Smoke and Mirrors

Animals. Miscreants. Products of society.

Monsters making mice of men and dodging notoriety

When will people realize that this world’s not what we think it is?

If you’re naive and say it is just do a quick analysis

Peace. Love. A child’s future without war.

All these things they advertise are not what they are fighting for

Human nature guides our acts, but most of us are ignorant

The truth is that our leaders are deceitful and indifferent

Some of you will understand and some of you will tilt your head

Scoffing and believing in the things you’re told and lies you’re fed

All the actions humans take are driven by their minds, you see

Every single move we make is driven by priority

If we care we do it, the bottom line is crystal clear

Pretense is the mask we wear to tell you that we’re all sincere

But deep inside you know it’s true, yet no one seems to take a glance

Afraid that mirror might make us examine our own circumstance

Fingers seem to flex a lot when pointing at the ones out there

But flip the script and things appear to always seem so laissez faire

Why must we get so caught up in pointing out the obvious

None of us are perfect, stop expecting all this godliness

We’re driven by our motives and my friend, we’re all just animals

Behaving so predictably it’s like we’re all mechanical

Its why the ones who run the world all falsely claim benevolence

Then grin to hide corruption and intolerant malevolence

This world of ours is not the one they taught you in your church or school

We’ve let the thieves into our homes and put them on the throne to rule

Now the future we must face, as freedoms what we’re fighting for

The path ahead is free of fog, no smoke and mirrors anymore

The One: Entry 2

It’s weird for me to be telling this story. I just want to be upfront about that before we get too much further into this little journey you and I are about to go on. Sometimes I wonder why it’s so hard to talk about this stuff when I’m face to face with people, but then I realize that I’ve already answered my own question. Face to face is hard, don’t you think? It’s just so, I don’t know…different. Because when we’re speaking to someone in person, we can immediately see their unintentionally expressed judgments and subtle cues that make us fully realize what they actually think of us. Right? I know you know what I mean.

Which is why I prefer telling my stories like this. Journaling, you know? Journals let us extract the real. The deep. The truth! Because with journals, we don’t have to concern ourselves with an audience. Ugh, the audience. Always judging. Always critiquing. Anyway, I digress. Let’s get back to my original point.

Love. Soulmates. The ONE.

Yep, you heard me. I bet you already know them. Wanna know how?

Technology.

Simple! This whole Information Age that we find ourselves lucky enough to be living in has unlocked a near unlimited number of doors for us. Yup. For anyone willing to try and step in, the various social media platforms and apps we have access to are host to literal millions of people all waiting to be validated. Doors just begging to be opened.

All you have to do is knock.

And hell, sometimes you don’t even need to do that! There’s people out there who just leave the damn door wide open! Its crazy, I tell you. Sometimes it makes me wonder how certain folks can be so trusting with all their shit out there in the open, but hey…I guess not everyone is as messed up in the head as me. Seems there are plenty of perfectly normal, “nothing to see here” types just asking to be walked in on.

Wait. I think I got off track again. I was talking about meeting the One, right? Of course I was. So I bet you’re wondering what I meant by that. Well, believe it or not, my scattered brain never ceases to fail me and has brought us to the answer. Social media! Simple. It’s so easy to read between the lines and really understand people based on a precise formula: one part profile, three parts day-to-day posts, and a heaping spoonful of comments/actual interactions. Because they all tell us different, albeit very important, things.

Take our profiles, for instance. Or our own personal “ad”, as I prefer to call them. They’re basically shovels full of bullshit that we scoop from the dirt-pile that is reality which we then cast toward the window of public knowledge – hoping that the best parts stick on the glass before slowly falling down so others will remember the crap we want them to. They’re sort of like social resumes, but without the necessity of having to worry whether or not we can back it up. You know…like an actual, real job would require. I mean after all, how many people do you know would look at a person’s “About Me”, see that they graduated from Syracuse in 2012 with a bachelors in Bio-Bullshit or something, and then actually go check the alumni lists to make sure they’re telling the truth?

