Too Bipolar to be Relied Upon

Depending on the month, week, day, minute and second, I love and/or hate myself. Sometimes I view my actions as though I’m a god on this mortal planet (or like how Kanye views Kanye) while other times I see myself as this scum that doesn’t deserve to live because I’m contributing nothing to the world.

Scott McIloveyou and Scott McIhateyou

I love you with all my heart. Anytime I talk to you, I get a tinge of happiness and my heart leaps. Every part of me gets a little giddy and it feels like I deserve to be appreciated. I’ve never felt like I should be appreciated before.

I can’t be loved. I’m too much of an emotional train wreck. I should stay in my head for as long as I can do that I don’t subject anyone else to the sadistic insanity that I think. If I don’t tell a soul, then I’m not a burden to anyone. No one cares enough to find out what’s going on inside my head.

When you do though, it’s like you’ve dropped antidote into a venom. The spiraling thoughts unwind into a single thread of understanding and ease. It makes the insanity feel like normalcy and the cries for help turn to cries of thanks.

Why do you do it? I don’t deserve the patience and unconditional love that you provide. All I do is cause you the same confusion, pain and sadness that I cause myself. I wish I could help you like you help me, but all I do is act like an angry toddler who can’t communicate their words. I can’t seem to stop drowning in my thoughts and I don’t want to drag you to the depths with me.

sea water blue sun
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Yet you hold on like a life jacket and I bob down a river of uncertainty that feels much less scary and dangerous with you. The waves feel soothing instead of sickening and the creatures below seem beautiful instead of threatening.

I don’t think I can be part of something bigger. I’m emotionally weak. I’m physically exhausted. I’m constantly scared of the world around me.

I am constantly trying to be better for you… and me.

Only Pain

I’m usually the kind of person that you either love or hate. There’s not usually an in between and sometimes I feel like even the people that love me, hate me too. I guess it’s a self-esteem thing but whatever the cause, I almost always feel like I’m burdening someone.

Scott McBadshot

I feel like I can do nothing but hurt you. The words that I use always feel pretentious and sarcastic, while the intent behind them isn’t meant to be, but even when I speak in a way that feels natural to me, the words ring like the bullets of a Gatling gun. They tear your flesh away until you’re just tattered muscle and decaying bone. I feel the occasional bullet ricochet in my mouth when it fails to exit and hurt you. My teeth clatter and my gums bleed but taking the words and bottling them up is much more favorable than letting them out to assault you in the most heinous of ways.

closeup photography of loser scrabble letter
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The Riddler’s rhymes hurt less than the strings of words that I put together. I say that I’m just speaking my mind, but instead, it feels like I’m purposely and carefully choosing the exact words that will make you feel worse. Sticks and stones may hurt your bones, and I promise my words cut worse than glass. I don’t try to be a bad guy, yet I have this impeccable ability to make others hate me.

I’m the kind of guy that, if I turned up dead by the hands of some lunatic because I didn’t know when to shut up, no one would be surprised. I’m also the kind of guy who, if I did turn up dead, I’m sure only a select few would care… but even then, they’d get over it. The reason that death is such an appealing thought is because no matter what anyone says, I’ll always feel like people would be better off without me. My words are bullets and you are a paper target. I may be a bad shot, but I’ll get a bullseye eventually.

I often wish that I was either a mute or just plain dumb. It’d be easier than dealing with trying to fit into the pre-molded world around me. If I never spoke, sure I’d be stuck with my own thoughts and most certainly spiral into an uncaring abyss of suicidal thoughts, but at least I wouldn’t drag anyone else down. I’m the Captain Ahab to my depression and I don’t know who is going to overtake who first. If I was dumber, I wouldn’t care so much about the delicately constructed social interactions that I take part in every day. When a conversation ended, I’d be able to move on and I wouldn’t even know if I insulted them in the first place. Life would be so much easier if I could find a way to help and heal with my words instead of mowing down crowds at a time. That may not make me happy, but I’d certainly feel better about myself.

Snapped

A lot of terrible things happen every day. My stomach randomly started rebelling against ice cream, I need to replace a part in my toilet so that it won’t run infinitely and sometimes people find the only thing that they can do to feel better is some heinous stuff that hurts the ones that they love and some that they don’t even know. People who commit disturbing acts of violence are looked at with only eyes of hate, and although I understand why, they’re human too and probably feel worse inside than anyone that I’ve ever met.

Scott McSnappingturtle

broken heart love sad
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Imagine your friend, your mom, your dad or your sibling. Imagine your son or daughter or your significant other. All the people that you respect and love. People that you would sacrifice your own life to help if they needed it. Imagine what would happen if they snapped.

What if your loved one brought a loaded gun to a school? What if they ran a car through a crowded sidewalk? What if they made a bomb and took it to a stadium?

At the end of the day, you’d know that they did something wrong. You’d know that they harmed innocent people. But you’d still love them. You would just wish that it never happened.

You would see the entire world turn against the person that you love. People that have never met them, full of hate and nothing else. The tragedy is replayed over and over on every form of media, but it’s only noise and hate. Everyone wants a change, but a solution is never reached. All that’s passed around are false promises of change.

