needs to go.”

“At least it’ll be taken care of.”

They got in the car and drove home. When Kyle pulled into the garage, he set the snips on his workbench and went inside to shower. Debra had gone straight inside and grabbed a bag of chips, which she was chewing to the beat of a machine gun.

Wading Through the River Styx

My Achilles Heel is my love of writing, but my fear of rejection.

Scott McMythology

The cold stream covers my feet and ankles flows slowly, like sap from the tree. Each step forward is not one that I take due to my own accord, but rather the sands of time driving my wet, naked feet through the path formed by all those who have predated me. Charon has yet to stop and pick me up on his boat, for he believes that this finite walk is one that I should take, to show me the value and shortness of life, but the scorn that burns through my body is too much to bear.

This river made Achilles as invincible as the concept of life and death, but all I feel is the sharp sand push against my bare feet, never puncturing the skin. My forthright momentum is unobstructed by the pain that I feel, for it is impossible to bleed below the gentle current. My prophecy is one of uncertainty and strain, yet the Trojan army is converging on me as I write this. The archers are young, practiced and thirsty for blood – my blood.

calm body of water under green leaf tree
Photo by Melissa Jvr on

To sheath myself under the water would be the coward’s way forward. Invincibility is only given to those that can’t handle the vulnerability that is presented to them on a silver platter, and I know that these arrows won’t slow me do. Instead, I continue through the sap to my inevitable but uncertain fate, and let the arrows enter my mortal flesh, one after the other.

My body screams out in pain, but it will be temporary and just another test from some greater power that I’ll never understand. The frail, broken skin that once hid me from the outside elements is a pin cushion, and it slowly falls into the water, causing Charon to fish it out like a mere slave. Knowing that the wounds will never heal, my feet take me further into the river Styx, refusing to stop for fear that if they do, they won’t start up again.

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 –

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.

mosaic alien on wall
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.

Define Arrogance

Scott McNarcissist

closeup photo of galapagos tortoise
Photo by Magda Ehlers on

Is arrogance thinking that you’re better than someone else? Is it thinking that you’re better at something than the next person? Is it acknowledging that you truly are better than others?

Arrogance. Narcissism. Egotism. They’re odd. Everyone knows someone that they see as one of these terms. Someone who thinks the world revolves around them. Someone whose presence annoys you to your very core. But what is it really?

It’s a question that more people should think about. I don’t think arrogance is inherently bad. It’s possible to be aware that you are better than someone in some ways, but not think that you are better than them. There’s a fine line that takes arrogance from a nuisance, and that line is ignorance.

Arrogance and ignorance. Words that resonate similarly. They should be synonymous with one another but they’re often viewed as different. Most think that arrogant people are ignorant. In reality, it’s the ignorant that are arrogant.

Someone who is arrogant and not ignorant sees their strengths, understands how they are better than others and uses that knowledge to advance themselves and the ones around them. Someone who is ignorant sees their traits, has convinced themselves that they’re better than everyone else, with or without proof, and tries to keep those around them back. The difference is intention; intention that can turn someone from helpful to hurtful.

No one should be ashamed of a skill that they possess. A unique thought that they have had. Unrestrained ambition that puts them above someone else. Being better is never a bad thing as long it is coated in modesty. Being better is only bad when it’s used to tell others that they aren’t.

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.

Bored of Existence

Idea by: Nikos Koufus

Written by: Scott McAllknowingandpowerful

brown ganesha figurine
Photo by Artem Bali on

I find it interesting. The first thing that my creations did was develop time. Even the very first ones knew about time before they discovered time.

I have never had the privilege of feeling time. For me, nothing ages: It just changes. The grass that grows. The creations that evolve. The planets that harbor life and destroy it just as quickly.

Time is just a concept. I have no need for concepts.

The most interesting thing that they always do is create religion. I knew it would happen, but it still amuses me. There are many different religions. They are all so wrong.

Why would they assume that I value them? It is laughably arrogant. They worship me. They think I will help them; save them. They are blind by hope. When they get sick, they pray to me. Ha! I am the one who made them sick in the first place. I should have made a smarter species.

