call it a security breach if you want
I'm fairly certain
I could be some ghastly hallucination,
a figment of my own imagination
― Derek Landy
Soft 80's music plays in the background, accompanied by some football game put on low volume that no one pays much attention to as a few members of the staff busy themselves around the bar, the tables, and in the back, making sure everything is in order before the much more dynamic evening shift. Everyone is concentrated on their tasks, yet the atmosphere is still relaxed - the waitresses and the help doing things on autopilot, used to their usual routine, the place currently occupied only by some of the regular clientele, and a small stream of men loosening up their work ties and rolling up sleeves of already creased shirts in an attempt of seeming more relaxed and free from the corporate world than they actually were; their frowned stares still eyeing their smartphones while checking up e-mails and new deadlines coming their way.
She takes it all in, glancing at the customers absentmindedly while her thoughts sink into the welcoming commotion of things she needs to do tonight, her energy vibrating more than usual. But this time it's not the voices or mayhem moving around in her, not even the memories of the turbulent events of last night - they resurface, of course, more than she would like, but at the same time, what fills her up the most is the newfound energy that seems to spread in her bones without rest. She feels unusually hyped - the only difference now is that it's not caused by pain or her private devils. Instead, she feels like a robot with countless energy hitting her in waves. After Charlie left last night, she was torn by many feelings and sensations, a flow of never-ending thoughts falling over her head like bricks, making it hard to focus on anything other than the inner turmoil under her skull - and yet, as soon as her head hit the pillow she was gone, drifting into some strange stream of consciousness, that had more to do with unclear visions and colors than actual dreams.
And there were no nightmares.
She inhales deeper, still in awe at the new revelation. She even slept through the morning and early afternoon, spending almost a full 20 hours in bed, then woke up charged up like never before. So much that she decided to take a shift at the bar and work some extra hours on top of it - the thought of being cooped up in the flat for even few more unnecessary minutes with just her own thoughts and feelings made her even more wired, the idea too overwhelming and suffocating handle or process in any way. Plus, she was in desperate need of some fresh cash. She took a quick shower, tied her hair into a high ponytail, and speeded off to the bar, ravaging an impressive size cheeseburger with bacon and two portions of fries from a nearby food truck while waiting for the bus - her hunger felt insatiable, and consuming. Thankfully Phil was more than eager to take her in, always seeming a little understaffed at nights, especially at the weekends. He took her with wider open arms than the government embracing the income at the beginning of tax season.
Her stare trails off to the mirror behind the gracious and long row of bottles resting pridefully in front of it. She notices the shining and rounder than normal eyes as if she was on something, indulging in heavy drugs of the highest shelf. But she wasn't, at least not on anything physical. No pill or needle could cause the things that she was experiencing. She felt stronger, faster, and more focused. She wasn't sure how long it would last, but she loved it, deciding for once not to worry ahead of time of the consequences. Her stare shifts higher against the mirror, and she notices Phil gazing at her from his newspaper, a stack of documents lying in wait next to it, with full intention left for later. He seems worried, a deep wrinkle forming between his eyebrows, giving him that forever concerned look she didn't like. She knows what he sees as he scans her slowly. The same unnatural shine in her eyes that she does - she feels tempted to both sigh at his uneasy gaze and smooth out that frown off his face. But she doesn't do either. Instead, she gathers some things to take to the kitchen and swiftly lifts everything with ease. She hears the rustling of papers and waits for the inevitable with a little smile.
So, after all these years working here, you're suddenly respecting a wear code and sanitary rules? What has happened to you? Who did this to you? Who do I need to call?
She rolls her eyes and lifts her knee, shifting a plastic crate higher in her arms, knowing that he means her tied-up hair and a black outfit constructed of a clean cotton T-shirt and decent-looking black jeans that coordinate nicely with the other girls' clothes, a small red apron tied efficiently around her waist.
Phil, it's rather easy. Sometimes even aliens like me have better days, though it's very rare, so be prepared to start a parade in my honor. It's a momentum people will not want to miss.
He grumbles something indistinctive and shifts his glasses, slipping his nose back into the newspaper. She bites her lower lip and heads to the kitchen, shouting over the shoulder.
But nothing purple or flurry; it clashes too much with my filthy, dark soul.