No one is happy about your loved one’s actions and you are no exception. The difference is that, unlike every other loud opinion, you truly want real change. You want to make it so that this kind of incident can never happen again…but no one listens. Everyone just wants to spread hate that’s veiled in cheap, unfeeling support for the victims.

You’d know more than anyone that no matter what words are spoken, what laws are proposed and what patriotism is evoked. You’d know more than anyone that no matter what, it’ll happen again.

Unfortunately, all you can do is wait. Wait for when the time comes again – and it will come again – then you could lend your hand to people whose loved ones have also snapped… because you’d remember a time when no one was there for you.

Produce Section

Picking tomatoes can be so hard.

Scott McTomatoesallthewaydown

The best tomatoes have already been chosen. How many people have picked up this very one, looked at it, squeezed it and put it back, covering it with their own brand of infectious diseases and nastiness. I had the same problem with the blackberries. Every pack had at least a little bit of mold inside. The last thing that I want to worry about is getting fresh produce at the grocery store after I’ve worked all fucking week.

I’m hardly making enough money to live in an apartment, pay for gas and make a dent in my student loans before the interest shovels another few pounds of dirt over my cheaply made coffin. My headstone will read “still trying to make enough money to justify college”. The wheel keeps squeaking on this stupid cart. I work all week and I’m not even rewarded with an easy shopping experience. It’s tedious, boring, redundant and redundant.

two red tomatoes on white surface
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The tomatoes that I get will probably spoil before I can use them. I made a list of meals for the week, but I’d be lying to myself if I told you that I’m going to make them all. I’ll make exactly what I need to, no more and no less, and when I can’t do that, I’ll eat some Fruity Pebbles. Think of the journey that this tomato had to take for me to pick it up, buy it and inevitably throw it away. A farmer had to buy the seeds, plant and grow the tomatoes, wait for however long it takes for tomatoes to grow and then sell them to Giant Eagle. The whole process is probably no less than a month, and I’m going to buy it just to throw it away.

Does the farmer hate me? Do they just enjoy the simplicity of living a life off the land where they work eighteen hours in a day, but don’t listen to anyone but themselves, and that’s why they farm? Do they secretly resent people who eat their product without ever learning how to grow it themselves? I’m fucking useless in the grand scheme of things. I can’t even grow a tomato. If the world broke into anarchy and food stopped being subsidized, I’d be screwed. I can’t even pick a tomato off of the shelf, let alone survive off the land.

If the world broke down that much, who’s to say that I wouldn’t be the guy that grabbed a gun and stormed some poor farmer’s land and stole stuff while they slept. If it broke down that much, I’d be the good guy for doing that considering how many people would Clockwork Orange the farmer and his wife. I’d just be stealing food while other people would be raping and pillaging just for fun. I don’t think I could ever rape someone, even if the world changed that much, but I can’t say for sure. I don’t think I’m the kind of person that would gas a Jew, but Milgram has proven that to be unlikely. Maybe in a different world, I’d be a degenerate rapist, murderer and maybe even a cannibal. I’m sure I’d do it alone too. I don’t think I’d want to spread the wealth with anyone else. I wouldn’t be able to trust anyone in an anarchist world. I wouldn’t even trust myself.

board close up cooking delicious
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With no order, the world would be a mess. Right? Well, society has formed from thousands of years of development, and we decided to make a hierarchal system of governing and existing. Is that due to a few people who have lost sight of the greater purpose and their consciousness and created a dictatorship, which was eventually leveled out by the people under it, or is that what people have either subconsciously or consciously chosen? Maybe the more active and conscientious people rise to the top while the complacent and lazy fall to the bottom of the hierarchal foundation. That doesn’t explain today’s world though because of how many hard-working people there are at the bottom end of the class structure that we have. They might only be there through systematic classism, but it could also be because humans can’t function in a way where equality and functionality work the same way.

That could be why communism didn’t work. It’s not that people aren’t capable of working for an equal reimbursement and purpose, but maybe humanity just can’t function without people who give orders and people who take orders. There always needs to be someone telling someone something, and those who are anti-authority are in a constant struggle to get to the top until they are met with odds that are so stacked against them that they stop trying to rise to the top or they make it to a place that they feel comfortable with because in their own mind, they’re in control.

Although gravity is the reason that if I pull a tomato from the bottom of the pyramid they all fall, maybe there is this kind of… weird societal gravity where it’s a constant race to the bottom unless you’re putting in more work than those next to you. If you think of how small we all are in the physical universe, then think of how we stand in a societal structure that feels like a multilevel marketing scheme where everyone was forced to join and can’t get out, then even the people on top are miniscule, but the ones on the bottom, with higher numbers and desire for success, are even smaller.

Boy in the Kitchen

Scott McTrespassing

I heard a loud metal clang from downstairs. It sounded like pots and pans had fallen to the kitchen floor. I crawled out of bed silently and put my slippers on.

“Hello?” I asked. “Babe, you home?”

Home invasions weren’t uncommon around here. I grabbed a baseball bat that was sitting next to my bed and went to the top of my stairs. I stopped in my tracks as I heard another loud crash.

