click above on the back of the card to leave the series unattended forever as you travel to parts unknown.
"time for you to wake up."
"what? what's this? did i fall asleep? i don't remember."
"that's your problem. you too easily let things slide, you don't try anymore, you let things be, you accept the status quo with your inaction, you rely too much on your past accomplishments, you..."
"okay, okay, jeez, my next card is..."
"i'm getting this through since your family can't or won't. you bank too much on your past report card full of As and your hard work when you had a structure in school. ever since the laxness of college, where for the first time you were away from the rigidness of Mom and Dad and spaghetti always at 6PM, where you actually had to plan your schedule of classes, your major, and the rest of your life, you've let the world happen to you instead of taking the world by the balls and actually injecting yourself, your force into the air."
"after that motivational poster, i can almost overlook the fact that you're a demon."
"words are words, the source doesn't really matter, what matters is how you intake advice and use it towards your own happiness. all the isms borrow from each others' playbooks all the time to achieve their ends, either as an inspiration or as something not to do. why do NFLers study film? they are actually witnessing how the quarterback threw that line-drive spiral through their defense so as not to allow that hole next time, they are armed with their opponent's golden move now, they know the other team now better than the other team knows itself, they can predict because they now have their opponents' tendencies in their brain's back-pocket. knowledge is power. they play to win the game."
"why do NFLers do anything? because they can. they have the money. they have the prestige. or it's for the love of the game or something."
"have you ordered Season Pass on your cable yet? are you excited? are you ready for some-"
"football? of course, i'm a man, this is how i live, without football, life would be painfully dull. go Browns!"
"sure, good luck with that."
"hey, what happened to the table? where are all the cards? it's midnight, huh? it's very dark here and seemingly all around, and the only two sounds i hear are our two voices. i must have dozed off."
"you chose your final cards an hour ago, remember? i quickly ran through their meanings because the final 3 aren't important. what's important is right now, doing something right now."
"what? i don't remember any of this. did you drug me? what were the cards?"
"oh for fuck's sake, we don't have the time. here's a quick recap: number 1 was the umpteenth cat card. you remarked how your cat doesn't just meow at you, he whines, it's like a meow with his mouth closed. i thought that was cute, you thought that was cute, and we moved on. the second had an image of DNA on it. you remarked how on HuffPo on the same day you read two articles, one on how scientists had discovered a possible actual Adam from the Bible, a link of genetics from all the people in the ancient world that could have originated from a single strand inside one human male, our Earliest Ancestor, and the other discussing the latest developments with the God Particle. you asked me how these two diametrically-opposed theories could both be existing, and i replied, "yes" or "both" or something, and you got mad. you followed up cheekily with "nature or nurture?", to which i replied "a blend", and you tried to bop me one. you landed an open fist on my nose. i forgave that 'cause it was an open fist. then you took a strange stance and attempted to flying-roundhouse kick me. i attributed that to you being irritable from lack of sleep. then you insulted my mother, and that's when-"
"that's when i conveniently blacked out and now i can't recall a thing and just have to trust that what you're saying is true. oh well, i mean i'm still here, alive, so it's not the worst thing. then again, maybe if i did die-"
"see, this is what i mean, your default reaction back to negativism and fatalism. it has to stop, this rut you're in is eternal unless you grab the shovel i'm offering and dig yourself out of it, but YOU have to do it, no one else can. i could possess your body and do thigs to you, i mean, have you do things, but it would be me, not you, my ghost, not actually you doing these things---night school, first date in ten years, doggy-paddling---and that's no fun. i don't want to doggle-paddle anymore, i'm done with that shit."
"i know, i've been doing this for so long i've lost count, i've lost track of time. it's just what i do, what i fall back on, it's my ready excuse, i've been doing this for, years, hmmm, wait, how old am i?"
"you don't know?"
