prose

Domino

         When you went to my Grandfathers house, you could always find in the table of the living room a game of domino already finished. Every sunday that we went to visit him we would get all the cousins together and play against him. He would love to play the game and every time he finished playing he would leave the finished game in the table until he would play again. When I was young I didn’t understand why he would leave the dominos on the table and they would last even longer there when he lost. It was not until he past away and I was playing domino that I tried to imitate him and decided to leave the game as it ended, and when I returned to play again I noticed that I could have won the game if I had played the correct hand. It was in that moment that I realized that the reason he would leave the game as it ended was so that he could be able to analyze his game every time he past by that room and he could improve his game and skills. He had a huge collection of dominos for all parts of the world, he used to buy them as he traveled. But also each year when it was his birthday his friends and family would give him dominos and he would love them. His favorite ones were ones that were custom made, they had the name of my family in the back and the place where he worked most of his life in the front. The game of domino consist of playing with 4 players and it is very common to play this game with your friends especially elder people, the work of my grandparent consisted of being a very social person and knowing a lot of people. I remember how he once told me that he had made and sealed a lot of friendships throughout his life while playing this game with them. The way that my grandfather loved to play this game made me understand how important friendship is in life and also how you should always try to improve and understand where you went wrong.

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How Soon?

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Prose

If I said I knew what I was doing I’d be lying, because maybe sanity is overrated or maybe I was interrupted from life from the very second I was conceived in my mother’s womb. I driving in the hour of twilight and the affairs I had along the way were my only pure daylight. The men, they were all nothing until I met him; quiet, yes. But so enigmatic, prismatic, and most of all charismatic; how cliché: a story about a boy who loved a boy with his whole time-lost heart.

I had always gotten the feeling that if I had to choose between the arcane men and myself death would seem much more fitting than a world desolate of mystery. 

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Half Empty

A glass half empty, a glass half full….everyone knows what is meant by this. I guess I’m the pessimist. My glass IS half empty, I am half empty. Everything good that happens seems to not have any effect on my half empty glass, but everything negative from unbearable to tolerable seems to be a drop taken from the glass that I worry I may never get back. My predators all drank from the glass, thirsty for an easy target. The closer to the bottom of the glass I get, I can no longer see my reflection in it, I feel my strength draining down to the last drop when I have to scrape for something to continue to fight for. Things aren’t clearer through an empty glass, they are streaked with unpleasant remnants of what they left with me. Left terminally ill, my glass finally breaks, and I find myself with nothing to hold the hope in but my inadequately equipped hands. A small, intricately shaped piece of glass becomes my hope. I draw crimson ribbons with it, hoping everything coming from hate would be evicted from my body. I pray that the parts that made me, me,…are hiding dormant inside, waiting for the chance to wake and take back what once was mine,…what was supposed to be un-ownable by anyone else. Like a string of pearls,…beads escape wildly across the well-kempt floor as if someone yanked them from my undeserving neck….life drains from my half-empty body. My slow departure being one last punishment I had expected would find me. Maybe now they would see that I was right, I was a half-empty kind of girl….my life ending in a half-empty state. Half-empty was enough, or so I thought.

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Vague Garbage

It feels as though some part of me is about to go away forever. It will exit through the back of my skull, and will leave a large, gaping exit-wound that likely won't have any blood to offer the air. In time it will close and there will be no scars hinting at any sort of passage into or out of my cranial dome.

Because I am unable to take anything I say or think seriously as of late, everything I write must be some mixed, vaguely metaphorical slew of nonsense alluding to me, to the people I know and to the situations I may or may not actually be experiencing. It's almost comforting but then it isn't, because it isn't interesting, it isn't helping and it isn't constructive. Nobody's paying close attention unless they already were to begin with. It's hard to garner attention for one's self if one's self is also terrified of being judged, or worse, being seen as boring.

But I am boring when I'm not conflicted. Thank goodness, because I'm always conflicted over something. At that point I transcend from the boring into the annoying, and there are entirely new reasons to be away from me and entirely new reasons to keep my moods, emotions and thoughts totally to myself. But then somebody bumps into me a little too hard at the wrong angle, and, like an over-inflated balloon after encountering a sharp point, I begin to squeal audibly as everything underneath my skin comes flailing out in a stream of hot gas and empty atmospheric waste.