I stepped onto the first stair; it squeaked under my weight and I flinched. I worried that whoever was downstairs heard me, but nothing changed. It sounded like someone was rummaging through my refrigerator.

The next steps didn’t make any noise as I descended to the first floor. I inched around the banister, peaking into my kitchen. A young boy, no more than six or seven, was looking in my pantries and eating everything he found.

kitchen and dining area
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“Hey, buddy,” I said, lowering the bat. “Can I help you with anything? Are you lost?” The boy didn’t acknowledge me. He continued pawing through my cabinets. “Come on kid, you can’t just take all of my food. I can give you some for the road if you need it.”

He still didn’t stop. His chewing sounds echoed through the lower floor. I stepped closer to him. Without looking up from the whole tomato that he was eating, he moved away from me. I sat at the kitchen table and watched him continue to eat.

“Tell me where you’re from,” I said. I was starting to get angry. I didn’t know what to do. There was just this boy in my kitchen. “If you don’t tell me why you’re here then I’m going to kick you out.”

The boy didn’t stop. I was furious. I walked over to him and went to pick him up, but he slipped out of my grip. I grabbed his hand and dragged him to the door. I pushed him outside but before I could blink, he had entered through the back door.

“I’m not playing around anymore,” I said. “It’s time for you to go.”

I walked back over to him, wound my fist back and swung. He didn’t move away. This time he looked at me and smiled. My fist was frozen in mid-air before it could make contact.

“Not only do you do it to your wife,” the boy said in a low, menacing voice, “you would do it to a random boy? The world doesn’t need your kind.”

The boy morphed into a large beast, covered in horns and fire. He laughed in a dark, demonic tone and grabbed my wrist. A fiery hole in the floor opened up.

“What are you?” I screamed.

“That doesn’t matter where you’re going,” the monster laughed.

I was pulled down into the hole. The last thing that I saw before it closed was my wife standing above me, staring down at me with her black eye.

Face-First into a Rose Bush

Roses are nice but not worth slowing down for.

Scott McBotanist

Stop and smell the roses. Okay, I’ll give it a shot. Everyone tells me that I move too fast whether they’re using the colloquialism or not, but they’re always saying the same thing. I haven’t stopped to smell flowers in a long time. I know I’m not supposed to take it literally, but I don’t know what I would do to relax if it wasn’t smelling roses.

They’re red. I knew that, but they’re red. I guess I haven’t really observed how red they are, but they’re red. I’ve seen red before. I don’t think that because it’s a flower, it immediately makes it peaceful. The bush itself is green, and the stems and thorns are green, too. I guess it’s a slightly different green, but it’s still just green.

This seems like a waste of time.

The sounds are unique, but unique doesn’t always mean good. There are birds chirping and bugs buzzing. The breeze rustles leaves. I guess that sounds okay. A dog just barked somewhere.

I don’t get it.

The breeze feels good. I was a bit sweaty before. It’s pretty hot out today so it’s pretty nice. The actual leaves feel smooth and glossy. The petals feel fragile and a bit like linen or silk. The thorns hurt but that’s obvious.

I definitely don’t get it.

The rose’s smell like – like some shitty candle! They smell like a fucking bathroom air freshener. What was the point of this? Slow down and smell the roses? Why! They smell like shit! God, I wasted so much time. If I thought I could drive my face into these thorns hard enough to die I would do it right now.

So, I keep sprinting.

close up photo of red rose
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Fleet of Downward Ships

Shout out to all of the people who have read, liked, commented on and followed my blog.

Special shout out to odylicious, the creator of bookzone (https://bookblog200.wordpress.com/), since they are, as far as I know, the first person who I haven’t met who is a regular to this blog.

I just think that having reached out to even one person is awesome and I’m pretty pumped. So thank you for your support as I keep posting more and more of my heart, mind and soul on here.

Scott McGrateful

I didn’t have any plans when I started writing this. I just decided that I wanted to write something and began. But lo and behold, that’s the beauty of writing. Nothing that I write has any meaning until I decide to write it, regardless of whether I give it meaning or not. Quite frankly, I don’t even know if that makes sense, but I said it, therefore, giving it sense.

brown canoe in the body of water near mountain
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One paragraph in and I’m sure the absurd content of this writing has already made you forget about the totally nonsensical title that began it. When I first started writing, the title was “Symphony of Death”, but I thought that that was too interesting to not make its own thing, so now it’s “Fleet of Downward Ships”. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a title.

This piece really doesn’t have any significance, does it? It’s interesting because I’ve said nothing memorable, but that makes this inherently memorable. But you’ll think to yourself, with or without this upcoming thought, that you won’t ever actually think about this again, but this is the kind of piece that you will think about at a random time when you’re reading something with more impact and punch, giving this potentially more significance than the other thing that you’re reading, because the thought of this while reading something else gives this more impact than the thing you were already reading.

That doesn’t make a goddamned bit of sense. It’s hilarious in a way, because as you read this, you think it’s stupid. You think you just wasted your time, but all the while, you’re still here. You’re still reading my work. And my work will be what makes you come back for more.

