My Problem With Proactive Bonding.

TLDR: It comes with conditions, it’s inorganic, in many ways lazy and a massive red flag depending on who you ask.

*****

Proactive
(of a person, policy, or action) creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened.
 
 
Bonding
 
 
The establishment of a relationship or link with someone based on shared feelings, interests, or experiences.
 
 

*****

(And because this is a personal post I don’t believe I need to answer questions like:

“What about people who’re waiting for the other person to make the first move?”

I don’t care. This post is about me.)

If we’re going to connect, we’re going to connect. No need to shower me with compliments and all other associated embellishments.

I would rather hear about the things you enjoy, even if they’re things I don’t find particularly interesting. Who knows, I might actually learn something and begin to have a newfound appreciation for your niche interests.

See that’s what often happens when people are authentic. People are introduced to new and interesting realities. That’s the best-case scenario.

There’s no worst-case scenario. Because authenticity will be at the centre of everything. If two authentic people are incompatible, they part respectfully.

I respect authenticity. I say this all the time.

Authenticity comes with consistency.

You will grow to resent me if you take this proactive bonding approach to relationship building. If you think offering to help me every single time will instil in me a desire/obligation to help you just as much you’re living in a world of illusion. (And the world just so happens to be a loving habitat to the rarely seen elephant of the entitlement variety)

You can’t, for example, buy me a rose that I never requested and expect me to buy you one in return. 

That behaviour is synonymous with “mirroring” and I find it particularly annoying, to be honest.

If I told you the number of times I’ve had to explain to people that I don’t remember birthdays and they insisted on saying “Happy Birthday” anyway expecting me to say it back you’d be surprised. I understand the sentiment of telling people you care about “Happy Birthday”. But I don’t believe that sentiment is a fact or a moral imperative I have to live by.

Why not just act authentically without expecting anything in return? Why is that so hard? Pro-active bonders would rather subject themselves to a sprint from which they’ll eventually burn out (and make no mistake, they will). At which point they’ll show their real selves and we get to say “Nice to finally meet you”

To proactively bond (to me) is to take charge of how the relationship flows. It means you know (for certain) how it’s supposed to go.

It means being impatient to see a bond evolve organically over time and choosing to add a bit of your grow-grow juice. Tasteless reasoning in my opinion.

This can be done in a friendship or otherwise. And in some cases, they (the proactive bonder) will be expecting some kind of return for their efforts — or at least some kind of result. A result that signifies compatibility.

The absence of “expected” results is somehow considered self-evident. It somehow signifies the lack of compatibility.

<<Make that irrationality make sense>>

The lack of results is because the recipient of all this proactive bonding is a bad person. It’s definitely not because of this cornucopia of potential reasons:

“Maybe I creeped this person out by being so smothering, that’s why they distanced themselves”

“Maybe telling them I’ve planned a surprise trip without letting them know didn’t translate over to them as a sweet gesture”

“Maybe I need to start putting in the effort to get to know someone before assuming I know what they want”

“Maybe a relationship not growing in the exact way I want isn’t always a bad thing”

I mean, these are just some of the things I would hope these individuals think of before trekking their self-actualised Mt Sinai. 

But I’m just one idiot behind a keyboard, what do I know.

Please, educate me. Show me how wrong I am.

– O.D. ©2022

Art by: nathanaeI

How To Get A Girlfriend.

One word: Telescope.

Actually, Seven words: Telescope, Van, Duct tape, Rope and Hope.

***********

Hope will be used when asking her out on a date

She might say “no”, can’t handle those now, can we?

The telescope is to watch the stars or birds or something

Look man, I don’t know what time your date is taking place

Figure it out.

The rope will be for practising kinbaku

A relatively esoteric trust exercise,

Which won’t be weird on a first date. Obviously.

And the Van is to help carry everything.

The duct tape is for — well — *ahem*

Look, just get in the van alright?

– O.D. ©2022

Art by: Tomasz-Mro

Through Stained Glass Windows.

