Category Archives: adventure

MARCO: The Story of an Outcast and a Manatee

ME&MARCO

 

 

    Hey everyone, so this is something I started writing in one of my summer workshops.  It’s a short story based on an actual trip I took in high school that changed me forever.  I hope you enjoy!

 

     I sat in a van with the other ten teenagers I was going to be spending the summer with.  It was 2006, and I was a high schooler who had just arrived in Florida for a marine biology excursion sponsored by a certain theme park that dabbles in ocean rehabilitation.   To spare myself from any lawsuits, let’s just call it “Ocean Planet”.   We were driving from Orlando International to the Ocean Planet dorms we were going to be staying in for the beginning of our trip.   The van was filled with excitement because this was the first time most of us were going to be spending a large amount of time away from our families.

     As everyone was talking about where they were from and comparing who loved animals the most, I quietly looked out the window wondering when they were gonna shut the hell up.  Becky O’Kent, a girl from Beverly Hills, but zip code 90212, not 90210, quickly became my first ally.  While the rest of the group was being all giddy and thrilled, she simply turned to me and said, “I wanna do Broadway when I grow up, but my parents hate that so they sent me here to encourage me to major in the sciences when I go to college”.  I looked her silently, lost in shock, asking myself, why is someone speaking to me? Nobody in my hometown ever talked to me. Where I’m from in Ohio, if someone did start saying something to me, it was normally just to could call me a fag.  I felt anxious as I searched for the words to respond with.

     You see, I never really enjoyed taking on the whole loner-quiet-outcast role.  Those were skills I had to learn while growing up to keep myself from being harassed and beat up.  By nature, I was actually always a very outgoing and funny person.  So, I decided that since I was on a trip and away from home, maybe I’d try opening up…at least just a little.  I smiled awkwardly and said, “Yeah, I’m kind of stuck between becoming an actor, or a marine biologist, so I get it”.  I almost flinched as I awaited some kind of insult, as that’s what normally happened whenever I spoke, but it never came.   It was a peculiar change from what I knew as the real world.

FL

 

     I rolled down the window to feel that colorful breeze that only tropical areas have.  Florida may be a Republican shithole, but when you come from an area known as the Great Black Swamp, any place that beholds palm trees and blue skies will seem wildly exotic.

 

     The van approached Ocean Planet’s main gate and everyone’s eyes grew bright with the kind of optimism you can only have when you’re young.  As we got out of the van, the counselors welcomed the group and everyone seemed to be a lot more thrilled about life than I was, which really, isn’t that shocking.  Back then I rarely felt much reason to get out of bed, let alone actually muster the ability to feel excitement.  That rest of that first day at Ocean Planet was actually quite uneventful as a whole, and played out like your standard camp scenario.  We did ice-breakers to get to know each other, we were shown our rooms, we met the people who were in charge, and we had a horrid “picnic dinner”, meaning we had a shittily made sandwich and a cheap-ass bag of chips…Thanks Ocean Planet.  The one cool thing we did get to do before bedtime was go see the whale show.  Now, this being 2006 meant that this would have been between the second and third murder committed by their star attraction. It felt disturbingly cool to be looking at a killer whale that was in fact, a killer whale.


            The next morning at breakfast, Jean, the Animal Rescue Specialist (ARS) came in to give us the news of the day.   She told us that it was going to be a hands-on day in the Rehabilitation Unit of the park.  Now, if any of you have ever been to Ocean Planet, let me tell you, the Rehabilitation Unit is nothing like what you’ve seen before.  The crystal-clear waters, beautifully crafted tanks, and immersive viewing areas, are all for paying guests only.  The back of the park looks more like the bowels of a ship.   It’s there to get the job done, not to look nice.  It feels like you’re walking through a Nightmare on Elm Street dream sequence with all of its exposed pipework, sludgy drippings, and the echoes of injured animals crying out for mothers that will never come.

            I was walking with Becky at the back of the group as we passed through the various pools and colossal filtration systems that roared like jet-engines about to ascend to the heavens…which was odd, because this place seemed to be more closely related to hell.   Jean was up front telling all of us how this area was the true life of Ocean Planet.  She said that saving animals was her main goal, and her job here was simply her means to do it.  She talked about how heartbroken, yet motivated she feels when injured animals come in for care.  The most common victims are sea turtles.  Trashy little shits in Florida make a hobby out of spray-painting turtle shells, binding their fins together with barbed wire, and hammering through their shells.   And for any of you who don’t know, turtles aren’t animals who crawl into their shells.  The shell is literally part of their body. So, when people puncture the shell, the fat and muscle of the turtle becomes exposed, gets infected, and then fissures into a bacterial cesspool that kills them.   Turtles are slow yet graceful creatures, and can live up to around one hundred years.  Their docile nature however, makes them easy prey for asshole humans.

 

turtle

            I remember sitting there having to hold the shell in place as one of the ARS’s drilled little holes to sew in a metal plate to cover the exposed section of the turtle’s insides.  It became clear early on who the weak people were.  Anyone who squirmed at the sight of the turtles were about to have a really rough summer ahead of them.

            That afternoon, after helping at the turtle center and after lunch, we headed back to the rescue area for a few more hours of work before we were allowed to go roam the park.  Our afternoon task however, was one that none of us could have ever imagined.  Once again, me and Becky were at the back of the group, where she was making fun of the kids who didn’t want to touch the turtles.  “What kind of future marine biologist is too afraid to get involved with marine biology?” she asked with a grin.  As we giggled to ourselves, I heard Jean say from the front of the group, “The smell of the rotting flesh is worst”.  My head quickly perked up, and then suddenly I too caught a whiff of something very wrong. The group in front of us stood silently as if they were entranced by something.  Eager to know what was going on, I ran up to get a glimpse, and what I saw has stayed with me forever.


 

     It was a manatee.  Or more precisely, it was half of a manatee.  The front half to be exact.  I was filled with confusion, repulsion, and oddly enough, a sense of curiosity.   The smell of rotting manatee for anyone interested, is like vinegar, pistachio, and dead fish.  It’s oddly acidic, which I never expected.  You get this strange tingle in your nose when inhale it.   Jean looked solemn as she walked over to what was basically just a reinforced above-ground pool.  “She was brought to us last night”, she said, “She was struck by a speedboat, and they just left her there to die.  It was another boat in the area who actually called it in”.  I walked up to the pool, captivated by the sheer macabre and absurdity of a half manatee.  As I got closer I could see how truly horrific the situation was; its eyes blinked!  It was alive!  I genuinely lost my breath for a second.  I couldn’t believe the thing wasn’t dead.  I stared directly into its eyeball, trying to comprehend how this animal was still alive. “Why don’t you put it out of its misery?” I asked.  Jean looked at me with caution, as if she knew there was no good answer. “Because she’s pregnant”, she said, “We want to try to keep her alive long enough so when we pull out the baby, it has the greatest possible chance of survival”.

