An Ontological Discussion With Matt [Short Story]

An Ontological Discussion with Matt
by Joel Nickel

“Every person is actually the same being experiencing reality subjectively,” Matt pulled the cup to his mouth. His words were spoken as though they were mundane and ordinary; some trivial conversation about some idle piece of gossip.
They sat down in the café after both had ordered drinks.
Lillith was so shaken by the enormity of Matt’s words that her body convulsed as though her whole body was doing a comically exaggerated double take for some hammy vaudevillian act.
“Holy fuck? What?” She immediately covered her mouth. “Sorry,” she looked down, embarrassed. “I meant, to say . . .”
“I think you meant to say ‘holy fuck’,” Matt grinned.
She chuckled shyly and then tried to sit up straight. “Okay, I’m going to think about this critically. Convince me.”
“I think humans are identical pieces of the same being, but are represented in the physical world separately by each person’s consciousness. And only in that way are we differentiated. If we went back to the spiritual world we’d just be part of that same being. All consciousness is supplied by one being hosting separate bodies; a meta-subjective view of reality.”
“Hmmm, so that thing is everybody?” she swirled the coffee around with her brown plastic stir stick.
“Yes, but I think it’s a single being from a duality. There is good essence and evil essence inside us. When one of the essences controls another being more than the other that person becomes good or bad.”
“That would explain why so many religions are built around the idea that the world started by God for humans. Maybe consciousness developed when this entity was able to harness the body of the homo sapiens and insert it’s consciousness onto it,” she took a drink from her coffee.
“I believe that the first modern man and woman were given consciousness by just such an entity. So the Bible’s Adam and Eve were actually just the first two homo sapiens that had consciousness. And that explains how there were other homo sapiens for Cain and Able to mate with. They were just mating with homo sapiens who hadn’t attained consciousness. Maybe the first consciousness was only in Adam and Eve, but then through birth it separated from Adam and Eve into Cain and Able. And then was transferred to the rest of humanity through Cain. Eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was a metaphor for homo sapiens attaining consciousness. Both good and evil energies existed together as one in both Adam and Eve, but when they had children the energies were split apart. Cain contained more evil than good and Able contained more good than evil. But then Cain killed Able and the majority of goodness was lost from the timeline and the rest of humanity is filled with the evil energy that Cain propagated through the generations.”
“What if Adam and Eve have a good son that was hidden away?”
“Woah. What if he wasn’t written about again until Mary, but rather than the virgin birth, Mary was actually part of the biological line of the good son of Adam and Eve had hidden away from Cain’s evil lineage. What if in that isolation from Cain the good energy lineage exercised a kind of sexual selection where only those with a high amount of goodness were allowed to procreate until we reach Jesus who was almost entirely good energy. When Jesus became aware of the way that the Jewish religion had been distorted as a system of control over the people through the influence of an elite few, he decided to expose humanity to the real message. Everyone is a subjective piece of God’s consciousness.”
“What if the context of what Jesus said was altered by the people who reprinted the Bible? The original Hebrew was changed to Greek and then from Greek to Old English, right? I’m pretty sure that’s right,” it had been a long time since she was ever in Sunday School and she really didn’t know that much about religion so she decided to stop herself and Matt continued.
She looked down at the floor.
“There are single words in certain languages that represent whole concepts. Since word is a whole concept, it can only be translated as a sentence when there is no equivalent word in the language it’s being translated into. Although, actually I can’t think of an example in English,” he paused, scrunching his face together and looking up as though he were trying to peer inside his brain with his eyes and that somehow that would help him remember. “Well, the French have a word ennui. And ennui, means . . . actually,” Matt pulled out his smartphone and entered the word into the search engine on his browser. After an unbelievably short time, which wasn’t appreciated or even acknowledged as being as miraculous as it was, the smartphone gave him the knowledge he was desiring. “Ennui is the feeling of weariness and dissatisfaction. That one word actually means an entire concept. And the word petrichor! That is the scent of rain on dry earth. Both are concepts condensed into one word. What words in original Hebrew were like ennui and petrichor? Maybe the meaning conveyed in those original words were mistranslated when the scriptures were transferred over to Greek. And then again when the Bible was translated into English? I always wondered if when Jesus said ‘we should love another as yourself,’ he wasn’t meaning you should love one another as separate, disconnected individuals. Maybe he was saying you actually ARE the other person. Only you are subjectively viewing existence and have a different individual past that we have named as our self to which we tether recollections of events as having happened to that self. But it’s only because we’ve had different experiences from one another that shape our behaviour and the way we interact and perceive the world. There’s that atheistic argument that religion is dependant on where you are born. If you’re born in the US you’re probably going to be a Christian. If you’re born in China you’ll be a Confucian or a Buddhist and if you’re Japanese you’ll probably be Shinto. Those cultural designations and expectations will colour your experience of reality.”
Lillith remained silent. Staring, unblinking, contemplating.
Matt continued: “rather than being separate and antagonistic we should recognize that while we are only experiencing the world subjectively, our consciousness is the same consciousness as any and every other person experiencing reality subjectively through their body. That’s a pretty intense idea for the whole of humanity to posses if a certain amount of subjective experiencers want to retain their individuality and their control and power over others. So what did the Pharisees do? Well they killed Jesus and then made it seem like he was a heretic. He was going up against the control, the influence, the power, and the evil that Cain’s lineage stood for. Cain’s influence as the evil force even ended up usurping the spiritual message that Jesus true followers were trying to get out. The church instead used Christianity the religion to control the masses. Not to free them with knowledge. In the Dark Ages only the clergy and noblemen could really read. Why? ‘Cause knowledge. That’s why! Those who possess knowledge possess the power to shape the perception of those who do not have that knowledge. Have you ever told a lie and you knew it was a lie but the other person you told trust you so much that they believe that you are telling them the truth. In that moment you have altered their experience of objective reality. With words, you have changed that person’s awareness of truth. You have made an illusory film that obscures the other person’s awareness of the true, objective reality. So yah, if most people can’t read, they can’t verify whether what the bishop at the front of the church is actually reading is written on the pages of the book in front of him, or whether the speech and its meaning are simply propaganda that aims to control the thoughts and actions of others for the benefit of the elite. That’s why whenever I hear something I also put the information through a prism of critical observation. Who is telling me this information? Why are they telling me this information? Could the messenger have a motive or a bias?”
Lillith continued to stare at him. She was aware now that he was emitting a subtle light that danced in the air around him. She felt a recognition of understanding in his eyes and then she felt an odd sense of deja-vu. She remembered this experience. She remembered this conversation but she remembered it through the subjective experience of Matt.