This morning I awoke to nothing besides the sweet sound of my cat knocking my desk lamp on to the floor, which, of course, has broken and also managed to knock my glasses on the way down, not bending their frames somehow but still scratching BOTH lenses. That's the second lamp he's broken in less than a month, and now I don't have a lamp for my computer desk. On the bright side, I got to work earlier than usual.

I had a lovely dream before I was disturbed this morning, though. I was in a cafe of sorts, in one of those dreamscapes formed entirely by the first-person view where you never actually turn to observe the people that accompany you. I knew there were friends nearby - clearly I wouldn't come to such a place by myself. And as I sat with one of my knees pulled to my chest, looking about as relaxed as I actually was and with my head full of muddled pointlessness and curious feelings of ambiguity about the validity of the world around me, I spotted the one familiar, and clearly dominant face of the dreamscape. It was Josh, Megan's old (or current I guess) lover. Nothing really happened between us. He was sitting only six or seven feet away and we happened to be facing each other. He glanced at me occasionally, pretending not to notice, all the while I simply stared at this stupid, fucking bearded face without hesitation of aversion of the eyes. Then I raised my right hand, the dominant one of course, and flipped him in the bird. I even held it in the air and moved it from side to side, to be damn sure that he would notice it.

That was the whole dream. It was great.

I think I may actually be going a little crazier than I was.

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What’s inside the purse?

Emergency kit, lip-gloss, paper fan, sewing kit, everything I needed I knew I can find it there. Besides being my best friend I’ve always seen my mother as a hero, and her purse is one of her special weapons. Whenever I think of a bad situation I think on my mother finding a way to fix it. I remember when I was 10 I was at Dallas, Texas ready for my ice skating competition, or at least that’s what I thought, two minutes before going in the rink, I saw how my costume was ripped from one side, if it hadn’t been for the sewing kit my mom had on her purse, I probably wouldn’t have competed, she immediately saw it back again and I was ready in a matter of seconds. Four years ago, my mother took me and my friends to South Padre Island, we had so much fun for the first two days, that night the hotel’s emergency alarm went on and we had to leave the building, hurricane “Dolly” attacked the island while we were sleeping. We found a basement safe for us to stay, 10 people and a total of 24 hours on the same room, how did we make it? Yeah, you’re right… my mom’s purse; from food to emergency blankets, my mom just kept taking things out of there, once again we were saved by the power of the purse. I remember being so nervous at that time, hearing the strong wind blow and the sound of things falling every second, I guess that knowing how I could find something on that purse that will help us make it through such a bad day relaxed me and made me feel better. I can’t even think of one time since I was little that I needed something that I couldn’t find there, sometimes I didn’t even had to ask for it the fact of knowing that it was in there made me feel secure. All these years I’ve been thinking why is it that I find so important what’s inside my mother’s purse, I finally found out that it’s not about the things, its about the way it makes me feel, secure and protected. When I grow older and have kids, I hope the stuff I have in my purse make them feel the same way.

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Rambling at Work

I'm comfortable today, though I am and have been starving since eight am. My morning slim shakes aren't doing the job anymore. Maybe there's food nearby? I haven't heard of any birthday celebrations today, but that doesn't mean there isn't something free to eat at a desk on the other side of the building, somewhere.

I managed to get a good walk in yesterday evening after departing from work. I've really lost my motivation to exercise as of late, so it felt good to get out there and move. Walking long distances always centers me. Whereas I used to simply walk the circular labrynthian neighborhoods all connected to my own home street back at my parent's house; since moving, I've ended up walking all of the hilliest and most unforgiving roads in terms of terrain and traffic that I can find. It makes for a much better workout, though it also runs the risk of allowing people to throw shit at you, which happens more often than I would prefer. I've been hit directly in the back of the neck with a quarter, which, while painful, I had to hand it to whoever threw it: it was a damn good shot, especially out of the window of a moving car. I've also been hit, dead on, full force, in the crotch by a cup of ice. Once again, this was from a moving car. That one was also a pretty good shot, and it took every ounce of my will to stop from slowing my pace. It hurt really, really bad.