I believe

That you believe

In what you’re saying.

… That still doesn’t make it true.

– O.D. ©2022

Art:  Vetyr

If belief is all it takes to make something true, then that one time in first grade when I believed I could will traffic lights into turning green means I’ve got road superpowers.

That belief is no less ridiculous than misinterpreted information being turned into actual fact.

Sometimes I wonder how people can be so certain about things. To have such firm convictions based on hearsay or what’s simply been theorized. I get it, we’re all fumbling in the dark somewhat, but how can we parse knowledge we haven’t understood as fact?

And even in the presence of thorough investigations that give rise to valid conclusions, how can we just sit and call it a day?

I get the little victories, how they should be appreciated. But I can’t for the life of me understand how one solution should become the only solution.

I suppose I begin to see it as a problem when these “beliefs” are pushed on me or others; I just don’t get it. It’s okay to believe in what you want to believe alone lol

Or maybe I just think too much.

But then again, how much is too much?

Can someone actually sit across from me and tell me with a straight face that I’m overthinking? They can’t, because they’re using their own subjective estimation. And perhaps through doing that they’re highlighting their own ignorance. Because by that logic, if there’s such a thing as overthinking, then we have to accept the existence of underthinking.

I wrote a poem about this a while back; seems these nuggets always find a way of resurfacing.

Roguelike Persuasion.

Depression,

Is realizing you’re trapped in a pit;

And that no one

Is coming to save you.

– O.D. ©2022

Art by: Vetyr

Shout-out to my buddy Shay for inspiring me to write this one. We were talking about our experiences with depression and I thought the way she described it captured the experience so well.

When you’re in your pit, you’re left with a choice: Do you wait and hope for someone to save you or do start trying to save yourself.

It’s not an easy choice, which is why I don’t believe there’s a “correct” answer. It all depends on the individual and the pit that’s uniquely designed based on their own subjective experiences.

If you’re feeling depressed I would encourage seeking help if you have access to it. Not many have a safety net to fall back to; consider yourself blessed if you do. 

If you don’t have anyone to fall back to, know that you’re not alone. There are many people out there that continue to wrestle with their own pit of despair. I believe the person who gets out of that pit is arguably the most badass version of whoever they were before. 

I don’t believe the pain necessarily disappears forever, but it gets easier to manage; it gets easier to escape the pit on subsequent returns. Please don’t give up.

I’d love to hear your story.

The Ape-Ball Observation.

I don’t give compliments

I share observations.

Please,

Make of them what you will.

– O.D. ©2022

Art by: Vetyr

“Honesty without kindness is cruelty. Kindness without honesty is manipulation” – Bryan Reeves

Blue Pulse.

Hugh                                                                                                                                                                   Year: 673

Hugh stared outside the window of his complex. He could see the night sky and the city of Polais, an epicentre for all noteworthy Sovereigns in the Kingdom of Kohlgraäd. There was an unspoken tradition in Polais, the taller your building was as a Sovereign, the richer you came across as. A useless tradition from the consolidation period.

In person, no one acknowledged this, it would come across as silly. But in secret, new scaffolding would be placed as Sovereigns looked to stay ahead of their rivals. Soon, Hugh’s view would be gone as Sovereigns continued to compete.

Government airships flew in the distance; their floodlights running surveillance in and around Polais’s many districts. Hugh could even see smoke from a series of industrial complexes far off on the horizon and a few pipes from ryne refineries. 

The factories and refineries were far enough for any Sovereign with vested interests to monitor in safety, but they weren’t near enough to be an immediate health hazard.

Hugh smiled, being a Sovereign had given him many opportunities, many benefits.

He wondered though, why had he decided to stay in one of the most expensive cities on the Cradle? With his fortune, he could have gone anywhere. 

Maybe the purchase was meant to be a statement; to others and himself. Or maybe Hugh was just bored and needed an excuse to spend more glaze on things he didn’t necessarily need. 

Hugh was paying more attention to things he already knew about the Cradle and himself, it helped him stay focused, especially when he started feeling overwhelmed.