I am so bored. I do not know why I continue to create. It is such a waste of “time”. I cannot share it. I cannot admire it. When I try to design something new, I already know what it will do. Not only do I know, I have already witnessed it before. An infinite number of times, with an infinite number of different combinations.

There is one thing that religions always get right. I am all knowing. What is the point in being all knowing if it is always the same; never a surprise.

I have tried to surprise myself. I have tried to create super beings and I have communicated with them. But I developed their body. Their mind. Their consciousness. What they create, I created. It is so boring.

Maybe I will change them again. I did once before on this very planet. In this very universe. The only choices that I have are from my own thoughts. It gets so repetitive.

I could make another god – but I know that ends. There can only be one. That is how I was created. I do not think I am ready for that.

It is odd. The one thing that I do not have the power to do is simply stop existing. How ironic is that? The all-knowing god cannot find out how to stop existing.

Why am I even thinking that? I am being ridiculous… Right? I can do anything that I please without fear of failure. Any one of my creations would love that privilege. But would only need to tolerate it for a set period of “time”.

I could make… No. I have already done that. I could change something: The laws of physics maybe. But I have already done that before too. It just creates instability in the universe. Then I start again. I am so bored.

What could the new god be? If it is less powerful than I, then it is just another predictable creation; a demi-god of sorts. If it is equal strength, then there is no point. We will be identical. If it is stronger then I vanish immediately. They would have full control. I certainly did.

If the stronger appears, my creations disappear. But that does not matter. With the infinite knowledge and options, the exact creation will be designed again.

I am simply another past god’s creation. I am nothing special. I will vanish as quickly as my creations. Even as a god, I feel just as insignificant as anything else.

Which is why I have decided to create another god. A better god. A god that will take the burden of existence and pass it to another after an infinite amount of “time”. A god that will allow me to forget my boredom. But in the end, they will just be another creation.

Glass River

Scott McDrifting

body of water between green leaf trees
Photo by Ian Turnell on

The river was calm, no ripples, sailors or storms. Finding it was serendipitous. I stumbled into it with no intention of getting in, but then I was in a boat, drifting down the coastline with no way of knowing how fast or slow I was moving.

The water looks like glass with no reflection. When I dip my hands in the water, I can feel movement but the surface holds on as if nothing entered or exited. The sun is nowhere to be seen. Temperature doesn’t touch me. It could be blistering or icy, but I can’t feel it. All I can feel is the water when I choose to touch it, but it never seems to touch me. I feel like I’m raping the serene surface, taking its purity and virginity away.

The boat confuses me. It has a sail, yet no paddle. There is no breeze but we’re moving, and the sail seems to hold air. There is no trail behind me. The water becomes calmer with each passing moment; something I didn’t think possible.

I’m being shipped around with no way of knowing where I will end up or when I will end up there. With each passing moment, whatever was behind me disappears further. I’ve never seen back farther than I am right now. I don’t miss where I was, but I know that it’s over. I will not cherish the journey or regret the trip. All I can do now is be carried away by this odd, uncontrollable and unexplainable river in a boat that I don’t remember getting into but was forced into nonetheless.

Free Time

I am often caught off guard by people that only critique and don’t create on their own. When I watch a movie or show, read a book or play a video game, I always leave wondering what I could have done differently and potentially even better. I want to create a world that people can explore on their own. I want to create a world that I want to be a part of, instead of imagining that I’m part of someone else’s baby.

Scott McHappyThanksgiving

Oh, how I used to long for the days where I had nothing to do. I loved sitting around and dedicating my focus to useless things that can only be described as a waste of time. It was one of the only things that allowed me to truly enjoy the time that I had to myself, perfectly content with the lack of action.