I’ll save you the time: no one. You know precisely no one that would do that. Maybe some photo stalking to audit them perhaps, but hey – all it takes to dodge that one is a quick “Where are my college photos? Oh please, I had to delete those when I started applying to real jobs. You know how it is!” Giggle giggle, sly wink, and a sip of that vodka cranberry and we’re on to the next topic. Please. Any uneducated kid with a vocational degree can do it. So yeah, that’s the profile for you. It’s our canned version of ourselves. Which, incidentally, can tell us a lot about someone and how they wish to be perceived.

Then there’s the day-to-day posts. These are basically the fluff that people put up to support the claims advertised on the profile. All initial releases need some backup content, no? Sort of like sequels. Posts are like sequels to our first installment, furthering our narratives. Makes sense if you ask me.

Which, of course, brings us to the meat and potatoes. Comments. Interactions. Arguments! These are what truly reveals who a person is or is not. Actions speak louder than words, after all, do they not? Oh yes. They most certainly do.

But let’s get back, for the third time now, to how you already know your soulmate. It’s by taking the information we just discussed, and intelligently applying it with the appropriate intentions. Social media. Reading people. Easy. You know it, I know it, we all know it.

We all have that one, perfect person out there just waiting for us to slide into their DMs. The question is whether we ever grow a pair big enough to actually do it. And what you’re about to learn…is that me? Well, I did.

Boy, did I.

The One: First Entry

Can we be honest with ourselves for a moment? I want to talk about some things. Things like Facebook. Twitter. Instagram, perhaps. Hell, even Tinder…anything that lets people advertise who they are (or at least who they want to be) without having to concern themselves with the real world.

Yeah, I know.

It’s not easy to examine one’s self. We’d all much rather be judging someone else. But right now, let’s do the hard thing and focus the lens introspectively.

Sure, it’s easy to look on at the spinning wheel that is social media, watching as the people we know and grew up with move on with their lives. Comparison is the theif of joy, ain’t it? That’s what they say, at least.

It’s funny though because everyone’s aware, whether consciously or subconsciously, that social media is just a highlight reel. If only we knew who we all are after each one of those many layers of social graces and obligatory formalities got peeled back. The real, you know? Because as much as we market how cool our lives are, at the end of the day…it’s validation that we really want.

Most of us, that is. And you know what? That’s perfectly normal. Not at all a thing to be ashamed of.

After all, most of us just want someone who knows us. Who understands us. Who IS us. We want to enjoy life with a person who gets, more so than anyone, who we truly are. And I’m not talking about the person at three o’clock, bringing in coffee with the same fake grin we all wear knowing we’re just waiting for the hour hand to get knocked ahead a couple notches. I’m talking about the person we are when the day’s facade is over, the candles go out, and the door closes. That person you see when the ambient light from the TV flicks on as it highlights the it-was-a-long-day-fucked-up-hair and feetie pajamas silhouette. That’s the person we’re searching for.

And you want to know something? I bet you’ve already met them.

I know I have.

Hello Ma’am

Hello ma’am, I have for you

A query I need answers to

You see, I was across the bar

Seated, writing, mind afar

But then a shimmer caught my eye

It was your gaze as you walked by

And so I was compelled to think

Would this girl join me for a drink?

Now here we are; sappy, I know

I am not Edgar Allen Poe

My pen does not Tell Tales of Heart

But every story has a start

What if this was both yours and mine?

My dear, you’re looking mighty fine

What better way to introduce

Our journey than with this Chartreuse?

