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for the puppy in u. a subreddit for posting pictures of dogs that people can look at and go "oh same, dog, same."
We were going to divorce (wife moved out, said she was leaving) and didn't change her mind for way too long. I was actually happy at one point after the seperation, I made my piece and felt settled and comfortable. I even had started lightly dating again (which was an enormous boost to the ego).
We're reconciling now, but it's hard. We get along fine, but the romance is gone, completely. Not for her lack of trying but it's empty and lonely at times. I want us to get back to how we felt before shit hit the fan but I need to make peace with if it doesn't. She still feels like my best friend and that's coming back, but that last oomph, that love feeling, how I used to feel wanting to hold her. Everything just feels different now and I'm not crazy about her anymore.
If we didn't have a child together I don't know if I'd still be here, despite everything my wife put my through she still is a wonderful person and I have a deep love for her as you would anyone in your family, it's just not the romantic kind.
I see this subreddit and the horrible time everyone seems to be having and being a single dad terrifies me, I'm extremely active in my child's life and I can't imagine cutting that time in half. I already miss them when I'm at work sometimes.
I've had a Deathadder 2013 for, well, 7 years now - I work from home as a software eng and use it daily, and the feet are starting to wear down finally...
I mainly palm grip, and want a nice wireless with some hotkeys - was looking at the Basilisk Ultimate (goes with the rest of my Razer crap) but was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on other mice to look at... or if Razer is dropping any new stuff I should wait for? Its hard to try and out these days with COVID and stores now.
Help me find a strap/ribbon/any fastener with a timer on it that can wrap around a gift so my kids can’t open their Xmas presents until it hits Xmas morning? Does those exist? Thanks!!!
Ah, spring... Time for cleaning, stretching out of those winter clothes, and curse your pollen allergies...
With that, looking at my garden, I've got some blooms out of this Shiny Baby Den 26 with Sword Exclusives that I'd like to share with you: Budew, Seedot, Bounsweet, Oddish, Nuzleaf and Roselia!
Add me with FC 0242-5352-8827, put on some sunscreen and let's test your green thumbs!
P.S.: Don't need to delete me after raiding, this account is just for hosting!
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Iris Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 <-- You are here.
I awoke to a world without women.
I rolled off the bed into sore thighs and guilt, got up to emptiness that echoed the slightest noise, and left my wife’s clothes on the sheets without thinking that eventually I’d have to pack them into a plastic bag and slide them down the garbage chute. I felt magnified and hollow. In the kitchen, I used the stove top as a table because the actual table had my wife’s tablet on it, and spilled instant coffee. What I didn’t spill I drank in a few gulps, the way I used to drink ice cold milk as a boy. I stood in front of the living room window for a while before realizing I was naked, then realizing that it didn’t matter because men changed in front of each other at the pool and peed next to one another into urinals in public restrooms, and there weren’t any women to hide from, no one to offend. The world, I told myself, was now a sprawling men’s pisser, so I slammed the window open and pissed.
I wanted to call someone—to tell them that my wife was dead, because that’s a duty owed by the living—but whom could I call: her sister, her parents? Her sister was dead. Her father had a dead wife and two dead daughters. There was nothing to say. Everyone knew. I called my wife’s father anyway. Was he still my father-in-law now that I was a widower? He didn’t accept the connection. Widower: a word loses all but historical meaning when there are no alternatives. If all animals were dogs, we’d purge one of those words from our vocabulary. We were all widowers. It was synonymous with man. I switched on the television and stared, crying, at a montage of photographs showing the bloody landscapes of cities, hospitals, retirement homes, schools and churches, all under the tasteless headline: “International Pop”. Would we clean it up, these remnants of the people we loved? Could we even use the same buildings, knowing what had happened in them? The illusion of practical thinking pushed my feeling of emptiness away. I missed arms wrapping around me from behind while I stared through rain streaked windows. I missed barking and a wagging tail that hit my leg whenever I was standing too close. Happiness seemed impossible. I called Bakshi because I needed confirmation that I still had a voice. “They’re the lucky ones,” he said right after I’d introduced myself. “They’re out. We’re the fools still locked in, and now we’re all alone.”
For three weeks, I expected my wife to show up at the apartment door. I removed her clothes from the bed and stuffed them into a garbage bag, but kept the garbage bag in the small space between the fridge and the kitchen wall. I probably would have kept a dead body in the freezer if I had one and it fit. As a city and as a world, those were grim, disorganized weeks for us. Nobody worked. I don’t know what we did. Sat around and drank, smoked. And we called each other, often out of the blue. Every day, I received a call from someone I knew but hadn’t spoken to in years. The conversations all followed a pattern. There was no catching up and no explanation of lost time, just a question like “How are you holding up?” followed by a thoughtless answer (“Fine, I guess. And you?”) followed by an exchange of details about the women we’d lost. Mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, girlfriends, friends, cousins, aunts, teachers, students, co-workers. We talked about the colour of their hair, their senses of humour, their favourite movies. We said nothing about ourselves, choosing instead to inhabit the personas of those whom we’d loved. In the hallway, I would put on my wife’s coats but never look at myself in the mirror. I wore her winter hats in the middle of July. Facebook became a graveyard, with the gender field separating the mourners from the dead.
The World Health Organization issued a communique stating that based on the available data it was reasonable to assume that all the women in the world were dead, but it called for any woman still alive to come forward immediately. The language of the communique was as sterile as the Earth. Nobody came forward. The World Wildlife Fund created an inventory of all mammalian species that listed in ascending order how long each species would exist. Humans were on the bottom. Both the World Health Organization and the World Wildlife Fund predicted that unless significant technological progress occurred in the field of fertility within the next fifty years, the last human, a theoretical boy named Philip born into a theoretical developed country on March 26, 2025, would die in 93 years. On the day of his death, Philip would be the last remaining mammal—although not necessarily animal—on Earth. No organization or government has ever officially stated that July 4, 2025, was the most destructive day in recorded history, on the morning of which, Eastern Time, four billion out of a total of eight billion people ceased to exist as anything more than memories. What killed them was neither an act of war nor an act of terrorism. Neither was it human negligence. There was no one to blame and no one to prosecute. In the western countries, where the majority of people no longer believed in any religion, we could not even call it an act of God. So we responded by calling it nothing at all.