She hears some muffled cussing and grins lazily, her hands already wiping the counters and putting out vegetables from the red plastic crate. She drops them into the sink and washes them under a cold stream of water before starting the peeling and dicing process. Finally, she takes out a knife and chops everything her my reach. It takes her only minutes to get everything done. Then she picks up the empty crate and throws unnecessary stuff into it that's lying around, wanting to create more room and make sure no one trips over it - which wouldn't be a first. Somehow Carl had a unique gift of dropping things, and tripping over them, which was thoughtfully overlooked on most occasions - because other than that, he turned out to be a good employee that you could depend on, an incredibly rare quality these days. She shifts slightly towards the door, her hands still on the plastic sides of the container. She takes a few quick steps and unexpectedly slows down as if her muscles had thickened, legs and arms inserted into something that felt like mud - a slow-motion loop that she sinks more with each second.
The sensation is bizarre, but she doesn't stop, not entirely sure if it was her going insane or the world around her - it almost felt like a bad trip from drugs or a dream in which you're a part of something that makes no logical sense - her mind takes it all in while the body keeps on moving, not actually bothered that much by the situation. She takes another step, and something shifts, flashing red, a strange filtered light over her eyes - its subtle and lasts only a fraction of a second but changes everything around her; without warning, a scene plays out in her head as if she was transported into someone else's eyes, someone else's subconscious. She stumbles slowly into a room that she does not know or has never been to, while at the same time, her mind lets her know she's just passing the kitchen door in Phil's bar, feet taking her to the little storage room hidden next to the back door. She blinks as other, new images fill them and cover up reality. It feels like experiencing everything through the colored glass of a kaleidoscope but without anything in between. But there is no toy to play with it, her eyes becoming the kaleidoscope itself.
In full amazement, she gazes at the big windows taking up almost the entire length of the wall in the back of the elegant room; and stares at the river and the docks behind the glass, marveling at the slowly setting sun in the distance. Then her stare gradually moves to the left until it stops on an old, deep chestnut color desk and the person behind it. She doesn't see his face, but the silhouette is too familiar to her by now to mistake it for anyone else. Jeremiah. She freezes in place, too scared to move in any direction, knowing that her physical body has stopped and is standing next to the back door, leaning against a wall there, the red crate still in her hands, fingers grabbing the plastic until her knuckles become white. Her eyes nervously scan the room and notice a heavy shadow lurking in the corner, making her heart rumble against its ribcage, hitting the bones and begging for an escape from its prison.
They are both here.
This can't be true.
Please, don't let it be true.
She wants to run away, but something holds her in place as Jeremiah grows into the main focus again, an invisible gravity she cannot seem to fight against. But this time, it is not dread but a deep-rooted curiosity and a magnetic pull to find out what's on that desk. This strange man she has always feared, and that made the blood in her veins freeze was right there in front of her, so close that it felt surreal. Yet, now she sees him with new eyes. He's concentrated, so inspired, and passionate about what he's doing that it draws her in; something in her own passion for art and photography resonates with what she's witnessing. And even though she should be terrified by it all, she feels this calm part inside of her, shimmering somewhere under the skin and telling her to have no fear, no ego, no doubts - the only thing it asks is that she keeps an open mind. She inhales deeper and comes a little closer to the desk, leaning over it, her mind shifting and bending into something new, thoughts not feeling entirely her own, as if she was not speaking them. Instead, she was being told a story, fingers gliding over invisible pages of a book.
She sinks into it, letting it guide her.
The lamps in the spacious, elegant room had already been turned on, even though outside, the sun still lays low over the horizon, barely inviting the shades of twilight into the space.
A man sits in the middle of this space, focused solely on his doings, his impressive tall and wide form hunched over a canvas that covers his desk; he seems to be lost in it completely, each brush stroke like a note played on a luxurious piano. You can almost feel the music coming from his actions, opening like a sonata, cascading in waves from the ceiling, and dripping to the wooden floors in a vibrating crescendo; each glide of the brush a whisper of a violin, each push into the canvas like that of a drum centered in the middle of a grand symphonic orchestra. The paints that cover the artwork are thick and rich, both in color and texture - they are so magnificent to the eye that one wishes to dip their fingers into it, pushing their hands into it with eager roughness, only to later touch it with unspeakable softness that only the kindest of souls could understand.