Let me politely fill your glass

That dress tells me you have such class

Let’s talk and see where things might go

That smile says you’d like to know

Wanderlust

Wanderlust, traveler, perhaps even gypsy

So many labels they’ve applied, but in reality

Living life is all she wants, it’s really that simple

Her spirit shines through both her smile, and her cute cheek dimple

Life is meant for living, yes, a thing she truly gets

Singing, dancing, spinning round, she loves without regrets

Always brightening what is dark, this girl, so free of care

Defined by “one day at a time”, she’s happy everywhere

Some may say she’s weak, not strong

But she knows that they all are wrong

She is not lost, like others say

This girl’s just finding her own way

For all the things we say and do

There is but one thing that is true

Life, she says, is nothing more

Than canvas, white, awaiting more

It’s you who gets to fill the blank

And for this chance, we all should thank

This beautiful and wondrous place

For giving us the life it’s graced

Support

It’s so funny

To me, at least

Each time I see

A friend succeed

As others shout

He’s a sell out!

In a negative outburst

Real friends agree

And true family

Support you, see

Help climb that tree

They do not doubt

What you’re about

They help you charge headfirst

It’s easy to see

The irony

For if you feed

In jealously

As people go

I’ll let you know

My friend, you are the worst

Winds of Change

Softly cup my hand to ear

As wind blows whispers that I hear

Sadness, loss, regret they bring

All shadows from my yesteryear

Words escape me, ones I’ve lost

I never knew how much it’d cost

When I thought not to buy a ring

The path I should, I never crossed

Now I’m forced to walk, move on

Time has passed; those moments, gone

And though I wish to have them back

I must stay focused on the dawn

For life is cruel, it won’t concede

Regardless if I pray and plead

And though I may not be on track

Faith in myself is all I need

Things in life, they come and go

And as I lift this small window

I look outside, only to see

That we reap the things we sow

Every action, every word

Is seen, or felt, or tasted, heard

And whether it is you, or me

Life’s purpose always seems so blurred

So, to you, who has a past

Do not let your transgressions last

We’re here, together, throughout our time

And everyone has sins amassed

Live with love, try to arrange

The life you want, an open grange

Do not break rhythm, just to rhyme

And always, ride, the winds of change

Woe is Me

Friday night, bars are closing

I don’t know why I’m here

Feelings hit me deep inside, stepping in this Uber ride

It’s loneliness I fear

Every time, inside my head

I say that she’s the one

Naïveté and ignorance have got me acting with no sense

So why oh why do I keep saying this is pointless and I’m done?

Finally things are going well

But like every other time

The real comes out and causes doubt

I cant stand the paradigm

I don’t think I’m wrong but

You don’t think I’m right why

Can’t we get along and

Not do this every night

I’m tired of the fighting, and

I’m tired of the arguin’

This only causes breakups and

Makes people want to live in sin

I wish more than anything

To find someone who’s struggling

Someone who sees the world like me

Who doesn’t judge and lives freely

A person who embraces flaws

Instead of these unspoken laws

Who’d rather sit and talk with me

Than go out for a shallow drink

Sadness sweeps so subtly

The more I think of you and me

I wish this world was different, see

Filled with love, and yet sadly

It’s superficiality

That guides our actions, you agree?

I beg your pardon, woe is me

This world is just…melancholy

The Creep

It puts the lotion on its skin

Or else it gets the hose again

“What a minute, why’d you stop?”

“My hairs so matted, it’s a mop!”

“Turn the water on again”

“I’m not done bathing, creepy friend”

Hold on, what? I thought that I –

“Shut up, dude! It’s time to dry”

“Now turn the water spigot off”

“So I don’t drown or start to cough”

But I’m a killer, aren’t you scared?

“Bro, I think you are impaired”

“The only thing you need to do”

“Is fix your fucking dad issue”

“I get it, sure, that you weren’t loved”

“But hands are better when they’re ungloved”

“Don’t hide the shit that you’ve been through”

“I know your pain, I’ve felt it too”

“Don’t take your anger out on us”

“Because some jerk destroyed your trust”

“How bout you look inside instead?”

“And realize that we all have bled”

Well this is awkward; that makes sense

So tell me how to recompense

“Come here then, I’ll show you how”

“This hatred you must disavow”

Okay then, I guess I’ll quit

Wait, I won’t fall for this dumb shit

Shut up please; now where was I?

