So, This Happened The Other Day: Lilith and The Freemasons

So this happened the other day…well, before I get into that let me paint the picture: the label on the tin of the place where I earn a paycheck reads, artisanal bakery but let’s call a spade a spade, it’s a bread factory, a business open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year that churns out bread daily and nightly.

Every flu season, the recent strain cuts a wide swath through employee attendance and the company needs to bring in agency temps who usually do the grunt work, schlepping and dividing containers of dough, shifting racks of shaped bread dough to the proofer for fermentation or refrigerator to slow the activity of the yeast, etc. The guy they paired me with was from Peru who spoke absolutely no English while I am equipped with the ghost memories of 7th-grade Spanish.

To give you an idea of how long ago that was, the US was in the midst of a Cold War, a Space Race, the Vietnam War, the Watergate scandal, an oil crisis and energy crisis, and Marvin Gaye’s single “Let’s Get It On” was the top of the charts.

I passed Spanish class by the seat of my pants. To say I half-assed it would have been generous, more like I 8th-assed it or better still 16th-assed it. The reason for refusing to embrace a new language was pure and simple childhood rebellion. Our 6th-grade teacher gave us a choice of learning French or Spanish when we returned after the summer recess and I chose the language of love. When I didn’t get the language of my choice I did the bare minimum to pass the class and quickly forgot it the moment school ended for summer vacation. That’ll show them! It’s funny how you never realize how childhood petty actions rob you, limit you, in so many ways.

But I digress.

My temp coworker for the day, despite the language barrier between us, was in a talkative mood so he asked me if I believed in vampiros. I tried to explain to him in my pidgin Spanish (assisted by hand signals and crude pictograms traced in rice flour on the tabletop) that I don’t believe in vampires, werewolves, ghosts, or even God for that matter but I wasn’t one of those radical hardcore atheists who gets in people’s faces about there being no transcendent will. I simply think we’re not smart enough to know our origins, arrogant enough to justify our existence, most certainly, but smart enough to know the truth? Sorry, not buying it. But, if your faith leads you to live a better existence and do no harm…good on you. I hope you’re right and in the end get the reward you deserve, because who knows? To quote the lyrical prophet, Billy Joel, “You may be correcto, I may be loco.”

Now, I’m not sure if he got all that but he smiled and nodded and when I was done, he kept repeating a word to me that I didn’t understand. Again and again he said it, more patiently than I would have been in his situation until the word began to make sense. It was a name: Lilith. Once I clued in, he proceeded to tell me about the primera esposa of Adán in the jardín del Edén.

When Adam lamented on his loneliness in Eden, Dios made for him a mujer like himself, from the tierra. God named her Lilith and presented her to Adam but they began to quarrel about everything, including sexo. Lilith, creado from the earth the same as Adam said, “We are both equal,” and would not give in to his demands.

Shortly after, Lilith deserted Adam, who immediately began to orar to his Creator, saying: “Maestro del universo, the woman that you gave me has fled.” God sent three UFOs (no, that’s not some atheistic typo, my coworker did not believe in angels) and said to them, “Bring back Lilith.”

The three UFOs found her in the sea at the place where the Egyptians were destined to drown. They said to her, “If you will not go with us, we will drown you in the sea.”

Lilith replied, “God created me to weaken infants from the moment of their birth until the eighth day in boys and the twelfth day in girls. After that, I have no dominion over them. I know my purpose, so I know you will not drown me.”

The UFOs told her that if she didn’t return with them, she will be filled with the desire to mate and bare a legion of children and each day one hundred of her children would die. As she couldn’t bring herself to return to Adam, she accepted her fate. And as the UFOs who turned against God’s grace crashed to earth, Lilith mated with them and bore many demons, one hundred of which died as the sun set each day.

When Adam and his new mate, Eva, began propagating the human species, Lilith turned her attention away from the UFOs and began seducing both men and woman alike, becoming the world’s first vampire. But she wasn’t driven by a constant hunger for sangre, she was fuel by a constant need of sex. She didn’t have to bite her victims to gain their compliance, the feromonas she secreted any living thing equipped with a sex drive.

My coworker traced “666” in the rice flour and asked me what it was. I asked, “The mark of the beast,” to which he shook his head. He explained that “666” was really “www” as in the world wide web. The internet was evil and was created by Lilith to lead humans astray. Also, “Satan” wasn’t a being, it was an office run by Lilith, and the serpent in the garden was none other than Lilith, who instead of tempting Eve with fruit, seduced Adam’s second wife into an asunto lesbico that opened her eyes to the truth.