So, as with the Fleet of Downward Ships, this ends with no point, no purpose and no impact, but doesn’t that give it all the purpose that it needs?

Chalkboard Woes

This was an idea that my friend Nikos came up with. I wrote it about a year ago and I still find it to be one of the more existential and unique pieces that I have written. I’ve never been someone who loved school or the education system. I’d even say that I hate it. These are the kinds of thoughts I’ve had since way back in grade school and lasted all the way to college.

Scott McSchoolspirit

abc books chalk chalkboard
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The room is desolate. At night, all I see are desks, chairs and cleaning supplies. During the day, I see the same desks and chairs but inhabited by children.

They are so full of energy. The way that they talk. The way that they act. The way that they think. It’s marvelous.

Energy high, the teacher talks to the children, guiding them through their educational journey. They pick up a piece of used chalk and write on my surface. I can feel their emotions flowing as smoothly as the newly drawn line; their true feelings revealed.

Tired and worn as they watch the students go through the same tedious process that they had gone through years earlier. They wish the best for the students but hopes lay low. When they’re young, they are carefree. They have fun. They don’t realize what problems await them.

What’s worse is that they are always so unprepared. I watch these youths and how they talk, act and think. They’re creative. They do exactly what they want to do to have fun. They make the best of everything that they do.

The teacher looks at the kids and wishes that they could still think like they do. Unable to see what’s coming. Unable to feel the pain of the real world.

When a child brings chalk to my surface, it’s the highlight of my day. They are given the freedom to draw whatever is in their young minds. It’s always fun to see and feel their disregard for other opinions. How they share their work with their classmates.

Then, just like the cruel nature of life, an eraser is brought to it, removing it from the world. Taking it from their mind and never giving it back. They are trained from a young age that their thoughts are forgettable. That their creativity isn’t special. That they are just like everyone else.

Seeing how a child grows to become a teacher that wishes that they thought like a child is miserable. It’s a vicious, unforgiving cycle that makes the sanest person wonder how it’s accepted. But what can I do about it? I’m where creativity lies dormant until the end of my existence.

Standing in the Rain

Next time it rains, find some time to go outside and sit on your porch, patio, balcony or whatever else. If you hate getting wet, bring an umbrella and just listen. If you really let yourself enjoy it instead of worrying about getting wet, you’ll hear nothing but the quiet sounds of raindrops falling, leaves rustling and maybe the occasional boom of thunder. It’s peaceful if you can look at it with a different, less inconvenienced perspective.

Scott McRaindancer

road landscape nature forest
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Ah… this is delightful. I haven’t felt the soothing touch of rain in a while. It’s been weeks at least. I never thought I’d be happy to say that I forgot my umbrella.

Harmless. The rain is harmless, yet everyone treats it like lava. If it touches someone’s clothing, their day is ruined. Don’t even get me started with wet socks. Everyone bitches about them like they’re dying when really, they’re not that bad.

Everyone around me is running like a maniac, trying to find shelter. It’s fun to watch them panic as if the sky is falling. I’m practically skipping through the growing puddles. The sidewalks are clear of people, except for a person in a rain coat or a person with a large, unwieldy umbrella blowing in the wind. They look ridiculous. All because they don’t want to get a little wet.

Yet, if most of these people went swimming in clothing that was deemed appropriate for water, they’d be happy! Fucking hilarious. I didn’t know societal pressures could make someone lose appreciation for rain. The thing that gives us clean water. The thing that waters our plants. It’s one of the few truly free things left in life and no one appreciates its gentle touch.

I open my mouth as water streams down my face. It’s more refreshing than tap or well. It’s more refreshing than air conditioning. It’s nature at its finest.

The breeze is amazing, too. When I see someone’s umbrella cave in on itself I just about piss myself. Cheap manufacturing has made someone lose money and for what? Just because they didn’t want to get wet? And now they’re even more upset because not only are they wet, but their shit is broken.

If more people could appreciate rain, then they’d be happier more often. They’d like the changing weather and understand the beauty of it instead of just thinking about clear days when really, clear doesn’t mean better. It simply means different.

Ya know, even after saying all of this, I’m glad that everyone seems to hate rain. Everyone in the world experiences it and no one likes it. All that means to me is that I have a little piece of earth that I can enjoy all alone. A piece that’s just as beautiful as the rest. A piece that’s just for me.

Constructive Criticism

Scott McBargainshopper

It’s on sale now for $8.96 from Walmart. If I order the hard hat and everything else that I need, I might be able to get free shipping; all I need to do is spend more than $35.00. Actually, I don’t need the free shipping, I’ll just pick it up later. I don’t have plans today or tomorrow.

yellow and green hard hat on rack
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A reflective stripe spiced zipper from traffic security vest jacket (wow, that’s a mouthful) is only $14.16. That brings the total to $23.12. Hopefully I’ll find one that fits. I have a hard enough time finding everyday clothes that fit my oddly-shaped body, so I doubt I’ll be so lucky.

