Five Days in Hell (3/5) (2009-05-01)

CD5K > FU > DWB > fab > 5dih_3

Eighteen chapters of craziness for your reading pleasure.


[Part Two]

5-01 A: One Broken Promise At A Time

[REDACTED]. Some call it [REDACTED], others call it a halfway house. In actuality, it's a homeless mission that is commonly mistaken for a mental hospital or so we are led to believe due to the actions of some of the people who stay there.

The homeless who occupy space in what is attempting to be a physical and spiritual place of refuge are some of the most ungrateful people I've ever heard being talked about. Some feel as if staying there is a right and not a privilege. Some refuse to do anything but smoke and sleep, even though active job searching and helping with the chores are requirements if they're unemployed. Some go out and get drunk then wonder why they find themselves banned from the premises the next day. Needless to say, myself and my aunt have long shared the thought that these people aren't getting the message.

The mission sustains itself almost entirely on donations and employs a very small staff which include my uncle, who is slowly losing his mind, his wife, who is slowly losing her memory, my aunt, who does what she can, a chef, and various others who help to watch over and maintain the building during business hours. The mission is meant to be used as a "stepping stone"; a place where one can stay as long as they need to so that they may get back on their feet and out of there, but this rarely ever happens.

I've completely disassociated myself from any activity related to that place, and I still would like to give half the residents there a good smack and a reality check based on only my aunt's (and her coworkers') stories. Thankfully, I'll soon be off to college, meaning I can escape Livingston and everything in it (including it's snail-speed internet connections at gorilla-sized prices) entirely.

Context: The only internet provider at the time was the local telephone company, who offered 256 Kbps DSL for $25/mo, whereas elsewhere you would expect to get a 1.5 Mbps connection for the same price.

5-01 B: Pueblo Viejo, in Livingston

One thing that confuses me to no end is our local radio waves. KUHF 88.7 aside, there is a complete absence of classical and smooth jazz stations and an overabundance of country.

I mostly listen to KETX 92.3, KDOL 96.1, and KHJK 103.7 and occasionally spend time switching around to see if anything good is on any other stations. One thing that's an absolute riot to hear are 96.1's in-house commercials for local businesses here in Livingston, specifically whichever ones they're currently running for Pueblo Viejo.

Unlike some commercials, which have plenty to say but are unenthusiastic ("Wow. Save now."), theirs usually happen to be overenthusiastic with too little to say. Hey, did you know they got them fajitas? And world class burritos! Yeah, that's right. Call my buddy Rodrigo at (936)whatever and tell him Rob sent ya. Pueblo Viejo, in Livingston.

It almost makes me wish I had a shortwave radio because there's no telling what you'll get when operating one of those; you could pick up anything from pirate radio streams to a [REDACTED] if you know the right frequencies.

5-01 C: Dictionaries From Different Planets


This night, instead of a continuation of the my previous saga as a demon, I dreamt of the classic "alien contact touchdown" scenario: a UFO had landed at an air force base somewhere, surrounded by citizens, tanks, humvees, and the president, who was himself surrounded by the secret service.

One of the humble visitors stepped toward the crowd and chose me to answer his question. "We have had our premonitions and previous contacts," he began, "yet still your kind continues to baffle us. You are aware we come in peace, and still we find ourselves surrounded by the armed forces. For what reason has this happened?"
After considering it ironic that an extraterrestrial being spoke better English than most people I knew, I drew out a long-winded explanation of the human psyche, paranoia, and fear. "Because, we don't know; to us there exists the possibility that you could be lying." A pause. I continued, "You might all have come here as scientists and astronomers, but to us there exists the possibility that there might be a trained assassin on board."

A reaction, albeit small, came in the form of a nocked eyebrow. "You see, we fear the unknown. This is one reason we are advancing scientifically as fast as we possibly can; there's a lot both out there and even down here that we can't hope to begin to explain, and that's an inability that scares the hell out of us. This fear easily becomes paranoia when another sentient being becomes involved, for the simple reason that one thing may mean different things between us. Don't get me wrong, we're all glad you've come, but at the same time we're all suspicious and scared because you might be capable of killing everyone here in an instant if things go wrong. Every waking moment could literally be our last. Though this was true before today it now applies on a broader scale."

When I woke up, I found that this speech of sorts seemed a bit rehearsed for some reason.

[Part Four]


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