My coworker swore that this was all true. The original Hebrew writings were revealed to him when he became a member of the Freemasons in Peru, writings that were subsequently changed by the Greeks to cover up the terrifying truth that Lilith still walks among us claiming victims each day.

And I could tell it was a topic he was extremely interested and invested in because he talked about it for the entirety of our shift. Definitely a twist in the sobriety of my normal working day.

I wonder what surprises are in store for me next flu season?

©2019 Rhyan Scorpio-Rhys

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BABASIOTAAM (Blogging About Befriending Absolute Strangers In Order To Attract A Mate)

In the year when Kosovo declared its independence, China cracked down on protesting Tibetan Monks, Beijing hosted the Olympic Games and Barack Obama was busy running for President, I was calculating the odds of my dying alone.

Not that I mind being alone, hell, I’m about the only person on the planet that actually enjoys my company after the bloom has fallen from the rose. But there was this odd, hollow feeling in the center of my chest, something I had never experienced before. I believe you humans call it loneliness.

The cure was obvious, I’d have to make an effort to meet another living being on purpose, but because I am me and I have never ever ever been known to do things the easy way—ha! like there’s an easy way—I decided to turn the process into a social experiment to find out if women were actually attracted to intellect—yes, I’m presuming to possess an adequate level of intelligence—or if they were just as shallow as they claimed men to be. So, I joined a free online dating site.

I began a campaign I called BABASIOTAAM, which was short for Blogging About Befriending Absolute Strangers In Order To Attract A Mate, where I posted outrageous and fictitious stories as bait to reel in enquiring minds and open up a line of communication. This might sound a bit odd to you but it actually worked, the problem was my stories (all presented as facts) attracted both women and men who would then debate my postings until they erupted into flame wars, so I eventually abandoned the project.

But in the midst of my botched brilliant idea to attract a mate, I did actually manage to go on a few dates—or at least meet up with a few women in the flesh. The first was SxxQit10 who responded to my initial post on how sometimes the media can implant racist notions unbeknownst to consumers:

            SxxQit10: Credit given for recognizing the thoughts as irrational and wrong. There are an awful lot of people with the same thoughts who think they’re perfectly rational and acceptable. Sad world we live in. Wanna chat? PM me.

Since that post, we had exchanged a few emails, nothing steamy, no cybering or anything of that nature, mostly icebreaker chitchat. Then she stepped up her game by IMing me.

SxxQit10: Hi! Do you have time to chat?

Me: Sure, I was just answering your email.

SxxQit10: Great. Thanks for writing by the way. You’re bold. 🙂 I like that.

Me: What’s the sense in joining the site if you don’t attempt to make a new connection?

SxxQit10: Oh you might be surprised! Are you new to this?

Me: The online thing? Yeah, pretty new to it. The worst you could have said was “Get lost!” I’m thick-skinned

SxxQit10: 🙂 I’m one of the polite ones. I believe in responding politely and staying human. Sorry if you’ve recently been through something unpleasant.

Me: Nothing recent.

SxxQit10: Oh good for you! Most guys jump on here within days of the end of their relationship. You were smart to wait. To me, that’s a real indication of character. If you can’t be alone, you’ll become too dependent and that’s not healthy for a relationship. Anyway, I’m not going to preach! 😉 You’re a smart guy and know all this stuff I’m sure.

Me: Fortunately, I enjoy my own company. So, has this online worked out for you?

SxxQit10: Well it has worked and not worked. It’s been ok. I’ve met some wonderful men on here who have become friends. I’m also on several others and they’re all about the same.

Me: Don’t knock friends, they’re a rare commodity these days.

SxxQit10: Oh gosh, I never do! There’s a guy I met on here who I have to say is one of my best friends. Two actually.

Me: So, what stops these guys from being “the right one” I mean, if you believe in that sort of thing.

SxxQit10: I do believe in it. Geeze… let’s see. Where do I begin? Duncan lives in South Carolina. That about sums that up! LOL Jerry is a bit new to the dating scene and is more interested in sowing some oats (my humble opinion). His wife cheated on him and he’s really enjoying being the single bachelor. We had the option of being “friends with benefits” I suppose, but I can’t do that. I get too emotionally involved and that’s a big set up for heartache.