Hugh could see shades of himself on the glass window in front of him, the greying hair and the wrinkles. He was a little over forty, yet every time he looked in the mirror, he felt and looked sixty. He wasn’t as attractive as he used to be, not as energetic and not as in shape. 

Perhaps he had just chosen a boring city for his retirement. The novelty of being a Sovereign had worn off in his thirties. 

“Hugh, are we going to talk about it?”, Rim said, she lay on one of the couches in a long, sleeveless, high slit white dress; it was adorned with a thin line of diamonds on the waistline. She had crossed her legs such that her thigh was deliberately exposed through the slit. Her outer thigh had a Sovereign tattoo, proof of her belonging.

Rim’s Farsidian blue skin glittered with gold, she was wearing her favourite golden flaked perfume from the Fairlight Isles. The one she used every time she had a business meeting or a negotiation. She knew its effect, she knew exactly what she was doing. “Hugh?”

“What do you want me to say, Rim?”, Hugh exhaled. “There are certain things you don’t just do. I thought we agreed that -”

“We did”, Rim emphasized, gently. “It was a mistake. I didn’t want to hurt you. You know that, right?”

Hugh stayed silent. The encroaching darkness outside had turned the glossy window into an unmarked black mirror; he could see a reflection of Rim behind him. Her Farsidian goldenrod eyes were focused and unerring. She had even worn the hairpin he had bought her the previous year in Zohm, tying her black hair into a knot.

“Come on Hugh, at least look at me.”

“You finally wore the pin”, Hugh said. “The irony. Today, of all days.”

“I wanted to surprise you. I just didn’t think that… you know.”

“That I would catch you?”, Hugh said dryly.

“That’s not fair. I didn’t do it for him”, she looked away briefly, focusing her eyes on the door behind her, and then she looked back at Hugh. “I promise. It was for you.”

Hugh turned around to face Rim. “Was he good?”

Rim tilted her head and pursed her lips as if to imply, You don’t want to know that.

Hugh moved in closer and sat on a couch across from Rim, it was divided by a glass table that had a stubbed cigar, an open packet of blue stone and a variety of wines and whiskey. No human could ingest blue stone without burning their insides, that was Rim’s. The wine and whiskey were unopened.

 Hugh picked up the leftover cigar, noting how it had been smoked by Rim’s visitor. “He got comfortable. How was he? Everything you hoped he would be?”

“Hugh …”, Rim sat up on her couch and tapped gently on the space beside her. “Please. Come closer so we can talk.”

Rim.

She paused. “He was, okay. I guess.”

“Is this because I no longer make time for us? You felt lonely. Is that why you did this?”

“No”, she fiddled with her nails. “Nothing like that.”

“Can you at least tell me his name?”

“I didn’t really, get a name.”

Hugh nodded out of habit.

“Hugh, listen — If it’s any consolation, I didn’t plan on you finding out. The Kings’ Union was supposed to go for another five hours and if you hadn’t left the venue prematurely …”

“Is that supposed to make me feel better?”

“No”, Rim said. “But it’s the truth.”

Hugh looked past Rim, behind her was the door into their bedroom. “So you said he’s still in there?”

Rim bit her lower. “Yes. Please don’t get angry.”

“No promises”, Hugh grunted, heavy shoulders as he stood up. “Looks like it’s time I dealt with him.”

“Hugh, I’m the one who messed up. You don’t have to. I’ll take care of him. You can come and see for yourself; nothing I’ve said is a lie”, she let out her hand, encouraging Hugh to hold it.

With a resigned sigh, Hugh held her hand as she led him into the bedroom. It was dark in there. 

Hugh switched on the light, and on the white carpet right beside the bed lay the body of a middle-aged man. He was wearing a faded suit and his head was covered in blood. 

Years as a Kohlgraäd Regulator helped Hugh deduce that the man had been struck by a blunt object. And now he lay on the ground bleeding; drenching his area of the carpet in a dark crimson. He looked like an underground Prospector trying to parse off as a Sovereign, sophisticated. Hugh had seen many of his kind whilst serving the Government. The man’s right hand had a smudgy Sovereign tattoo. It was pathetically fake.