And, like nothing, our lives persisted. We ate, we slept and we adapted. After the first wave of suicides ended, we hosed off what the rain hadn’t already washed away and began to reorganize the systems on which our societies ran. It was a challenge tempered only slightly in countries where women had not made up a significant portion of the workforce. We held new elections, formed me boards of directors and slowed down the assembly lines and bus schedules to make it possible for our communities to keep running. There was less food in the supermarkets, but we also needed less food. Instead of two trains we ran one, but one sufficed. I don’t remember the day when I finally took the black garbage bag from its resting place and walked it to the chute. “How are you holding up?” a male voice would say on the street. “Fine, I guess. And you?” I’d answer. ##!! wrote a piece of Python code to predict the box office profitability of new movies, in which real actors played alongside computer-generated actresses. The code was only partially successful. Because while it did accurately predict the success of new movies in relation to one other, it failed to include the overwhelming popularity of re-releases of films from the past—films starring Bette Davis, Giulietta Masina, Meryl Streep: women who at least on screen were still flesh and blood. Theatres played retrospectives. On Amazon, books by female authors topped the charts. Sales of albums by women vocalists surged. We thirsted for another sex. I watched, read and listened like everyone else, and in between I cherished any media on which I found images or recordings of my wife. I was angry for not having made more. I looked at the same photos and watched the same clips over and over again. I memorized my wife’s Facebook timeline and tagged all her Tweets by date, theme and my own rating. When I went out, I would talk to the air as if she was walking beside me, sometimes quoting her actual words as answers to my questions and sometimes inventing my own as if she was a beloved character in an imagined novel. When people looked at me like I was crazy, I didn’t care. I wasn’t the only one. But, more importantly, my wife meant more to me than they did. I remembered times when we’d stroll through the park or down downtown sidewalks and I would be too ashamed to kiss her in the presence of strangers. Now, I would tell her that I love her in the densest crowd. I would ask her whether I should buy ketchup or mustard in the condiments aisle. She helped me pick out my clothes in the morning. She convinced me to eat healthy and exercise.
In November, I was in Bakshi’s apartment for the first time, waiting for a pizza delivery boy, when one of Bakshi’s friends who was browsing Reddit told us that the Tribe of Akna was starting a Kickstarter campaign in an attempt to buy the Republic of Suriname, rename it Xibalba and close its borders for all except the enlightened. Xibalba would have no laws, Salvador Abaroa said in a message on the site. He was banging his gong as he did. Everything would be legal, and anyone who pledged $100 would receive a two-week visa to this new "Mayan Buddhist Eden". If you pledged over $10,000, you would receive citizenship. “Everything in life is destroyed by energy,” Abaroa said. “But let the energy enlighten you before it consumes your body. Xibalba is finite life unbound.” Bakshi’s phone buzzed. The pizza boy had sent an email. He couldn’t get upstairs, so Bakshi and I took the elevator to the building’s front entrance. The boy’s face was so white that I saw it as soon as the elevator doors slid open. Walking closer, I saw that he was powdered. His cheeks were also rouged, and he was wearing cranberry coloured lipstick, a Marilyn Monroe wig and a short black skirt. Compared to his face, his thin legs looked like incongruously dark popsicle sticks. Bakshi paid for the pizza and added another five dollars for the tip. The boy batted his fake eyelashes and asked if maybe he could do something to earn a little more. “What do you mean?” I asked. “Oh, I don’t know. Maybe I could come upstairs and clean the place up a little. You two live alone?” Bakshi passed me the two pizza boxes—They felt hot in my hands.—and dug around in his wallet. “It’s not just the two of us,” I said. The boy smiled. “That’s OK. I’ve done parties before if that’s what you’re into.” I saw the reaction on Bakshi’s face, and I saw the boy’s grotesque caricature of a woman. “There’s condoms and lube in the car,” the boy said, pointing to a sedan with a pizza spray-painted across its side parked by the curb. “My boss says I can take up to two hours but it’s not like he uses a stopwatch.” I stepped on Bakshi’s foot and shouldered him away. He was still fiddling with his wallet. “We’re not interested,” I said to the boy. He just shrugged. “Suit yourselves. If you change your mind, order another pizza and ask for Ruby.” The elevator dinged and the doors opened. As we shuffled inside, I saw Bakshi’s cheeks turn red. “I’m not actually—” he mumbled, but I didn’t let him finish. What had bothered me so much about the boy wasn’t the way he looked or acted; in fact, it wasn’t really the boy at all. He was just trying to make a buck. What bothered me was how ruthlessly we’d already begun to exploit each other.
For those of us who were heterosexual, sex was a definite weakness. I missed it. I would never have it with a woman again. The closest substitute was pornography, whose price rose with its popularity, but which, at least for me, now came scented with the unpleasantness of historicity and nostalgia. Videos and photos, not to mention physical magazines, were collector’s items in the same way that we once collected coins or action figures. The richest men bought up the exclusive rights to their favourite porn stars and guarded them by law with a viciousness once reserved for the RIAA and MPAA. Perhaps exclusivity gave them a possessive satisfaction. In response, we pirated whatever we could and fought for a pornographic public domain. Although new pornography was still being produced, either with the help of the same virtual technology they used for mainstream movies or with the participation of young men in costume, it lacked the taste of the originals. It was like eating chocolate made without cocoa. The best pornography, and therefore the best sex, became the pornography of the mind.