Oh yeah thats right: time to die

The Fear of Death

Some time ago, I sat upon a balcony, just staring on

My mind, my thoughts, my very soul, sat wondering where it all goes

I pondered whether, when we die, the scrolls are true, or just a lie

And as I sat there, lost in thought, a child came, a book he’d brought

Sitting down right next to me, he looked me in the eye, said “see?”

“Can’t you tell that he’s up there, and wants to free you from despair?”

Softly smirking, to he I said “my child, so many things I’ve read”

“Allah, Buddha, Krishna too; the testaments, both old and new”

Sadly sighing, this boy looked down and shedding tears, began to frown

“But mister,” this boy said to me, “our souls live for eternity”

“And if you doubt this, so I’m told, you’re cast aside ‘till time grows old”

I paused a moment, listening, and thought back to my christening

“Listen, son, for Matthew says, seek the kingdom; righteousness”

“The truth is all I want to know; to gaze upon a clear window”

“Do not let past transgressions rule, do not let dogma play the fool”

And then, with one last final breath, I said to him: “Do not fear death.”

My Hands

Never idle, on the move, ink pours on the page

The force that drives, a needed guide, is with me on this stage

I try to be an optimist, but sometimes I’m consumed by rage

Thinking of how things are done and how they could so quickly change

Yes all the world’s a stage you know, it’s something that you shan’t forget

The sun and stars would get along if only they’d shake hands and met

Humanity could follow suit, we’ve got the tech but somehow, yet

We manage to exacerbate the very things we should forget

Fossil fuels and everything, you know that it’s all temporary

But tell me more of how it works, and how mining isn’t mercenary

If you truly want to change the world into a gilded sanctuary

Then play the long game not the short, and hire you an actuary

Maybe they can run the numbers, project a truth that you won’t like

Their findings likely point to truth like human beings should take a hike

Sure, we all know that we need to build that interstate or that turnpike

Yet as we do this trees are cut, it’s like the land of the Third Reich

Yes it’s so, the world’s a stage, it’s just a game of checkers, chess

We put our pieces on the board, where we think they’ll help us best

And when we find a new chance to establish ourselves, let me guess

You want to build a military presence just to clean the mess

Sure my man, come on down, bring your gadgets and your tech

Cause I don’t really care what happens as long as I get that big check

You see this is why the world is wasted, all it’s countries are a wreck

We let the people be in charge that only care for their own neck

Maybe one day you’ll wake up, realize that this dream of yours

Doesn’t have to happen this way and you won’t be on all fours

Rising up and taking charge, you’ll fight and finely take these lands

Until then I’ll try my best, just writing with my moving hands

DNA: A Controversial Poem

Open the cover, turn the page, are you sure you wanna find what you’re lookin’ for?

Some things are better left unsaid, I bet you don’t wanna open up this door

There’s a mask that we all wear; you know what I mean, don’t act like you think you don’t

There’s things that we all do; you know what I mean, don’t act like you think you won’t

People are animals, that’s the truth at the end of the day

Wait a sec, you don’t think so? I’m sorry you’ll get it, but maybe not right away

Look at a man, what does he want? He wants all the things that’ll get him a girl

Look at a girl, what does she want? All the things as the girls in the animal world

A place for the fam, no? A unit that’s close and looks after their own

And then you’ve got Dad, right? Who just runs all around trying to make it alone

But hey we can’t really say much, know why? Cause at the end of the day

It’s not the Dad who’s confused, it’s just all written in our DNA

Ballad of the Bimbo

Lemme tell a story, it’s about this crazy bimbo

That booty was so strong ya’ll, just like a Slice of Kimbo

I took her back to the crib, thinkin’ I’mma get some some trim, yo

Next thing I knew she bends on down, “You gonna lick this rim, tho?”