“Well?”, Rim said. “Are you ready to give me your verdict?”

She hadn’t been lying. There was nothing inventive about the setup. It all looked sloppy and unimaginative. “You were right. Nothing special happened. It’s almost depressing”, he opened a nearby wardrobe, their equipment was untouched.

“Babe”, Rim said. “I didn’t use any of it. I wouldn’t do that without you.”

“I suppose I might have overreacted. When you said I shouldn’t come in here I expected the worst. That you had decided to have fun without me.”

Rim cupped Hugh’s face gently in her hands, ensuring his eyes met hers. “As I said before, I wanted it to be a surprise. I wanted you to see that I’ve been paying attention, I’ve been learning. But, well, he tried to escape and …”

“You took care of him”, Hugh smiled. “I’m proud of you.”

The middle-aged man woke up, panicked but unable to move. He was paralyzed. His eyes darted everywhere in confusion; oscillating between Hugh and Rim.

                                                     *************

Rim

Rim pushed Hugh on the bed, helping him unbuckle his belt. She removed her underwear and went on top of him, holding his hands down firmly as she swayed her hips, directing him inside her. She let the pleasure wash over her, Hugh was immersed as well, his frustration from earlier vanishing just as quickly.

From her position, Rim could see the paralyzed man on the ground looking at her, unable to move; with no choice but to be a viewer. Something about that just worked for her.

That’s right. Rim thought as she moaned. Look at me, look at me like that. Like you thought I was yours. Like you could ever lay with me. You filthy fuck.

She began moving her hips faster. Pressing Hugh deeper.

 Don’t die, don’t die. Not quickly.

 

Not before I … 

– O.D. ©2022

Art by: moonworker1

If you’re curious, this story takes place in the universe of my upcoming book. It’s an action-packed adult fantasy novel that takes place in a world called Cradle. The title of the book I’ll share at a later date.

I’ve done so much world-building for this universe that I considered doing some experimental writing. As I said before, it’s an action-packed adult fantasy novel and yet what I shared in this post does not evoke that same tone.

This is more along the lines of an adult fantasy thriller. And that’s the experiment.

I want to see how many tones I can organically bridge in the same universe using the rules that apply to everyone living within it. 

So I might write a horror story in a different part of this world and maybe even a short comedy. For anyone interested in reading my book, or even those who aren’t, these self-contained stories will be easily digestible. There will be no cliffhangers and none of the characters featured here will appear in the book so it’s completely spoiler-free.

It’s literally just a high-resolution window into different parts of the world.

(It would be such a waste to have this huge world only to follow a specific set of characters without exploring what else it has to offer)

The point here is to have fun, I hope you enjoy it 🙂 

Neuroticism Schism.

Don’t be offended;

Be corrected.

– O.D. ©2022

Art by:  wlop

Vibe Check #1

I should start off by saying I feel innate joy. A joy I haven’t felt in years.

A lot has been going my way of late, so when you hear everything else I have to say in this post know that it’s me wrestling with different thoughts.

(Edit: actually, I should say what comes next is stuff I’ve been reading on and thinking about; discussions in the comment section are welcome)

These vibe checks will help me come clean about all the things I think about without necessarily making entire posts for each one of them.

Think of this as one big status update with all the juicy bits; in case you’re curious about what I get up to.

********

architect_of_lifespan_by_vetyr_dc0yqxr-fullview

A DETOUR TO ACE VILLE

Being an asexual is something else, man. I’ve seen insecurities fly out of ladies who expected me to ask for sex on a first date.

I’ve seen insecurities fly out of men who thought I was doing some reverse psychology on the ladies.

These are just some of the negatives that come with being asexual. The benefits however are insane.

For example, I have a high appreciation for good fashion in men and women. As odd as it might sound, I also know the difference between a good make-up artist and a bad one — has to do with growing up around many sisters. But other than that, I am able to look past all of that and see who you are.