The Tribe of Akna reached its Kickstarter goal in early December. On December 20, I went to church for the first time since getting married because that was the theoretical date that my wife—along with every other woman—was supposed to have given birth. I wanted to be alone with others. Someone posted a video on TikTok from Elia Kazan’s On The Waterfront, dubbing over Marlon Brando’s speech to say: “You don’t understand. I could’a had a piece of ass. I could’a been a school board member. I could’a been a son’s daddy”. It was juvenile and heartbreaking. By Christmas, the Surinamese government was already expelling its citizens, each of whom had theoretically been given a fraction of the funds paid to the government from the Tribe of Akna’s Kickstarter pool, and Salvador Abaroa’s lawyers were petitioning for international recognition of the new state of Xibalba. Neither Canada nor the United States opened diplomatic relations, but others did. I knew people who had pledged money, and when in January they disappeared on trips, I had no doubt to where. Infamy spread in the form of stories and urban legends. There’s no need for details. People disappeared, and ethicists wrote about the ethical neutrality of murder, arguing that because we were all slated to die, leaving the Earth barren in a century, destruction was a human inevitability, and what is inevitable can never be bad, even when it comes earlier than expected—even when it comes by force. Because, as a species, we hadn’t chosen destruction for ourselves, neither should any individual member of our species be able to choose now for himself. To the ethicists of what became known as the New Inevitability School, suicide was a greater evil than murder because it implied choice and inequality. If the ship was going down, no one should be allowed to get off. A second wave of suicides coincided with the debate, leading many governments to pass laws making suicide illegal. But how do you punish someone who already wants to die? In China: by keeping him alive and selling him to Xibalba, where he becomes the physical plaything of its citizens and visa-holders. The Chinese was the first embassy to open in Xibalban Paramaribo.
The men working on Kurt Schwaller’s theory of everything continued working, steadily adding new variables to their equations, complicating their calculations in the hopes that someday the variable they added would be the final one and the equation would yield an answer. “It’s pointless,” Bakshi would comment after reading about one of the small breakthroughs they periodically announced. “Even if they do manage to predict something, anything, it won’t amount to anything more than the painfully obvious. And after decades of adding and subtracting their beans, they’ll come out of their Los Alamos datalabs like groundhogs into a world blanketed by storm clouds and conclude, finally and with plenty of self-congratulations, that it’s about to fucking rain.”
It rained a lot in February. It was one of the warmest Februaries in Toronto’s history. Sometimes I went for walks along the waterfront, talking to my wife, listening to Billie Holiday and trying to recall as many female faces as I could. Ones from the distant past: my mother, my grandmothers. Ones from the recent past: the woman whose life my wife saved on the way to the hospital, the Armenian woman with the film magazine and the injured son, the Jamaican woman, Bakshi’s wife. I focused on their faces, then zoomed out to see their bodies. I carried an umbrella but seldom opened it because the pounding of the raindrops against the material distorted my mental images. I saw people rush across the street holding newspapers above their heads while dogs roamed the alleyways wearing nothing at all. Of the two, it was dogs that had the shorter time left on Earth, and if they could let the rain soak their fur and drip off their bodies, I could surely let it run down my face. It was first my mother and later my wife who told me to always cover up in the rain, “because moisture causes colds,” but I was alone now and I didn’t want to be separated from the falling water by a sheet of glass anymore. I already was cold. I saw a man sit down on a bench, open his briefcase, pack rocks into it, then close it, tie it to his wrist, check his watch and start to walk into the polluted waters of Lake Ontario. Another man took out his phone and tapped his screen a few times. The man in the lake walked slowly, savouring each step. When the police arrived, sirens blaring, the water was up to his neck. I felt guilty for watching the three officers splash into the lake after him. I don’t know what happened after that because I turned my back and walked away. I hope they didn’t stop him. I hope he got to do what he wanted to do.
“Screw the police.” Bakshi passed me a book. “You should read this,” he said. It was by a professor of film and media studies at a small university in Texas. There was a stage on the cover, flanked by two red curtains. The photo had been taken from the actors’ side, looking out at an audience that the stage lights made too dark to see. The title was Hiding Behind The Curtains. I flipped the book over. There was no photo of the author. “It’s a theory,” Bakshi said, “that undercuts what Abaroa and the Inevitabilists are saying. It’s a little too poetic in parts but—listen, you ever read Atlas Shrugged?” I said I hadn’t. “Well, anyway, what this guy says is that what if instead of our situation letting us do anything we want, it’s actually the opposite, a test to see how we act when we only think that we’re doomed. I mean what if the women who died in March, what if they’re just—” “Hiding behind the curtains,” I said. He bit his lower lip. “It sounds stupid when you say it like that but, as a metaphor, it has a kind of elegance, right?” I flipped through the book, reading a few sentences at random. It struck me as neo-Christian. “Isn’t this a little too spiritual for you? I thought we were all locked into one path,” I said. “I thought that, too, but lately I’ve been able to do things—things that I didn’t really want to do.” For a second I was concerned. “Nothing bad,” he said. “I mean I’ve felt like I’m locked into doing one thing, say having a drink of water, but I resist and pour myself a glass of orange juice instead.” I shook my head. “It’s hard to explain,” he said. That’s how most theories ended, I thought: reason and evidence up to a crucial point, and then it gets so personal that it’s hard to explain. You either make the jump or you don’t. “Just read it,” he said. “Please read it. You don’t have to agree with it, I just want to get your opinion, an objective opinion.”
