Rants & Essays

Craniciduals

By Marcus Pan

I at one point said that I wouldn't want to let a public crowd too deep in my head. I think by now, however, I've gotten to the point where I really don't give a shit. Some people wear chips on their shoulders, some hearts on their sleeves. I'll wear my brain on my chest and see what happens from there.

Journaling...a private thing. I have thousands upon thousands of pages where I've said nothing of import, but was at least saying something to myself. Backed up behind passwords and moving staircases and hidden doorways...that eventually lead to a failure. Contextually, as a whole, I don't care. Out-of-contextually, I'm a horrible person. So it goes. And suddenly the pages that should never have been brought forth are now laid waste to the light of the proverbial day and in the interim I have nothing I want to say to myself anymore. I tried to keep it. I attempted to write it. Keep it going. Part seven of whosallknows and such. Entry 32, a year to the day...dead document. A tablet pulled from the sea still illegible.

What is fact and what is fiction here? You're all fiction. I'm the only fact, and fuck you if you don't like it. Your figments of my imagination, and when I decide to fart into a little window on my desktop because I can...so shall it go.

Smell my fart. I can't stop smoking. But someday we'll learn to grow new lungs. Or someday I'll day.

Am I suicidal? No. Do I think of suicide? Fairly often. Submergance beneath the ice, 99% of the time, can I stay under or will I flotsam float? Noosed gooses swing from the ceiling and I can see the bah bah's trying to make sense of the verbiage in the window. Or maybe just cloisterization behind a brick wall and just sit. I sit too much. I get up sometimes but I look at the todo's and I feel I haven't done all that much. I did the dishes today. As I fold the laundry I wonder if a twisted shirt would be fun for the gooses. 3

I fart again. I can't help it. I return to look out the window and it's all his fault, the man with the red pill. The squirrels in the sky laugh as I swallow it down and follow the Brit bastard into a realm where I once said I wouldn't go because it might hurt me. Or it might hurt you. Or it might hurt nobody, is there anybody anyway or anything all the way? It doesn't matter.

I think I'll throw this out the window. Then I'll twist more shirts. Pass time until the next nicotine fix. The next caffeination. I haven't slept in about thirty six hours. What here is true? That's up to you. Build your own fantasy. Make your own story. It's a Build Your Own Adventure storybook. Don't hit your head on the gooses. Don't fall in the pool. Stay in front of the brick wall.

But there always is the attic. But the squirrels in the sky would keep me awake as they laugh at the moth balls while my neighbor yabbers nonsensically. If I went to work tonight maybe I wouldn't look like I do.

My head is a faucet. Sometimes it doesn't turn off. Sometimes the valve gets stuck. I still can't figure out the mysterious woman's name...

When the barge blew up my first thought was – will it snarl traffic on my ride home today? When the truck hit I wondered – are the boxes ok? When the roads froze I was too busy not caring. When the fire struck, I thought that was ok since I didn't like the band anyway. I am a bad man. I am a not-nice person. I forgot to care about those things too.

Yes, there is some sense in this one. Which is good, because I don't have cents anywhere else. The red numbers flash menacingly in the night. Appalling, calling, debauchery of the decibel. I told my math teacher in high school I would never need to know how to work with negative whole numbers. Boy was I fucking wrong on that one...

The whole world wants a better part in my play. Recycle the cards as the world turns from dawn to dusk and back again. And I'm still awake. I can't concentrate on anything in a straight line. Lee wants a better part. Congratulations Lee...I'm going to make you a star. I'm tired of being the only one here.

As I hit 36 hours of consciousness (less a two hour couch nap) a check arrives. It actually has my name on it. For a brief second, the red lights flash green...and then they go away again. I'm too tired to sign my name to it. It's time to make coffee again. My brain curdles.

At first I thought maybe I'd be mysterious. Stray. Not be me. Another identity, another ego, a lasting ID, but to hell with that because it seems to me that I have enough identities. I shall fuse, lumbar to the HNP yo.

I gaze over the dead flesh as the baker provides the slabs. I eat, therefore I am. Lunchtime. Tear the dead meat of the world with relish. Or mayonnaise. Indeed. Phear.

I figured by now I'd see a little bit of green peeking out from below the entombment of white. No, nothing. After the rain fell all night and most of yesterday, and the temperature at least hung out above freezing, I really though by now I'd see a bit of lawn. Having a pencil on the screen floating about just begging me to dump shit into it is a really really dangerous thing methinks.