The man smiles lazily at his creation and continues with his actions, deliberately and with care. A flash of silver reflects from a small knife that slowly scrapes against the material of the canvas, creating sharp lines between the edges of the crimson paint, bright oranges around it flaring like bleeding sunsets ready to bursts.
"And what are you doing there?"
The man does not look up, the presence of another not in any way, disturbing his focus.
"Painting life. The ache and tormented notions. Passion. Hunger. The blood and soil of this earth."
"Ah, yes. Of course. How laughable of me to even ask. Perhaps one of your best creations yet, brother?"
"No, it's barely a prelude to something much grander."
"Well, I feel it won't be much longer until that piece will join the others on your gallery wall."
The man smiles unhurriedly and stands up from his work, the wet paints still gleaming against the light of the lamps above them. Something in the composition catches his eye, and his eyebrows lift in amused surprise. There is faint light that seems to be almost fluctuating from the edges of the lines and shapes, drying without a rush. It doesn't affect the painting too much, instead gleaming restlessly for a long while.
The man doesn't respond, his eyes fixed on the canvas. Finally, the delicate blue, silver light disappears, leaving the raggedy lines in the canvas smaller, the holes barely visible now. The man tilts his head in both amusement and irritation. He did not like someone interfering with his work. But the thought of being challenged for the first time in decades pleased him somehow as if a new toy that he wanted to play with - when you live for far too long, things can become rather dull, therefor each novelty is a much-appreciated distraction that brings a nearly long-forgotten curiosity to it. Finally, the man looks up and gazes at his brother for a while, not truly seeing him. After a moment, he waves his hand, brushing away any concern lingering in the air.
Just a slight modification. Nothing more...
The sudden pain in her hands shoots out with such power that it rips her out of the vision altogether without any warning. Her fingers burst open as if electrocuted, the plastic crate crashing against the floor, causing the trash to fall out in all directions in the small, already crowded space.
She breathes out shakily and blinks for a moment. Surprisingly, she's not confused and panicked. Instead, she just stands there, slowly taking everything in. It's a strange sensation because a part of her that she has been operating with until this day wants fear to take over, suffocating her into a pattern that feels like something permanent in her life by now. But this part of her resists it, spreading calm energy into her system. As if her fear and emotions could only reach a certain level before an invisible hand would hold them in check. It felt odd but also freeing, as if some of her old chains had been cut off without her realizing it, quietly leaving her side. There were still so many chains holding her back, but it felt good to have more room to move her hands and legs. Not wanting to dwell on it for too long, she bends down and swiftly picks up all the trash, throwing it out in the big container outside seconds later. She lets the cold wind calm down the heat on her face and gazes into the sky as if searching for answers. What did all this mean? Would there be more visions like that? Would they affect here in any way? It didn't feel like it. At least from what she could tell. Weirdly enough, she was perfectly aware that neither Jeremiah nor Alister saw her. The vision she experienced was not a live streaming, instead, it seemed to be a fresh memory. How she knew that she wasn't sure. She just did.
She inhales deeper and heads back inside, gliding over to the bar and smiling at Phil as he gives her a questioning look. She shrugs it off lightly, letting him know all is well, and then dives in behind the counter, picking up her worn-out bag and slipping out the phone. She checks the screen and looks at a message he wrote many hours ago, not ready back then to respond. Its words echo in her head as if he was saying them out loud. Stay in my life as long as you like, somehow the world feels much better with you in it. Something warm and soft spreads slowly in her chest, causing her to blink faster as she replies - knowing it was the first time in her messed up life, anyone had ever said that to her. The world feels much better with you in it. Her thumbs glide over the screen as if in a trance, feeling way too many things to even explain.
[ it's only better because you're there too ]
[ I will take you on your offer ]
She puts the phone away and gazes up at Phil. His eyebrows lift in response.
Thanks for giving me another chance when others didn't. When I was nothing more than a bundle of ripped-out cords and lost hope, it means a lot to me.
She watches his eyes go wide, almost panicked, his shoulders curling inside, his entire form becoming uncomfortable. He never liked any display of affection, neither at work nor anywhere else. He clears his throat and scratches the back of his neck as the skin there flashes first pink and then neon red - literally stained by a live display of public feelings directed at him. He blinks a few times and then clears his throat in a way that only men can.