I never did read the book, and Bakshi forgot about it, too, but that day he was excited and happy, and those were rare feelings. I was simultaneously glad for him and jealous. Afterwards, we went out onto the balcony and drank Czech beer until morning. When it got cool, we put on our coats. It started to drizzle so we wore blue plastic suits like the ones they used to give you on boat rides in Niagara Falls. When it was time to go home, I was so drunk I couldn’t see straight. I almost got into a fight, the first one of my life, because I bumped into a man on the street and told him to get the fuck out of my way. I don’t remember much more of my walk home. The only reason I remember Behind The Curtains at all is because when I woke up in the afternoon it was the first thing that my hung over brain recognized. It was lying on the floor beside the bed. Then I opened the blinds covering my bedroom window and, through my spread fingers that I’d meant to use as a shield from the first blast of daylight, I saw the pincers for the first time.
They’d appeared while I was asleep. I turned on the television and checked my phone. The media and the internet were feverish, but nobody knew what the thing was, just a massive, vaguely rectangular shape blotting out a strip of the sky. NASA stated that it had received no extraterrestrial messages to coincide with the appearance. Every government claimed ignorance. The panel discussions on television only worsened my headache. Bakshi emailed me links to photos from Mumbai, Cape Town, Sydney and Mexico City, all showing the same shape; or rather one of a pair of shapes, for there were two of them, one on each side of the Earth, and they’d trapped our planet between themselves like gargantuan fingers clutching an equally gargantuan ping-pong ball. That’s why somebody came up with the term “the pincers”. It stuck. Because I’d slept in last night’s clothes I was already dressed, so I ran down the stairs and out of my apartment building to get a better look at them from the parking lot. You’re not supposed to look at the sun, but I wasn’t the only one breaking that rule. There were entire crowds with upturned faces in the streets. If the pincers, too, could see, they would perhaps be as baffled by us as we were of them: billions of tiny specks all over the surface of this ping-pong ball gathering in points on a grid, coagulating into large puddles that vanished overnight only to reassemble in the morning. In the following days, scientists scrambled to study the pincers and their potential effects on us, but they discovered nothing. The pincers did nothing. They emitted nothing, consumed nothing. They simply were. And they could not be measured or detected in any way other than by eyesight. When we shot rays at them, the rays continued on their paths unaffected, as if nothing was there. The pincers did, however, affect the sun’s rays coming towards us. They cut up our days. The sun would rise, travel over the sky, hide behind a pincer—enveloping us in a second night—before revealing itself again as a second day. But if the pincers’ physical effect on us was limited to its blockage of light, their mental effects on us were astoundingly severe. For many, this was the sign they’d been waiting for. It brought hope. It brought gloom. It broke and confirmed ideas that were hard to explain. In their ambiguity, the pincers could be anything, but in their strangeness they at least reassured us of the reality of the strange times in which we were living. Men walked away from the theory of everything, citing the pincers as the ultimate variable that proved the futility of prognostication. Others took up the calculations because if the pincers could appear, what else was out there in our future? However, ambiguity can only last for a certain period. Information narrows possibilities. On April 1, 2026, every Twitter account in the world received the following message:
as you can see this message is longer than the allowed one hundred forty characters time and space are malleable you thought you had one hundred years but prepare for the plucking
The sender was @. The message appeared in each user’s feed at exactly the same time and in his first language, without punctuation. Because of the date most of us thought it was a hoax, but the developers of Twitter denied this vehemently. It wasn’t until a court forced them to reveal their code, which proved that a message of that length and sent by a blank user was impossible, that our doubts ceased. ##!! took bets on what the message meant. Salvador Abaroa broadcast a response into space in a language he called Bodhi Mayan, then addressed the rest of us in English, saying that in the pincers he had identified an all-powerful prehistoric fire deity, described in an old Sanskrit text as having the resemblance of mirrored black fangs, whose appearance signified the end of time. “All of us will burn,” he said, “but paradise shall be known only to those who burn willingly.” Two days later, The Tribe of Akna announced that in one month it would seal Xibalba from the world and set fire to everything and everyone in it. For the first time, its spokesman said, an entire nation would commit suicide as one. Jonestown was but a blip. As a gesture of goodwill, he said that Xibalba was offering free immolation visas to anyone who applied within the next week. The New Inevitability School condemned the plan as “offensively unethical” and inequalitist and urged an international Xibalban boycott. Nothing came of it. When the date arrived, we watched with rapt attention on live streams and from the vantage points of circling news planes as Salvador Abaroa struck flint against steel, creating the spark that caught the char cloth, starting a fire that blossomed bright crimson and in the next weeks consumed all 163,821 square kilometres of the former Republic of Suriname and all 2,500,000 of its estimated Xibalban inhabitants. Despite concerns that the fire would spread beyond Xibalba’s borders, The Tribe of Akna had been careful. There were no accidental casualties and no unplanned property damage. No borders were crossed. Once the fire burned out, reporters competed to be first to capture the mood on the ground. Paramaribo resembled the smouldering darkness of a fire pit.
