Four hundred feet off the ground on a wooden ladder was not the best location to discover Jamie had a fear of heights.
However, glancing down below at the sharply carved hollows along the rockface, it seemed harder and harder to ignore.
This was really high up.
Like, fatally high.
Refusing to glance down again, Jamie pushed upwards. The idea seemed a bit ludicrous, but better than up than down, right? At least going against gravity felt safer. Eventually there had to be a ledge or plateau.
Like a robot, Jamie's arms moved left then right, up and up the rungs. The ladder was secured only by two bolts on the top and two on the bottom, with cables running between for support. Geez. Two bolts? Surely that broke some kind of safety code.
The air felt thinner, even though four hundred feet technically didn't equate a lack of oxygen yet. Perhaps a panic attack coming on, or just natural vertigo then? Hmm. Neither option conducive to climbing further. Yet Jamie climbed.
The ladder gave way finally to the top of the cliffside adobe, the smooth rock finally providing a landing for Jamie's weary legs. At last. With a laugh, Jamie lay back and stared up at the Arizona sky.
Now - to get back down.
for a writer, words are a saviour
for some time, i was lost
i was in a cold mess of memories, of feelings and here, everything was wrong and in pieces. i couldn’t get a grip on my thoughts, my emotions
each step forward was a thousand backwards. every turn was to emptiness. i was looking deeper, looking further something to escape this whatever this was but i couldn’t find anything. except, sharp edges and red darkness. red cold darkness that screeched in sorrow. and i was struggling against emotions i couldn’t name. it felt hollow, a bit like loneliness, parts like sad and excruciatingly familiar like home. it felt uncomfortable and my heart ached for something but I didn’t know what it was. and i kept searching –when it found me
It was a like a song drifting into the breeze, like a fading old picture
it was words
they filled the darkness in warmth and light and finally,
I could grip myself and make sense of everything
it was sunlight streaming through seams, it was words that washed like honey and I was drenched in a warmth I couldn’t describe
it was enlightening, felt beautiful and
I found power in my bones, in my myself -
and I walked and there it was
the pen and page were waiting for me and I picked the pen and like a lover,
an old friend
strangely familiar yet foreign
the words came to me
all I couldn’t say
all couldn't explain
and though pieces still didn't really make any sense
no matter how I read it,
it felt so right
for some time, I was lost and I still am but I think
I am nearly there
(whatever there is )
Where Am I
Why Am I Here?
As the clock ticks slowly to 2 am I find myself sitting alone at a bar stool contemplating what brought me to this point in life. I had always questioned my sexual orientation, yet here I was in a queer bar to see if anyone would find me desirable. I saw many personalities, some feminine and some butch. Having not experiencing such mannerisms I was lost. The bartended was agreeable enough. He had never seen me before. You could see the curiosity in his eyes as he served me my beer. Just when I was dejected and ready to leave a well-dressed man sat next to me. He said, “Why are you here so late? You seemed lost.”
Taken by surprise, I responded, “I’m on a journey of self-discovery and to my dismay I feel I failed miserably."
“My name is Robert. Usually when people are here so late, they are desperate to hook up. That’s why I’m here. Are you a top or bottom?”
Confused, “Top or bottom? I’m afraid those terms allude me.”
“Basically, it means do you like to take it or get it.”
“Oh! Well I haven’t gotten that far. I’m afraid I can’t answer such a question. I would like to thank you for sitting with me and talking. You see I have never experienced anything with the same sex.”
“So, you’re a virgin. That’s hot. I would love to be your first.”
Looking closer at Robert, he was an attractive man around 30 years of age and was here late as well as myself. He admitted desperation led people to be so late at the bar. My mind was racing. Not knowing how to continue with this awkward conversation I just said, “You were so kind to talk to me and I thank you. I feel that perhaps because of the hour I should leave.”
“I don’t know why? Maybe we could just go to my place and rectify your virginity.”
Now feeling pursued I decided this had been enough exploration for me. Trying not to be rude I proceeded to get up from my chair and exit. I told him, “Thanks for the offer, but as you said its late and to just have a casual situation, I feel would not be productive. Again, thanks for the conversation. Got to go.”
Robert got up to and said, “Well your nothing more than a prick tease.”
After that comment I scurried to the door and departed.
Robert turned to the bartender, “I really wish yall wouldn’t let in those idiots that don’t know what they want.”
Bartender turned to Robert and said, “You ever thought it could be you.”
Mother Nature has Sent her Regards
Like numerous instances in history, major corporations and tourism have wasted a new scientific discovery away.
In this instance, a small, humble private company had created the world’s first portal to another dimension. I was one of their scientists.
But what kind of dimension, you ask, was so appealing to everyone?
That would be a parallel reality where we haven’t destroyed the Earth.
Like our dimension, this one, dubbed the Wonderland (the portal known as the “Rabbit Hole”) held 8 billion nearly-identical people, their only difference from us being their sharp teeth. The tourists who paid to jump into Wonderland learned to get used to their copies’ (Doppelgängers) distorted mouths. It was the second contrast that shocked them even more.