“Hold up girl, wait a sec, I gotta check my bills, ho”

“I don’t know if I can pay for this,” my mind starts movin’ real slow

“Wait up girl, the fuck is that?” She just pulled out a dildo

Fourteen inches, girth of Thor, I laugh and tell her “HELL NO”

But wait a min, the shit is this? Whips out a Pokémon handcuff,

“Come on now, don’t be shy, stop actin’ like you hard n’ tough”

Locks me up and bends me down, grabs the dildo, lookin’ rough

Stares at me straight in the eye, “This gon’ Peek-on-thru that Jigglypuff”

“Oh my God!” I screamed out loud. “My butt isn’t that durable!”

“Sorry bitch,” she said to me, “this tickets not transferable”

I’m sorry ya’ll, I cannot tell, what happened was unbearable

Let just say that the next day, my butt was unrepairable

Listen now, all of you, don’t care how much you think you know

Never go to that same place. Never shop by that window.

Cause if you do, I swear to you, you’ll soon be playing limbo

With the roughest dame in town, that crazy freakin’ bimbo

Ripples

Ripples, I see down below

The waves are moving, soft and slow

Like zephyrs, gently drifting through

The water’s stillness calms and soothes

I cast a rock into its deeps

Watch it sink as this willow weeps

I see the first bright evening star

Across the lake, the trees afar

The coast adorns a bright green coat

It’s shadow cloaks a lonely boat

My friend, on four, barks on a whim

As children there, begin to swim

A sigh escapes, the calmest breath

There’s so much life to live ‘fore death

And as I stand, to pack my things

I thank this world, for all it brings

My Life

The sand, the dirt, the grass, the trees

The sticks, the stones, the light, the breeze

The things this world has made for me

Have warmed my heart and set me free

I look at the stars as I rest on my knee

They twinkle and spark, this light that I see

I gaze at them wondering, what could they be?

As I listen to waves hit the rocks under me

So calm it all is, out here with the leaves

No fear of the world, or it’s warriors and thieves

My mind is at rest, this feeling I’ve sought

A needed reprieve from the torment I’ve thought

The darkness within isn’t something I share

I keep it behind the false mask that I wear

It’s not that I’ve feigned, and not that I’ve lied

I just don’t want to release all the pain that’s inside

I want to be happy

I just want to live

Her death, it has gripped me

And it’s hold will not give

My words carry weight

Of this, I know

But now I see nothing

Through her bedroom’s window

It used to be filled

With her smile, her love

As she watched us all playing

With a ball and a glove

Those days are all gone now

And it hurts me so much

Please take this away, God

Please heal me, your touch

I don’t care if they read this

It’s my only escape

These pages have saved me

From a much harsher fate

I beg you, my Father

If you truly are there

To take this away

And heal my despair

These words that I’m writing

They’re the realest I’ve penned

I beg of you, God

Will I see her again?

Scars

They’re carried each and every day, they never ever go away. I cannot seem to find a place where minds are clear and thoughts erased. They stay with me, they’re always there, it seems a saddened love affair. My heart is blackened when the air begins to flow with fervent prayer. The things I’ve done, the things I’ve not, they occupy my every thought. The questions that I ask myself are known to me; and no one else. The answers lie in of itself, or maybe on my dark bookshelf. Our past, it haunts, it makes us see, that which we often disagree. For truth is that, and nothing else. It doesn’t care for time, or self. It shines its light, and nothing more. It opens every locked, closed door. Yet when we see the things we’ve done, we often want to turn and run. Such deeds exist, there in your past, and if you let them ever-last, your further will be chained and cast to those who judge and those who blast.

Let your scars, while they remain, fade away into the plain. You’ll always have them, they’ll maintain, but use them for your growth and gain. Learn their passage, learn their plight, and if you ever have to fight, your scars will tell you what to do; if it’s wrong, or if it’s true. Some see them as the wounds of life, but I prefer to use them like a knife. Every time I’m broken, down; my scars remind me that I’ve found. I’ve always found that this will pass, and every time, it always has.

Love can be the best of things, but think before you exchange rings. Be certain that they are the one, that love and bond won’t come undone. Take a look back at your past. Make sure this time that it will last.

And if you doubt things, look to the stars. Then, look back, at all your scars.