     Becky walked up to the tank, seeming to be in as much shock as I was.  I couldn’t bring myself to look into the face of that manatee anymore. I had to move.  I had to walk away from its suffering eyes.  I grabbed Becky’s arm and pulled her along as I circled the pool, looking at the murky green water.  Jean spoke loudly, trying to inform the whole group, “We had to put this pool up overnight.  We couldn’t risk putting her in an actual tank because there would be a risk of infection to the other animals”.

     There were pieces of lettuce and cabbage that had been thrown in for her to eat, which were floating untouched.  We walked to the manatee’s backside so we could see the wound, and saying “wound” isn’t really a good word.  There was no wound really, because there wasn’t a place for a wound.  There literally was no back to the manatee.   She wasn’t sown up or bandaged because there really was no way to sew her up.  Manatees are actually much larger than humans.  They’re immensely thick animals, so you can’t just graph their wounds shut.  The very sight of that manatee was enough to make someone’s mother faint.  It was as if someone threw a manatee onto the ground, took a chainsaw, and in the most rushed and sloppy job ever, began to cut it in half.   You could see chunks of pale flesh-colored meat dangling.  Severed veins and arteries were periodically leaking some kind of plasma or puss that only had a vague red tinge to it.

    Most of the kids in the group couldn’t even bring themselves to look at her, and the ones who did, couldn’t handle the sight for very long.  This was the first time most of them could physically see how awful and unfair the world truly was.    I hated those kids for their innocence.  I was already aware of how cruel life was.

    That lesson was taught to me at age eleven.  In my crap-tastic hometown in Ohio, my life went south at a very young age.  By age nine, I knew I was different from the other kids.  Everyone in my class started writing love notes to each other.  One boy would pair with one girl and write a love note.  Then boys started fighting over which girl they’d get to write their love note to.   One day during lunch, a massive argument broke out amongst everyone in my class over who could pair with who.  After hearing such a commotion from the classroom, our teacher rushed in and began yelling at everyone and then asked what had happened.  As all the boys fought and argued, I sat silently, trying to figure out why anyone would give a fuck about girls.  From then on, I was known only by the name Faggot.  Then in the sixth grade, I was beat up for the first time.  After tackling me to the ground, everybody gathered in a circle to spit on me.  I looked up and saw everyone closely huddled around my body, then my vision blurred as a wad of spit went right into my eye.  After that, I couldn’t get up.  All I could do was lay on the ground, stunned by the realization that life would always be shitty.  I started crying.  I cried for hours.  I couldn’t even go back into the classroom I was crying so hard.  I hid in the back of my school’s chapel until almost the end of the day.  When I returned to the classroom the teacher didn’t even ask me where I was or what had happened.  I knew they had told her, and I knew she didn’t care.  That was a fact I was going to be constantly reminded of in my life.


    That night at dinner me and Becky couldn’t stop talking about the manatee. Even though life had taught me to remain silent, something about turning a corner and seeing a half manatee sitting in a shallow pool demanded conversation.  It was just too insane and unbelievable to not talk about.  In fact, we we’re talking about the manatee so much that we felt we needed to name it because it was probably a memory we would never forget.   “How about Marco?” I said, and then we both busted out laughing.  Becky could barley sit up straight, “But she’s pregnant! She’s a girl!  You can’t name her Marco!”   There’s something so strange about traumatic events.  Laughing at them seems to be the best cure.  If I wasn’t able to be making jokes about Marco, I probably would have just cried about Marco instead.  Personally, I prefer laughing.   One of the other girls, Shawnee Brew, from Boonfuck, Idaho, walked over to us and was like, “You know, you’re being horribly immature right now.  You can’t be making fun of that manatee, it’s in pain!”   I thought it was pretty obnoxious for a girl who was so disgusted she could barely even look at the manatee, to be telling me to respect it.

    That night as I lay in bed, I couldn’t stop thinking about Marco, and oddly enough, I couldn’t help but feel an intense sense of relief.  In most of my life, I was the one suffering.  It was nice to be thinking about the suffering of something other than myself for once.  There was this lovely detachment that led to a feeling of safety.  No matter what horrible things happened to Marco, it really wouldn’t impact my life at all, and that gave me a great sense of solace.  That night I slept better than I had in years.


     At breakfast the next morning Jean assigned tasks.   Everyone got fun tasks; some with penguins, some with dolphins, and me…I got Marco.   “You were pretty much the only person who could handle looking at her”, Jean said to me, as if I had won a prize.  I looked at Becky who was giggling at my unfortunate circumstance.

      Ok, I’m gonna digress here real quick to talk about my disgust for manatees.  I hate them and they’re fucking gross.  Their skin looks like leathery cellulite.  And even worse, they move so slow that barnacles and algae grow on their backs. How fucked up is that?  Can you imagine other living things penetrating your skin and living off your body?  God damn I hate manatees!  They’re like floating feral fat mounds, and I despise them beyond belief.  And on top of that, this particular manatee happened to be deteriorating away into a pool.  So anyways, you can only imagine my dread of having to see Marco again.

     Jean paired me off with another ARS named Dale, Dale…how fucking Florida.   Dale was however, a young and sexy man.  He was a tall guy with a swimmer’s body and dark hair. I saw him taking off his wetsuit once and he had a happy trail that started a little above his belly button (squeal!).   I would totally jump him, if ya catch my drift.  He was going to make this experience much easier for me to handle.

            So there I am, standing in front of Marco’s tank.  Dale walks up with a few pairs of chest-high waders and hands me one.  “That water is extremely dirty and you wanna make sure to not get any on you” he said as he put one of his legs in his waders.  I started putting mine on too, “So what do we need to do?” I asked.  He tells me that we need to get in the pool and try to keep it as clean as possible.  We were going to take one of those pool sweepers and try to filter out some of the crap in the water, and by crap I mean the insides of the manatee that’s been falling out into the pool.  He also wanted to pull out the old lettuce and cabbage and put fresh pieces in.  But, in my opinion, why keep throwing leafy greens into a pool when they’re just gonna rot anyways, but whatever.   So there we are, me and Dale, just doing a normal day’s work of filtering the pool and skimming the water, as a half manatee casually floats around, dying slowly.

            At one point, and I swear to God I’m not making this shit up, I’m walking backwards with the sweeper and I feel my back bump into the fucking manatee!  I was startled as I turned around and came eye-to-eye with Marco.  Her eyes looked at me as though she was begging me to put her out of her misery, and as I looked back at her, I feel I gave a similar look.