Me: I didn’t mean to get too personal, I’m just inquisitive by nature. Please feel free to tell me to mind my own business at any time.

SxxQit10: That’s funny. I was just going to apologize for going too deep. I have a tendency to do that. I ask LOTS of questions too but I’m an open book. No secrets and if I didn’t want to talk about something I’d be honest about it. You can ask me anything you like. 🙂

Me: Good, we share that. If I ever cross a line, just let me know. Guaranteed, it was unintentional.

SxxQit10: I promise and likewise, OK?

Me: So, since you only seem to find friends online, do you venture out into the real world dating scene?

SxxQit10: Real world dating scene? Is there one? Ha. I only know of bars I guess but I’m not a bar-going type per se. Then there’s the workplace, but at this point, it’s a dry well.

Me: While I can appreciate a good pub with friends, it isn’t the ideal place to find a mate. So, what do you do with your time when you’re not out finding peace in massage therapy or busting a gut at a Marx Brother flick?

SxxQit10: Hmmmmm… I do love movies. I read, I write, I play with my son, I belong to a theatre workshop in NYC and we’re trying to get something going. I love to walk in the woods, take photos, live music and theater when I can. I’m currently up for a new job in NYC. If I land that, I’ll be moving a tad bit closer for commuting purposes and upgrading my life a bit.

Me: I was about to ask you about the theatre group. Good luck with the job. If you do produce something and if it’s local, let me know. I support the arts, naturally.

SxxQit10: I sure will and thanks! You know I have to say 95% match is unheard of. I don’t know what it means (after all I agree with you about those awards, complete bs). Have you filled out a lot of tests or something?

Me: No, I haven’t done the tests yet (still new to this) but I plan on it.

SxxQit10: You can look at my tests and click on a link to any of those if you fancy them.

Me: I guess if I’m going to do this, might as well go whole hog. Tests, journals and the like.

SxxQit10: I’ve stayed away from the journal for some reason. Not sure why.

Me: I’m surprised, open book like yourself.

SxxQit10: I guess I don’t want random people in my head. It’s crowded enough in there already!!! And most men probably wouldn’t like what I said on there and that would ruin my already sketchy chances!

Me: Not even room for one more?

SxxQit10: There’s always room for one more! LOL

Me: Good. The sound of knocking you hear is me. Open the door at your convenience.

SxxQit10: Enter! That reminds me of The Sunshine Boys. Come in, and ENTER!

Me: Sunshine Boys? You really do like movies!

SxxQit10: Like you have NO idea.

Me: You and I are going to be friends for life, as long as movies exist.

SxxQit10: Fantastic! I’ve been desperate for a good movie-buddy! Where are you from originally?

Me: Manhattan born and bred. Lived in all five boroughs, currently residing in Staten Island. Ick.

SxxQit10: Why there then. BTW – grew up in Hell’s Kitchen myself. Been in NJ since 1989.

Me: Moved to Staten Island because that’s where the job is. Ferry commuting was a pain.

SxxQit10: Ah. I believe it. What’s the job?

Me: I work for a tattoo company, creating and licensing tattoo artwork.

SxxQit10: Seriously?

Me: Yup.

SxxQit10: How many do you have personally?

Me: Not a one. It’s my job, not my lifestyle.

SxxQit10: Whoa. Would you care if I had one?

Me: Not at all. Do you?

SxxQit10: Yes, a map of postwar Europe across my entire back… just kidding…

Me: Awww, that would have rocked!

SxxQit10: ROFL You are funny.

Me: Nope, you’re just an easy crowd.

SxxQit10: I have two. A Celtic heart about the size of a plum at the base of my neck and a small dragonfly on my shoulder.

Me: You also referenced dragonflies in your profile. Any significance?

SxxQit10: The dragonfly is very important to me. It was my spiritual totem during the hardest part of my life. My divorce. If you believe in that sort of thing. I’m a very spiritual but don’t subscribe to any religion. I’m very open to all things. There’s a cool story to all that, but I’ll save it for another time.

Me: Sigh. Typical woman. Always holding out on the good stuff.

SxxQit10: Oh no!

Me: Oh yes

SxxQit10: Gosh, I’d hoped you’d never say those words about me! Nothing typical about me. But I guess I’m wrong… sigh… sob…

Me: Dry your tears, youngling. You can still grow from this…

SxxQit10: The story is better in person anyway.

