So Swellith the Legion


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The cops came by today. When I opened the door and saw them standing there, I immediately thought oh god, what have I done now? The truth of the matter is that I’ve done nothing that would warrant police knocking on my door at ten in the morning, at least nothing I was conscious of…

But then again…

Who really understands all the laws in their city? Certainly not I. Just the day before, I was talking to mom on the phone while I was driving home from work. I am fortunate enough to have Bluetooth in my car, so the whole thing was hands free, but as I pulled through an intersection and saw a cop on a bicycle, my heart jumped. He was in the shade of the mysterious grey building next to the Chevron on the corner, and he held a walkie-talkie and talked into it as if he was important.

I think talking on your phone while you drive is illegal in California. I know texting is. Is it illegal to use hands free technology to talk to your mom while you’re driving home from work?

I know not.

A red light. I stopped right in front of him, and turned my head to look out the driver-side window so he couldn’t see my mouth moving. I was in the middle of telling my mom a story, and my train of thought had just been detained by the fuzz, so I sort of filibustered until I could think again.

“And… uhhh… I… I just got a new… this magazine Stacy told me about… ha ha!  …” I stopped talking, suddenly afraid the cop could hear me. I hazarded a glance. There he sat, talking in his device, frowning and wearing sunglasses and a helmet it looked like he got from Walmart.

Jeez.

I leaned against the window and said nothing. My mom was being very patient. Or maybe she was distracted by something too. I think she might have been taking the dog out. I’d heard her say something along those lines. Apparently, He wanted to go for a walk, but she had to get dinner ready, and since my parent’s dog wasn’t raised in the wilderness, he is rather poor at catching and roasting rabbits. Therefore, a walk turned into a quick nip outside, perhaps to bark at a squirrel or retiree, and then back inside to the air conditioning.

The light switched green I was able to get the fuck out of there.

I wasn’t comfortable until I was sitting at my computer, clutching a bottle of expensive beer and blasting some orcs with my assortment of corrupting spells and faithful demons.

So when the cops were at my door the next morning, I was nervous. Especially since I was just wearing an unbuttoned cardigan and some old pajama pants. I had forgotten to close the fly, so when they had asked me how long I had known my neighbor down the hall who was in the middle of applying to be a 911 dispatcher, all I could was wonder if it would be indecent exposure if my penis flopped out of my pants and just sort of hung there.

Their eyes would travel downwards and, it being cold, they would probably laugh. Then they would arrest me.

Can you imagine going to jail like that?

“What are you in for?” The hulking Aryan Brotherhood member would ask me, cracking his swollen knuckles.

“My penis sprung out of my Ralph Lauren  pajama pants while I was talking to two police officers,” I’d explain. He’d look me up and down. “Not in a gay way,” I would clarify, “more in a ‘god hates me’ kind of way.”

“What if it sprang out right now?” He’d ask.

“I’d probably die of shame and then you could have your way with me, I’m sure.”

I’m not sure what he would do then, but most certainly it would be unpleasant.

Fortunately, none of this happened. It was a rather pleasant conversation, and then I went back upstairs to decompress, and saw that I had two thousand followers on this very blog.

I doubt half of them are even active anymore, and I doubt even half of those active ones check my blog on a weekly basis, and I doubt even half of those read anything, and I doubt even half of the half of the half ever like or comment.

But that doesn’t matter, does it? What does matter, is that we’re starting a movement here at corngoblin.com. What does matter is that my penis never flopped out in front of two police officers and I never had to find out what their response would have been. What does matter is that by using the word penis in an non-medical capacity, I have probably disqualified myself from being freshly pressed. What does matter is that using the word fuck probably did it, too.

Fuck.

What does matter is that I have two days off from work, and Star Wars is out soon, and terrorists haven’t attacked the mall I work in, and my parents are spending the holidays in my apartment.

It matters, these little things. The sun rose. The sky is blue. I have some nice tea. They matter, because small things build into big things, and big things build into monumental things, and sure, I was scared to talk to the police. I was scared they would find out any number of the probably illegal things I do on a daily basis and bust me for it.

But I did talk to them, and because of I did, maybe my friend will get a job. Maybe this tea will cure my headache. Maybe one of my followers will tell someone about my blog, who will then tell their friend who will then tell their friend who will then tell their friend who will then tell their friend who happens to be one of those penguins that publish books, who will then tell his supervisor who will then tell her boss, the biggest penguin of all, who will then give me call, and then…

well…

And then, who knows what happens?