            You see, Marco wasn’t the first time I had seen something brutally torn apart.  After my little crying episode in the sixth grade, everything went from bad to awful.  I had already lost all my friends in the previous years, but now I was enemy number one.  I was the sole scapegoat for anyone who needed a punching bag.  My grades plummeted and I spent the summers of sixth, seventh, and eighth grades in summer school because I was failing classes.  However, even though my grades started to rapidly drop, my weight on the other hand skyrocketed.  I became reclusive to my room, where I hid from the human population as I ate my feelings away.  I felt broken, like I was barely being kept together by small threads that could snap at any minute.  I always felt like I was stuck in someone else’s body.  I was an outgoing and artistic person. I was nothing like this fat, awkward, ugly monster that I had become. And if you’ve never been the victim of bullying, let me tell you, the only thing worse than being the gay kid, is being the fat gay kid.   I couldn’t handle it anymore so I stopped eating.  Within less than a year I went from being overweight at two-hundred pounds, to being underweight at one thirty-five.  The weight loss didn’t end up helping though.  My reputation had already been deeply cemented.


    Me and Marco had been locked in eye contact for what seemed like minutes.  “Are you ok?” Dale asked as he threw a chunk of browning lettuce out of the pool.  I realized that I had been lost in a daze for quite some time.  I tried to make myself look like I wasn’t an emotional wreck, which obviously only makes it more apparent that you are indeed an emotional wreck.  I took a deep breath, turned and smiled, and said, “Yeah, I’m fine, why?”, as if my comatose stupor was totally normal.  “You just look like you’re about to have a panic attack or something”, Dale said.  Dale was incorrect, I wouldn’t start collapsing from panic attacks until I was in my twenties.  He was however correct that something was wrong. Thinking about my life was emotionally taxing, but I was too afraid to admit that to a stranger, especially one as hot as Dale.  “Well”, Dale said, “I know how hard this probably is.  I know it’s a gruesome sight, but I want you to know that you’re doing work that’s messy, but necessary”.

     I kept my head down, “It’s not that…It’s… It’s nothing”.  In fact, I was so distracted by my own thoughts that it was hard to focus on Marco’s situation, which perhaps was for the best.  Had I been able to fully reflect on the scenario of me sweeping a pool as Marco’s organs fell into it, I probably would have thrown up.  This level of desensitization was probably the reason why I was the one standing in this pool, rather than someone else from the group.  I continued to sweep the pool in silence, making sure to keep distance between me and Dale to avoid conversation, and also to keep distance from Marco because…well, because her backside was rotting away, do I need a better reason as to why I don’t want to be too close to a dying animal?   There was no avoiding Marco though really, Marco was all over the pool…literally.  I had been wading through Marco the entire time.  Marco was even in the air I was breathing, as the stench of her rotting flesh burned into my nostrils.

            “So, what do you and your friends do back home for fun?” Dale asked as we continued working on the pool.  Inside I gave an exasperated sigh.  I hate when people ask me what my life is like because I can’t tell them the truth.  Can you imagine if I answered truthfully?  Was I supposed to be like, oh yeah, actually, my life sucks.  I’m beat up and made fun of, I have nobody to go to for help, and I’m starting to wish that I were dead because I can’t keep going on like this?  No, obviously you can’t say that, because nobody would have cared or believed me.   In fact, lying about my life was something I had gotten very good at because my parents weren’t too cool with the whole gay thing.  My dad, being a firefighter, was a total man’s man.  He didn’t want one his son to turn out to be a queer.   And my mom, she was even worse.  As a devout Irish Catholic and Republican, her first allegiance was to her God and her church.  My life quickly tumbled into the snowball effect.  I couldn’t tell my parents about my suffering grades and billowing weight, because that would have led to telling them about how school had become a war zone for me. How was I supposed to focus on school when I was constantly being harassed by other students and ignored by my teachers?  And there was no way to bring up why I had lost all my friends and why I was getting beaten up without bringing up the fact that I was gay.   So, I learned to lie.  I told my parents I was doing poorly in school because I simply wasn’t smart.  I told them I had no idea what they were talking about when they asked me about my weight.  I told them I stopped hanging out with others because I just didn’t find them fun anymore.   But soon the lies were building up on top of each other and I was sinking underneath their weight.   So instead, I turned from lying to avoidance.  When asked how my day was, I simply said, “It was fine”.  My parents knew something was wrong, but they both didn’t want to believe that I was gay and that it was destroying me.  So with a little lie on my part, and some hefty denial on theirs, we were able to quietly drift apart from each other and go about our crappy lives.


    “Do you do anything for fun?” Dale asked a second time.  Oh fuck, I spaced out again.   I turned to Dale, completely exhausted from the very thought of my life and said, “Not much”.  I wasn’t in the mood to get into my life’s story with a guy whose name was Dale.  I thought that Dale wouldn’t know anything about struggles, and probably would have hated me for being gay anyways. I had never known a handsome straight guy to be nice to me, and I didn’t want to take any risks with Dale.

    Deflecting conversation was the easiest way to avoid to getting hurt.  But he tried again, “Aw, c’mon bro, I’m sure you do something. You’re kinda tall, you play ball or anything?”  The very idea that I would play sports was laughable. I imagined myself walking up to all the jocks, the juggernauts who ran my school, the people who abused me the most, and then ask them if I could throw some balls with em.   Dale obviously had no idea what it meant to be gay in Ohio.

    I cracked a little grin as I silently laughed at Dale for being so clueless.  But also, I mean he was a cute straight guy and he was talking to me, and maybe, despite my fear and hatred for straight men, I kinda liked it.  I mean, it wasn’t exactly something that’s ever really happened to me before.   “Oh hey there!” Dale howled out, “I see that grin! So you do play ball?”  I bit my lip trying not to blush.  Dale was a fuckin’ moron. “No Dale, I don’t play sports…they’re not really my thing”.    He put the skimmer down and crossed his arms like he was in the mood to engage in conversation rather than work.  “So then what?” he asked, “Are you like, one of those guys who spends all of his time with his girlfriend or something?”  Now I was really blushing.  It’s embarrassing how quickly my face glows red. “No, I don’t have a girlfriend”, I said as I quickly turned around to hide how nervous I was.  “Oh… well how about a boyfriend?” he asked.   I stopped moving.  My heart stopped beating.  My skin lost all color.  I blinked a few times, and had a moment of shocked silence….

…But this was Florida.  I was somewhere far away from home.  I thought maybe it wouldn’t kill me to open up.  At worst, if Dale hated me, then at least I knew I’d never have to see him again.  I quietly replied, “No…I haven’t had a boyfriend yet”.   Dale smiled, pleased with himself for getting me to talk. “Well don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll be a total player when you hit college.  I hear gay dudes score like crazy!”  Now that made me smile uncontrollably, and at this point I’m sure my cheeks were so red you could’ve named a crayon color after them.

     Is it sad that the best moment of my life up to that point was taking place in a pool next to a rotting animal?