"i think i'm in my thirties, but i'm not sure. haven't had a socially-relevant birthday party since 8th grade when they batted on me instead of the pinata and Susie said she was going steady with Brad's Perfect Hair and not my frizz. after that, like you mentioned, when college came, it was just an opening for me to laze around forever and just do nothing for the rest of my life. i was now the free captain of my life's ship, but instead of relishing the freedom, i took it as an opportunity to close myself off from the world and enter into a kind of perfect solitude, to be the loner i thought i was destined to be, to not have any attachments, to be free in the sense that i could now disappear without any consequences."
"but see, there are always consequences no matter how carefully you try to avoid entanglements, and despite Washington's warning of such. you can't completely shut yourself away into a box, a studio apartment with no phone. there are always people around you, in your circle, folks you have to deal with, there's always your family, you're stuck with them forever-"
"and i love them, but-"
"it's not enough, huh?"
"no, i need a woman. is it as simple as that i'm merely a boring mama's boy?"
"maybe. it's worth exploring."
"what was the final card?"
"again, being the final card wasn't important, it just happened to be the last card. this whole thing has been a red herring. i got you up into this tower's spire really to drug you, i mean, to mold you into a person that can do something in the world. i don't so this with everyone, but you're special. you have unlimited potential, you just need your eyes opened and a great big fucking push."
"why am i channeling Bowie right now?"
"it's coming back to you. the last card was a heart, but if you looked closely enough, it was a tin heart signifying artificiality. after a dual rant on the evils of Valentine's Day we both shared, you were reminded of THIS SONG, CLICK HERE, RIGHT HERE AT THIS LINK, and you mellowed for awhile. i got scared because it seemed your drug stupor was wearing off, music really does soothe the stoned beast, huh? see, magical writing keeps its magical power through the ages. i continued by informing you that valentines are useless, humans do not understand what love really is, it's a corporate holiday, and you can't bottle up Love, Love is the last hope, the final battlement against my Boss's Ennui and Cynicism, for fuck sake you can never buy Love, you can only hope to understand Love the Inscrutable. also, instead of buying roses and writing on valentine cards, how 'bout saving all of those trees and keeping the plants in the nourishing ground by doing away with the holiday altogether? it's a win-win-win."
"so what's the endgame here. what was all of this for?"
"you have to decide what you're gonna do with your life. who are you gonna love? you've got to get the fuck out of here."
"wait, what's up with all this drug paraphernalia scattered about in this room? Elvis bong? was this really just a ploy to gain a drug buddy by force 'cause Satan won't let you smoke tree?"
"well sure, that's one thing. also, crystal, it's safer than doing it alone, less fear of explosions, super-reinforced stone here in this castle, no one will hear the screams, at least you won't die alone kind of thing. look, remember, the message, not the messenger."
"you've got issues. don't try to project them onto me-"
"hey, that's my line! what the fuck are you gonna do with your life?!"
i shook Guy by the shoulders with all my force, the force of an an entire thirty years (or so) of a wasted life all burning through, dying to be expressed. i looked into his sallow, drugged eyes for the first time, i had never really looked at his eyes, i always bantered with him from a safe distance, i actually tried to avoid looking at him altogether and talked to his shadow, me falling back on my shyness as usual. they were the eyes of a defeated man, defeated spirit. whoever this person was, this agent of Satan or God, this angel trying to get his wings, or a trickster desperate to grab my sold soul so he could keep his job, the fact was i felt sorry for him, he didn't seem in control of his life like me, he was taking the drugs for some reason, people take drugs to escape, he wasn't having any fun, he was clearly under the boot of another, he was not his own entrepreneur, he had to do this, and i had to say this:...
i was calm despite everything, i wasn't constantly agitated, i was serene, this time had passed and i grew from it, it wasn't the usual wasted time, i was busy thinking forward, not back or in interminable circles, this was nice, it was something different from the norm, it allowed me to speak, to converse, not just to react alone, i bounced ideas off of another, people need people, people who need people are the luckiest people in the world. i was feeling feelings that weren't all downers, they were thoughts of accomplishment, pride in one's words and philosophies, and empathy, empathy for a demon. now how fucked is that? but it's just like my life to find empathy in the strangest places. strangers are just friends you haven't met yet.
"...what the fuck am i gonna do with my life? Buddy, guy, i've been trying to figure that out my entire life."
"i don't know."
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