I probably need 6 traffic cones to really make my point. Actually, I hate the number 6. It’s always stood out to me and I don’t know why. 8 is such a nice number, divisible by 2 and 4, while 4 is divisible or squared into 2’s. 6 is the unsexy combination of 2 and 3 and it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I’ll get 8 traffic cones. Cost doesn’t matter to me at this point. I mean, an 18” street cone is $15.99 apiece, which brings my total to well over the $35.00 I need for free shipping. I’m buying it in the store anyway, so I don’t know why I keep thinking about free shipping.

construction worker safety danger
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The last thing I need is a ladder. One that’s tall enough to reach the overhead traffic lights on the way to work. I drive passed them every day and wonder why they’re different. They are held by a thick steel bar that – no, it can’t be steel. Steel would be way too heavy. Maybe it’s fiberglass? But that seems like it wouldn’t be cost effective, but what do I know about fiberglass cost. It’s not a commodity like gold. Well fuck, I don’t know anything about gold prices either and I don’t care to look it up. What was I – oh right – the traffic lights. So, they’re held up by some steel-like metal that juts diagonally across the road and effortlessly dangles them below it. The way that it’s attached to the ground is through another, equally thick steel-like metal that juts out of the sidewalk. It basically makes a big L-shape. The ladder needs to be Dewalt. I almost bought a Werner, but John Oliver made fun of them on Last Week Tonight and that was enough to sway me. I don’t give a shit about ladders, but some writer somewhere does, and that was enough.

Shit, Walmart doesn’t even have Dewalt ladders. I’ll buy a Werner. I get free shipping if I get it from Walmart. Jesus, I don’t want to spend $59.99 on a ladder. I mean, I only need to buy it once, but I want to leave at least a little bit of money behind to help my parents pay off the college loans that I didn’t deserve. Fine, I’ll buy the ladder… at least I get free shipping.

ladder wood blackandwhite old
Photo by Khimish Sharma on Pexels.com

The drive to the intersection that I was talking about earlier is no more than 5 minutes from my apartment. I pulled my dark-blue Nissan over to the side of the road and turned the blinkers on. After the one car behind me drove around and flipped me off, I put the reflective jacket and hard hat on and set the cones out. 1 by 1, cars stopped behind the row of 8 cones and could do nothing but watch as I “made my repairs.” That had to be what they’re thinking, like, “why the hell is this guy doing work now? I’m just trying to get home.” That guy probably beats his wife when he gets home anyway. What difference does it make?

I set the ladder up in the middle of the intersection and stumbled to the top. It’s well lit for the first few steps, but it dims quickly. The street lights are aimed straight down and I’m not in their field of vision. That’s fine.

With the $6.42 rope that I bought, I wrap the untied end around the steel-like metal bar and tied it with a knot that I learned in Boy Scout’s in the fourth grade. I was in the Boy Scout’s until I quit because I hated tying knots. Then I put the other end around my neck and tipped off of the ladder.

Horns blared as the lights dimmed. People jumped out of their cars, but their hesitations from simply dressing in a reflective jacket and hard hat was enough to let me do what I had set out to do. The cones were a nice touch. I probably only needed 6.

I even got free shipping.

Change

The constant struggle between trying to become something bigger than myself and falling into complacent laziness is one that I have to overcome everyday. I’m not special by saying that. Everyone has different metrics for success. Mine sits much higher than I’ll likely ever be able to reach, but you bet your ass I’m working every day to get closer.

Scott McWorkaholic

Why do I do it? Before I go to sleep, I say I’m going to do something big, something ambitious, something that will give me purpose. Then I wake up, my mind groggy, my eyes cloudy, my brain telling me to stay in bed.

analysis blackboard board bubble
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You know what I’m talking about. The idea that you’ve had but never acted on. The activity that you want to do but can’t follow through on. The dream that has never left anything but your thoughts. Whatever it is, you know you’d rather be doing it, but something prevents you.

What is it that you want to do? Do you want to quit a job that you hate? Are you in a relationship that you want to leave? Would you run away and start again if you could?

No matter what it is, you can’t do it. You probably feel shame and guilt. You probably feel angry and depressed. All you want to do is break the cycle of self-loathing. A cycle that has existed for as long as you can remember. A cycle that only you can break, but your mind refuses to change.

I will never understand it. Is it a problem with me and my brain? Or is it a problem with man and human will? No matter the reason, it needs to change.

Is it fear of the unknown? Lack of security? Dislike of change? I don’t know what it is but it’s always there. It nags but will never reveal itself. Maybe it’ll slip up one day and I’ll know what’s stopping me. But even if I did… would I change anything?

If you knew what caused this thing. This nagging feeling in the back of your mind. If you could just put your finger one what the problem was… would you change it?

Simple Things: Part 1

As we approach the end of summer, I think about all the time that I spent outside. Every second away from a screen, desk or artificial light was one that I could enjoy and savor. Now we’re at the end and snow will be here before we know it and then there will be another tiring winter of dark, cloudy days. Until that time, I’ll keep trying to get out when I can and enjoy it in the best way possible… with only the sounds of nature accompanying me.

Scott McNaturewalks

The sun shining through the branches. Leaves rustle as a timid wind reveals itself, brushing against your fragile skin. Soil crunches beneath your feet, each step more relaxing than the last.