If someone has a nice body, I don’t get aroused sexually. To describe the feeling I get, it’s a little like seeing a beautiful sunset or an aurora. It’s aesthetically pleasing, but I don’t want to do anything physical with it.

I’d like to believe it’s helped me stay incredibly open-minded about people. Because I know how annoying it is to be misunderstood. The quality of good listening is depreciating rapidly ladies and gentlemen.

And I refuse to be a part of it.

*******

pink__hair__by_vetyr_dc044wi-fullview

NARCISSIST CLEANSE

“You win”

That’s what narcissists want to hear. They don’t even know what they’re winning at.

Are they winning at their delusional games? Life?

That reasoning sounds about right; because only a moron believes they “win” by overpowering others. Only a moron believes life has winners and losers — a scarcity mindset to spiritual fulfilment that carries roughly the same energy as toddlers fighting over crayons in a pencil case.

Narcissists are the type of children that decided to taste their own faeces one day because they were convinced each slurp would taste different. I pray to God they stopped when they tasted the first one, wouldn’t put it past them to still be sampling.

I would ask “For how long?” narcissists plan to manipulate their way through relationships with family, friends or lovers. But the only thing I’ll be getting at the end of that is either rage or sophist arguments. A cocktail of mental ineptitude I don’t nearly have the bandwidth nor patience for.

People often ask me why I talk about narcissists so much. It’s because I grew up with them.

I know the damage these people inflict, especially on young people. I won’t name drop family members, not out of respect — god no. If I could, I would expose every single one of them for the world to see. But because they’ll get narcissistic supply from it, I’d rather not. They’ll misinterpret all of this as a jab at them when all I’m trying to do is inform others so they don’t have to go through the same thing I went through.

Once you know you’re not alone in dealing with people like this, it becomes easier to see the patterns and you’re more likely to seek help which is an absolute win in my opinion.

********

seething_by_vetyr_dcj4t4k-fullview

A GREEK ROAST

René Girard said,Man is the creature who does not know what to desire, and he turns to others in order to make up his mind.” i.e “people don’t know what they want”

There are two interpretations to this statement (let me know in the comments if there are others):

To begin with, a majority of people don’t know what they want because they haven’t taken the time to explore themselves. To see their strengths, their weaknesses, what brings them shame, what brings them joy and accepting all of it. Most people prefer to keep that hidden and get angry when it’s brought up, even when the intention is to understand, not hurt.

Second, people at their core may not know what they want because desire is mimetic. And that’s no one’s fault. You can say you want to be an astronaut because you saw one and it inspired you. That’s not a wholly original thought. In many ways, you were given what to want, and what to think about what you want. You weren’t the first person to think that very thought.

Before that, you likely had no idea what you wanted. And you could just as easily change your mind if what you want doesn’t mesh well. Or if you’re inspired by something else.

I think the first interpretation works well for those looking to be part of relationships. You can’t be romantically involved with someone who doesn’t know what they want. Because in the end, it will fall on you to make and keep them happy. And that, my friend, is a heavy burden.

I think the second one can be used in many places but I would direct it toward my fellow artists. Plato argued that art is mimetic. He believed that the ultimate reality existed in the realm of ideas and that art was a poor imitation of it.

He uses the example of a chair: So a carpenter thinks of a chair, in the realm of ideas and he manifests it in reality by making a wooden chair. An artist sees this chair and makes a painting of it. Plato’s main argument with his theory of mimesis centred around how things like poetry and art are twice removed from reality and by that very notion, they add no value or teachings.

Cool story bro, but I disagree… and so did Aristotle.

Aristotle countered Plato by mentioning how poetry is not a simple reflection of reality, much like a mirror. He added that:

“Art cannot be a slavish imitation of reality. Literature is not the exact reproduction of life in all its totality. It is the representation of selected events and characters necessary in a coherent action for the realization of the artist’s purpose.