It was a few days later while sitting on Bakshi’s balcony, looking up at the pincers and rereading a reproduction of @’s message—someone had spray-painted it across the wall of a building opposite Bakshi’s—that I remembered Iris. The memory was so absorbing that I didn’t notice when Bakshi slid open the balcony door and sat down beside me, but I must have been smiling because he said, “I don’t mean this the wrong way, but you look a little loony tonight. Seriously, man, you do not look sufficiently freaked out.” I’d remembered Iris before, swirling elements of her plain face, but now I also remembered her words and her theory. I turned to Bakshi, who seemed to be waiting for an answer to his question, and said, “Let’s get up on the roof of this place.” He grabbed my arm and held on tightly. “I’m not going to jump, if that’s what you mean.” It wasn’t what I meant, but I asked, “why not?” He said, “I don’t know. I know we’re fucked as a species and all that, but I figure if I’m still alive I might as well see what happens next, like in a bad movie you want to see through to the end.” I promised him that I wasn’t going to jump, either. Then I scrambled inside his apartment, grabbed my hat and jacket from the closet by the front door and put them on while speed walking down the hall, toward the fire escape. I realized I’d been spending a lot of time here. The alarm went off as soon I pushed open the door with my hip but I didn’t care. When Bakshi caught up with me, I was already outside, leaping up two stairs at a time. The metal construction was rusted. The treads wobbled. On the roof, the wind nearly blew my hat off and it was so loud I could have screamed and no one would have heard me. Holding my hat in my hands, I crouched and looked out over the twinkling city spread out in front of me. It looked alive in spite of the pincers in the sky. “Let’s do something crazy,” I yelled. Bakshi was still catching his breath behind me. “What, like this isn’t crazy enough?” The NHL may have been gone but my hat still bore the Maple Leafs logo, as quaint and obsolete by then as the Weimar Republic in the summer of 1945. “When’s the last time you played ball hockey?” I asked. Bakshi crouched beside me. “You’re acting weird. And I haven’t played ball hockey in ages.” I stood up so suddenly that Bakshi almost fell over. This time I knew I was smiling. “So call your buddies,” I said. “Tell them to bring their sticks and their gear and to meet us in front of the ACC in one hour.” Bakshi patted me on the back. Toronto shone like jewels scattered over black velvet. “The ACC’s been closed for years, buddy. I think you’re really starting to lose it.” I knew it was closed. “Lose what?” I asked. “It’s closed and we’re going to break in.”
The chains broke apart like shortbread. The electricity worked. The clouds of dust made me sneeze. We used duffel bags to mark out the goals. We raced up and down the stands and bent over, wheezing at imaginary finish lines. We got into the announcer’s booth and called each other cunts through the microphone. We ran, fell and shot rubber pucks for hours. We didn’t keep score. We didn’t worry. “What about the police?” someone asked. The rest of us answered: “Screw the fucking police!”
And when everybody packed up and went home, I stayed behind.
“Are you sure you’re fine?” Bakshi asked.
“Yeah,” I said.
“Because I have to get back so that I can shower, get changed and get to work.”
“Yeah, I know,” I said.
“And you promise me you’ll catch a cab?”
“I’m not suicidal.”
He fixed his grip on his duffel bag. “I didn’t say you were. I was just checking.”
“I want to see the end of the movie, too,” I said.
He saluted. I watched him leave. When he was gone, my wife walked down from the nosebleeds and took a seat beside me. “There’s someone I want to tell you about,” I said. She lifted her chin like she always does when something unexpected catches her interest, and scooted closer. I put my arm across the back of her beautiful shoulders. She always liked that, even though the position drives me crazy because I tend to talk a lot with my hands. “Stuck at Leafs-Wings snorefest,” she said. “Game sucks but I love the man sitting beside me.” (January 15, 2019. Themes: hockey, love, me. Rating: 5/5). “Her name was Iris,” I said.
“What if the whole universe was a giant garden—like a hydroponics thing, like how they grow tomatoes and marijuana, so there wouldn’t need to be any soil, all the nutrients would just get injected straight into the seeds or however they do it—or, even better, space itself was the soil, you know how they talk about dark matter being this invisible and mysterious thing that exists out there and we don’t know what it does, if it actually affect anything, gravity…”
She blew a cloud of pot smoke my way that made me cough and probably gave her time to think. She said, “So dark matter is like the soil, and in this space garden of course they don’t grow plants but something else.”
“Just eyes, or body parts in general?” I asked.
The music from the party thumped. “But the eyes are our planets, like Mars is an eye, Neptune is an eye, and the Earth is an eye, maybe even the best eye.”
“The best for what? Who’s growing them?”
“God,” she said.
I took the joint from her and took a long drag. “I didn’t know you believed in God.”
“I don’t, I guess—except when I’m on dope. Anyway, you’ve got to understand me because when I say God I don’t mean like the old man with muscles and a beard. This God, the one I’m talking about, it’s more like a one-eyed monster.”
“Like a cyclops?” I asked.
“Yeah, like that, like a cyclops. So it’s growing these eyes in the dark matter in space—I mean right now, you and me, we’re literally sitting on one of these eyes and we’re contributing to its being grown because the nutrients the cyclops God injected into them, that’s us.”
“Why does God need so many extra eyes?”
“It’s not a question of having so many of them, but more about having the right one, like growing the perfect tomato.” I gave her back the joint and leaned back, looking at the stars. “Because every once in a while the cyclops God goes blind, its eye stops working—not in the same way we go blind, because the cyclops God doesn’t see reality in the same way we see reality—but more like we see through our brains and our eyes put together.”
“Like x-ray vision?” I asked.
“No, not like that at all,” she said.
“A glass eye?”
“Glass eyes are fake.”
“OK,” I said, “so maybe try something else. Give me a different angle. Tell me what role we’re playing in all of this because right now it seems that we’re pretty insignificant. I mean, you said we’re nutrients but what’s the difference between, say, Mars and Earth in terms of being eyes?”
She looked over at me. “Are you absolutely sure you want to hear about this?”
“I am,” I said.
“You don’t think it’s stupid?”
“Compared to what?”
“I don’t know, just stupid in general.”
“I like you,” she said.
“Because I don’t think you’re stupid?” I asked.
“That’s just a bonus. I mean more that you’re up here with me instead of being down there with everyone, and we’re talking and even though we’re not in love I know somehow we’ll never forget each other for as long as we live.”
“It’s hard to forget being on the surface of a giant floating eyeball.”