Laura just informed me that the Grammy's [spit] did a Clash tribute. I'm kind of annoyed that she didn't let me know since I was two rooms away considering how she knew full well how mopey I was over Strummer knocking off earlier this year. On one hand, it's the Grammys – what the hell do they know about punk? On the other, it was the Clash after all. Wonder what they did.

Mini-CD...hope it doesn't get lost in the stack. Mini CDs disappear easily and turn up years later under radiators and what-not.

The pig smiles lewdly as the squirrels in the sky nestle with the moth balls. USA smokes on fire and the angels test the limits of my psyche. It's an old iron that lies there, standing quietly before the sharpener. Activity blinks and the green lights stare blankly. I wonder if I should douse the lights and find my way in the dark where it is more wholesome, but the halogen will burn bright casting eves of bulbous white. A blue dog lies on the floor by the sneakers, but I barely notice. It's time to light another world on fire and breathe in the addiction.

I wonder what I'm writing, words spilling out through the window. Nonsensical yet if I read it back to myself I understand every word. Nobody else will understand, but not everything here is for you. This whole series is for me and it shall remain so. My own words, my own wisdom, my own insane warblings passing out into the ether and spilling themselves onto thousands of screens or more. A replacement for a broken valve that never fully closes, not even in my dreams. In the words of the last alphabetical letter, "Am I a man, or simply a butterfly that dreams I am a man?" Blue awashes the atmosphere, or is it black? One never knows what color the zebra is.

The shirts twist and tumble, searching for the goose, hoping to become a doorway to another place beyond life. The coal room is dark and musty but would hide a body well I'm sure, but where will the smells go? Suicide is not only a verb or an action but can sometimes be a noun. The naked flesh tastes the bite of decay. Past three decades now and functions wind down, begging for the release of a Kevorkian cycle. It's not time yet.

Choosing to go mad is a choice I must make myself. Denise says she will break my brain, and through hypnosis all things are possible. But analysis is as analysis does and they always come up with a different way to talk about the shenanigans in my head. Always a new series of words and conditions to describe the life I have – Bipolar Disorder, Manic Deppressive, Acute Depression – take your pick and enjoy them with a warm peanut butter and jelly sandwich for all I care. I am the normal one in my world because that's what I've already decided.

Is it right that I sit here and type this crud knowing that it's not going to make much of a difference at all? Shouldn't I be sleeping and preparing for another week of 14+ hour days between a truck and a STAT? I can still hear the sound of the Acromioblaster as it eats through the knee in room one, tearing through bone like a hot Zimmer through muscle. But at least tomorrow isn't a day of orthopedics and the most I will hear might only be the gaping maw of the suction machine as it tears flesh from within, or the pencil as it burns and eats through abdominal pains. Oscar isn't there to show me the extra foot any longer.

Truly enough, the clock spins into another Monday. A one car life as I am placed before the entrance to the ward. When I get the chance to fart through the penciled window again I know not, so still I'll type as my energy dwindles and the coffee ends and the world burns down to a nub after midnight on February's Xmas Eve. The smoking tree is not watching as much as it should now, so I must tell it to keep track. It isn't doing its job. It reports wrongly...but what can I do? It's just a tree.

Go ahead and laugh at this. None of it makes sense to you. It makes perfect sense to me. I have seen the squirrels in the sky and I gave them the moth balls myself. I've seen the blue dog and I have grown the smoking tree from a mere shrub on my own time. I set the USA on fire more often than I should and I watch it burn. I know what colors the zebra is, but I don't know if I'm a butterfly. Just because you can't see the green face on the wall doesn't mean it isn't there. Zimmers live in my world and they can cut you deep and I have seen the man they call Oscar with three feet. I can look and see the blank green eyes now and the old iron lies heavily on my mind. You think I'm making this shit up, but it's too strange to make up. And they say I'm the insane one...

I'm not making this up. Even the pig is real. It glares at me and I think I must go now. ...enough with the hair-filled envelopes, they make me gak when I open them. Air bubbles are not only pretty and non-gaking, my 6 year old loves them. Pop pop pop. That's it for now...unless there's more buried in here somewhere. Always a possibility, that...

Someone tell me how to give up this damn smoking habit. I really don't want to smoke anymore. But it's become such an integral part of my life that the thought of cutting it out really drives me somewhat crazy. I'm looking at the option of hypnosis – since cigarettes have become a goal-oriented thing with me (i.e. finish a project, have a smoke...eat dinner, have a smoke...etc.). I thought maybe if I cut the whole "time for a cigarette" thing out of my head it might help. I'm two steps away from just using a fucking cautery knife and doing it physically when I go to work tomorrow...