But until then, the legion grows. It swellith. Thank you, my loyal followers, for loyally following. Because that’s important.

Oh, and so is this video of a Bald Eagle attacking Donald Trump.

Be Happy


happy

I came into work the day after finishing 50,000 words (hail to my nanos!) in HUNT!, my screenplay turned novel, in one of the best moods I’d been in in many weeks. I was elated, and everything seemed to be going right.

I started off on register but very shortly switched over to bar, and was soon thereafter approached by a woman in her mid-fifties. She smiled at me in a very motherly way and said “I wanted to thank you for your great attitude.”

I thanked her for her compliment and then told her I was so happy because of my novel. I made drinks and we chatted for a while, and then she glances over to my friends working on the register.

“I come in here every day,” she said to me, “and you are always over here, loud and happy, telling jokes and laughing. You make the drinks. These people, though…” Here she gestured at my coworkers. “They always have the sour faces. It’s rude. I’m a customer! I’m buying things from you! Be happy!”

She laughed and I, exactly like every time in my life where I don’t have a stored response for what someone just said, laughed as well.

I made her latte (decaf, nonfat, extra hot, no foam) and handed it to her. She left with a wave, and I waved back.

My mood wasn’t spoiled, but had shifted to more pensive territory.

‘Be happy.’

Much uttered, I’ve always thought this phrase was idiotic. Telling an unhappy person to be happy is like telling a frog to not be a frog. The only thing that will happen is that both the frog and the person telling the frog to be happy will both be less happy.

It’s a silly comparison, but ‘be happy’ is a silly statement.

Happy is western culture. People strive to be happy. You ask someone why they’re doing anything they’re doing, and, when you finally dig through all the lairs, it’s because, in some way or another, they think it will make them happy.

If i get this boat, I’ll be happy. If I fix this tooth, I’ll be happy. If I get a dog, I’ll be happy. If I get a girlfriend, I’ll be happy. If I get this job, I’ll be happy. If I pay my bills, I won’t be as stressed as I was, which, in a small way, will raise my current happiness level from whatever it was to whatever it will be, though most assuredly more happy than now.

It sounds silly, but that’s how people think. Hell, that’s how I think. But it’s pointless, though… isn’t it?

I mean, come on. What even is happy?

According to google, happy is “feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.” Pleasure is easy. It’s a neurochemical reaction in the brain, but contentment is harder to pin down, so I dug a little deeper. Contentment is a state of “happiness or satisfaction.” Unsatisfactory. Content was not much better, but satisfaction, “fulfillment of one’s wishes, expectations or needs, or pleasure derived from this,” was very fertile ground.

And that made sense to me. Happiness is contentment which is fulfillment of something you wanted to do. It’s why men build monuments. It’s how sports work. It’s why bored housewives shop with no other goal than to find something nice. It’s how the economy works… hell, it’s how capitalism works… hell, it’s how life works..

It’s why I write. It’s for contentment, not only for completing something I worked on, but for showing it to somebody, who then says “this thing, this thing right here, this thing you spent hours on, this thing you cried over, this thing that is you, more than you can over know. This thing is good.”

But that doesn’t work if that’s all you ever hear. Happiness is a state that only exists because of all the work it takes to get there. It is the light to toil’s shadow. One cannot be happy without first being sad, which makes a baby’s first smile somewhat of a depressing event, considering what it must have gone through to realize things are now better.

You can’t have happy without sad, and you can’t first be happy without first being sad. That’s life. That’s why rich people aren’t in a state of bliss. That’s why people in heaven probably aren’t in a state of bliss. They’re probably just bored, because, and trust me, as a writer I know this to be true: good things are boring. Who wants to watch a movie about a guy who won the lotto, and then everything turned out alright? No? Now who wants to watch a movie about a guy who won the lotto, who is then kidnapped by evil aliens who want his winnings? Probably more people.

Happiness is sadness is happiness is sadness is happiness is sadness. When you’re on top, you can only come down, and when you’re at the bottom, you can only go up. One’s just a set up to the other.

So now I know what to say the next time a mid-fifties woman comes up to me while I’m on bar and says “you’re happy, and you know what? I like that. But that group of people over there. They aren’t happy. Why can’t they be like you?”

I’ll turn to her and I’ll say. “They’re just getting ready to be happy. Give them some time.”

And you know what? It’s such an odd thing to say that I fully expect her to have no saved response.

She’ll probably just laugh.

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