A stream rolls to your left, it’s tender current hiding a colony of wildlife, seemingly untouched by man. You can feel a coolness as water splashes up onto your ankles, reminding you of how you felt as a child, when you would run through puddles without worry of wet socks or shoes. Birds chirp above you, calls that you have become so used to that you never even notice them, but today they echo like the most beautiful voice you’ve ever heard.

To your right is a wall of rocks, taller than your own home. They’re not part of a mountain or a hill, but instead seem like the sturdy supports of the growing landscape. Water trickles down, drop by drop. Little puddles, no more than a few inches deep sit all around them. Just like the splashing from the river, you make an effort to step into them, not caring if you get wet.

trees in park
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Insects that would usually disgust you surround you, some in sight and some out. You feel like you belong in their world for once, and it’s beautiful. You are the trespasser, but you feel welcomed by the chirping of crickets and the buzzing of bees.

As you continue to walk, trekking through land that you so frequently forget to appreciate, you stop. You take a deep breath in. The aroma of the running water and the evergreens. The scents left from flowers and trees. Your senses are overtaken by this… this simple beauty that you so often ignore. But that doesn’t matter, for you are appreciating it now, and this moment will remain one of your fondest until the very end.

Not Here

Haven’t you ever felt that feeling of needing a break but the second you get a break, it’s not enough and then you go on a deep dive into your consciousness looking for what you need to truly feel relaxed, and then you think about running away from home, work, family, friends, troubles, sadness and happiness to inevitably end up in the same melancholy status that you’re in now? Is that just me? Oh…

Scott McRunaway

Anywhere but here. That’s where I want to be. I need to escape from this place that’s ready to forget about me. I need to find where I belong. I need to drop everything that I’ve ever worked for and try again. I need to find the place that I’ve been looking for.

man running on sand
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I don’t feel welcomed here. I feel like every time people acknowledge my presence, their quality of life diminishes. Inside their heads are thoughts only of hatred and resentment. If I were somewhere else burdening no one then I’d be happy, even if I wasn’t happy.

I’m often caught letting my thoughts wandering to a place that has nothing. A room with no windows or doors, covered in plain white paint from top to bottom. In the middle, I sit by myself, away from civilization; away from reality.

I feel like I belong there. When I’m in a secluded room with no one to bother or burden, people asking the same questions that they asked about Schrodinger’s cat, that’s when I feel most at home. People aren’t stuck tripping over me. They’re not troubled with my presence. They can give me all of the thought that they want to or don’t. They can forget about me as easily as a fish forgets the dangers of a hook.

But instead, I’m forced to exist with everyone else who finds being much easier. Being a human. Being a friend. Being a brother, sister or loved one. Being anything that’s not a burden. Being something that exists to be something other than a nuisance. Being happy. Being better than me. I belong anywhere but here, but where I belong most of all is in a place where the only questions asked are if I’m alive or dead, without care for the answer.

Last Words

I think about death all the time and I know I’m not the only one. Whether you’re 15 or 100, the idea of death is terrifying at every turn. The unexpected timing, the unbelievable pain, the lack of control and the sudden goodbye that you can’t make, it’s all horrifying and nothing can prepare you for it. Immortality isn’t real and even if some pseudo immortality is reached in our lifetime, it won’t be anything close to what our lives are now. We can try to create stuff that lives a longer life than us, but that’s finite too and once you’re dead it doesn’t matter. I don’t know what people fear more, the thought of being forgotten or the thought of making more memories. Regardless of the answer, everyone is scared for their own reasons and I hope that in the future, you can all find solace in the eventual darkness ahead.

Scott McReaper

I lay in this bed. I stare at that ceiling. I feel each breath painfully leaving my lungs. New air forces its way in, like a piece of popcorn forces its way between your teeth. All I can do is sit here. Sit here and think.

The cancer has really taken a toll. I used to be so agile. So quick witted. So alive. Now, all I am is the decrepit shell of the man that I used to be. A shell that might as well be picked up and skipped into the ocean. A shell that no one will ever see again.

horror crime death psychopath
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My family surrounds me constantly. My wife. My kids. My parents. I never thought I’d die before my parents. They swarm me with flowers as if they’re going to give me the strength to keep going. The strength to fight through this again.

I don’t even have the strength to speak. Oh my, that’s what I was thinking about anyway. It’s so hard to keep my mind straight. My wife is crying again. I must look worse than before. No, I probably look the same.

Never mind that. Prisoners are always gifted last words before they die. I didn’t have that privilege. Instead, I’ve just had to witness my death through the mirrors of my family’s eyes. I wish I could say a proper string of last words. They would make me feel much more at peace.

Actually, the more that I think of it, maybe they wouldn’t. If I said something, it may just leave everyone wondering if I was going to say more. They would think that I was trying to fight. They would think that I didn’t want to die. The truth is… the truth is that I’m very tired. I’m ready to go.

I wouldn’t know what to say anyway. I would say that I love whoever was there, but what is that going to do? They know I love them. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be here. I wish I could at least have the option to say something. I don’t know if I would.