…Sure

    But at the same time, good moments in my life were few and fleeting, so I wouldn’t have wanted to trade that moment for the world.  Dale continued asking me questions about my life and about my hometown.  It was so odd for someone to be taking an interest in me.  I never had anyone genuinely talk to me.  I had become so used to either being someone’s enemy, or being forced to lie about my life that I never got to just be me.

    My veins felt like they were open wide and the blood coursed through them with an ease I had never known before.  I could take deep breaths of air, and I wasn’t clenching my jaw like I normally did to cope with anxious energy.  It felt good to have a real interaction with another person.  So good in fact, that I almost forgot I was in a pool with a rotting manatee until I felt a snout rubbing up against my backside.

    I turned around quickly and saw Marco moving her snout.  Was she trying to eat?  Or was she sniffing me?  Was it a desperate plea for a mercy killing?  “I still can’t believe she’s alive.  It just doesn’t make any sense.” I said to Dale as I slowly backed away from Marco.  Dale’s job was to rehabilitate animals, so this was nothing new to him.  Animals with deadly infections, missing limbs, and hopeless futures was just part of his job.  “You know”, Dale said, “Sometimes life gives you two choices.  One is shitty, and the other is even shittier.  Manatees are becoming endangered here in Florida.  Keeping this one alive for the sake of potentially bringing a healthy baby into this world is a risk that we have to take for the continuation of the species”.  I looked at her exposed organs, barely being held in place by rapidly deteriorating meat.  “Do you think she’s in pain?” I asked.  Dale, sounding a bit vulnerable, replied, “I’d imagine it’s probably pretty bad”.  That moment of vulnerability made Dale seem a little more human to me, and I liked that.

     Dale started pulling apart a new head of iceberg lettuce to scatter around the pool. “You know”, he said, “There used to be a giant manatee species called the Steller’s Sea Cow.  They were about thirty feet long, making them longer than Great White Sharks, and they would have been about two to three times as thick as a White as well.  They were docile and curious animals that would swim up to people as if they were about to make new friends.  But once the fur trade caught on to how much potential money there was in em, they were hunted to extinction in under thirty years.”  He threw some lettuce in Marco’s direction, then continued, “It’s sad actually, humans have this cruel nature to target the easiest prey they can find. It’s like we let out all of our aggression on things we know can’t fight back”.

     I knew that lesson all too well.  I was the easy prey back in Ohio.  But I didn’t think I was ready to talk about that with Dale, so instead I just said, “Like the sea turtles”.  Dale started making the ‘hang loose’ gesture with hand as he stuck his tongue out. “Dude!” he said, “Sea turtles are the shit!  They’re my total spirit animal!”  Then he reached under his shirt to pull out a piece of a turtle shell that he had turned into a necklace. “Sea turtles are what got me here! My first job with animals was at a turtle rescue center down near Miami”.  Dale was now probably the most attractive guy I had ever met, and his love for ocean life only made me like him more.

     I spoke, not wanting this newfound happiness to end, “I can’t believe the things people do to them.  If I ever saw someone abusing a turtle I’d probably go crazy and kill em or something.”  Dale starting making the yyyyyeeeessss gesture with his head, and then was like, “Dude, I’d totally be right there beside you!”   I fantasized about me and Dale roaming the Florida beaches at night and roughing up delinquents who got their rocks off by abusing turtles.  Dale was quickly becoming a full-blown, walking, talking, wet dream.

sunset


     Later that evening when we were having dinner I told Becky all about how awesome it was to work with Dale.  “You’re so fucking lucky!” she said enviously, “I got stuck with one of the shy girls and we had to clean the starfish tank with some woman who wouldn’t shut up about how the ocean isn’t a foodchain, it’s a foodweb.   And ya know, Becky was kind of right.  I actually had fun that day.  Sure, I was taking care of a rotting animal, but it beat any day back in Ohio.  My life meant something that day.  I was helping to keep an endangered species alive, how many people can say they’ve done that?  And on top of that, I was having a good conversation with someone who had similar interests to me.  And not only someone actually, but a hot straight guy had similar interests to me. That was something I never thought possible.

     In fact, at that age I never even saw myself as a “guy”.  Guys were these strong, confident, and often evil things that made a career out of informing that I would never be one of them.  At that point in my life I barely even saw myself as human to be honest.  I felt like I was this unwanted trash heap that must have been oozing toxic sludge. People in my hometown avoided me as if I was patient zero for the Ebola virus.  But here in Florida, where nobody knew who I was, everything was different.  People treated me like a person.  People gave me responsibilities.  People may have genuinely liked me!  What the fuck, right?


     The next morning, I was excited to get up.  I scarfed down breakfast as fast as I could so I could have as much time with Dale as possible.   When I got to the manatee tank though, Dale was standing there with about seven other people, huddled in conversation.  I walked up, wondering what was going on, and when I got close enough, I could sense something was very wrong.

     Marco never had much life in her, but today she seemed more inanimate than usual.  In fact, Marco seemed flat-out lifeless. You know how there’s that difference between being around something alive and something dead?  Like you somehow just feel the presence of a beating heart? Well, now I had a dreaded sense that Marco was no longer Marco, but instead was just a lump in a pool.  I walked over to the conversation to hear what the plan was.

     “We need to cut the baby out now!” one woman argued.  “I will not let that thing inside one of the operating rooms.  The risk of bacterial infection to other injured animals is too high”, a man, who I later learned was Ocean Planet’s hospital director, said.  Dale yelled back, “Well we have to try, otherwise why did we keep her alive in the first place?”  The hospital director put his foot down, “If we take that into an operating room, do you know the kinds of diseases that exposes all the other animals to? Or the clean-up that will be required?  We can’t allow rotting flesh to spew all over a sanitized space!”  That was followed by a lot of arguing about Ocean Planet policy.

     I stood next to Dale silently, feeling somewhat relieved that Marco was no longer in pain, but at the same time curiously upset at her death.  Sure, I hated manatees, but Marco…Marco was different.  Marco had become my manatee.  “Then we’re gonna do it here in the pool!” a woman shouted.  She was blonde, with her hair pulled back in a ponytail, and had been furiously taking notes during the conflict.  I learned that she was one of the surgeons at Ocean Planet. “The chances are low”, she said, “But the manatee is already in half, cutting her again can’t hurt her. So, everyone gear up! I want this to be happening in no more than twenty minutes, the longer she sits there dead, the less chance the infant has of surviving”.

     Ocean Planet protocol was very much against a teenage summer intern to be involved with matters such as these, but the circumstances of Marco in general were already something the books had never prepared for.  I told Dale I wanted to be a part of this.  Dale was right in what he had said earlier.  People treat the defenseless like crap.  I knew that all too well.  Marco was a victim of that system just like I was, and because of that, I wanted to help.  I wanted to win.  I wanted to show this shitty world that the little guy can have a victory.    I was determined to help pull that damn baby out.  “Dale”, I said, “Let me help! I wanna help with this!”   Dale was older than me, but he was still young.  Probably only about twenty-five, so he was young enough to be down to break the rules.  “Alright, follow me, we gotta get ready.”