I walk for many miles, generally stoned if at all possible, and with my headphones on. That beautiful sensation of making progress, of making headway and of just getting somewhere, anywhere, is probably what I love most about my walks. In my day to day life, there is a stagnancy. I'm not unique in this regard by any means, but it's still torturous, especially on my bad days. I've always been the type of person that desires purpose, and I've yet to find one that's lasted. There was a time when I felt that my purpose in life was to eventually become a professional artist, but I've bypassed that, and these days I hardly do any drawing at all. After that, I was sure that my purpose in life centered around Emily, and keeping her happy and at my side. After she left, and I had my uproarious identity crisis which turned me from a fat, mostly-jovial and exceptionally kind teenager into a thin, cynical and stoic asshole of a young adult, I was completely at a loss, dropping out of a college and taking on a full-time job just to prevent myself from dwelling on my sorrows in my free time.

After becoming a college drop-out (the first time) things only got worse and more out-of-control. Upon my return from Columbus, I knew that there was really nowhere to go and nothing to pursue. I had no goals besides getting weed, staying high and hopefully, somewhere in the midst of that, finding a girl that will stick around this time. A dozen failures and another ruined relationship later, I was worse off than when I had started, completely broke and at a point where suicide sounded logical rather than drastic. But I'm a dramatic and emotional young man, and in time I weathered that storm. These thoughts do crop up from time to time though, even now. Despite my good job, my friends, my family; none of it matters to me apparently, though it is what keeps me going. I want something more.

I have a habit of constantly checking things where people may be trying to get a hold of me. Whether it be my e-mail, my Facebook, my cell phone or this site itself; I'm always glancing when I have a spare moment, hoping for a word from... Someone. I'm not sure why, nor am I sure what exactly it is that I'm waiting for. Just... Contact. I suppose it's just my conscious/subconscious desire to be wanted and sought out manifesting itself. As if one, beautiful day, I'll open a new tab on my internet browser and take a peek at my e-mail; there, I will find a long, wordy, unabashedly DESPERATE message from someone, maybe Kathleen, telling me that they want me, they NEED me, they're IN LOVE with me and they can't go another day without me at their side. Suddenly, all of this chaos that reigns above my head and keeps me held firmly at bay will disperse, and I will rise, oh yes, RISE into the heavens and become, at long last, a happy and fulfilled person.

Stupid, right?

It's a stupid habit to have, one that I should be taking active steps to rid myself of. But I suppose there isn't any real harm in it. If I take some simple delight in doing so, why not take a moment to make a wish and then see if my wish came true? I've had wishes come true before. As cheesy as it sounds, Emily coming into my life was a wish that came true. I was lonely and had been single for some time, and every day I wished to find love. Suddenly, love came, in the form of a beautiful Italian girl that was so far out of my league that I was legitimately confused when our time together began so quickly. And we worked, for a long time. So maybe that will happen again. Who can say? I may be having absolutely terrible luck with women right now, but hopefully it won't last.

I've felt the sobering sting of rejection far too much in the past year. It's been a brutal time to be alive in many ways, and I'm glad that things have gotten so much better, at least financially-speaking. But still, I am alone. My solitude may be what's best for me right now, but that sure as hell doesn't mean I have to like it. I haven't the faintest idea how to stand out to all of the lovely, captivating women out there. The longer I go unnoticed, the worse I tend to think of myself. That isn't fair or even really sensible, but it's not something I have much influence over. I like to think that some day, I'll be able to properly judge my own self-worth, without taking into account shallow occurances such as a girl that eyes me up and down or the vague, half-informed opinions she may have about me based on my appearance. But if the entirety of my life up until this point is any sort of indicator, then I will likely be this way forever. Unfortunate, but it's hard to do combat with who you are at your core.

It's fun to look back on my time with Emily at this point. I miss all of the warmth that accompanied it, and it's nice to reflect on all of the good times. Megan and I never had a relationship like that. Ours was a relationship built around sex, strain and intoxication. I don't really know if I regret the time I spent with her. It lead to nothing besides conflict, with her and with friends that knew her, and I suppose in that regard, I do wish we had been wise with whom we chose to lay with. I also missed a few chances with other girls while Megan was around, but I doubt any of those paths would have lead anywhere relevant.