The Gates of Troy

Glory, love, hate, betrayal, and when at last their ships set sail, the world was told an epic tale where cunning and honor clash and prevail

This tale was scribed by one who holds a place in legend, always told, sung in halls by bards of old, remaining still, the greatest scrolled

Love began, it sparked, ignite, a marriage broken, in the night, and as the winds roared with might, love, so stolen, led to plight

Vengeance sworn on those who tried, the ones through choice they had denied, who saw a marriage as just a tide, ‘twas high or low, no thought for bride

Setting sail, they gathered round, swore to storm that holy ground, together joining, they had found, a cause for bloodlust, war was sound

But on the beaches, she was free, at last living, finally, the life she dreamt of faithfully, empowered was this bride to be

And so the horrors, sins of men, they had begun, it startled them, fighting fiercely, they all defend, until the bitter, bitter end

Amidst the fighting and the fray, a son was challenged, honorably, to fight for what was thought was he, the challenger, this Achilles

And so the greatest fight was fought, he and Hector, though tales have taught, Achilles drug through sand and rot, but its the truth that’s oft’ forgot

Respect amongst those mighty men, who fought for love, who’d fight again, it lives despite the quill and pen that writes the version to pretend

This tale is told not to enjoy, to every girl and every boy, recall the feeling in its employ, and open up the Gates of Troy

The Story Tellers

The Story Tellers

Mysterious, whimsical; uncrackable shell

Are we who stand before you with a tale that we shall tell

Scribbling sonnets, haikus and more

Holding the key to life’s Happiness Door

Thinking and thinking, absorbed in our thought

Creating the worlds that the people have bought

Our role is so simple, just write a release

And give them a glimpse of our dream world of peace

Escaping the rest with a needed respite

Removing the darkness and casting its light

You enter our world where you can adjust

And create in your mind a place you can trust

This is your Haven, it was made just for you

As you let the harsh world fade so far out of view

Forgetting your stresses, forgetting your strife

Immersing your mind in this alternate life

We writers, we get it and do all that we can

To give you some hope; to be somewhat of a friend

Inviting you in to the world that we dream

As we share your same struggles and relate through our theme

That’s why we do this, as we regrettably know

That the world can be horrid, a frightening shadow

So we try to provide a thing that can quell

The fear of the world, through these stories we tell

My Diary

My Diary

I lay in this bed with these thoughts in my head, looking at the blood that I bled when these pieces of my heart were all shred. These nights tear me apart, make me wish I could go back and restart the life that I’ve led so I can sew together the dangling thread hanging over me. It taunts me, like that bold message you dread that you want to ignore but know eventually has to get read. And I try so hard to think of the good things instead but this pain is so widespread and it’s grip on my head is so tight that I can’t even slip the slightest semblance of solace into this locked shed that’s trapped my mind inside.

I’ve tried and I’ve tried and I’ve cried and I’ve cried and all the pride that’s implied on the outside can’t seem to hide the truth I’m forced to confide; that I’ve died on the inside. Each time I try to divide the sad thoughts that reside together in my head they just get amplified; magnified in frustration that I dared try to hide them. They collide like atoms in my mind and become multiplied until the whole space becomes occupied by nothing but unidentified questions and desires that I know won’t ever get satisfied.

My mind longs for either peaceful rest, or cyanide.

I can’t help that I view life through such a jaded, clouded lens. A timeline of careers and diverse group of friends, asking myself the whole time when will it end? When will I feel it and at last comprehend my purpose? When will I transcend this pretend realm and extend my everything to the place I so long to attend? These thoughts course through me as I desperately grasp for a Godsend to befriend and depend on to help me ascend to the realm where I know I belong.

Because that day isn’t far. Its not far from tonight, it’s not far from tomorrow, and I know this. I know this because there’s so much fuel in this car, each shelf stocked in this bar, so much pure light in this star that’s waiting to supernova.