“You’re scared that you won’t find anyone to love,” she said suddenly, causing me to nearly choke on my own saliva. “Don’t ask me how I know—I just do. But before I go any further about the cyclops God, I want you to know that you’ll find someone to love and who’ll love you back, and whatever happens you’ll always have that because no one can take away the past.”
“You’re scared of going blind,” I said.
“I am going blind.”
“And I’m learning not to be scared because everything I see until that day will always belong to me.”
“The doctors said it would be gradual,” I reminded her.
“Because you wouldn’t want to find someone to love and then know that every day you wake up the love between you grows dimmer and dimmer, would you?”
“I guess not,” I said.
“Wouldn’t you much rather feel the full strength of that love up to and including in the final second before the world goes black?”
“It would probably be painful to lose it all at once like that.”
“Painful because you actually had something to lose. For me, I know I can’t wish away blindness, but I sure wish that the last image I ever see—in that final second before my world goes black—is the most vivid and beautiful image of all.”
Because I didn’t know what to say to that, I mumbled: “I’m sorry.”
“That I’m going blind?”
“Yeah, and that we can’t grow eyes.”
This time I looked over, and she was the one gazing at the stars. “Before, you asked if we were insignificant,” she said. “But because you’re sorry—that’s kind of why we’re the most significant of all, why Earth is better than the other planets.”
“For the cyclops God?”
“He cares about my feelings?”
“Not in the way you’re probably thinking, but in a different way that’s exactly what the cyclops God cares about most because that’s what it’s looking for in an eye. All the amazing stuff we’ve ever built, all our ancient civilizations and supercomputers and cities you can see from the Moon—that’s just useless cosmetics to the cyclops God, except in how all of it has made us feel about things that aren’t us.”
“I think you’re talking about morality.”
“I think so, too.”
“So by feeling sorry for you I’m showing compassion, and the cyclops God likes compassion?”
“That’s not totally wrong but it’s a little upside down. We have this black matter garden and these planets the cyclops God has grown as potential eyes to replace its own eye once it stops working, but its own eye is like an eye and a brain mixed together. Wait—” she said.
“Imagine a pair of tinted sunglasses.”
I imagined green-tinted ones.
“Now imagine that instead of the lenses being a certain colour, they’re a certain morality, and if you wear the glasses you see the world tinted according to that morality.”
I was kind of able to imagine that. I supposed it would help show who was good and who was bad. “But the eye and the tinted glasses are the same thing in this case.”
“Exactly, there’s no one without the other, and what makes the tint special is us—not that the cyclops God cares at all about individuals any more than we care about individual honey bees. That’s why he’s kind of a monster.”
“Isn’t people’s morality always changing, though?”
“Only up to a point. Green is green even when you have a bunch of shades of it, and a laptop screen still works fine even with a few dead pixels, right? And the more globalized and connected we get, the smoother our morality gets, but if you’re asking more about how our changing morals work when the cyclops God finally comes to take its eye, I assume it has a way to freeze our progress. To cut our roots. Then it makes some kind of final evaluation. If it’s satisfied it takes the planet and sticks it into its eye socket, and if it doesn’t like us then it lets us alone, although because we’re frozen and possibly rootless I suppose we die—maybe that’s what the other planets are, so many of them in space without any sort of life. Cold, rejected eyes.”
From sunglasses to bees to monitors in three metaphors, and now we were back to space. This was getting confusing. The stars twinkled, some of them dead, too: their light still arriving at our eyes from sources that no longer existed. “That’s kind of depressing,” I said to end the silence.
“What about it?”
“Being bees,” I said, “that work for so long at tinting a pair of glasses just so that a cyclops God can try them on.”
“I don’t think it’s any more depressing than being a tomato.”
“I’ve never thought about that.”
“You should. It’s beautiful, like love,” she said. “Because if you think about it, being a tomato and being a person are really quite similar. They’re both about growing and existing for the enjoyment of someone else. As a tomato you’re planted, you grow and mature and then an animal comes along and eats you. The juicier you look and the nicer you smell, the greater the chance that you’ll get plucked but also the more pleasure the animal will get from you. As a person, you’re also born and you grow up and you mature into a one of a kind personality with a one of a kind face, and then someone comes along and makes you fall in love with them and all the growing you did was really just for their enjoyment of your love.”
“Except love lasts longer than chewing a tomato.”
“Sometimes,” she said.
“And you have to admit that two tomatoes can’t eat each other the way two people can love each other mutually.”
“I admit that’s a good point,” she said.
“And what happens to someone who never gets fallen in love with?”
“The same thing that happens to a tomato that never gets eaten or an eye that the cyclops God never takes. They die and they rot, and they darken and harden, decomposing until they don’t look like tomatoes anymore. It’s not a nice fate. I’d rather live awhile and get eaten, to be honest.”
“As a tomato or person?”
I thought for a few seconds. “That explanation works for things on Earth, but nothing actually decomposes in space.”
“That’s why there are so many dead planets,” she said.
In my opinion, Heir To The Cum Throne is the best of the series. The reasons I believe this are: The visuals are the most appealing. It has a well-synced, well-animated face right in the middle, the lyrics are the most catchy and unique, and the background beat is my personal favorite.
The reasons I believe Your Cum Won't Last is the second best are: It has a few special changes to the beat of the music in the background, and the singing is performed a lot better. However, the lyrics are lacking, and the song is based much more on memes than the others, which is not a necessary problem, however it is something that could make it quickly outdated.
And finally, the reason I believe the original Welcome To The Cum Zone is the worst of the three is: It is directly worse. And that is to be expected, being the first one to be made. The visuals aren't nearly as good, the lyrics are okay and the singing is just worse than the other two. The background beat is my favorite, however I don't think it makes up for the rest of it's flaws.