Really, I wish I had been better to Megan. I wish so distraught all of the time, and I allowed my patience with her to wittle down to absolutely nothing. Never in my life have I argued with someone so often and so fiercely. I have never been one to raise my voice to anyone, even out of anger, but Megan simply brought it out of me like no other girl ever could. We were an extremely physical couple, wrestling often, fucking constantly and always playfully pushing each other around. We never actually raised our fists against one-another of course, but at times, I wasn't exactly sure how long it would be before Megan straight up threw a punch at me. I'd deserve it too. She was unreasonable and obnoxious more often than not, but she was also exceedingly sweet and understanding of my mood swings. She deserved much, much better than what I gave to her. Despite all of that, she still considered me one of the sweetest boyfriends she had ever had. That's so sad, and so unfair.

I managed to further ruin things between Megan and I when I drunkenly tried to get a booty call out of her a few months back. Certainly not one of my finer moments, but considering that she left me and immediately slept with that piece-of-shit that she's always hanging around, I honestly thought it was a plausible attempt (at the time). I regret that, of course, but I think in the end it may have been best to simply remove myself from Megan's life entirely. That's another thing that this last year has been about: the removal of those who are bad for my mental health. That's not to say that I've purged a large amount of my social circle; it really only applies to a small handful of people. But I'm glad to have done away with them, and I'm glad that the splash of their waves of melodrama is no longer able to reach me.

At this point, I'm not entirely sure what I was supposed to be talking about. I'm just practicing a form of writing that isn't poetry. Work with me here.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Neat new layout.

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Back Log Prose

I powered on my computer and waited impatiently for the login screen to appear. The desktop was running slower than it generally does, which cost me a few minutes before I was able to clock-in, but I was a half-an-hour early so it's not like it mattered. The Cincinnati skyscrapers loomed in the distance, catching the orange light of the sunrise which gave them a drastic contrast against the thick, grey clouds that retreated into the morning behind them.

It's the start of another work week at Southwest.

Much of the time, I'm not actually working when I'm at the office. I get enough done so that nobody asks any questions about my production, but more often than not, when I appear to be diligently typing figures into a valuation, I'm actually writing something for myself. When I appear to be deeply involved in an investigation that will hopefully yield some comparable sales to be used, I'm probably reading something completely unrelated to work altogether. If anybody knows, they obviously don't care. I get about thirty valuations done a day, which I'm told is a lot, all the while keeping my mind occupied with other things, listening to music and occasionally wandering off just so that I can look at something that isn't a flat-screen monitor for a moment. Some times I'll e-mail my friend Melissa, usually only if I find something funny about a borrower's name, or if the name of the town I'm working on in North Carolina is something perverted like Climax or Cumming (both of those are real towns, though I can't remember which states they're in).

I do enjoy my job, and I want to succeed at it. Though I do goof off, I am sure to not allow myself to slack so far that my work actually suffers. I think that if I were to completely cut myself off from any and all distractions, that my work wouldn't really improve as I would become frustrated much more often, which, in turn, would make me more likely to half-ass a valuation in order to get it out of my queue.

Maybe I'm just making excuses so that I can keep writing whatever this is that I'm writing at the moment.

Anyway, it was an eventful, drunken weekend. I look back on it fondly, but it also has brought something kind of serious to my attention: I have to stop hanging around my buddy Kevin when we go out to bars. Unless I am the only boy my age in the room, girls almost never notice me. I must have a way of blending into my surroundings. I don't do it intentionally; more than anything else, I want women to take notice of my presence, and to be interested. But when Kevin's around, everything gets worse. The man is over six feet tall, has black hair and dark skin, is in good shape, and man, all of the ladies just lose their shit over him. He never acts on anything, which somehow makes it all the more frustrating, but regardless of his complacency, women absolutely fawn over him. I hate that I have jealousy issues at all, but what can I do? Even Emily, the one-time love of my life, told me point blank, to my fucking face, that Kevin is better looking than I am. I don't know if you've ever experienced that, having the girl that you loved more than anything or anyone else tell you that one of your best friends is more attractive to her than you, but I can tell you from my own firsthand experience that it will fucking ruin you, at least for a while. Hell, it seems like it partially ruined me for good; I can't seem to shake the thought of it no matter what, and even now, it's proving to be completely true.