He (the artist) even exalts, idealizes and imaginatively recreates a world which has its own meaning and beauty. These elements, present in art, are absent in the raw and rough real. While a poet creates something less than reality he at the same time creates something more as well. He puts an idea of the reality which he perceives in an object. This ‘more’, this intuition and perception, is the aim of the artist. Artistic creation cannot be fairly criticized on the ground that it is not the creation in concrete terms of things and beings. Thus considered, it does not take us away from the Truth but leads us to the essential reality of life”

My word, what a burn. But Aristotle wasn’t done roasting his mentor lol

“Plato again says that art is bad because it does not inspire virtue, and does not teach morality. But is teaching the function of art? Is it the aim of the artist? The function of art is to provide aesthetic delight, communicate experience, express emotions and represent life. It should never be confused with the function of ethics which is simply to teach morality. If an artist succeeds in pleasing us in the aesthetic sense, he is a good
artist. If he fails in doing so, he is a bad artist. There is no other criterion to judge his worth”

Furthermore.. 

“Morality teaches. Art does not attempt to teach. It merely asserts it is thus or thus that life is perceived to be. That is my bit of reality, says the artist. Take it or leave it – draw any lessons you like from it – that is my account of things as they are – if it has any value to you as evidence of teaching, use it, but that is not my business: I have given you my rendering, my account, my vision, my dream, my illusion – call it what you will. If there is any lesson in it, it is yours to draw, not mine to preach.”

I think that’s a good way to end this post.

The past informs the future and the future informs the past. There is no present.

God, I love being a poet!

– O.D. ©2022

Art by: Vetyr

References:

“Plato’s theory on Mimesis”

Girard, “Generative Scapegoating”, in Robert G. Hammerton-Kelly, eds., Violent Origins: Walter Burkert, René Girard, and Jonathan Z. Smith on Ritual Killing and Cultural Formation, p. 122

Mimesis.

When you live outside space and time

History and the future exist within a bubble —

A repository — from there you get to pick a single moment

Grip the remote and press “resume”

Easy to do when you already know how it concludes.

Once we’re born, we start dying.

My role as a poet is to make sure you enjoy the trip;

And if I do it exceptionally well

You may even start looking forward to it.

Death is the limitation of our interpretation and understanding.

We live in the world as it watches.

Unfasten the ribbon that contains our four-dimensional reality,

The only way to open a gift without harming it;

And when you take a peek you’ll notice a mirror

You’ve always been an integral part of it.

I hung my demon and turned it into a trophy — a warning.

Each moment I wake, I become newly discovered.

Shiny object syndrome, for unrepresented spirits,

The new kid on the block in the realm of darkness and light.

Altered Carbon how they want me as their sleeve.

Desire is mimetic, but I warn people to avoid trying to mirror mine

I carry enough soul to possess all parts of the trolley problem.

Skeptics doubt miracles, all the while looking past the irony of being alive.

Our universe has always been the best embodiment of every genre

From romance to comedy.

To oligarchy power motives and drunk dial confessions;

Even those that curse the world for not being fair and failing to meet our expectations

And here I am …

Just glad to be here.

– O.D. ©2022

Art by: Vetyr

Write On!

I got this message in March but I kept postponing lol

Happy to be here, I’ve seen myself grow as a person and as a writer. And I’ll keep growing.

A few highlights include venturing into Spoken Word poetry and working on my emotional intelligence. None are perfect, but that’s not the point. I can safely look back to the person I was a year ago and say “Yeah, I’m glad I worked on that.”

It sometimes scares me how little I react to aggression and toxicity. The feeling is now so foreign to me. I respond instead. It’s magical, to be honest.

This has always been my safe space. And it couldn’t have been that way without those I choose to call friends (you know who you are fellow spirit guides 😉 ).

I hope you enjoy my work just as much as I enjoy writing it. And if you don’t, that’s okay lol it’s not for everyone.

Thanks to everyone who supports what I do. I appreciate you ❤

We write on!

– O.D. ©2022

%d bloggers like this: