Contains some graphic images.
It was their last moment of joy.
The dead and dying were brought here, during those last moments before the end, or those first moments after, brought to a sky beneath the surface of the earth. Once it had been grass, then dirt and now old cobblestones held the swings aloft as they moved through the grey clouds. This was all there was in the afterlife, thin metal swings and a last moment of joy.
They were welded in place, skin was seared and screams of pain echoed across the vast sky but all so they wouldn’t fall too soon. Left in place, and pushed just once, they started to move – slowly – slowly – until the pain subsided enough for the euphoria of the drugs and oxygen to take over. The faces were blank at first, sweat falling and slipping into their mouths as their lips curled up into slight smiles.
The oxygen was high – high – higher until they were breathing only oxygen, every molecule that they inhaled was taking them higher and the smiles became bigger.
It reverberated back and was felt though the chests of every life, a wave of glee followed, from that first giggle out until everyone was laughing, swinging higher, feeling happy.
This was the part of the job Reb enjoyed, as brief as it was.
They were happy, these dying and dead, they were enjoying themselves and Reb could relax for a few minutes as they swung higher and higher through the thick oxygen. It wouldn’t last long, it never did, but it was wonderful to watch, it was all that kept him going through the day – their last moments of joy in life before the end.
It had never been his intention to end up in a job like this, he’d not had grand plans, but he’d always hoped to be higher up in the grand scheme of life and death. Maybe inserting the souls into newborns, or even extracting souls from the dying. His lot in life had found him here though, controlling the swings and it was tiring, draining.
He could feel it; a sliver of his very core being chipped away with every to and fro of the dying, with every scream and sharp intake of breath.
With every death.
He hadn’t done anything to deserve this post, this position in life, it was neither reward nor punishment. Things didn’t work like that, not for him, not for his kind. So there was no complaining, no one to complain to. Not that he would; he did his job, over and over, losing more of his soul even though eventually he would be empty and not even their joy would get him by.
When he was empty he would be cast aside like those on the swings and another would take his place.
It was inevitable.
The joy was reaching it’s crescendo.
Reb would not get a last moment like them.
The oxygen was becoming a toxin now, a few coughs could be heard, some were already twitching. The best was over, the end was here. The oxygen was had built up in their systems and were over-whelming their very cells. There was a ripple of panic, dulled by confusion and nausea. Some were sick, some convulsing. Violent and dirty, hands were ripped free of their positions on the chains, blood flowing from their veins and through the air, down – down – down.
They began to fall. Just a few at a time. Bit by bit and the fall was swift as they disappeared into the ether with a howl.
Most fell to sleep; it was strange to see – twitching lips, convulsing arms and legs, the odd snore making it’s way through the shouts and shrieks towards Reb’s booth.
This was it. The end.
A quick flick of his hand and remaining lives were let go, hands torn from the cold metal and their bodies sailing down through the clouds into oblivion. They were done then.
So was Reb.
As they next lot were brought down and placed onto the swings, he sat back in his own chair and closed his eyes, waiting for the ache in his chest to dissipate for another few minutes. He was coming to his own oblivion.
He welcomed it.
I don’t get Men’s Rights Groups.
Okay, so obviously as a bisexual woman suffering with mental health problems , married to another woman, who is an American and not a full citizen of this country just yet, my rights are somewhat lacking in places, though improving as time goes by. And as crazy bi woman I’m naturally unlikely to understand the needs and the rights these men are lacking by default.
The problem is, that most of these men’s rights groups are formed and populated by men who are the same guys who will tell you their nice guys because “they’ve never hit a woman” and “never would hit a woman.”
There are so many problems with that way of thinking and I’m not even sure I can get them all across to you without sounding like I’m ranting, but I’ll give it a crack.
Let’s start with the woman part.
Ignoring the sexism in that sentence as a human being, surely, you shouldn’t want to to hit another human being, or shouldn’t have hit another human being. Violence isn’t the answer. As a woman, I would rather you didn’t hit anyone overall, but if you were going to hit someone, I would rather you put me on equal footing with other people who has pissed you off enough to resort to violence. I am weaker than some men, but stronger than others. Same for women. I would just rather have that same consideration – you know – if you have to hit me because you’re that angry with me. That fact that I’m a woman shouldn’t make the difference.
The fact that violence doesn’t help should make the difference.