Do you think I sound shallow, talking exclusively about looks and outer-appearances rather than a person's personality or intelligence? You may not believe me, but these are beliefs that I have acquired and learned quite recently. I mean, I've always been told by friends and family that I'm a really handsome, attractive guy. But people that are close to you certainly aren't going to say that you're ugly as sin, nor will they let it slip that you're simply average unless you beat it out of them. So it must be true then, that my looks are just not good enough to stand out in a crowd, and therefore, I am the constant, accidental chameleon, blurring into the muddled colors of the walls that I lean against.

And here I thought that I'd managed to improve myself enough to warrant a few admiring glances from across the room. But I suppose not. And clearly, that means that I need to acquire fame and fortune as soon as possible. I mean shit, I already have an office job, a decent wardrobe and a nice car, and yet I still cannot get any women to appreciate me on a shallow level, which is the ONLY LEVEL that seems to fucking matter at this point. Girls will let me know man, they will fucking let me know when they aren't interested, and it's always just because I don't look how they'd like me to look. I'm always myself, I'm always kind, I'm never creepy and I never come on too strong. I'm just not good enough to be considered, and as far as I can gather, it's just because of the fact that I don't stand out.

But vast wealth and my name on a Wikipedia page would earn me some admiration no matter what, wouldn't it? Sure, much of it would be completely false or based upon something unstable and ultimately fake, but what does it matter? I'd take it where I could get it, and move on, just like everyone else seems so able to do even now. Maybe if I ever get around to writing my book, I'll get lucky and it'll sell. Then I'll be a published writer, and people will have to take notice of me for something. Women would flock to me because of my "depth" and my "talent" despite the fact that I'm pretty sure Larry the Cable Guy had a best selling autobiography out a while back. Then, afterwards, I can focus on releasing my poetry and continue working on other books. Life will good and complete, and I may, finally and at long last, feel this "contentment" I've heard so much about recently.

On the flip side, if my life were to end tomorrow and I saw it coming somehow, I think I'd be ready. I'd be more than ready; I'd welcome it with open arms and I would happily say goodbye to my friends and family, as this death that comes to embrace me was not a choice that I have made, but rather a choice the fates have made for me. And I'm sure they would be sad, and probably a bit confused by my reaction to my own impending doom, but whatever. Regardless of the cause or any plausible solutions, being constantly unhappy for years is really, really difficult. Thoughts of suicide aside, I still fear death somehow. The thought of being struck by lightning while caught in a terrible storm is oddly terrifying to me some times, despite the unlikelihood.

I think it's clear that I know nothing about what I want in this life.

Well, no. I want love.

It's all very confusing.

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Dancing at the Tavern

The tavern was particularly crowded that night. Droves of friends and strangers pressed together around both bars, and many others huddled in one rippling mass outside around the puny, near-useless fire pits that were placed haphazardly throughout the patio area. The pool tables were mostly unoccupied, but every bit of space around them had been eaten up by people, young and old alike, who had come out that evening to drink, dance and socialize.

The room furthest back had been converted into a blinking, pulsating dance floor yet again as the first Saturday of the month came upon us. A projector had been set up and was peering out of the DJ booth, displaying that new Tucker & Dale Vs Evil movie on the blank, right-hand wall. It was widely ignored of course, especially considering the fact that you couldn't hear the audio. The music belched out of the overhanging speakers and pushed the dance floor's tenants into a frenzied, semi-rhythmic march into and around one-another; pushing and bumping, grinding into every warm, available body and denying every grounded piece of etiquette that tells you to keep yourself to yourself.