Howdy y'all! I'm a musician and I grew up going to my grandparents' house in East Tawakoni. I'm currently working on a song about those days and I was wondering if anyone happened to have a video or audio recording of the sound of the old 2 mile bridge on 276 over Lake Tawakoni? It's a distinct sound (if you've ever crossed that bridge, you know) that I'd like to include in the song, but they've torn that bridge down and replaced it with a nice new noiseless bridge.
The last time I got a birthday present or a Christmas present or someone saying "happy birthday" to me was when I was 10 years old.
Since then, with each passing year, the less I care about that day. The only reason I keep remembering the date is to know my current age.
Thanks for the content Mr Ballen! My like button is suicidal and in therapy. Please check out the youtube video called "chernobyl" by Dead Unicorn. It' one of the creepiest on the youtube. I'm sure you'll get something from it. BTW I snuck into my like button's home and tangled his stash box of wires, and relocated 1 each of every pair of shoes to other parts of his house. Cheers!
BTW: This is my first use ever of Reddit.
After playing Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines last summer, I've decided to also check out the other Troika games, but before actually playing them I want to improve them as much as possible with mods.
So what are the essential mods necessary to enjoy The Temple of Elemental Evil as much as possible on my first playthrough?
D-day was three months ago and I found out my (31F) husband (31M) was having an affair with someone from work (she supposedly no longer works there). This was going on for 10 months. These same 10 months, we were in counseling. I thought we were putting in all this effort to make our marriage work while he kept saying he wasn’t “sure” if he wanted to stay in the marriage. I spent that whole time feeling incredibly anxious about my marriage and trying to give it my all. We’ve been together almost 11 years and married for 9 (no kids) so I kept trying in counseling hoping he was just experiencing some confusion and we’d work it out. We’ve had other major issues too.
I found messages between them (that he was great at hiding btw because I was suspicious and was checking throughout these months) and confronted him and all hell broke lose and he came out with it. It was a major gut punch to know I was trying so hard to work at the marriage while he was literally breaking it down at the same time. Just showing up in counseling pretending to work on us, putting on this whole facade, (even lying to the therapist when she point blank asked him!) and having his little sexual arrangement on the side. They’d get together, smoke some pot and get sexual.
For the last three months he’s been talking about how much regret he has and how remorseful he is. Mind you he still wasn’t saying he’s ready to re-commit fully and I wasn’t inclined to give him another chance. But he kept feeding me BS about how he regrets what he did, how he wishes he could take back time etc. I asked him recently if he’d been in touch with her again and he swore up and down by God he hadn’t (he’s a religious figure in our community). Yesterday I found phone records showing thousands of texts and calls between them going back two months. Basically he was only out of touch with her for a month. I totally lost my shit and unleashed it all on him. After I confronted him, he keeps insisting that’s she’s with someone else now and it’s just a “friendship” where they get together and get high and she hooks him up with some “harder” stuff that he’s now getting into. I’m not buying it.
He’s definitely on a downward spiral so I know I’m dodging a bullet but I am absolutely livid. I’m so sick and tired of being lied to and disrespected and he suffers no consequences at all. I’m so angry about all the years I gave him that he wasted and threw away like they meant nothing. I moved out and seems like I basically cleared the path for him. He kept maintaining his image of this “stable, religious family” man and was doing all this shit on the side. I’m fuming. I feel like this was D-Day 2 and like I’m going crazy all over again. I want there to be some consequences. I know this is probably the crazy hurt talking but I do. I have half a mind to report his side chick for her illegal “entrepreneurial” ventures and I give zero fucks about what happens to her. But I mentioned this to him and he started freaking out, telling me I’m “playing with fire” and that she has hookups that could cause us major harm. I don’t really believe him and think he’s just trying to protect her. Is this too crazy?? I feel like I’ve just lost my mind so completely and can’t think straight.
Any advice would be helpful.
We've had three sessions. After the second one I knew she bothered me and I found her analogies to be rather patronising. She admitted I knew what was going on with me but still talks about my issues as though she's explaining feelings to a 4 year old with fables. I also feel that when I explain my flawed thought process she puts a different spin on it. I correct her, "no, that's not the way I approach that. It's this way and it's not healthy." and she will look blank faced and then reiterate her point. She will then tell me I'm being defensive and she will "hold my hand as we cross this bridge together." I kind of want to puke while listening to her.
I need to drop her. I loathe sending her money for these sessions. How honest should I be when I email her? Should I come up with a vague lie to make it easier on her or should I really tell her what bothers me so she can maybe change her approach to others? Maybe her approach is exactly what some people need though and I don't want to make her feel bad at her job. I also don't want to "let her off the hook" because some of the things she said (you shouldn't be taking medicine and the only reason you have physical symptoms is your mind. Your chronic diseases aren't the cause) are unprofessional and narrow minded.
So this is a bit of a long and convoluted story with many contrasting elements.
My girlfriend over the last two months or slowly began to hint that she wanted to transition to male. She has always been interested in more masculine fashion, and she occasionally wear a compress for her breasts. Then out of the blue she asks me if i'd be cool with her getting a mastectomy and having her breast completely removed. I, of course, wasn't keen for a variety of reasons. I protested every time she brought it up which, inevitably lead to her feelings getting hurt. . She doesn't have large breasts, she never needs to wear a bra. Having them completely removed seemed like an extreme step. I at the time suggested she start going to the gym to bulk up and lose a little weight before making such a drastic decision.
She then asked if i would be cool with her changing her legal gender to male. I asked how it would affect me and she told me I'd have to tell people she was my husband (we're engaged, we just don't use the term fiance because it's silly and old fashion) and be cool with living as an openly gay man. I want as fussed over this one but was still a liitle hesitant as well. She was basically asking me to come out as gay to the whole world so she could identify as male. Easy decision for her, hard decision for me.