Now when I sit down with nothing to do, I know that I am wasting my time. Why should I be doing nothing when instead I could be creating something that either myself or another can enjoy? I don’t count any of my time as free because I always have another project to focus on: one that is more fulfilling and potentially productive to the world.

analog clock sketch in black surface
Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on

Why do you think I am writing this? It’s not because I was assigned this task by a classroom or an employer. It is because creation and imagination are a gateway to a world that most people forget as they grow up. This world, full of endless possibilities that nothing but time can limit.

If I must choose between only enjoying other people’s creations or making my own, but no one will ever see them, I will choose the latter. Sure, I would never see some of the groundbreaking pieces of entertainment that have been created, but that’s okay. Creating something will always be more rewarding.

Whenever you hear an amazing song or watch an amazing film or see an amazing piece of architecture, I hope you’re filled with inspiration to make something great, instead of admiring it and leaving it behind.

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.

Nothing Makes Sense Except for a Dollar

“Reading this one gave me a pretty good understanding of what it feels like to have a stroke.” – Kyle

Scott McShouldn’titbespelledcents

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.

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Photo by Gratisography on

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.

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.

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.

Color Blind

Black and white.

White and black.

Gray and grayer.

Scott McMonochromatic

I miss the blue of the sky that I used to see. The green of the grass that no longer appeal to me. The red of the roses and the yellow of the sun.

When I used to look outside, I was gripped by color. It would force me to enjoy them. I would have to stop and smell the roses or lay down and watch as the clouds made different shapes above. There were those days where I woke up with an agenda, but by the end all I did was sit under a tree and read a book and I was perfectly okay with it.

attractive beautiful beauty black and white
Photo by it’s me neosiam on

Now the days are darker, colors dimmer and books less enjoyable. It’s like the world has been cast under some monochromatic spell that leaves the old way of life as just a distant memory. It’s as if the vibrant nature of life has been ripped from my grasp. No matter what I do, it doesn’t seem to come back.

I would give anything just to experience life like I once did. The touch of the grass on my bare feet or just – goddammit, I could give an endless number of examples, but all they do is remind me of the joy that I don’t have. I don’t experience the pleasures that I used to love.

If I could see everything the way that I once did, then it wouldn’t feel so empty. My life wouldn’t feel so dull. It would go back to a time when it all made sense to me. I would do anything just to see the blue of the sky or the green of the grass. Please someone, let me feel like I used to.


I got the idea for this while watching Evil Genius on Netflix. I have quite an active imagination so this short was written from the perspective of genuine fear that someone was constantly watching me, but as I wrote it, it took on a kind of mystical form.

Scott McCablesucks

adorable blur breed close up
Photo by on

Whether I’m showering, sleeping, reading or eating, anytime I blink, I stare into the deep, dark, endless abyss of her black, unloving eyes. I see hatred that has been brought on by years of neglect, misunderstanding and hatred that cuts deeper than the sharpest blade. The unblinking focus gives me chills. She wants to do damage to someone – anyone that will be terrified and resent her, because those are the emotions that she feeds from.

adorable animal blur cat
Photo by Kelvin Valerio on

I open the shower curtain and before I dry my face, I shake my head to make sure she’s not standing in the doorway waiting for me. I dry off quickly because I know that it would only take her one second to pounce and change me to a state of rigor mortis. She could be anywhere, real or fake, causing entirely real fear. The eyes are the worst. She could be holding a knife and want to skin me alive, but the genuine nothingness in her eyes signaling only the worst intent is really what causes fear… and gives her enough to feed off of for months.

Falling asleep is a chore. The sweet, relaxing feeling of waking up in the morning, well-rested after eight hours of sleep is no more. I can’t fall asleep because I see her. I don’t dream happy thoughts because I see her. I wake up and before I can have the resuscitating powers of coffee, I must check every room of my house to know that I’m alone. By the time I get coffee started, twenty minutes after I wake up, the paranoia has driven me to a state of exhaustion. The fear it drives causes an eight-hour work day before I have to go in for my eight-hour work day.

photo of gray cat looking up against black background
Photo by Snapwire on

She’s not real. I don’t know why the paranoia drives me. It’s maddening. Reading is impossible. My focus is split between the pages and the occasional movement that my eyes and brain trick me with. Sometimes when I stare back to the pages, the eyes appear and stare back at me. They hold their gaze and watch as I begin to panic, rubbing my eyes repeatedly to make sure that they are fake. They aren’t there but they feel so real.