I don’t need proper last words. I don’t even want last words. My last words were… I don’t remember what I said. But I don’t think there is anything else for me to say. I said enough through life. Even in the bad times, I was around. That alone should be good enough. I’m okay with this.

I feel a breath painfully leaving my lungs. I feel my heart stop beating. I hear the melancholy tone of the machines connected to me. I feel the tears of family members falling to my cold skin. I hear their cries. Words can’t explain how I feel. Last words are a trick. A trick in assuming your words will live past you. I am not my words. I am a memory.

Limb from Limb

I pour my heart into the shit that I put out here. It may not be super new, but at some point I did pour my heart into it. I have no problem revealing myself in what I write and showing my true goals. I would love to be a famous writer. I would love to see some of my bigger writing turned into movies and TV shows and whatever else it may be. For now, I work to push through the ideas of grandeur and instead write new pieces or edit the ones that I have or send my stuff to agents or blah, blah, blah… but I promise that I poured my heart into this tiny little short just the same.

Scott McLunatic

Another invention, idea and creation. Another attempt, trial and effort. I throw another finger into the trash, then get right back to it again.

 The trash can is overflowing with torn ligaments, bones and muscles. The stench of trying is starting to make the paint peel from the mildew covered walls. Maggots keep eating away at the wounds on my body, making them tingle in an unwelcomed, uncomfortable way.

I tear another piece away from my body, this time a toe. It bounces from the overflowing trash and lands next to it, promptly covered by the bugs. They bite, chew and gnaw until only bone is left. Another missing piece is nothing that I can’t handle. It doesn’t bother me much.

I take another shot, this time it fails just as much as the last. It was bigger than the last. I skip past the fingers and throw my whole hand into the bin. It makes a sad, hollow sound as it bounces from the already exposed bones of other lost limbs.

focus photo of yellow paper near trash can
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The rotting flesh stings my nose hairs, but that just makes me try harder, pushing all of my remaining body to the limit until smoke starts to fill the room. I feel the fire touch my legs, and instead of stomping it out, I let it consume me. My legs burn before the bugs can get to it and that gives me a sick sense of thrill. It almost feels like I’m living through the flames that consume me.

Before I know it, I have to throw another limb into the trash, but as I look down, there isn’t anything left. My fingers and toes. My hands and feet. My arms and legs. Everything’s gone, except for the ghost of a man who would discard every bit of his body, just to touch the ounce of soul that’s underneath.

Knife to Meet You

I wrote this based on an idea from my girlfriend, Alex Oliver, and she loved it. I’ve also heard from one of my other writer friends that the idea was good, but they thought everything about the execution was wrong. I hope more people agree with Alex on this one, but if not… whatever!

Scott McOfficesupplies

Destruction. Hatred. Desolation. That is all I am. I yearn for the days when I was naïve enough to think that destruction was the best way to go.

Others put stuff together. Tape, Glue and Heat can do it so easily. Heat is the worst because they get the best of both worlds: one second, they’ll burn a forest down and the

next they’ll cauterize a wound and save a hero. I guess it’s still better than Glue though. All Glue does is heal, but even the most prestigious and helpful glues still get eaten by a toddler that doesn’t know any better. Tape is okay. They know how to party.

I could name so many more tools, my cousins Scissors and Shears, my brother Sword, my parents, Anvil and Hammer. So many have different, more productive uses than me; at least that’s what it feels like.

kitchen knife
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I don’t do anything but hurt. People and animals, boxes and papers, they all fall with one quick swipe of a knife. That’s all I am. Sword is a mantlepiece while Scissors is used in everyday playground games. No one uses a knife unless it’s to hurt. I don’t want to hurt. I don’t like the things I hurt because they don’t like me. It’s easier to hate everyone than love them and lose them, especially to your own barbaric nature. I can’t change but I want to. But then who am I satisfying: myself or everyone else? Would I be satisfying anyone? I wouldn’t be happy if I changed and I wouldn’t give anyone else an authentic “Knife” experience. But nobody wants that experience anyway. I wish I was Glue or Heat. That would be so much easier. I don’t want to be Tape though; Tape’s a bro.

Helium

This is the second part in the balloon series. I hope it’s… blowing your mind. Actually, I hope my writing pops into your thoughts in all hours of the day. No no no, I hope that my writing inflates your self-esteem.

Scott McHotair

white and red balloons
Photo by Sirirak Boonruangjak on Pexels.com

They keep getting smaller and smaller. It’s so unfair. They’ve always had it so easy. Soon I won’t even be able to see them. I’ll miss the way that the sun bounces from them. It was never too bright. It was always just enough to make you feel a little something.

I was the center of attention for only a matter of minutes. Even as I was being created, I knew it wouldn’t last. There was no way that I could stay on top of the world. That made my creation my very own nightmare.

Now I am racing to my spot on what literally seems like the top of the world. The clouds are approaching quickly and everything below is smaller. No one is even looking up at me anymore. I was forgotten seconds after I was let go. I knew I’d be forgotten fast but I never guessed it would have happened like that.