     We changed into these things that looked like wetsuits to keep any germs off our body.  I watched Dale take his pants off.  He was wearing navy blue boxer briefs.  I looked at the brunette hair on his thighs.  Dale was one of those lucky bastards who even had flawless leg hair.  My heart thump-thumped harder than it ever had before.  I felt oddly alive.  My mind was torn between disgust with Marco and arousal with Dale, but something about that moment just felt so much more real than my life ever had.  It had been so long since I felt anything besides dread, and now it was like someone had flipped the switch.  I started realizing why other people don’t want to kill themselves, like maybe life could be exciting after all.

     Dale zipped up his wetsuit, and again I snuck a peek, watching his back muscles get slowly enclosed by the suit. The waders went on top of the suits, along with elbow-length gloves, and a surgical mask.  Me, Dale, and one other guy who had the body of a weightlifter, were tasked with holding Marco in place as the medical team went to work. The surgeon was completely unfazed as she began cutting through Marco’s body.

     “Alright boys, I’m about there, I need you to keep the body as still as possible”.  The water started to become a rusty-red.  “Shit”, the surgeon said, as her hands moved vigorously.  At this point I couldn’t look.  If the baby was dead, I didn’t want to see it.  I didn’t even know where, in this half-corpse, a baby manatee could even be.  I just kept my eyes down as I saw the water continue to darken.  The spewing rusty liquid brined with the already murky water and developed a putrid brownish tinge.  The kind of color that shoots up when you pop an infected ingrown hair.  “It’s a stillborn”, the surgeon said.  I kept looking at Marco’s side.  I wanted to make it seem like I was looking at what was happening without actually having to.  “Damn”, she said, as if she was already expecting this outcome, “We got to her too late.  She must have died early in the night.  The oxygen supply could have been cut off for hours”.  I could tell the surgeon was someone who took her job seriously and didn’t like losing.  I could feel the frustration ripple through her voice.  I felt a great sense of despair as well. I wanted Marco’s baby to survive because that would have been a sign of hope.  A way for the underdog to strike back, and a reason for all this pain.  I was desperate to know that pain wasn’t always pointless.  But now I was merely standing in a foul-smelling, brown colored pool, with a dead half manatee, and her dead infant.

            After everyone else had left, me, Dale, and the muscular guy were tasked with loading Marco’s body into a cargo trailer. I’m guessing they brought this other guy because he was pretty large and was going to be doing most of the heavy lifting.  A truck was brought to the tank.  We covered the back of it with tarps, wrapped Marco’s body with rope, and the three of us pulled her out of the pool and into the cargo bed.  We covered the body with more tarp, and tied it tight.  From there, the truck drove away and Marco was out of my life.   They said they were going to have to cut Marco up into smaller pieces, and then incinerate her for sanitary reasons.   The feelings I have about Marco are still mixed and intense.  Marco’s life and death was awful.  Being torn in half by a boat, being forced to die slowly, having someone cut your dead baby out of your dead body, and then being chopped up further, just to be burnt to ashes. It’s hard to believe all that happened to one manatee.  But at the same time, I saw myself in contrast.  I was alive and I was healthy. Looking at how horrible Marco’s death was made me terrified of my own.  Thoughts about my life started to change from wishing my life was over, to wishing my life was different.  That may seem like small change, but the difference in the two thoughts is literally life and death.

            Me and Dale undressed from the wetsuits, and went to the showers.  Ocean Planet is full of large gym-style shower rooms because anytime you exit one of the tanks, you’re required to shower before doing anything else.  As Dale showered in the stall next to mine, I kept thinking about my life.  I was young, and I was healthy. I was alive.  The past few days had existed on a level I had never experienced before.  Marco’s death was painful, and yet Dale’s friendship was exciting.  I had too many emotions going on in my head, and I didn’t want to feel the emptiness of silence.  I didn’t want to feel alone, and I wanted a friend.  So I spoke:

“So, I named her ya know”, I yelled as I let the water ran through my hair.

“Oh yeah? What name did you give her?” he asked back.

“Marco.  Marco the manatee”, I said.

Dale laughed.  “Dude, she was a female!”

I smiled, even though Dale couldn’t see it.  Going through rough times seemed so much easier when you had someone there with you.  Maybe this is what friendship felt like.

      “I like it though man,” Dale said, “It’s respectful to the animals.  Naming em shows that they’re living creatures, not just objects.” Dale paused, then said, “You know dude, you’re pretty brave for a teenager.  You weren’t afraid to do what needed to get done and that’s pretty cool.”  Dale called me cool!  I helped try to save a dying animal, and a hot guy called me cool.  Fuck yah!

            I felt the water run over me, cleaning me of not just Marco, but also of my past. There had been a sea change within me that day; something big, and something good.  Dale was right, sometimes life does give you two choices, where one is only slightly better than the other.  After this summer I’d have to go back to Ohio and go back to my life.  But now I had perspective, which I didn’t before.  I could either ride out the storm and try to make my life better, or I could end my life. And after watching how horrendous death can be, I no longer wanted that option.


            The next day our group left Ocean Planet to hit the road.   We were going to drive to the east coast, head down into the keys, and then come up the west coast before heading back inland to Orlando.   Everyone came out to say goodbye as we got into the van.  Dale walked up to me and put out his hand like he was asking me to shake it.  I grabbed his hand, and before I knew it, he pulled me into a bro hug.  I think part of me melted as I felt his embrace.  One of the parts that melted was the walls I had built up around me.

    “Hey, I’m saving your seat, get in here before someone takes it!” Becky yelled at me from the van.   Dale gave me a nod, and I nodded back.  “Thanks”, I said, not knowing how to fully express how much Dale’s friendship had changed me. “No worries dude” Dale said as he grabbed my shoulder in that way that guys do when they talk to each other, “When you go back to Ohio, remember how brave you were these last few days.  You’re a cool guy, show people that”.  I turned and walked to the van wearing the biggest smile the human race has ever seen. I threw my duffel bag into the back and then sat next to Becky.  “Well, someone sure looks happy…” she said as I closed the door.  I looked at her and smiled as I gave her a little nudge.  She rolled her eyes. “I want to know everything that happened, and don’t leave out the details!”

 

drive

  As the van started pulling out of the parking lot, I rolled down the window and waved one last time.  Marco would always be gone, and Dale would probably always be in Orlando, but what I learned from them was always going to be with me.

 

~ The Dark Horse

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INFJ Problems (Or, Normal People Suck)

problems

 

Ok people, let’s get real for like 2 seconds here.  Last week in class I had a total INFJ moment, and was like…. fuck humans.

 

So there was this girl, she’s from North Carolina, she’s super annoying and loves to complain ABOUT EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME, she’s overweight, and she isn’t very attractive…like at all.   Now I’m not saying this to be mean.  I’m saying this to give you an overview because it’s important to the story.