Is this your attempt at getting a higher hourly rate? Because if so, don't count on it. I'm already adding to the business with Carl around.
He states with a rush. She knows he's trying to say anything just to drown out the outstretching silence. He fidgets a little and then returns to his papers. I nod, letting him off the hook.
You got me, boss. Once a scammer, always a scammer.
She busies herself with helping the only waitress currently moving around the tables, her pretty face flushed, energy annoyed, but the stare still managing to stay professional. She quickly scoops up dirty glasses and dishes left behind and smiles at Tracy and the short, blond hair masterfully arranged into something straight from a hair salon. Tracy mouths a thank you and continues, then disappears into the kitchen with everything, just seconds later returning with food and drinks on her tray. She smiles at the sight and then quickly disappears into the kitchen as well. She knew help would be needed there too. It doesn't bother her though. Somehow even though the time was reaching midnight, she still felt full of energy, small electric currents bouncing off her skin. She had no idea how to explain tonight but it didn't scare her, instead, filled her with something completely new. As if something in her was constantly changing and shifting, but for the first time in a while it felt like a good shift. It was hard to explain, but it felt like she was connected to something that gave her more strength, and more faith in her future actions. She closes her eyes and stretches her muscles, shoulders rolling inside and outside as a lazy grin lifts the corners of her eyes. Such energy, it felt delicious. Her mind relaxes even more. So much that it lets other things in as well that she made sure to keep out; the memories of the last night circulating in her bloodstream, in her opened mind. But this time it's different. In all the places where the vacant spaces were before now something else would come into focus. So much of last night was a blur to her, most of it concentrating on the before and after. The middle, being visible but slightly blurry, the passion and mayhem clouding some part of their time together. But not it lets loose, free from its shackles. It explodes in her and bounces off her walls, heating the skin and expanding with a big bang like the matter of the cosmos itself. She catches her breath and hits the wall behind her from the impact of the energy that danced within her. She feels mesmerized and dazed by something she has never experienced before.
Geezes... fuck. What is this? What... is... this?
She breathes with difficulty, her chest rising and falling with speed. Her head spins, and she shifts her fingers to the wall, nails digging into the wall.
Elle? What's wrong? Do you need water?
Tracy's voice breaks through the haze, and she looks up at her as the energy slowly calms down outside, while still doing its silent dance under her muscles. She nods a few times, gradually regaining her peace.
Yes, I'm fine. Just a head rush.
You're overworking yourself, girl. I keep telling you. The pace you're having tonight, I have never seen anything like it in my life. We all need cash, sugar, but don't overdo it.
She says calmly now and nods with a smile.
You better, because I'm way too tired myself to pick you up from the floor if you collapse.
Tracy winks at her and returns to the bar area.
I will keep that in mind.
She inhales once more and gazes down at her hands. So that's how it looked with him, that's how it was. Geezes. All of that passion, the hunger, the beast inside. Was that always inside of her or only because of the pain? She asks herself while standing there in the corridor almost motionless. And what if it wasn't just the pain? What if they both caused it? The thought makes her head spin again, but she calms it down, returning to work. All those questions would have to wait for now.
This world is a much better place with you in it.
She whispers gently, disappearing behind the kitchen door.
55. https://theprose.com/post/706205/the-motion-and-interaction-of-erratic-things (part 2)
Am I? Aren’t I? ✿
Preteen girls on the playground parked on the curb, plucking their dying daisies,
"Does he love me? Does he not?".
It's unfair- let them be me! I sit on the curb of thirteen- sleepless,
"Am I? Aren't I? I can't be!"
My sweat and tears are dipped in misery, "Do I like her? Do I not?".
If god's there why'd he do this to me, "Why me! Why me!"
The 'normal' girls were content; I was dragged unwillingly.
Is my love not worth these daisies?
So now, when I tell you,
How dare you tell me,
The Velveteen Rabbit
I identity with the velveteen rabbit.
In a way, like him I want to be “real”.
In spiritual terms you can say ascend.
I long for the familiar feeling of my Mother and Grandmother, that special love from family.
The velveteen rabbit also longed for that kinship. He admired the freedom the real bunnies had outside, not being confined to just the playroom. The bunny felt wonderful when he was picked by the boy to be his favorite toy.
I too want to feel special and safe and loved. Like the velveteen rabbit, I have come to a hard realization.