Nothing worthwhile is done. I'm about to go manic depressive. Watch me spiral, wee! Wait. I have a few hours left. Maybe I can...oh fuck it. I can't do shit's worth in a few hours.

Now I'm not a mechanic or anything...hell, I only recently discovered that you gotta put all this different weird-colored liquid shit in different places. But here's a thing... When your car forgets it has more than one gear, that's bad...right?

I'm working on my pool right now, which is why I remembered that type of chlorine they were marketing a few years back where if you peed in the pool it would turn red – or some other rainbow style color. I've never seen it myself – but you always heard of that "friend's cousin" or "friend of a friend" in true urban myth style. The story where somebody peed in the pool at a party, and a big cloud of fluorescence surrounded them forever brandishing them thereafter as a pool pee-er.

I don't think I'll ever use that stuff. I mean, what if it's my kids who got caught? Very likely considering it's my pool. I think that if a kid wants to pee in the pool they're going to pee in the pool and that's pretty much that. Let them, once or twice, pee in the pool and get away with it. Of course you'll get those who talk about how it's yucky, and can make you sick, and etc. ad nauseum. But it's only pee. Look up in the sky sometime and find a cloud. Then look really hard at that cloud – is it a cloud or smog? Sometimes it's hard to tell. And this is only a little pee in a thousand gallons of chlorinated water.

And I think kids should get away with something sometimes. See what it’s like to get one over on The Man for once. Pee in the pool knowing they're not supposed to and knowing that if they want to pee in the face of authority just once there aren't any flags – or water clouds – turning red on them. It's good to get away with it. And if you think about it, if peeing in the pool is the worse my kids are getting away with, then I'm ahead of the game.

Yes, indeed! Twurdle Scronk. Don't ask me, I didn't write it... I really think I have to get my eyes checked. Maybe it's just lack of sleep, but maybe it's because I need glasses. I think I'd look pretty cool in glasses. Am I getting sick? Boy, that would suck…

What's with the new idea of companies calling your house but not being on the phone when you answer? Instead you get a canned recording telling you it's an "important call" and "please hold." I always hang up. It's happening more and more often – just now in fact, and earlier today, and I've been getting a few a week. I've never had this before. In the past, when somebody called you and you answered, there was the person that called you on the end of the line. If you're going to call my house, at least have the fucking courtesy to be on the phone when I answer it. Calling me to put me on hold is fucking absurd.

The hospital client finally coughed up a month's worth of billings to me, so Laura can pay the bills. It's so nice to pay bills. It's been a month since we could do that. There were even Doritoes in the house. And I didn't have to pay for my smokes in change.

Oh, and house stuff. Laura just got into one of her moods and decided to paint the living room. Because it's rainy, there's no paint up yet. But she did the spackling. And now I got no television and everything's in the center of the room. At 9:30 at night she tears apart the house. It's kind of like the time she got bored while giving Felicia a bath and took the bathroom apart. I came home that day to find my toilet in the hallway. She does that. Strange chick, that Laura. I need a lawnmower. We're all jungly.

Grey is the color of the day, and that's kind of nice. Nothing sunny. Sun has been ruining my pale white gaffick complexion as of late what-with the coaching gigs and all. It's wet out, smells nice, and the filtered light is muted and comfy. My arm is killing me. I don't know what I did to it, but it isn't due to my masturbation techniques as I rarely use my left arm for such. CDs pour in the mailbox like the unending wine of Jesus and the stacks build. I have assigning to do, and crap to listen to. I have websites to update and more designs to work on. I have decided to take the entire weekend off doing nothing but this. I am sorry for babbling. No. I'm not.

So I stayed home from work last Thursday, because I seem to have torn up my left shoulder somehow. How, I don't know, but I can't put my arms up to high or turn my head without a lot of pain. Today is more dealable than it has been in days though, so either it's getting better or just taking a break.

But it's the Thursday home that's the stick. You see, when I stay home from work I end up on the computer working on other things. And because of that, Laura's schedule is thrown off a bit because she can't do her usual work. The problem with that is Thursday she got bored, so she decided to "rearrange the furniture" in the living/sitting room.

That's not so bad. She does that fairly often. But it didn't stop there. "Rearranging the furniture" became, "Well, I might as well paint the living room." So she comes home with paint the next day. Of course, painting the living room lead to "spackling" of course so at 10PM or so Friday I think it was, she's fixing the walls.