She then told me she wanted to change her name. I asked if i could keep calling her by the name i know her as and she said yes. It all seemed fine. Until i asked to come see her at her new job and she said no because she had already begun introducing herself by this new name and was afraid i would call her by her given name and "out" her. This one upset me a bit.
Then she dropped the bomb of wanted to start dosing testosterone to begin transitioning. Showed me pictures of what she wants to look like. Basically a slender masculine male with a bit of muscle mass and facial hair. She asked if i was okay with it. I told her it was her choice. She pressed further and asked if I'd still want to be with her if she looked like a man. I said no. She got upset.
Okay. So before you all jump my shit for misgendering her, I'm sorry but she's been my girlfriend this whole time so suddenly referring to her as my boyfriend isn't in my wheelhouse just yet. Also, not too long ago she wasn't exactly pro trans. She was on the front of not wanting trans folk to transition because they couldn't ever fully transition. She advocated against it actually. She has also told me she is just turned on by the idea of being a gay man. It's her kink. Only recently has she told me she has gender dysphoria.
So this has lead to a lot of soul searchimg for me and a lot of attempts to talk to her about it, which she doesn't like. I started using gender neutral pet names for her, have changed most of my sex talk from feminine to masculine and try to tell her she looks handsome or dashing. It's hard for me to get into the mindframe required but i do it because i love her. I've come around to the idea of her getting the mastectomy but obviously prefer she doesn't. I'm still not okay with hormone treatments and haven't really gotten on board with identifying openly as a gay man.
She says she wants to be with me and loves me more than anything so if the answer is no than she will choose being with me over transitioning, but that just doesn't seem good enough to me. I floated the idea that maybe we should break up so she can go be the person she wants to be without the interference of my ideals. She obviously hated that idea and told me i should be willing let her make her own decisions on the matter (the decision being choosing to be with me). I also said maybe i just say yes to everything and she start her transition and we just see where life takes us. She asked if we did this would i eventually leave when she began looking like a man. I don't know the answer to this question but i have to assume yes. I can't change what i am attracted to. If i found myself in two years married to a man who looks like a man would i honestly be expecting to stay in a sexless marriage with a parter i am no longer attracted to? I would undoubtedly become depressed and decide to find a woman to love. She hated this of course. She's basically told me she accepts that she'll never be happy, she'll either get to be with me but not be able to transition or transition but not be with me. She doesn't want to talk about it anymore. I can't stop thinking about it. If she asks what I'm thinking about and i tell her she gets stressed out and the whole day is ruined. So now i just lie about what i'm thinking about. She knows I'm lying but she doesn't push it and we just live in blissful ignorance. But it's creating a pretty clear void. She says it's her decision, which it is but I'm still at odds with what i'm supposed to do. A piece of me still feels like i should call off the wedding and leave. Short term it might suck horribly but long term maybe she could find happiness with someone else. Another piece of me says just go with it and see where life takes you. If she becomes a man than i guess we will cross that bridge when we get there. I'm not 100% straight so maybe I'll discover things about myself in the process that surprise me. Another piece says to just keep saying no and maybe it will blow over as quickly as it came up and as she ages she'll accept herself more for who she is like most of us do. Either way i am unbelievably stressed about it and could really use some advice.
Does anyone get this symptom where it feels like you have a high fever but there’s no temperature on the thermometer. Sometimes it’s so intense my body feels toxic and poisoned. Feels like a herx except I’m taking no meds? If so what helps this symptom
These are weapons that don’t get a lot of attention and are seriously underrated. This doesn’t mean that they are the best, there is of course better options.
Number 5: beretta m9. This is a handy side arm although not the best it was saved my ass a bunch off time and I still use it.
Number 4: daewee k2. This is the poster rifle off warface and it deserves that spot of corse not the most affective weapon for the rifleman class it’s still a reliable weapon.
Number 3: daewee k5. Now this is... rubbish there’s no other way of putting it. Weaker then the m9 but for a cheap reliable side arm yea I’d recommend it.
Number 2: benelli nova tactical. This shotgun is effective and really fun to use I use this shotgun still even though I have a hawk pump and verp.
Number 1: the browning hi power. I can already see the hate comments flooding in “ uH I hAtE tHaT yOuR tRaSh At WaRfAcE” shut the fuck up and listen. Ive been using this pistol until I was a master Sargent it’s saved my ass more then the beretta m9 has and it’s always a blast to use when I go back and use it.
I just got fiber installed for 1GIG and needed to replace my old linksys. I got the Deco M5s yesterday but was thinking of getting the AX20s since they are WiFi 6. Should I be thinking ahead and buy the AX20s or wait for a few years and then upgrade from the Deco M5s?
sometimes when I'm destroying liberator drones , I just get this sudden urge to pick that little shit up, put it on my grill , and just eat it .
So I was on a game a few days ago with a yellow player who had N as the first letter of their name. We stayed together for most of the games and they only killed me once when they got imposter lol, we got to be imposter together but someone voted us off in like 10secs. My name is Father Of and I usually play the white character with the two crew babies with me. We were in a lobby with a person who kept guessing the imposter in 30 secs
I'm not getting any walking credit since the update. I can't get any from the adventure sync nor from the actual walk I took to and from my local CVS, about .5km... anyone else seeing this?
Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. Amazon Presents Official Trailer of C U Soon, a Mahesh Narayanan Film, starring Fahadh Faasil, Roshan Mathew & Darshana Rajendran produced by Nazriya Nazim &... Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. http://ABCmouse.com/LearnMore 'The Letter C Song' (See below for lyrics) The Afro-Caribbean beat of calypso music is perfect for celebrating the sound of the... C-SPAN programs three public affairs television networks covering Capitol Hill, the White House and national politics. C-SPAN is a private, non-profit public... For a better experience, check your device’s app store for the official YouTube app.