That this world is cruel and I am expendable at the whim of the government, or whatever ruling class there is and I can be thrown away just like he was.
This is why I don’t want to be here anymore, life without meaning has no joy and without joy what is the point?
Get Over It!
Look, you can’t make someone love you no matter how hard you try and who wants someone they forced into love or worse a cheater?
The best way to get over someone is to realize if it was meant to be you would be together, but you’re not, so that means something better is coming for you.
Does that make your heart hurt less? No because you have attachment, so let it go. Easy to say but look to the future, brighter days are coming.
the phone rang at 03:08
Well, the bleeding wound
on his forehead prevented him
from sleeping anyway
He picked up
"Hey," a girl's voice said. "Are
you the guy who
has a thing for crazy girls fresh out
of the psych ward?"
"Am I speaking to the guy who's
very much into dating
sexy girls with mental issues that
other guys refer to as red flags?"
"Who is this?" he asked
"Oh no, this is not
about me. I just wanted to
introduce you to my sister. I think she
fits the bill quite perfectly
with you. What do you say?"
He sighed. "Tell her I'll call back
once my current girlfriend
breaks up with me. I hope she's patient. It'll
take a good couple of hours. Bye."
He hung up
Just fill the time
You already said it, It's just out of order. You move on with your life, and the getting over someone part comes later.
It's frustrating to try to force it to heal faster than it's going to and I encourage you not to rush into something faster than you should. I've been on the receiving end of that. It's not fun dating someone that's mentally dating their ex.
When the tears stop the hurt will still be there, but I'd invite you to rediscover who you were when you were single or if it's been some time. Find out who you are as an individual. Are you into the working out, writing, gaming, sports, partying, etc? You've got nothing, but time now. Fill it with something.
Voids are supposed to be filled.
Give yourself time, but make sure you're filling that time with things you enjoy. There's no deadline for your next relationship.
A Good Marriage Counselor Should Be a Trained Exorcist
Narcissists love couples’ counseling. Oh, God, how they love it. It’s a GAME to them. They LOVE it. Narcissists play marriage counselors like fiddles. They dance circles around them, flick them in the backs of their heads without them even knowing, laugh at them, dance hellish jigs of mockery on their shoulders and tops of their skulls; inwardly, secretly, covertly laughing their asses off in mockery of just about all marriage counselors on earth.
Seated next to their long-suffering and earnestly-trying-to-make-things-work codependent every-spouse, what goes through the head of a narcissist while she or he looks right into the face of the also-earnest marriage counselor is something like this: “You think I’m here to make things BETTER between myself and this piss-ant SLAVE I’ve lassoed? Ha-HAA! Not a chance! But this is WONDERFUL ATTENTION I’m getting from the BOTH of you along the way! I’m LOVING this! How long can we keep this going?? This is DELICIOUS ATTENTION!!”
And I’m sorry to report, much to the chagrin of the modern radical feminists out there, that nowadays there is TREMENDOUS advantage to being a FEMALE narcissist. It’s not just me saying that—during my dark abyss of cumulative CPTSD, when the narc had very nearly driven me to death—but when I hit rock bottom and—praise to God—bounced and began my recovery from codependency—I paid some of the most well-spent money I’ve ever spent to a female narcissistic-abuse-recovery life coach, and even though “her narc” had been a demon-possessed male, she too stated her belief that nowadays, in our current political climate, female narcs can get away with forms of abuse that, had a male narc did that, then society would have been on to them.
Going to couples’ counseling with that demon-possessed narcissistic witch that had initially parasitized me was far worse than doing no counseling at all. Far worse. For the witch mirrored and shmoozed every single counselor from the get-go: She charmed them with cajoleries and by demonically, hypnotically mirroring their own words and body language back on them. The demon inhabiting “my narc” could “get on the good side” of just about anybody in seconds, unless it was somebody who was very well versed in the facts of narcissistic personality disorder and very probably demonic possession, as well, and it turns out that most marriage counselors THINK that they know a thing or two about NPD, because they’ve probably been introduced to it for a couple or three measly weeks while getting their psych degree, but as probably ALL narcissistic-abuse survivors know: Unless you have lived it yourself, you don’t know jack shit about NPD abuse.