When I started soaring higher, I was immediately replaced. My radiant red seemed to turn black as soon as I left their hands. A much more colorful blue took my spot and before too long, they will be floating up here with me, too.

I wish I was never filled with helium. If I could have stayed on the ground I would have loved everything so much more. I wouldn’t have been the center of attention and I wouldn’t be floating up here now. I would be resting peacefully, happily observing the world around me.

Grounded

This is the first of two parts, the second coming tomorrow. It’s a simple piece that goes over the distinct differences in thought and how no matter what, people are never happy with what they have, but rather envious of everything they don’t. We follow a balloon that was never given the air that it would need to soar high into the clouds. It was everywhere but where it wanted to be.

Scott McBalloonanimalhandler

They float so much higher than I ever will. I only really lift from the ground when a strong gust of wind comes to push me around or when a child kicks me with all their might. Everything comes to them so much easier than it does to me.

Their distinct yellows and reds and blues – all highlighted by the sun that hangs above. I don’t have that luxury. I have to try so much harder to shine like them. I need to be in the right place at the right time and hope that I get lucky. Everything comes so much easier for them.

Every moment that I’ve experienced is filled with envy for how easy everything comes to them. They’re more loved, more popular and even more colorful. All I am is the reject from the bunch when the helium ran out.

ground orange balloon deflated
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I try as hard as I can to feel how I imagine they feel, but it always seems too unobtainable. They have been lifted so much higher than I, for no reason other than how they were formed.

I wish I was made with helium instead. Up until now I have tried to stay content, but it will all come crashing down with the prick of a needle. I have always been an afterthought compared to the rest of my kind and I don’t see that changing. I can’t wait for that needle.

Grunzediano Htohutsg

Tcots Eynmcink

I would give anything to understand – no – I would give anything to feel how others feel. It’s like that scene in Pinocchio where all the naïve puppet wants is to be a real boy, when he is really only painted driftwood. Or like how Andy feels when he’s giving his toys to some random adolescent without realizing that he is abandoning his childhood more than he is giving a childhood to someone else.

I don’t know what I’m saying. I guess, in some sick kinda way, I feel a bit like the unheard clarinet in the marching band or the unplayed triangle in the back of a 100-piece orchestra. Like, the intern who is only told to fetch coffee or the CEO who loses control of his own company or the books that J.K. Rowling made before Harry Potter or the novels that are never made due to unjust censorship.

I feel like the Robin to the world’s Batman or the superhero whose power is to climb really well. Sometimes I am Romeo, but Juliet seems so out of reach. Other times, I read Robert Frost’s Fire and Ice and think of how peaceful it is to see the world as he did, without hope, but that means that there is no wrong.

Sometimes I wake up with a pinned-on tail that always seems to fall off. Most days I wake up like the untipped stripper or the elder holding an oxygen tank. On other days it’s like the green plumber in a world full of red ones. Or I feel like the misunderstood mute who desperately tries to speak but can’t communicate their thoughts.

I feel like the masterpiece that is Mad World compared to an illogical song meant to bring attention to mental illness that only really alienates the truly suffering listeners. I feel like the DJ who has spun records for as long as they can remember but was outdated by a digital age.

I am the person who trained for their whole life to be an NBA star, but irreparably tore their ACL. My emotions are Schrodinger’s cat, stuck in a box of uncertainty, when those outside will never know what I’m really feeling. My tears are the streams of unorganized thoughts that pour through the only orifice that they are permitted. My cries for help are the echoes of happier words that flow through my mouth. My smile is the Mona Lisa of smiles, for not even I know if it’s there or not.

abstract art artistic artwork
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The Sun’s Rays

The sun is one of my favorite things, yet it’s warmth can be a terrible reminder of the coldness of everything it touches.

Scott McSunnyday

When your gentle ray’s bounce from my fragile, lightly tanned skin, I am left with a comforting warmth that leaves little to be desired. Sweat pours down my face and drenches my clothes; they stick to my body like maple syrup to a dirty plate. The occasional breeze brushes my hair back with a mythical elegance, in a way that a brush and blow dryer never could. I watch squirrels, chipmunks and robins live harmoniously, thinking about how people on the other side of the world see creatures that are totally different and foreign to me. You hug me like my rocking horse-covered baby blanket and nuzzle me until I’m close to falling asleep.

action android device electronics
Photo by Matan Segev on Pexels.com

I reach back behind my neck and below my shirt collar until I feel cold, hard metal. I unhook the latch and I lift my head up, placing it under my armpit. The sun’s rays shoot down my now open neck and illuminate my insides. I see the light surround my beating heart and rising and lowering lungs, along with the blood flowing through my intricate veins, arteries and ventricles. I can see the dissolving food in my stomach and how the acid melts it down to waste. I can even see my spine reaching high up into where my head should be. Yet, with all of the things that I see illuminated inside me, I do not feel the warmth. I know how it should feel inside, but even still, I feel nothing. My heart hasn’t warmed and neither have my lungs, veins or spine.

My detached head sighs as I place it back on my neck. After fiddling with the latch, it fits firmly back into place. With no more light inside of me, it makes sense that I feel cold. I just wish I felt the same inside as out.