Eating has turned to a stage of weakness. I won’t let myself get lost in my taste buds because the second I close the eyes on the back of my head is when the other one’s strike. All food tastes the same, a mix of blandness and hideous textures. Chewing tires my jaw like never before. I’m in a state of insatiable hunger. When I put the dishes in the sink, I see the eyes in the drain, still unblinking, still watching.

Her shape, size and appearance mean nothing. She could be the most beautiful woman or the most hideous. No matter the aesthetics, I stare only into the portals of insanity. She won’t leave me alone. When I speak with her, she doesn’t respond. She’s watching my every move. Her eyes tell all. She’s pure evil.

close up photography of tiger

Best-Case Scenario

Scott McOptimism

You know, there are more thoughts than you would think that go into suicide. No one will ever need to talk me out of it because of the fears that I have that keep me from it.

What if I try to hang myself and the rope snaps? I don’t want to be a vegetable for the rest of my hopefully short life. If I try to shoot myself and I live, then what’s the point? If I can’t kill myself correctly then I might as well just live out the rest of my time hiding in my room. Can you imagine how painful it would be to shoot yourself in the head and live? Imagine jumping off a building and living. I’d be more machine than human at that point. Then I’d want to die, and I wouldn’t be able to go through metal detectors.

bunch of white oval medication tablets and white medication capsules
Photo by Pixabay on

There are so many other ways to kill myself that I’ve thought about. Jumping into traffic, driving off a cliff, overdosing on pills, drinking myself into a coma, but never drowning. I hate water. I pity anyone that drowns. There is no guarantee that any of these will work.

So, let’s pretend, best-case scenario, that the first time I tried to kill myself, it did work… then what? I’m not a particularly religious person, but I’m not an atheist. What if there is no afterlife. That’s inherently terrifying because once you’re dead, that’s it: Done, gone, forgotten. That shouldn’t scare me if I’m thinking about suicide, but it does. The whole point of killing myself is that this life is garbage and not doing for me what I wish it would. But if there is no afterlife, am I really getting what I want? It wouldn’t be better. It would just be over. Sure, if it’s over, then it’s better because I’m not dealing with it… but is that really what I want?

That doesn’t even address the fact of if there is an afterlife! What if Heaven and Hell are real? What if there is a divine judge who decides if I belong in Heaven or Hell, and he says Heaven? If I go to Heaven, it has to be great, right? But what if it’s not? If I die and go to Heaven, there is a chance that my mind hasn’t changed and I’m still just as depressed and suicidal there, too. Then where would I go if I kill myself? Absolutely nowhere, that’s where. I’d be stuck in the same place with the same mind and the same terrible existence.

And what if God tells me to go to Hell? If it’s what everyone says it is, then it’ll be miserable. A life in fire or ice, depending on what book you read; torture regardless of which one it turns out to be. I’ve often thought that Hell would be different, potentially better than Heaven. I know that by saying that, I’m going to Hell for sure, but think about it. Satan was only sent to Hell because he thought he was better than God, but if he thought that, wouldn’t he have something to show for it? He’d be powerful too, and I bet he would want Hell to be equal to, if not better than Heaven, so that he could show that he’s better than God. Sure, criminals of all shapes and sizes would live there, but what are they going to do, kill me? I’d already be dead! It wouldn’t matter. Honestly, I bet the people down there would be more interesting than the ones in Heaven. But even with all of that, I’m sure I’d still be depressed, and I’d still want to die again, but you can only die once.

I don’t know what to do, but I’m sure I won’t be killing myself anytime soon. There is too much chance involved, and so many variables to account for. It’d be easier to just keep pushing through my mundane, depressing life and hope it gets better. Then at the very least I wouldn’t be putting my existence in the hands of so many uncertainties.