But the thing that makes it so advantageous to be a FEMALE narc in today’s modern, crumbling, gynocentric society is that BOTH idiot sides of the political spectrum will rush to the defense of a female who claims to be a victim nowadays—BOTH—and narcs, as all survivors of narc abuse know—are the undisputed MASTERS at playing the victim. And so today, any therapist who is inherently “left-leaning” will jump to the defense of a female narc who is feigning victimhood by claiming that “Oh, whoa is me: He’s oppressing me!”; and any therapist who is “right-leaning” will jump to the defense of a female narc who is feigning victimhood by claiming that “Oh, whoa is me: I’m a poor damsel in distress!”
The narc could read these fools in an instant, whichever side of the political spectrum upon which they fell, by asking a few strategic, probing questions (which is how she initially fooled this fool before you now), then she would simply put on an act, becoming that likeminded left-leaning or right-leaning sympathetic, simpatico person, and she would find out the likes and values of that particular counselor and she would adopt them for her own, and she would then also begin mimicking the actual physical mannerisms of each counselor from across his or her desk, and it was just like that hypnotic python hypnotizing Mowgli in THE JUNGLE BOOK. Except the one being squeezed was me.
Squeezed and triangulated: Narcs are also virtuosos at triangulating people: getting others to line up with the narc, to agree with them, and to team up with the narc against their isolated-and-psych-abused victim, the codependent primary supply of any narc.
She did this to me each and every time we ever went to marriage counseling.
And stupid me: I was so damnably codependent, I was so housebroken, and just BROKEN by the demon in the fleshly hull of that parasitized woman’s body, that I was practically crying out to counselors to get it into that witch’s head: that if this marriage was going to WORK, then I actually needed some kind of nano-particularate of INTIMACY and affection from her (it). I choke and cough now as I type that; I am horrified and ashamed; I was actually wanting to get closer to a demon!
And the counselor, whichever counselor, would always have some new gimmick, some new trick up his or her sleeve, some new couples’ game that we should play that next week that would act as a magical catalyst to beget intimacy between the narc and myself. And the narc would always play along and feign earnestness (and inwardly laugh her ass off and smirk her narcissistic smirk) and then, later that week, when I tried to play the stupid game and prayerfully initiate some kind of intimacy with the narc, then the narc would vanish, would disappear, would suddenly have have something super-compelling that she just had to do in the other room, and if I went to help her in the other room then her sudden all-compelling thing to do had shifted to another room, and another room, and another house, or better still, another community do-gooder activity in the community (my ex-wife was a lousy, rotten COMMUNAL narc). And when we’d meet again the next weekend and the counselor would say, “How did it go, you two?” and I would try to plead for help, try to explain that she refused to play the magical intimacy-initiating game, that she had REFUSED to play, then the counselor would ask for an explanation from the narc, and the narc would….wait for it….vomit out the WORD SALAD.
Every narcissistic-abuse survivor knows about the Word Salad. Word Salad is a bit like when a squid shits out INK to confuse a predatory assailant, to obstruct the assailant’s vision, and thereby to give the squid time to get away. A Word-Salad “answer” is when you ask a narcissist a question that might put the narcissist on the spot, and the narcissist gives an answer that has many, many words in it, but strangely, bafflingly, there is no actual answer in it. It’s squid’s ink. Like everything else a narcissist does, giving a Word-Salad answer to an earnest, probing, uncomfortable question requires a great deal of demonic subtlety. A Word-Salad answer is ultimately a non-sequiter, but it needs to skirt close enough to the topic of the question so as to not be a complete non-sequiter, and it must consist of many, many more words than necessary in order to wear down the listener who posed the question, as well as to confuse him or her and thereby make them go away or make them change the subject.
And so the narc would shit the Word-Salad answer out of her subtle mouth, and it would work its subtle, demonic magic upon the inquiring counselor: It would stun and confuse him or her and would get them to drop the subject and to move on to something else that didn’t suddenly render them so confused.
And in this way I never had any intimacy or affection from my wife in all those nightmarish years of NPD marital abuse. Which is ultimately a blessing, because once, when I later saw her eyes go all black again—but for a full eight or nine seconds THAT time—and when I SAW the fucking demon manifest in her face as well THAT time, then yeah, I’m pretty much glad I did not kiss that fucking creature too much or too often after the initial, fleeting narcissistic-lovebombing phase was over.