 

So, I’m in a short story class for the summer, and naturally, we talk about books and stories a lot.  So we we’re talking about 50 Shades.  Like every random thing about it:  How crazy it actually is, how funny it is that older women read it, how it spawned from Twilight fan fiction, and then someone brought up how the BDSM community actually hates it because it’s a portrayal of rape, not BDSM.

And then, the North Carolina girl walks in mid-conversation and is like, “Im sorry y’all, I just don’t approve of BDSM”  and I’m like… Ok.  That’s fine.  This isn’t a conversation about our love of BDSM, we’re just talking about 50 Shades.   And then she’s like, “I’m sorry, I just..I just can’t.  It’s too much for me…” 

 

And so I’m looking at her like Please Shut The Fuck Up You Obnoxious Idiot.   And then I explain to her that even though she doesn’t like BDSM, it exists, and 50 Shades was a cultural phenomenon, and as writers we have to talk about it because it’s one of the best-selling books of all time.  It, despite your hate, is something anyone interested in publishing should think about.  It’s relative to our career field.  You can’t just tell people to not talk about it because you’re around an think you’re too good or too Christian to let your ears hear about it something.

And then she’s like, “Well I’m starting to think you must be into BDSM if you’re going to defend it so heavily”,  and in my head I’m like….

problems1

 

And then I have to explain to her that just because I don’t care if someone is into BDSM, doesn’t mean I’m into BDSM.

And then she’s just starts doing a lot of like weird Southern-sound-things like:

“nnnnaaaawwwww ya’ll, nnnnaaaaaawwwwwwww, nerp, nerp, nnnnaaawwwww, sorry, but nnnaaaawwwww, just can’t ya’ll”

 

So then I break out the big-guns.  and am just like, “Look, I’m not saying this to be mean.  I’m saying this to be honest with you:  You’re relatively large, and you know a lot of society would cringe at the idea of you having sex.   Now I’m sure you can agree that that’s wrong… now take that logic, and apply it to your disgust to BDSM.”

 

But then she’s like, “I CAWNT believe you just said that to me, That is so rude, that is so offensive, blah blah blah” 

 

I however, am not the type to back down. 

 

So, I’m like, No.  I’m showing you that you are unfairly judging a group, the exact same way society judges you.  Now I have a feeling you don’t like the way society judges you, so take that knowledge, and apply it to how you treat others.

problems4

 

The conversation ended with her basically just doing a lot of:

You’re so rude

You’re so mean

I can’t believe you’d say that 

I’m gonna cry

and so on and so on…..

 

And I was just constantly like… No.  I wasn’t saying it in a mean way.  I wasn’t putting you down.  I was showing you your flawed way of thinking.

However, of course, she didn’t care, and I know part of the reason why she got so upset was so the conversation could end making me look like the bad guy, and put the pressure off of her.  Now don’t get me wrong; I know that was a risky conversation.  I know I “went there”  and so forth, but sadly, with some people you gotta go there, otherwise they’ll never self-refelct.

 

Ok enough about that, let’s look into our INFJ-ness and see how that relates that interaction:

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So as you can see, INFJ’s are focused, yet big-picture thinkers, and are insightful, while using our outstanding sense of integrity.   When it comes to formulating ideas we truly use our introversion, intuition, feeling, and judgment to the best of their abilities.

~~What this means is we can put ourselves into other people’s shoes relatively effortlessly.  Such as seeing things from the perspective of someone who likes BDSM).

~~Our big-picture mentality also let’s us see many things too.   Such as, Who is BDSM actually harming?  Nobody?  Ok…then let them do it.  It also helps us to see things like, “well hey this girl is judging others the exact same way she hates being judged…this is wrong”

~~ Our undying integrity keeps our opinions unbiased and fair.  Letting us bring true conversation to the table, not just self-assuring pleasantries that we want to believe.

 

However, society doesn’t get it.   Most people don’t comprehend the idea of holding thoughts because they’re true.  They live in a world of self-propulsion, and if an idea doesn’t tell them what they want to hear, they subconsciously refuse to believe it.  Think of how EVERY smoker you know will always be like, “You know there was this article about a woman who lived to be 100 even though she smoked everyday!” ….that is some A+ self-delusion.  But sadly, it’s so common and most people do that type of thing.  So when an INFJ comes along and defends an opinion, even though we don’t directly benefit from that opinion, it’s seen as some form of witchcraft or something!

 

 

So, what does this mean?  We’re going to be perpetual outcasts?  YES

We will normally hold opinions that may get on other people’s never?  YES

But look above at the jobs that INFJ’s do best.   We are also the movers and the shakers of this world.  We get some of the coolest jobs ON THE PLANET!  We do the things that most people only dream of.  INFJ is know as:

The Protector.

 The counselor.

The Philosopher.

 

Our set of skills (Our very unique and rare set of skills actually) is the combination that has the power to set this world on fire.

 

So remember: Never give in, Never surrender, always stand up for what’s right, and always always always be true to yourself!

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Rock on INFJ’S!

~ The Dark Horse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life Really Can Get Better. You Just Need To Try (God, It Sounds Cliche, But It Works)

dave

 

So, this is super annoying, but my life is quickly getting better.  Like, so quickly it’s actually making me mad.  I’m mad that I sat in a shell for so long.  That I feared life.  That I doubted myself.  That I didn’t take risks and go out a limb simply because I believed others when they said I was worth nothing.

 

So for anyone who is reading this blog for the first time, I just started taking classes at Harvard last month.  Im brand new to Boston.  And yet in this one month I have started classes, Ive started writing a novel, and I just got offered a job to write the social media for a company here…. WHAT THE FUCK PEOPLE?  

WHAT

THE 

FUCK?

 

Why Didn’t I decide to start writing a novel sooner?  Ive been blogging for like 3 years.  It isn’t like I haven’t had the desire to write.   In fact I’ve had story ideas just sitting in my mind for years.  What have I been doing?

 

Is it possible that things can go well?  That maybe the world is colorful? 

dave1

 

 

That maybe the bad guys don’t win at the end?  

I’m still just so fucking annoyed that I sat and believed for so long that nothing good could ever happen to me.  I believed with ALL OF MY HEART that I wasn’t worth anything.  That I failed because I deserved to fail.   That I was just better off dead.   That was the only reason I could think of as to why people kept telling me I was worth nothing.

But you know what, maybe there are other reasons?

~ Maybe because I decided to be myself and not follow the norm, the road wasn’t paved with signs telling me where to go… well the road wasn’t even paved.   Thats just part of being different.

~ Maybe people felt jealous or threatened that I wanted more for my life than a boring 9-5 where I had to drink my weekends away just to cope.

~ Maybe all those failures kept showing me what paths not to go down.  Maybe they were learning experiences?  Maybe thats just life process of anyone who follows the beat of their own drum?