Me: Sounds like an invitation

SxxQit10: I guess it is. Interested?

Me: Always.

SxxQit10: Ok then. I have to ask this… please don’t be a freak. Not sure I can take another unsuspected freakshow. 😉

Me: “Freak”… hmmm. No, not a freak. But like yourself, not typical. And it doesn’t have to be immediate. You can suss me out a bit before a real-life meeting.

SxxQit10: That’s OK. We can’t be expected to tolerate the typical in a friendship or potential relationship. And that’s very cool of you to say. Already tells me you’re not a freak.

Me: Ask me all those questions that the Feds use to flush out lunatics.

SxxQit10: I don’t know any of them? What are they? Do you floss? LOL Do you wear your underwear on your head?

Me: Did you ever pull the wings off flies as a kid?

SxxQit10: Oh right!

Me: Only when I’m drunk, does that count?

SxxQit10: Ha. No. It doesn’t count. I don’t think I ever did that. But… I might have held a magnifying glass on an ant or two.

Me: Whew! Good…I’m still in the running. You burned ants? Murderer!

SxxQit10: : ( I know. Why are kids so cruel? To animals, each other… I don’t get it. Just pushing the boundaries of right and wrong I suppose.

Me: Actually, I rolled ants into my Silly Putty ball thinking I could open it up and retrieve them later.

SxxQit10: I love it! Silly Putty! Wasn’t that the best?

Me: I loved Silly Putty.

SxxQit10: I have an 8-year-old son.

Me: I was just about to ask.

SxxQit10: He lives primarily with his Dad and Stepmom about 5 miles from me. I have him 2 days a week and alternate weekends.

Me: Is he happy?

SxxQit10: He seems extremely happy and well adjusted.

Me: It’s a sign. Good. Are you happy? With the arrangement, I mean.

SxxQit10: I was separated almost 6 years ago. There’s a big story, well, not big but emotional story about how things fell out, but all in all I am happy with things. As long as Charlie (my son) is thriving and happy. That’s all that matters. He’s a bright, beautiful child. I think he may be a writer someday.

Me: Excellent. The world needs more writers. Well, you seem very fortunate. I’m happy for you. Thanks. I feel fortunate.

SxxQit10: Have you noticed we’ve answered most all of our questions with the same answer?

Me: I’m sure that once I start answering more questions, the algorithm is going to affect my Match percentages, but yes, our basic questions are on track with one another. And I’m glad. It convinced you to chat with me this afternoon.

SxxQit10: I don’t think it convinced me, but I’m pretty amazed. It’s unusual.

Me: Hopefully, I’ve made a new friend.

SxxQit10: You definitely have! : )

Me: Even though you’re probably one of those freaks you mentioned earlier (which is fine, but please don’t be a 65-year-old man toying with people on the internet). Ick, that thought gives me the chills

SxxQit10: Hysterical. Just FYI. My pics are current (the one with my hair in my hands is about a year old) and my information is perfectly honest. I could never lead with a lie. So my advice to you (to assist you on this online dating roller coaster) is to get a couple more pictures up (a full length or close) and complete the rest of your description. It will help you land lots of chicks! 😉 and… Call me Irving. Bahahahahahah!

Me: Yeah, that’s me the “lots-of-chicks” magnet.

SxxQit10: Well, why wouldn’t you be?

Me: I knew it! Irv the perv! Ha! That’s going to be your pet name from now on. No one will know why!

Me: Oh, you know it! I am Irv for as long as I know you!

SxxQit10: So why don’t you think you’re a chick magnet?

Me: I grow on people. I’m the type you have to get to know.

SxxQit10: Like fungus?

Me: Exactly

SxxQit10: : )  Damn. I have a mold allergy. Are you shy? You don’t seem so.

Me: You’ll get a little sneezy at first but it’ll run its course and you’ll adapt to me in time. I’m an ok kind of fungus.

SxxQit10: Cool. Do you have a spiritual practice of any kind? Meditation, etc. I’m just curious, reading your profile again. Your talk of “ego” made me ask.

Me: Sometimes I’m shy, sometimes I’m not.

SxxQit10: I understand. Do you get out a lot?

Me: I am not religious by any stretch of the imagination. I do love theology, though, especially the apocypha and psuedepigrapha… as far as spirituality… I am open to there being a force in the Universe.