After consuming just enough alcohol to shed my ever-present hesitation, I followed my friends to the center of the dancefloor and proceeded to do a sad, other-worldly approximation of dancing. I paid little attention to anything and anyone around me, as I've been to enough bars, parties and whatever else to know that for the most part, nobody's going to really notice that I'm there. The night went on as it generally does, and we had a fair time. I became more and more intoxicated quickly and decided that making a fool out of myself sounded like fun. I jumped in the middle of a nearby dance circle and pretended like I knew what I was doing. A girl laughed, asked me my name and told me to keep going. I didn't, and told her that she should get in there and dance instead. She did, and I wandered away, forgetting almost instantly that she had even spoken to me at all.

Most of the evening slipped by without any significant happenings at all. No one else spoke to me and I chose to hover as close to my friends as possible, like I always do. I danced for as long as I could; eyes closed, smiling wide, ignoring everything and everyone around me. In many ways, I didn't really understand why I was even there. I was wasting money on booze and I wasn't talking to any girls. But I was shaking my ass and moving my feet - I suppose that counts for something. After blowing a little over twenty dollars and finally closing my tab, we regrouped and prepared to take our leave. Just then, a couple of old acquaintances of ours emerged from the back room, arm in arm, both heavily intoxicated and in a jovial mood. One of them was an old ex-girlfriend of mine who I've sort of re-familiarized myself with over the past year or so. Though my memory at this point starts getting a bit vague and blurry, I do remember speaking to them, leaving the tavern and getting pizza, and then being invited back to my ex's nearby apartment to hang out and drink a little bit more.

Her place was typical for a young college graduate living in the trendiest part of Cincinnati's underbelly: high, vaulted ceilings, wood floors and the constant, ever-present sound of creaking boards and echoing footsteps. We sat in her living room, doing nothing in particular. I watched her and admired how pretty she was, and how she had finally grown into herself. She watched my friends and had the same thoughts.

We left. Though I don't recall doing so, I had apparently messaged my ex and told her that we should get together some time soon. When she promised me that we would, I asked her if she was simply saying that to quiet me, as every girl I know makes promises like this and never, ever follows through. She was honest and told me that no, she probably didn't mean it. In the same message, she also decided it would be best to let me know that my friends are really attractive and that someone really needs to let them know. According to her, I'm cool too, but those boys, they sure did finally mature into something special. Make sure to let them know, Rob, or give me their numbers so I can. Make sure to let them know.

That is quite literally the last thing I remember about my Saturday night: that text, and all of the wonderful feelings that accompanied it. I don't know if I should be hurt and I don't know if BEING hurt makes me an overly-sensitive little boy, but it's not like it matters.

People wonder why I'm so down on myself. I wonder about it too. I'm not sure why it started originally, but it only gets worse as more and more members of the opposite sex display their apathy regarding me. They're never very shy about it; in fact, some of them are exceedingly vocal about their opinions, and man, it fucking hurts. It hurts bad. I wish it didn't; I wish I could simply let it roll off of me and know that "It's just one girl. She doesn't matter." But no, everyone's words tend to slice into me just a bit, even if they weren't really meant to.

My ex sent me another message the following day. She apologized for what she said (or rather, how she said it) but also chose to reiterate her point, stating that she "Meant it". I have to say, at that point, the apology doesn't really fucking help.

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The Monkey Man

The grass that we were so used to was coated in two feet of snow. No green was visible beyond the radiance of the white, and it felt as if it would devour us whenever we leapt from the safety of that same old play-set that had always been there. The schoolyard hadn't changed in any way that we could recognize, and there was something comforting, yet disturbing about that fact. We were high schoolers now after all; life was basically about change. All you heard from every person that had authority over you was that change was coming - nay, happening constantly. You just didn't know it because at the time you were far too stupid to notice. That was their job in fact: to lift your veil of naivete and youthful stupidity so that the real world could smack you in the face with its dick.

Soon enough we would all be driving. Some of us would have our own cars; some of us wouldn't. A few of us would acquire our first jobs early in life, while the others would wait a little longer. Girlfriends and dates would start becoming much more commonplace, and curfews would be a thing of the past in the very near future. Booze and marijuana would suddenly be a constant presence, and we would all react different to each strange experience or temptation that came to call over the next few years. But at that very moment, we were just a bunch of teenagers with nothing better to do than to sit on a playground from our childhood. And sat we did, for hours even, just so that we could talk about better days.