The Doppelgängers actually coexisted, not dominated, their planet. They didn’t mine for metals or oil. They respected, not killed, their animals and biomes. They didn’t even eat meat.
Wait a minute…
We should have taken the fact that the Doppelgängers never ate meat around the Originals (us), despite having teeth specifically for it, as strange.
As a warning.
Yet we went ahead and, being humans, took advantage of them. Nearly all of us swarmed through the wiry door of the Rabbit Hole, sending in greedy companies and conflicting governments along. We chopped down their rainforests, purged their resources, slaughtered their animals, repeated the same mistakes that were taking toll on our Earth.
However, they didn’t fight. They didn't send in their militaries or gnash their naturally-weaponized jaws. While they still shared 95% of their DNA with us, they didn’t do the Original, the human, thing. We should have seen this as unnerving. As a red flag.
One day, once nearly all of us had immigrated to Wonderland and ruined their planet as much as ours, the Doppelgängers held a meeting with us, in their version of a UN building. I was there, my Doppelgänger gazing back.
The rulers of our Earth and their Anti-rulers talked, and eventually, our president decided to leave them to rebuild themselves. That’s when they snapped.
“I’m sorry, but none of you, including the others outside this building, cannot leave.” It was their Anti-president that spoke this, standing up slowly.
“What do you mean?! The Rabbit Hole is still open, thanks to our Doctor here!” The President gestured to me.
All of the Doppelgängers snickered, showing off the needles in their mouths. The Anti-president stopped and stated: “Only one person shall cross back to their realm and have to fix everything without the greedy fools here. Doctor, please step onto the podium. We must have a word.”
I walked up and faced the Doppelgänger representative, awaiting what felt like a verdict. I had known, in the back of my head, what was going to happen, but it seemed like more of a sci-fi show episode plot than an actual reality.
“Tell the humans on your side of the Rabbit Hole that…” The Anti-president grinned, teeth drawing blood on his lips. “Mother Nature has sent her regards.”
And with that, their feast began. I barely made it to the portal as Doppelgängers devoured their Originals, gore covering the remains of their ancient villages and our smoggy, makeshift cities. So that’s the reason they had such snappers.
The rest was a blur of interdimensional jumping and stumbling back into my lab. My Doppelgänger had torn one of my arms to shreds, but I was aware that, like the state of our planet without greed, it could all be fixed.
I repeated those Doppelgängers’ words to the my coworkers, then nurses, then news outlets, eventually to everyone (a population of less than 1 billion).
These days, we have restored as much as possible, but there is always work to do. I know that somewhere out there, the Doppelgänger are feeding off corrupt planets, doing their duty to Mother Nature (whether that be a mere concept or real entity).
We should have known, from even before the Rabbit Hole and Wonderland’s false utopia, that Mother Nature was the cruelest mother, and that someday, she would get revenge on what we have done to her.
Selflessness Leads to Fairness (self-discovery)
I know I have potential. I know I could be someone great if I just put my mind to it. But it’s not that simple. The majority of our young lives we are told we can achieve much and be anything we want, until we are shoved into the real world. This is not what I had hoped for. My life is not the stuff of dreams.
When I was a child I wanted to be an actress or a singer, but my anxiety got the best of me. That and my lack of motivation, or more importantly the area of which my origin story was placed. I don’t exactly live in the land of opportunity, and because of this I have a sufficient lack of funds and know how to get me where I need to be. Unfortunately the ever growing population makes it consistently harder to be successful. Too many people vying for success at the same time, not enough positions for success to satisfy everyone.
In essence life is unfair. These are things parents and guardians try to shield their young ones from. They don’t want them to know that the world is unkind, and that hurts like scraped knees or “so and so didn’t share their [insert random useless toy here] with me!” only gets worse. But sometimes shielding can be detrimental. At young ages we are told the world is ours, but it’s not. Never has been. We share it with billions of other people, many of whom are taught the same. What a rude awakening when you grow up and have your security blanket of belief ripped away from you.
You’re suddenly forced to come to terms with the idea that you are not the only person who is “special”. That you’re not the only one with ideas, or the only one who wasn’t taught how to share. Special snowflakes melt very quickly when they hit the ground, but a group of them they’re the ones that leave an impact. Everyone has ideas, and every great mind or movement came from standing on the backs of other great ones.
We constantly fight unfairness without realizing how much we need it. The world will never be perfect. There will always be unfairness and inequalities to fight, and that’s amazing. It keeps us alive and humble. It keeps us working for each other.
The point is that we need to be more about each other than ourselves. We need to love and care for others which means laying down your needs for them no matter how little you receive and how much you give. This is what Christ did for us. His life was extremely unfair. He could have stayed home and continued being a carpenter making money to live comfortably during his time, but He chose otherwise. He chose to give his time, money, food, and comfort for others. And in the end He gave the ultimate price, His life.
Still we choose to point out the unfairness in our lives instead of helping others who are also treated unfairly. Maybe if everyone in the world looked out for others, as much as we try to look out for ourselves, life would be fair. Life would be good, and we would never want for anything again.