So what can I say to you people who are reading this? 

Well for starters. Don’t give up.  NEVER EVER GIVE UP.

Don’t listen to the people who put you down.  This world is full of hateful people.  They have their issues and reasons as to why they’re such assholes, and none of them should matter to you.  let them go rot in their own filth.  Don’t become one of them.

Remember that you’re talented and smart and can do anything.  Any of us who go trough the day with depression, anxiety, or any other mental problems are so strong.   We have to deal with the shit the common man can’t even comprehend. So remember, if you have the strength to get out of bed, you have the strength to change the world.

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This world can be bright and colorful.  Just like the picture above.  We just need to remember to rock shit out, and never take no for an answer.

dave4

 

 

Life is short, don’t waste anymore of it.

~ The Dark Horse

 

 

 

A Positive Voice Can Make All The Difference

mentor

 

So the other day i was really down.  My job is making me feel like shit.   My parents are making me feel like shit.  Society is making me feel like shit.   So, I was just all-around feeling like shit.

So, I called Lifeline.  Which people listen to me,  WHEN YOU ARE DOWN CALL LIFELINE!  THEY ARE AMAZING.   Id rather have you call lifeline and talk it out than go through the day feeling too depressed or anxious to live.

So I started listing off everything like a crazy person:

~ grew up gay in Ohio and have never had friends

~had to work full time during college to pay for college, and thusly totally missed out on the college experience and internships because i was busy working full time on top of school

~ Have been traveling around the world since graduation looking for a place to land…and haven’t found it

~my new job with sucks and doesn’t pay well, and my parents yelling at me constantly telling me to grow up

~ And how I’m applying to grad school but am worried about finances and if it will even pay off.

mnetor2

And I swear to God she is like….. “sweetie, you need to slow down”.   So I slow down, take a breath and let her talk for a bit as I cool off.   She starts talking about how the economy is different now than it was for my parents.   Its normal to be 26 and lost in life these days.  She then tells me its also partly me:  She said, and I swear to you I loved this…she was like, “Look I can tell just from talking to you that you’re very smart.  Probably smarter than most people.   And Im sure way smarter than the people you work with since you’re working in retail”… “And you need to understand that small-time jobs and small-time people will never click with you,  because you’re meant for more”.

I literally was filled with warmth.   Someone actually on my side?  Someone who actually believes I can do something with my life?    IS THAT WHAT HAVING SUPPORT IN LIFE FEELS LIKE????   

I just relaxed in my seat  ( I was driving when I called because I just didn’t want to be at home).   I slowed down, went down some side streets and just smiled.   Hearing something nice….oh my god.  it was amazing!

Then she said, So what are you wanting to go to school for?  And I said Creative Writing.  Then she said, “Well you know, maybe you could find a compromise?   Get a day job and just write on the weekends as a hobby?”.   This made me kind of annoyed because is this something I hear from everyone…just another GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE CLOUDS comment.   But I tried to let her keep talking….but I just couldn’t. I had to tell her I actually feel because nobody else ever lets me.

So I said, well If I do that, how do I control this dying feeling I have inside?  And she was like… what do you mean?

So I told her that the idea of me not being able to live my dreams gives me a feeling like my intensities are being ground inside me.   Like Im suffocating.   Like theres no point in living.

mentor3

I want to write.  I want to inspire people!  I want to motivate people to want to continue living!  I want to make stories that are full of adventure, friendship, love, and overcoming obstacles that seem impossible…. until the end when you find out that hard work, dedication and a bit of teamwork can accomplish anything.   Growing up movies and books were my only friends.  After being called faggot all day at school, after the teachers would pretend like they didn’t see kids throwing things at me, after coming home and having my parents ask me why I had no friends, I could run up to my room and watch a movie or read a book.  They were my friends.   They were the ones who taught me about life.   I could see people who were like me, in situations that seemed hopeless…but you know what?  Somehow they always managed to conquer evil.  To win in the end.  To accomplish goals that seemed impossible!   And along the way they always made friends, had an adventure, and came out better people in the end.   I want to be able to give that to other people.

The she was silent for a few seconds… and then said:

“Sweetie, then you have no choice but to be a writer.   I’m sorry about what I said before… you’re dedicated, you know what you want, and you’re intentions are genuine.  You don’t have a choice but to chase your dreams”.

The biggest smile ever came across my face.  I just thought, FINALLY SOMEONE UNDERSTANDS

Then she continued, “You know you may never make six figures though right? You may never accomplish wealth…”  And I was like, “Look, If I was happy and doing what I loved and was helping people, Id be fine living in a little apartment for the rest of my life, because Id have happiness, and self-worth.  Which is way better than money”.

Then she just laughed and said, “Honey, you will be very successful in life.  You are so genuine and want to write for all the right reasons.  You should also do public speaking,  you’re great at it”…

Then I was like, ” UUUGGGHHH I’d lllllllooooooovvvvvveeeee to do TED talks you have no idea!”

mentor4

She was like, “You know what, I really like you!   Here’s what you need to do.  Stop talking about your life to people in your hometown.  You’re better than them and you know what, jealousy will probably always make then hate you….and continue put you and your dreams down.  Normal people don’t chase their dreams because there afraid.  So they settle.  Don’t ever let them influence your life”.

 

I can’t even tell you how much that talk meant to me.    It just goes to show how much a positive voice in your life can change everything.

So, here I am, refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to fight the fight.

Never give up, never surrender!

~ The Dark Horse

UUGHHHH no this want proofread!  Who has the time??

 

Stop Dreading The Future!

dread

When you think of the future does it look like this?

 

I know mine does.   Sometimes I lie in bed at night and can’t sleep and all thats going through my head is:

~ Im going to never have a job that makes me happy

~ I will never find friends who like me for who I am

~ I will never be in love for as long as I live

~ Im going to get stuck working 50 to 60 hours a week like my parents and my life will be nothing more than slaving away for a corporation that doesn’t care about me, and my job will bring me no pleasure

~ I will gain weight and be unhealthy just like every other American stuck in the rat race of their mundane fucking lives

~ Everything I find meaningful in life: A life lived to fullest, changing the world, adventure, love, friendship, travel, and being larger than life….it will never happen.  its a dream and nothing more.

 

dread1

 

Just like Godzilla destroying Japan, after a few minutes in bed suddenly any hope I have for life is crushed, destroyed, trampled, and left lifeless.

BUT WHY DO WE DO THIS TO OURSELVES?

Well I think a big part of it is other people.    When we tell our dreams and hopes to others, for some reason they LOVE TO PLAY DEVILS ADVOCATE.

You:  Hey I really want to write a book about my experiences in life, I think it could really relate to a lot people out there who are struggling.

Others:  Do you know how many books actually get published?  You have a 1 in 100,000 chance.

Is writing really a stable career?