SxxQit10: Same here. Exactly.

Me: I’ve started going out socially last year.

SxxQit10: How was it?

Me: Interesting, but nothing to write home about. Mostly wine-tastings (I’m a beer guy) and movies, a few dinners here and there.

SxxQit10: Well, we’re going to change that. I don’t mean me necessarily, but I can help you. I’m almost an expert on women and relationships… after all, I’m a woman and have been in a few relationships! What’s your favorite beer?

Me: Dogfish Head IPA 120

SxxQit10: I’m a wine-chick. Wine and tequila, but I stay away from tequila now…

Me: Tequilla!!!

SxxQit10: Ah Dogfish Head, yes…

Me: Oh, tequilla bad…I see.

SxxQit10: Yeah, Tequila… makes me do things…

Me: Yes!

SxxQit10: ha.

Me: Underwear on the head!

SxxQit10: More like no shirt in the street…

Me: You absolutely rock.

SxxQit10: It was a long time ago. It was very late and there wasn’t anyone else around… REALLY!!! And yes, I do absolutely rock.

Me: Shirtless Irv!

SxxQit10: That’s great!

Me: Irvs Gone Wild! I’d buy that video.

SxxQit10: I’m in the editing room now. Oh, did I mention I used to edit video for a living?

Me: Really? Why’d you give it up?

SxxQit10: I gave it up to be a full-time Mom, but that got sidetracked. It’s another long story for a face to face. There’s a lot to you isn’t there? You’re complex and deep aren’t you?

Me: Deep as a puddle

SxxQit10: Pish Tosh, I don’t believe it!

Me: I’m humble and lovable.

SxxQit10: That’s ok, you’re not boasting but I was asking. Why are you lovable? Your opinion matters!

Me: I don’t know. Can you find yourself lovable?

SxxQit10: Maybe after too many long nights alone in the woods…

Me: with tequilla

SxxQit10: Ha Ha!

Me: Shirtless With The Wolves

SxxQit10: I’m cracking up.

Me: So, what keeps you in on a Saturday afternoon? Why aren’t you out breaking hearts?

SxxQit10: I am, but I can do it remotely. Or remotely do it? Ummmm. I’m writing. I rarely get a free Saturday and I’ve been trying to get this play past my block/wall/stuck-point. I’m never on this site for more than 5 mins at a time and how long have we been at this today?

Me: An hour at least. Am I keeping you from writing?

SxxQit10: Actually no. I signed on here to take a break but never expected it to last this long!

Me: Well, I’m flattered.

SxxQit10: Are you a sports fan at all?

Me: Fan? No. I watch a bit of boxing and UFC and the occasional rugby match, but not a diehard fan. You?

SxxQit10: I go back and forth. Rugby, now that I would watch. You seem to have a more than average European sensibility. Is that true? I grew up a diehard Yankee fan but watching baseball bores me unless you’re at the game. I like watching football, but I never seem to have the time. I’d rather play sports than watch them.

Me: Last time I was at a baseball game, I was 4, rooting for the Mets. I am a bit of an Anglophile (I devour a lot of Brit telly and film)

SxxQit10: I like that about you.

Me: A friend has a British ISP so I get to watch a great deal of Telly when the BBC posts them.

SxxQit10: BBC is the best. I knew that when I was twelve or was it 8?

Me: There was a Scottish sitcom called “Still Game” that was hilarious. Developing an ear for the language was fun.

SxxQit10: Yay, Scots!

Me: Yay, Scots, indeed! Every year I watch the Hogmanay celebration

SxxQit10: I love my Scottish heritage. I’ve always wanted to go. I got close, made it to London and Dublin, but couldn’t get to Scotland! : (

Me: So, Miss Play-Writer’s-Block, what’s your play about?

SxxQit10: Sad people, alcoholics, judgment, facades, you know… it’s children’s theatre.

Me: Alcoholic kids? I’m in! One ticket, please!

SxxQit10: It’s about a bar in Clifton, NJ and the regulars who are well… regular. It’s an examination of that lifestyle and the relationships that extend from that.

Me: Sounds simple enough. Where are you stuck at?

SxxQit10: Um… I always get stuck at the end of the “first act” not literally separated by acts, but more the first large chunk. And last night or recently…? I came up with a plan to scale that wall. A big decision about the dynamic that takes the piece in a new direction, but a good one.