Okay, so, you would never hit a woman, you never have hit a woman. Good for you, but, they don’t give people awards for not doing something. Say I’ve never committed a crime, my prize is not going to prison. No, it doesn’t work like that. I’ve never broken a window or spray painted a wall. That means I’m not a vandal, but that doesn’t automatically make me a good person. A nice person. I’ve sworn at people, hit people, lied to people – these things don’t make me a jerk either. Not overall. There are no prizes for not doing something. If there were, I’d have an Oscar for my non appearance in film, a grammy for not singing on an album, and Nobel Peace Prize for never going to Syria and doing nothing about the problems there. I wouldn’t have room in my living for all the awards I’d get for not doing anything.
Not hitting a woman, never going to hit a woman? That doesn’t make you a nice guy.
What makes you a nice guy? Doing good things. Being a good person through your actions, not your inactions.
The other problem I have with Men’s Rights Groups, is well – other than the obvious fact that men have more of the rights that women are looking for – the rights they are fighting for are the wrong rights. There actually areas in life in which men are overlooked. Domestic Violence for example, suicide rates is another. Suicide is one of the biggest killers of men aged 18-35. More women attempted suicide, but more men succeed in killing themselves. These are well known facts. Men find it harder to talk about their depression. Men find it harder to seek help for the mental health problems, they find it harder to seek help with domestic violence problems. Men suffer from post-partum depression, like women do. Unemployed undereducated young men are being forgotten as the people label them work-shy and lazy, when the reality is very different and there few jobs out there for them. They get lost in statistics and ostracised by society the moment they don’t have a job. Even when it’s not their fault. Even when they are trying to get a job. Male rape. Are we doing enough for the male victims are rape as we fight the rape culture for women? Gay men? What about their rights and their place in the world….there are so many things you could be fighting for and what have you chosen? You’ve chosen to fight for your own superiority. For your own selfish power. You’ve chosen to fight for the right to put people down – women and men. Anyone who is different from yourself.
I am a feminist. I am against men’s rights groups, these men are doing nothing for men and for society at all. If these men want to change the world, for the better, for themselves, for men then they are seriously missing the point. You want to be nice? Go help your elderly neighbour do his shopping. Go volunteer for a domestic violence group. Raise some money for a rape crisis centre. Treat women like equals. Like people. Treat people equally. That makes you nice.
Remember it’s your actions and not your inactions that will make a mark on this world and you should chose those actions carefully.
Links to Consider
I wrote about a time
external to myself
with little in common
we dance upon the death of
the worst of our words.
I can’t dance.
You can’t write.
We never get very far
with nine a piece
I noted, and ready
washed away what was left of
the worst of our words.
I can’t dance.
You can’t write.
Settle in for later
every time I see that book
I shudder than through
the internal we wander over
the worst of our words.
I can’t dance.
You can’t write.
That’s all there was ever time for.
So two years ago I married my wife. We had a mad little ceremony with our family, created some chaos in the Conrah Hotel and started our own little family. It’s small, just the two of us and a lot of animals but it’s our family. Mum and Jay came over and wanted to see the chickens (Jay hadn’t seen them yet) and commented on how I was living in a weird little world. Which made me laugh.
It’s a weird little world we inhabited, my wife and I. We managed to fit chickens into our garden and three cats into our bungalow and there is books and ponies everywhere you turn in the living room. The laundry is never done and there are paper-crafts of birds and St.David and other things on the walls. My computer doesn’t work and we never have any money, and my fridge has so many magnetic letters on it there’s hardly any room to make rude words let alone anything else. I eat healthier than I ever did before, and my wife knows more about everything than I’ve ever met and I actually sleep at night.
It’s a weird little world, because it’s our world and we are weird. Very weird.
But happy. We’re happy too. I’m happier than I can ever remember being. I still suffer from depression and I lost my damn job on Sunday, but I can’t ever remember this happy. Kate Ellen makes me happy.
I love her, even when everything is at it’s worse. I just love her more and more. Every day. Even when she’s boiling hot and lying on top of me. Even when she’s being stubborn and won’t go to the doctor when she’s really ill, or forgets to carry her asthma inhaler around with her. Even when she puts kidney in my food or asks me to try heart or anything else weird really. And those are the only things about her that annoy me. Oh except she doesn’t want me eating all the delicious salty things because they’re bad for me and I’m a bit sensitive to salt. That’s it.
And I know I am way more annoying.
But she loves me. I know she loves me. I know she will always love me.
For our anniversary, I did a little treasure hunt around the house. With hedgehogs. I did it last night because we’re going to the beach tomorrow.
I love my wife. I am damn lucky. I will never top this feeling.