There were five of us there, I think. We had already made our way through the woods behind the library and had actually taken the time to visit the other play-set on the opposite side of the school grounds. I hadn't set foot on that patch of blacktop in over a decade. By the time we had found our way to this shabby pile of metal we used to climb all over as children, we were already a little bored and ready to leave. Nostalgia be damned, am I right? But that's when we saw something... Rather odd, across the field. Along with the two I've already mentioned, there was actually a third play-set outside of the elementary school; one that the "big kids" used to occupy pretty much exclusively. Instead of hard concrete or blacktop, the ground surrounding the giant, twisting slide and firemen's pole was covered in that strange mulch that always seemed more appropriate for a hamster's cage rather than a child's play area. To the left of that was a handful of benches facing the nearby soccer field. In the middle of all of those benches was a strange figure that none of us could quite make out. We were a good hundred-and-fifty yards away, and had to strain our eyes to even confirm that it was, indeed, a person. Or at least, something that had the vague size and shape of a person.

We all began to argue about what exactly we were seeing. Somebody thought that it was a tree stump with clothes piled on top of it. Someone else insisted that it was alive. Whatever it was, it was clear that it was wearing a huge bubble coat, some sort of beanie and what appeared to enormous white goggles that dominated its face. Eventually we fell silent, and chose to simply watch the thing to see if it would move eventually. One of my friends quickly exhausted his patience, and leapt from his perch. Without hesitation, he sprinted ahead and proclaimed his intention to, in his own words "Piss on it". One by one we all joined in his charge, but before we could even begin to close the gap, the oddity ahead of us began to run back and forth along the tree line at a furious pace. We all stopped dead in our tracks. It wasn't his speed that confounded us; it was the fact that he was running on all fours.

By now it was clear that he had the body of a normal human. Despite his behavior, he was fully clothed and dressed to suit the weather. We watched for what seemed like hours as he hustled back and forth, never going further than the playground and only to return to where he had been sitting. What was even more disturbing was that it was clear he had been there for some time, apparently just watching us as we enjoyed our day out in the frigid cold. None of us had even thought to glance in his direction the entire time. Why he was there and what his intentions were, none of us will ever know. At the time, none of us were even concerned. Here was this person- a man as far as any of us could tell; moving like a crazed gorilla that had been rotting in a cage for years.

And suddenly, he departed. With his incredible and completely inhuman speed, he swiftly broke free from his insane loop and thrashed his way into the woods behind, still moving entirely on hand and foot. My friend wasted no time pursuing him, and we reluctantly followed. Now understand that my friend was extremely quick back in the day, and at first he seemed to be catching up to whatever we had just seen. We followed him as he tracked the hand and footprints in the snow, only to stop abruptly as he yelled in pain. We caught up and found my friend completely engulfed by a large and menacing thorn bush. He had been so focused on tracking the creature that he neglected to keep his eyes ahead, and had ran directly into the brush without slowing down. After pulling him free, we did our best to regain our lead on the man-beast that had gotten away from us. We scanned the ground beneath the bushes and found that hand and foot prints continued through the thorns and on to the other side. Doing our best to avoid the angry green needles, we cautiously slid by, only to find that the tracks had stopped just past the brush.

We continued our search through the small patch of woods beyond the playground, but to no avail. A wealthy neighborhood lay just beyond the opposite tree line, and several children a few years younger than we were had been playing in a backyard. We asked them if they had seen or heard anyone or anything running through the woods, but they said no. We ventured as far into the woods as we could, but eventually we simply wound up in another phantom neighborhood. Confused and somewhat frightened, we returned to the school grounds. An hour later, our ride arrived, and we left.

A few of us still talk about what happened and speculate on what the hell it was we had seen on that peculiar day on that same old playground. It was seven years ago now, and still the memory remains as clear as day in my mind. After a while we began to refer to the baffling figure as the "Monkey Man" and the name just sort of stuck.

If you're out there, Monkey Man, and you're honestly just some guy that is way too good at running on all fours: you seriously need to get a damn hobby.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

This seriously happened to me when I was a freshmen in high school.

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