Me: Need help? I don’t profess to be great, but I could offer assistance… maybe. Or not. Your call

SxxQit10: That’s OK. I’m really shy about my writing. I appreciate the offer tho!

Me: Fine. Didn’t mean to intrude.

SxxQit10: You didn’t!

Me: Rejected. Unloved. Unwanted.

SxxQit10: I really am shy about my writing. I didn’t even show anyone for 10 years!

Me: Fine, offer up whatever excuse you have to.

SxxQit10: Question: everybody on this site lies about their weight, so how much weight would you like to lose. I’ve got about 20 to lose.

Me: 20’s a good target for me. 30 and I’d be a Greek God!

SxxQit10: Which Greek God?

Me: The fat one. Porkulus.

SxxQit10: ROFL! That is funny. Good one. Man, I like your humor.

Me: Nope, you’re an easy crowd.

SxxQit10: No but see, I’m really not!

Me: Then thank you for lowering your standards for the sake of this chat. Humble! That’s me.

SxxQit10: More like Humbug! 😉

Me: Used to pluck the wings off humbugs when I was a kid. Callback!

SxxQit10: I thought that was handbags? or handsaw? Anyway, now I’m on a real tangent~

Me: I don’t do handbags, sweetie…I carry a murse.

SxxQit10: Murse?!!!! Hahahahah! I need some tea.

Me: I fellow tea drinker…nice.

SxxQit10: Would you mind if I excused myself for a min or two? You can tell me more about your life story if you like. At least tell me what kind of writing you do?

Me: Sure, go do your thing.

SxxQit10: Thanks, back!

Me: Well, about the only things I haven’t written (read as:  Completed) are a play and a novel.

SxxQit10: So what are you waiting for?

Me: I used to write and publish my own comic books (don’t laugh, it’s a mode of storytelling)

SxxQit10: Don’t they call them graphic novels?

Me: Yeah, now they’re graphic novels, when I did them they were comics.

SxxQit10: OK, so comic books, writer, shy, loves the BBC, movies… I’m painting a picture here.

Me: I also write short stories, some of which have been published

SxxQit10: Are these science fiction stories perhaps????

Me: Now I write screenplays, some of which I self-direct and other that I submit into competitions.

SxxQit10: Very cool!

Me: Some are science fiction. most are speculative fiction.

SxxQit10: Speculative Fiction? Like Neal Stephenson? Is that what you’d call him? Dunno.

Me: Yes, and Harlan Ellison and the like.

SxxQit10: So… are you impressed???

Me: By you? When I first read your profile. Stop fishing for compliments.

SxxQit10: You already know me so well! So you must know who Eddie Izzard is, right?

Me: Yes, I know Eddie Izzard, in fact, he was recently in the BBC TV remake of Day of the Triffids.

SxxQit10: Really? I’m a big fan of EI. How often do you get into the city?

Me: Usually whenever there’s an event, but I’m always open for traveling. I don’t hang in Staten Island.

SxxQit10: Would you be up for meeting for tea on Sunday?

Me: Sure, why not?

SxxQit10: Cool.

Me: Wait, are you sure I’m not a freak?

SxxQit10: No, I’m not, but this is the only way I’ll know for sure.

Me: Risk taker… nice.

SxxQit10: My theatre group starts at 5: 30. I can come in anytime before that. Not so much risk taker as incurable curious nature.

Me: Name a time and place that’s convenient for you.

SxxQit10: tea… tea… um… how is The Russian Tea Room? Just kidding. Are you a Starbucks hater?

Me: No love, no hate. We can do it.

SxxQit10: I think there’s one around times square (huh, ya think?) that would be good for me and easy for you to get to.

Me: Don’t worry about me. What’s good for you?

SxxQit10: That is good for me. (see above) What time is good for you?

Me: I’m open. You’re the one with time constraints.

SxxQit10: Let’s say 1? Does that work for you?

Me: Sure. 1:00pm in the general vicinity of Times Square

SxxQit10: I know there is one on 42nd closer to 8th than 7th and on the north side of the street, but I think there is also one on 43rd and 8th. Either one is fine. Wow – that’s tomorrow, isn’t it?

Me: It doesn’t have to be tomorrow, Missy Rushy-Pants

SxxQit10: Yes it does. Monday my carriage turns back into a pumpkin

Me: I’ll help you roll the pumpkin back to your house, Cinders.