But I guess right now I’m supposed to act like I’m nothing and won’t ever be something, because that’s what people want to see. They don’t want to think that the people they feed are destined to overcome and succeed, growing bigger than them because it causes a stampede of lost causes while it impedes on their dreams – but hey.

It really isn’t fair to hate on someone just because they have bigger dreams than you.

But that won’t stop them, will it? No, they’ll still hate the success and your name in the press as they cuss and confess that they knew you’d progress into whatever it is you’ve become. And while they look in the mirror and hate that you’ve made it, they’ll try to bring you back down to their playing ground to make themselves feel like they’ve crowned a win while instead they just drown in their toxic waste that surrounds.

People confound me.

But this last verse, no more ire as I light a bright fire and tell all of you reading that I never will tire from doing what’s right as I fight and aspire to always reach higher on this quest to acquire through blood or gunfire the just world we deserve.

That’s the long answer to the frequent inquiry.

These are just thoughts…that I write in my diary.

My New World

The other day I went out and bought this big ass terrarium. At first I wanted something else, like a ferret, or salt aquarium. But I ended up changing my mind. Something about that enormous, transparent habitat just appealed to me. Not sure why. Anyway, I took it home, set it down, walked away and spent the rest of the day doing various chores around the house. Later, as the day wound down and I finished getting ready to set sail to Slumbertown, I stood beside my bed and stared at this empty tank in front of me, and thought: “Now what?” Well, I stared for awhile longer, pondering all the things I could put inside. Like lizards, or turtles, or the disembodied limbs of my enemies, ya know? But then, for some reason, I figured I’d try to think bigger, like a sugar glide or boa snake or some awesome theme park hamster slide, but then I internally heard a voice say “Hey Matt! Can you kindly shut up, and actually decide?” (Sometimes I forget that my brain actually speaks and isn’t just along for the ride).

Okay maybe that last part, I confide, didn’t really happen. I lied. So what? This is MY story, dammit, and I’m the guide; you’re just here for me to preside as YOU sit there along for the ride. Like my bitch ass brain should be. And you know what el – okay I’m just playin. I apologize.

Lets get back to the empty tank, shall we?

There I was. A literal micro-world of possibilities sitting there before me when all of a sudden, it came to me. Oh my God! I can populate this thing with like, an entire cornucopia of different organisms and let them all co-exist. Just like Earth! It’ll be my own little universe to create; with myself, of course, ruling over the entire domain in control of its fate.

So I thought about that for a moment.

As I stood there, so many things started coursing through my head. Things like how the tank sits next to my bed, and what if I moved it to the corner instead? My brain considered that but eventually said “Just leave it there Matt. Heavy lifting? We know that’s a thing that you hate and you dread. Because to be candid, you’re kind of a pussy.” And before I could reply to my ever-annoying mind, something happened. I, at last, realized something of grave importance which would directly affect the internal debate currently transpiring in my skull.

I realized l had bolted the damn tank to the table earlier that day, and that I couldn’t move the stupid thing even if I wanted to. So that took care of that.

Then things started to get a bit more serious. The above realization had freed up my thought, and I started to jot what kinds of things could be bought to populate this little glass plot. I wondered how much time I’d allot to spend in this spot, as the truth that I fought is that there’s only so much time that I’ve got.

That’s when I decided.

I’ll put whatever the hell I want in this thing! Let’s Noah’s Ark the Hell out of it. After all, I own this dominion, no? Of course I do. This tiny world was mine to create. So again, that took care of that.

I would run the place my way. Or ways, I should say, because hey – why limit myself to one set of rules or pathway? Wouldn’t it be more fun to rule one way on weekends and another on workdays?

So that was my decision.

Ironically, I decided that deciding didn’t warrant my abiding by the expectations usually presiding over the world WE live in that, admittedly, could use much, much better guiding. Would I mimic this world of constant dividing forcing families into hiding with a fear that’s never subsiding as their dreams are ever sliding down a hopeless, empty chasm? Or would I opt to be providing? The latter, if I’m confiding, that I wish was more closely coinciding with the regimes currently overriding any form of free thought or challenge to their authority as they quell dissent with brutal chiding. Perhaps I could create both environments, depending on my mood. Sky is the limit I suppose.