Are you even a good writer?

Im just worried….. Its nothing against you, Im just looking out for your best interest….

You: …..(walks into bedroom and decides to just not live the day because watching a movie under the covers will inspire you more than any actual human in your life will).

BUT YOU KNOW WHAT PEOPLE?  

TELL

THEM

TO

FUCK

OFF

 

dread4

Thats right, be more like Cookie, and put those cunts in their place.

 

For real, think about it.  Listen to any person who achieved great success:  actors, writers, advocates, politicians, ANYONE…. When they give interviews do they sit there and go:

“Why oh yes, I told my family I wanted to direct films and they were always supportive and everyone I ever encountered in life believed in me.  My first day in LA I got a job at a studio because they just thought I was talented and loved me…”

 No.

They give interviews and say things like:

“Nobody ever thought Id be anything more than a waiter.   I was in New York living in poverty for 5 years before anything good happened, and there were so many days when I thought they were all right and I should just give up”

 

Think about this, Steven Spielberg was rejected from the film school at USC…  yeah suck on that USC.

 

 

We control our future.   We have the power.  Not your parents, or your friends, or your boss.   I don’t care if your dream is to be a writer or an actor.  Or if its something like wanting a career change from finance to medicine.  Or if you’re in a dead marriage and you want to better yourself and get out of it.

WHATEVER YOUR STRUGGLE IS RGHT NOW.

YOU ARE IN CONTROL.

IT IS YOUR LIFE!

 

So the next time you talk to someone and they are telling to

BE REALISTIC….

GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE CLOUDS…

STOP DREAMING….

Just say:

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Did that little shit not take the hint?  Still bothering you?  Still trying to bring you down to their level?  Well just remember you’re the bigger person here.  You are following your dreams.  Sometimes you just gotta smack a ho!

dread7

 

 

Alright Cookie, show us one more time what we should do to people who doubt us?

dread9

 

Damn straight bitches!   Sometimes you gotta show em you mean business.

 

Just remember, its your life.  If your friends and family want to take the safe road and stay in their jobs, and keep their life, and then desperately try to live it up on the weekends because its the only time in the week when their lives are actually theirs…. then let them.

But you don’t have to live that way if you don’t want to.    Chasing your dreams is the most admirable thing you can do in life.  just think what the world could be like if we were all living the lives we wanted.  Think of the innovation we could have, the peace the world could achieve, the excitement that could exist everyday.

 

Live it up bitches!

~ The Dark Horse

75% proofread!   ya baby!

 

 

 

 

 

Having Depression In The ‘Real World’

work

Grab your latte’s people! Put on those heels ladies!  Men, tighten that tie!   Its time for the morning commute.  You’re about to head into your business for that glorious 9 or 10 hour day of yours.   You know, that one you have to have five times in a row before you get two days just to catch from all the time you weren’t living for the previous five?

Yes thats right.  We live in a world of a bunch of ants marching.  Mindlessly.  Working day in and day out.  Building that massive ant hive for the queen (which in our our world is normally referred to as the “the man”).

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But why?  Why do so many people get stuck in these jobs they don’t even want?   These entry level jobs that were supposed to just give them experience… but somehow transitioned into the “career”.     The lifelong pursuit to avoid the office drama, suck up to the boss, achieve that bonus, get that promotion, and use the money to buy the house, the car, and then eventually, to pay for the kids they now have.

 

Now if anyone out there reading this has a great life that they love then I have to say I really admire you.   You are one of the lucky few and can disregard everything this post says.  For everyone else out there:

WWWWWWHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYY???????????

Why is this our lives?  And why is this the life that we teach our children to have?   Do you guys really want your kids to repeat your stories?   To not chase their dreams?

I know this is how the world works because this is how people have treated me.  Constantly telling me to be reasonable.  To think about how much money a job makes.  To think about settling down….

SETTLING DOWN????  IM 26 YEARS OLD!  

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And you know whats so crazy?  People who live in my hometown in Ohio are settled down already at 26.  And to me thats fucking crazy.  Like kids I went to high school with are now working their 9-5 at some bank, going home to make dinner for their kid, and then settling down to watch whatever Primetime show is on that night…..

WHAT THE FUCK.   When watching this week’s episode of The Bachelor becomes the highlight of my day I will take a bullet to the face.

But why am I talking about this?  Why is this such a big deal to me?

Well, because I have depression.  I have anxiety.  I never fit in socially with others.  I always had these big dreams.   Ive always wanted to live life.  Not be a passive little fucker.

And all I have had in my life has been a bunch of people who tell me no.

Settle Down

Grown Up

The World Doesn’t Work LikeThat 

This Is The Real World

BLAH BLAH BLAH….

But you know what, I have some news for you,

This annoying hipster fucker was right…..There is no such thing as the real world.

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Play this:

In his song No Such Thing, JohnBoy here actually tells it for how it is….  This “Real World” that I’m constantly told will eat me alive isn’t real.   There is no certain way that life works.  This “way” that all the normal people somehow have inside knowledge of.  Some world where we outcasts can’t comprehend.

The “real world” is a bunch of scared people who settled and now live a fractured life.  A life that only makes them sort-of happy.   They then try to achieve their happiness by doing things and buying things.   Buying new goods to make them feel richer, smarter, and prettier.   By trying to appease the pretty people they work with.  By going to bars and pissing the weekend away being drunk.    They are constantly stuck in the rat race of life.   But they run in a maze with no exit.

This isn’t a rat race they’re in.  It’s more of a Hunger Games.

There is no good outcome.

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And obviously when people are scared and holding themselves back what do they do?  They try to make sure nobody else lives the life they don’t have.   They love going on and on about the dangers of taking the road less taken.  They love telling you how scary and hard your life may be.   How you may even end up unaccomplished and in poverty.  How you may never make good money.

But take a step back and really look at the Western World.   How many people do you know who smoke?  Or are overweight?  Maybe even have diabetes?  Is there seriously anyone reading this who hasn’t lost a family member to cancer or heart disease?

They sit there and tell people not to branch out because its wrong, but if you look at them you can see they’re slowly dying themselves.

 

Well you know what, tomorrow is my last day at work. I am terrified but also excited.  Im about to branch out in life.  Im about to go and try to live.  Not die.

Think of all the scientists out there.  The authors and actors.  The designers.   The people who are working with Doctors Without Borders in Africa saving people’s live every single day.

If all of them listened to the commoner who told them not to branch out…. WHERE THE FUCK WOULD THE WORLD BE?

There are people out there who are living happy, exciting, and enriching lives.

AND DAMMIT PEOPLE I WANT TO BE ONE OF THEM!

And to anyone who wants to put me down?  Well….

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Without dreamers this world would suck!  So keep on dreamin’!

 

~ The Dark Horse

…..This post was not proof read.  It was written aggressively and passionately.  And aggression and passion and terrible at proofreading  DUH!