SxxQit10: No. I’d much rather it be sooner than later. Am I rushing you? We don’t have to if you’re at all uncomfortable.

Me: I understand. Inspect the goods, see if it’s worth your time.

SxxQit10: No. That’s not it really.

Me: You writers are all alike.

SxxQit10: I think it might dictate the direction of our friendship, but you already are worth my time, silly.

Me: That’s what they all say.

SxxQit10: Who’s “they”?

Me: Them. You. You know.

SxxQit10: The infamous them.

Me: The rest of the planet.

SxxQit10: Well, that’s not us.

Me: So Irv, in order to facilitate this brush-off meeting, do you want my phone number or is that too forward? I don’t want to send you screaming.

SxxQit10: Oh you’re funny. Yes, let’s exchange phone numbers in case the train breaks down or some other thing. I don’t scream usually. I’m human.

SxxQit10: You always have the option of screaming and running yourself.

Me: I’m far too polite for that

SxxQit10: OK then we’ll both be stuck there desperately wanting to run, but not being able to because we’re both so damned polite! Nice. Funny.

Me: Nah, it’ll be fine. We can walk and chat and it’ll be fine.

SxxQit10: I think we’ve been chatting for almost 3 hours. That’s crazy. I could continue but I should get back to the play.

Me: Not a problem. I don’t want to keep you from work.

SxxQit10: Can I call you later?

Me: Sure, anytime.

SxxQit10: OK. Maybe after dinner time?

Me: Fine. I’ll be looking forward to it.

SxxQit10: Me too. Talk to you later then?

Me: Sounds like a plan. Now go write your play so you can show me the completed first act, shy writer.

Sure enough, ‘round about dinner time, the young lady calls and we proceed to engage in another three-plus hour conversation about absolutely nothing. She was a bit more skilled in the game than I was. For every two bits of useless topics or jokes, she’d ask a question to size me up. Did I have hair? How many children by how many different women? How much do you drink? Do you have a temper? Can you solve Goldbach’s conjecture? Okay, maybe not the last one, but she had her list prepared, and I didn’t call her on it. I suppose a woman meeting an internet stranger has to be cautious.

Come the day of the flesh meet and long story short… there was no chemistry. Politeness. Light conversation. And that was all she wrote. Guess algorithms can’t match everything, huh?

Other uneventful dates included an actual rocket scientist obsessed with blueberries and the Frazier TV show, a nature hiker who loved squirrels just a bit too much and a Mensa member who constantly tried to downplay her intelligence because of her mother’s deep-rooted conditioning.

Unlucky at blogging, unlucky at love, as the saying goes.

©2008 & 2019 Rhyan Scorpio-Rhys

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A Meal And A Hot Shower

Meal shower

Four years ago, when I was volunteering to man telephones for a listener-sponsored radio station during one of their pledge drives, I met a man who, in the course of the conversation, admitted that he was a homesteader.

I wasn’t familiar with the modern usage of the term, so he explained that he would break into abandoned buildings, run extension cords to the street lamps for electricity and arrange to receive mail at the address for at least a month to prove residency.

He claimed that he faced ongoing battles with the owners of the abandoned properties—throwing his possessions out on the street, re-padlocking the property, sending “muscle” to physically evict him, etc.—but this is not the true issue of the post.

This homesteader had no income and he couldn’t rig the pipes in the abandoned buildings to run water, so he cased houses and when he was sure that the owners were either away at work or on vacation, he broke into their houses (curiosity, always my master, I asked him how but he wouldn’t say) took showers and made a meal for himself before he left. He claimed he never took anything besides food.

I told this story to a group of online friends (screen names changed to protect the innocent, naturally) and asked, “Besides the obvious breaking and entering charges, how severe a crime did they think the use of a shower and the fixing of a meal was?”

This was the conversation that resulted:

Its_Me_Mario: The obvious charges are the only ones that matter.

No_Drama_Mama: He is taking a person’s sense of security in their own home away. That is not easily replaced. As a society, we have chosen to not address the marginal citizens, so this is what happens. “There is nothing more dangerous than someone who has nothing to lose.”

ComicGrrl: Still a crime, yes, but not a severe one. Drama, the sense of security is a rather tenuous one. We’ve all seen how fragile glass is, yet we make much of the borders of our secure area out of it. That should be symbolic enough in itself.