Then "painting the living room" for the purpose of "rearranging the furniture" becomes, "Well, I guess since I'm painting I'll strip the molding." So she started sanding the walls and the molding and that, of course lead to "removing the molding" to make things easier (supposedly) and that of course lead to further items of note.

This is a compulsive disorder. Rearranging furniture is now a major project that involves major renovations. And she wonders why I think she's a bit off kilter in the head. We make a good couple methinks. My shoulder's still in a shambles, but the living room is green.

I'm sublimely content today. I'm not quite sure why. Maybe I'm just delirious from being ill for a week. Best not to second guess it I guess. Six hours since my last cigarette.

Already the withdrawal is setting in. I can't think straight and it's very hard to concentrate on anything. I've gone from pacing the floors to standing out on my porch just hoping someone would come walking down Main St. who happens to be smoking a cigarette so that I can buy one for a quarter. Back to pacing the floors, watching Jeopardy and somehow being able to answer questions I've never heard of, while at the same time unable to get the easy ones I should know. It's weird. I'm all off kilter. Over a fucking cigarette I'm all off kilter. Right now I have IRC open, FTP, HTML, E-Mail, Publisher and more at once. I'm writing the entry while designing the Dragons site while answering an e-mail to Chris while printing a PDF file for the next month Legends issue while updating the Pan Pages while checking yesterday's site stats while...

My brain's all fucked up. And it's ONLY BEEN SIX HOURS. Holy shit this ain't good. Time has this tendency to take off and leave you behind if you’re not careful.

It really irks me that I'm such a puppet to these cancer sticks. I should be stronger than this but I'm not. It doesn't help that I think of my days when I was putting lines of white powder up my nose and when kicking that habit it was cigs that kept some of that withdrawal at bay. If I can beat down cocaine I should be able to beat down this. I was always fond of saying the only drug that I ever got whipped by was coke. But it's not true. I am getting whipped by nicotine too. I HATE cigarettes.

Depressed for no reason is unexplainable and therefore even more depressing... Even blasting Suicidal's "Lovely" isn't helping. It used to, way back in the day. I guess I've gotten even more jaded in my third decade. Interesting...I remember reading old journal entries that there's no way I can get any more cynical.

I'm seeing gneetches. Those little things that float just on the edge of your sight and when you turn to see them you never do. But you keep trying. Over and over. I hate them. I'm posting crap way too much tonight. As I said to the Z, more or less, yay manic time! I'm going to really suck at stuff tomorrow.

Having a rough time of it as many of you know, but nothing serious really. But you'd swear I haven't paid a dime in a year to some of these companies. I have companies that call me a day BEFORE some payments are due – to make sure I plan on paying them. That's kind of fun though, because then I can tell them I was but now that I've been annoyed you can wait another week.

You see, credit reports don't mean too much to me these days. First off, I already have the house I wanted. So I don't need a credit report to be nice for a mortgage. Secondly, the companies that don't annoy me typically get paid and it's only a couple that annoy me enough to make them wait. Thirdly, getting a car these days isn't all that difficult for anybody...the last car I bought, the Grand Am, only gave me a problem when I wanted to buy an older model. But because of all the YES YES YES car dealer specials, I could buy a NEW one instead! Figure that one out. So I did.

So I'm not all that worried when they play the "credit report" card on me. I just got off the phone with one of those. "Clifton" was his name. He wanted me to stop eating dinner to go to my desk and give him a check over the phone. He asked me why this loan was being paid late so I told him – his company annoyed me too much. So they end up on the low priorities list...which means if I'm not sure whether to buy a new pair of boots this week or pay them, I get the boots. It's kind of fun in a way...I told him that Laura would take care of it Monday...which is tomorrow. But he wanted it now...so he threw the "Why aren't you handling your own loan responsibilities instead of some chick?" card at me, which is one of the ones that really bothers me. So I told him then that maybe I'd have her take care of it Tuesday.

You got to treat these companies like the children they are sometimes. Send them to bed without dinner for an extra day when they annoy you.

Don't you hate when you find yourself to be bleeding for no apparent reason? I'm doing it now. It's annoying.

Insomnia brews, like over ripened black coffee on the burner of depression. Chillingly the air rolls about my feet, and I listen for the buzz from the basement to spur me into another rapid succession of things. The denial is evident but impossible, though the secrets stifle cunningly just beyond my reach. The stapler clacks soundlessly in my direction.

Piling up, piling up, melding together and swaying about. Onward it goes, growing, taunting. filling. Some pink, some white, some piss yellow – but they fill and pile and grow. I have to end this tonight. I have to cut it short and slice it midways or the coming days with the trainer's opera will fall into abysmal despair and lamentable wailings of incongruous accompaniment. I must cut it midways...