Yes, this will be Matt’s world.

This would be a world for me, alone, to create. A world where Matt can dictate who they’ll love and who they’ll hate, and whether one lives in an estate or whether they instead await a much less privileged, unfair, sadly hopeless fate. A world I own; my own private city-state where I can close the real world’s gate, retreating as the night is late to the creatures I rule, as I mandate that they worship me as “Matt, The All-Knowing; The Loved, The Feared…but Mostly The Great.” I imagine that would very much elate, as my animal instinctual desire to dominate can be an appetite that finally, I can satiate.

That’d be cool, right?

Then my Brain did that thing again. That thing I keep telling it not to. It dug. Deeper and deeper.

And I had an epiphany.

All of these creatures that I dreamt to control might actually have their own aspiration or goal. Who was I to keep them tied to this pole that my mind had created; after all, they all have a soul, don’t they? And, if we’re being candid, for one to feel whole they shouldn’t have to hide in some hole that they dug to avoid paying a toll to some hovering, judgmental ruler who more closely resembles a troll than the benevolent creator that some poor schmuck described millennia ago on a crusty, crumbling scroll.

So I changed my mind yet again.

And I bought a fucking turtle. Because truthfully, my brain was annoying the hell out of me. I installed this little mini-swimming pool for it and everything. Hell, I even got the little shit a floating lily pad for those times it desired extra, extra laziness. Oh, turtles. How uneventful their lives are. This turtle’s existence, however, would be eventful as shit. ‘Cause this turtle, unlike any before in the history of Turtledom, lived in Matt’s World. It would be treated as a King. Actually wait; let’s say prince. It’d be treated like a prince. I’m the King. Duh.

Lucky turtle.

Oh, and I call the thing an “it” because I have absolutely no idea how to identify the gender of a turtle without using means that are entirely too…intimate. So how do I name it, I wondered? Well, I decided on the path of least resistance, and just named it Pat. Sure, there are dozens of gender neutral names, but hey. Pat rhymes with Matt. Now we’re two peas on a lily pad, god dammit. And to anyone making fun…you’re obviously just jealous you don’t have a Pat of your own. Haters gon’ hate.

Anyway, a curious thing happened after I (and Pat) got settled to go to Sleepburg.

I thought back to that thing which, before, I would laud. All that power I wanted, which to me now just seems odd. I pictured an image of the creator I so recently imagined I’d be, and suddenly I was swept by an eerie sense of awe. Awe by that place where my mind’s steps had just trod. The thing I fear most; that power is a thing I desire and applaud. A thing, to be frank, that’s just a corrupted facade. The empty, false confidence of believing my own fraud. A dream that I now realize exposes a harsh truth; which is the fact that I’m enormously flawed.

Because why, so recently, had I thought to maraud an entire universe of creatures as if they were just inmates, helplessly at the mercy of my personal firing squad? This question, which sawed at my brain as my frozen thoughts were all thawed as I started to prod, questioning my own moral fibers with a psychological measuring rod – I was suddenly, overwhelmingly consumed by the most profound of considerations.

See, this world I had imagined just hours ago wouldn’t be far removed from the world that WE know. Had I thrown those poor creatures in that tank all alone, sitting back as I watch them all fight, die, or grow, knowing that I could intervene at any point down below – shouldn’t I? I mean if with all of that power I could use and bestow, what reason would I have to let my own creatures woe? As peace, I forego; what kind of monster would that make me, watching them suffer when at the snap of my finger, away it’d all go? What kind of creator could do that to the very things he put there to begin with? They didn’t ask to be put there! They owe me nothing, right? Why would I do that?

Then I recalled my old thoughts yet again. I recalled all that darkness which my own brain had thankfully outlawed just hours before, as I was confronted by a question that was narrowing my beliefs that were once far too broad.

I asked, though I silently feared the truth; were those the same thoughts that were considered…by God?