CatLover: Considering the unfortunate homeowners would probably realize their home had been invaded, it’s a very serious crime. i believe the residents would be seriously emotionally affected; feeling that they were no longer safe and protected in their own homes. Also, what would a “homesteader” do if there indeed was someone in the home? How quickly that could become a violent situation.

FromTheHip: The presumptions of this kind of situation are that the person in the home is a violent felon and has asked to be exterminated, for posing potentially lethal risks to the homeowner and other residents. It’s pretty much impossible to act that way without sending the message of being a severe threat and causing distress and other damages far beyond the value of a meal.

This points to a need for society to have more workable means of survival for people living outside the presumptions of economic system participation. In urban areas, that’s very difficult, due to land and infrastructure costs, and an inability for people to live self-sufficiently without relying on many money-driven pieces of urban systems. In rural areas, it’s difficult because of transportation and access to things not usually practical to make or farm oneself.

There are large numbers of people living in Intentional Communities on far lower budgets than most people realize is possible, often with better quality of life than others with 10-20 times the personal cash flow, but those communities try to screen for compatible goals and adequate mental health as to be a functional community member. At present the only real place our society has for people outside all those options is prison, a very costly and dehumanizing approach to situations like this one.

Deedelit: Madd_Fictional noted that these initial selections were abandoned buildings, where security is less of an issue and therefore to me, the “punishment” should be somewhat limited to something along the lines of what was taken and how much it cost.

But that seems to have changed as this person likes the finer things that the rest of us work for. And while there are many unfortunates in our society, there is no reason to automatically assume this is one of them. Further, we don’t need to assume the person is a violent felon, the bottom line is that he is in someone’s home. Generally speaking, home is the place of retreat for us, the last place to go. If someone were to break into my home with me in it, I would feel justified in killing him. It is not my job to decipher his motives. It is my job to protect myself.

ComicGrrl: CatLover, what if the homeowners never suspected burglary? They might have all thought the food disappeared because someone else in the family ate it. No harm, no foul?

DudeBro: It’s burglary.

PlatinumCard: What part of abandoned did you people not get?

DudeBro: It’s not a crime of extreme malice, but certainly extreme stupidity. That’s the kind of situation where someone comes homes, walks in on a guy, freaks out, and someone, invader or homeowner, ends up dead as a result.

PlatinumCard: Homesteading would help recover both subprime and Alt-A housing markets in relatively little time. By ensuring that there are people tending to the walk-aways, they are less likely to be stripped for scrap metal. This would in turn help prevent banks from going under by restoring some value to the homes (which were overvalued, to begin with) instead of “totaling” them. This prevents more federal market intervention: fewer FDIC bailouts of depositors, fewer FDIC takeovers of financials, lesser federal spending pressure on debt. These (gasp) victimized “owners” of abandoned buildings are banks, towns, cities. they don’t go “on vacation” and “come home” to an intruder

Career_Driven: The homesteader is breaking into regular houses owned by people who live there to bathe/eat, then returning to his abandoned home to live. Breaking into someone’s home is a serious crime and I would want him to do serious jail time if caught and convicted.

Silicious: It’s wrong because burglary has become his occupation. The same effort he put into squatting in abandoned buildings and breaking into homes, he can apply toward getting his life in order and being a part of society rather than leeching off of it.

Jack_the_lad: In Britain, we call this squatting. Squatting is a valid response to the lack of affordable housing and homes left deliberately vacant by absentee landlords, frequently foreign financiers, whereby they can make more money by waiting for a property’s value to rise than by taking the risk and having the hassle of renting it out. Propaganda frequently suggests that squatters move into peoples homes while they are on holiday. This is rarely the case. Normally squatters move into abandoned buildings. Sometimes the squatters repair and save buildings which are of historic and architectural value which property developers would prefer to rot so that they can sell the land. Repairing historic buildings costs money. In the UK there is a law under which if someone occupies continuously a property or piece of land for 12 years, it becomes theirs legally.

About A Meal And A Hot Shower: I know, this post is not a short story that delves into the genres of science or speculative fiction but it is a true story and the responses are genuine and aside for the names have not been altered. I find it fascinating to open these types of topics up for debate as it clearly illustrates that no subject matter is as black and white an issue as we’d like to believe.

Next week, hopefully, I’ll have a story to throw up here, but no promises, though. I’m still wrestling with the novel that I did not finish for Nanowrimo 2018 (stop snickering, I gave it my best shot!)