I've said time and time again in here, to myself, and in my head that this whole thing is for me. Not for anybody else. Any schmeckleheads that want to actually read it, that's their problem. But this is for me.

VH-1 seems to have the ability to suck me into it. With the 80's retro look-back type programs, which I can't walk away from and must watch like a train wreck, to the "100 Most Shocking Moments in Music" followed by Ozzy's Behind The Music yesterday. Sucked right in, couldn't get away. More time wasted by me with VH-1 than a pimple-faced 14 year old with a Playboy. That reminds me...I could really use a hand job. I'll have to bring that up later.

Interesting day today. I thought I had another stalker on my hands, and it's possible I do, but this one wears the face of an ex from something like a decade back. 10+ years later she pops up with an AOL window: "jerk." Well, "Ok" I said. I mean sure, I can be pretty good at being a jerk. Didn't know who I was talking to though, but she went on to explain how one time I gave a girl a neck rub while we were going out – a girl I don't even remember but can safely say without a doubt that the neck rub thing was all that it ever went to – and therefore I'm a dirtbag. I didn't know a neck rub was sexual – I know it could be, but I wasn't aware that it was, in it's own right, a sexual act.

My whole life is a shambles. I've been a dirtbag for the past 12 or so years and I didn't even know it! I live a LIE! She was fun. I hope she comes back. I like stalkers. Strange day. I haven't been called a slut in years! And it still feels good!

I'm babbling. I have a lot on my plate as always and it's just that sometimes as I just sit here and type randomly for a little bit I start remembering things I have to get done, which is good because then I add it to my overpowering ToDo list and eventually – like say within the month or so – it gets done.

I need my bipolar stuff to kick in. That's what I need. Being manic depressive sucks when the only thing you can remember in recent times is the "depressive" side of the coin. Where the fuck's the manic? Where's the points where I do so much f'in work and get so much f'in shit done that it can, at times, make the depression side worth it? Now granted, if you balance it out and see that I do hardly anything when I'm depressive, and do twice as much when I'm manic, it turns out that I do the same amount of work I would do if I was normal. But when all you've got lately is the depression – you get so behind that all you can do is look at the piles of shite and realize there's no way you're ever going to finish – and then get MORE depressed. Where the fuck's my manic period?

It's kind of the point that I don't have time to be depressed, yet I am. Some days fade by and I get nothing done, and when you do a lot of stuff getting nothing done really hurts. It's weird not being happy when you’re doing things you really want to be doing...go figure. I can't figure that part out which is, again, kind of depressing. Yay the spiral!

Nobody tell anybody you saw me, because it seems there's a warrant out for my arrest... That's right folks! Pan's on the Lamb...running form the Law...fighting order...defining my very existence by living within the shadows of society. A criminal mastermind not to be tussied with...huzzah and have at ye!

In all seriousness, it seems we forgot to pay an unregistered vehicle ticket (by about a week...the check actually went out a day or three ago) and in response the Township of South River has issued a warrant for my arrest for the crime of Contempt of Court. Time to fire up Guns 'n Roses and blast "They’re Out to Get Me" again at stereo top volume...just like in the old days. I haven't been arrested in years!

P.S. I just realized I'm listening to a CD by industrial band Jailbird. Hah.

Strange, but I've been feeling somewhat stifled lately. Like everyone in the house is watching me a lot. It's weird, I'm hoping it's my paranoia acting out, but I'm almost afraid to write some of the new stories I've been coming up with for fear of the content involved. Some of my more brutal character creations are trying to get me to write new things about them, and sometimes I feel like if I do some of the things that may come pouring out once I open those cranial flood gates wouldn't be what one would call "wholesome," if you know what I mean. Killings and murder are never fun subjects to leave lying around and with some people the idea that they're fiction is completely irrelevant. This troubles me. It troubles me a lot. If I scratch my ass, is somebody watching?

I wonder how Thomas Harris or Stephen King or Sue Simpson or other authors in those fields, styles and genres feel? Do they ever feel stifled, or is it understood by everyone concerned with them that it's fiction?

This is a collection of unrelated ramblings throughout my online LiveJournal (magman). They are put together in order of writing, but they spill one to the other without warning. They are therefore similar to Burroughsian cut-up style in a weird paragraph-at-a-time sort of way. Sometimes only a snippet of an entry is used, sometimes the whole entry is used. No rules…just write. This particular rant uses all MagMan LiveJournal entries done for 2003.