Pre-Departure

We are driving to Virginia for Thanksgiving from New Hampshire. I have nothing to wear. Wait a minute, yes, I do, but I need to do laundry. Laundry, you foul beast, I shall vanquish you! Slowly, over hours, I will have all clean clothes. Except, I’m only going to be gone for a few days. Three days and four nights. Pajamas-check, underwear-check, undershirts-check, socks-check, deodorant-check, glasses (sun and prescription) -check. I’ve made sandwiches and have coke and have pretzels, some seltzers and 45 hours-worth of podcasts for the 10-hour drive. There tank is filled with gasoline. What time do we need to leave? Three in the morning? You must be joking… you aren’t? Well, two hours of sleep is all you really need to function like a human.

Day 1 - Drive

This podcast is talking about how mushrooms know when you’re walking around on the forest floor because of this extensive network of miles and miles of t...

The Button Factory doesn’t make music. They’re a music factory and their high-powered
machinery melts faces. The faces being melted tonight are brought to you by Pillow Queens.
This is an Indie Fuzz Dream Pop group that knows what they’re doing. What’s that you say?
(It’s hard to hear you through the magazine pages or the series of tubes which is the internet).
Speak up! What’s that? Who are the Pillow Queens? I just told you, but I’ll dig in deeper. Grab a
shovel.


Pillow Queens hail from Ireland.


Breathe, that’s a lot of new information to swallow. Digest it and I’ll scoop you some more.
Pillow Queens are from Dublin, Ireland. (Well, essentially. More on that later).


Woah, quit with the geography lesson professor knowledge: (what you’re probably thinking or
saying out loud to no one in particular at your local Starbucks.) Spoiler alert: they’re all ladies.
The name is a tad tongue-in-cheek (most likely more than a ta...

We all exist right now. If you can read that sentence, you’re part of the club. What do we do? How does one derive meaning in their life? Is it through family, friends or a religion? Is there a belief or logic behind the mechanization of your actions? Maybe. I don’t know. It’s hard to tell how much of what we do originates from our own volition. Did I type that sentence because I wanted to or because I have a deadline? Did I perform specific actions to place my reality in the here-ness of now? How much of my free will should I control and how much of my free will is controlled by unconscious motives? What motion in the universe caused me to place this word right here? Is this just a random coincidence? Random. No order. A riddle in the middle of a maze.

Question marks begin to look fake after you type enough of them. What I mean by ‘fake’ is that the concept of the question mark becomes unreal. The symbol loses all mea...

My apartment is broken into by government agents at 4 in the morning. I’m handed a cup of fair-trade, dark roast coffee and a sealed envelope with the word classified stamped on the front. I’m told I have 48 hours to verify the validity of the documents within and to mail back the contents to the Department of Secret Stuffs. They tell me there’s a self-addressed envelope inside as well. I notice that there’s no postage and when I start to ask why they’re being so cheap they’ve disappeared.

After falling back asleep, cleaning up and refilling my spilled coffee, I thoroughly inspect the envelope. The contents within appear to be a collection of entirely true news stories from around the universe and various dimensions. These stories may not have a direct bearing on our lives, but they shed light on issues and situations that could affect us here on Earth. The first article is from “The West Dakota Tribune”:

“West Dakota R...

The holidays scrape inch by inch closer every year to overtaking Halloween (Christmas’ disturbed younger sister) and subsequently the entire autumnal season. It isn’t about Jesus, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or any other belief system; it’s about belief in the almighty dollar. Money, money, money. The root of all evil and the root of all Christmas presents. Sometimes money is the best Christmas present, especially if you can’t be bothered to learn anything about your supposed partner or if you know they’ll just be using it for illicit substances.

Whatever you decide, you’ll probably use a debit or credit card for most of the gifts. If you aren’t crushed by the weight of presents, you will be by credit card debt. Buying is so hot right now. Consumer Affairs states that “spending during the holiday shopping period rose 4.9 percent over last year’s numbers, posting the largest increase since 2011.” I wanted to see the trend in act...

As you’ve been driving, I’m sure you’ve noticed--in between the texts, sexts, and podcasts that reaffirm your worldview--the countless massacred squirrels that stain the ever-under-construction asphalt in New Hampshire. Kathunk! ‘What was that?’ It was a squirrel. Why are these cute forest rodents interrupting your daily commute? Are they trying to ruin your day? Make you late? Does it involve a conspiracy? I know that’s how it feels, as if some overarching conglomerate super-structure were controlling these squirrels. No. Snap out of it. Breathe.

I encounter a squirrel on my way to class so I decide to ask him a question. Silence. Evasion. He walks up to me and then scurries up some tree where I can’t ask him questions. I encounter another squirrel, this time female. I receive the same response. What are these squirrels hiding? Nuts? Yes and maybe, just maybe, something else. Something dark and sinister that goes all...

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