the weed bull – a short story

“Let’s order pizza. On me,” Nathan saw the expression on Alex’s face as soon as he opened the door.

      Laura leaped over to the computer.

     “Let’s watch something trippy,” Laura suggested. “Oh, we should call Seth and see what he’s doing.”

     She picked up the phone and Alex was amazed at the speed with which she dialed the number. Although they did have enough practice calling the number.

      Seth said he wasn’t doing anything and would be over as fast as he could climb the two flights of stairs.

      “I found this amazing documentary on the biggest things in space. It’ll blow your mind,” Nathan said as he set up the DivX player.

      The opening of the documentary had a series of quick cuts of flying through space, to entering a Black Hole, to jutting in and out of an asteroid belt.

     Alex felt like he was experiencing all of those things and that he was flying through space at ridiculously intense speeds.

      “This was made for people on drugs,” Alex smiled.

      Laura giggled, “I know.”

      “The Cosmic Web,” the narrator began, “is one of the most mysterious and intriguing features of the Universe. Scientists believe that the Universe is held together by a framework of invisible strings of matter with pockets of void spotted throughout. The web is as big as the universe itself, measuring some 14 billion light years across-“

      The image on the screen began panning out from our planet, out through the solar system, and out through the Milky Way, and then faster and faster it raced to finally encompass the entire Universe.

     It did look like a web.

     There were long threads of matter with nothing in the space between.

      Alex suddenly had a crazy epiphany.

Continue reading

The Gods Are Returning – A Short Story

I didn’t immediately start the journal documenting the nightly visits; but it wouldn’t have done any good anyway. At first, I was confident that the visitor was a character in a dream. Though, after an entire week of nightly visits, I had to accept that I was either completely insane or the visitor really was materializing at the foot of my bed to converse with me. Eventually I did start the journal, but despite my meticulous written accounts of our nightly discourse (I’m a journalist by trade) the evidence would always be expunged the next morning before I could show anyone. I know, I mean, I know that I’d documented my interactions with the visitor. Of this I am completely and unfalteringly confident. Why? Because I, and my editors, know how pedantic my first drafts can be and how frustratingly (for them) meticulous I am at finding the most apt and efficiently articulate words to express the brutish barking of raw thought that screams about the inside of my head. I read somewhere that they’re working on a machine that will decode and download the electrical sparks of pure thought to an external interface. It would be like if you found a song online that you really loved but then, before others could listen, you had to notate the piece onto sheet music by hand and then suddenly having the ability to bypass all of that effort and just plug in your mp3 player and directly downloading the song for playback instead. But anyway, we don’t yet have that tech for brains but it would be very helpful if I did. The way it is now, I have to personally write down my experiences with my nightly visitor. And like I said earlier, I KNOW that I’ve been writing them down but every morning I found the minutes, if you will, of the previous night are erased from the pages of my journal. Even the pen marks on latter pages from the frenzied pressure of my writing are mysteriously smoothed away as though I’d just bought the journal that day. I tried sneakily writing other non-visitor related journal entries into the journal alongside but those stay. They are still intact and unaltered save for the new spacing between entries. And this I find extremely uncomfortable, there are no spaces between entries where the redacted portions should lie. I did start writing them on note pads at work and then hiding them around the apartment, but when I would go back to check, they too were blank. It wasn’t like they were torn or burnt or stolen, they were still there, but all my writing had been dissolved from existence. I started dictating into my voice recorder a few nights ago but when I uploaded them to my laptop the files consisted of lengthy swells of the hiss and crackle of angry static. The visitor doesn’t appear when my girlfriend spends the night. For awhile, she stayed regularly but after three consecutive nights of silence, well relative silence, it made me anxious that I was possibly squandering an incredible opportunity. Even if it was only to discover that I am in fact completely fucking bat shit, off my rocker, straight jacket donned, mouth guard drooling, padded room destined, tinfoil headed insane! I really hope that’s not the case. He, well, I think it’s a he. He looks like a he but I don’t know, maybe he’s a shape shifter and this form is least traumatic for me like that being from Carl Sagan’s book Contact. But yah, he had never told me his name before last night and I’d written it down but this morning, of course, it no longer existed. I think it was something like Ananna or Naner or something. I remember picturing a Banana when he said it but he did say that the name he gave me was his true name but that others have called him many different things over the years. And from what he’s been telling me in his visits it been a pretty significant span of years over which he’s been visiting. < that sounded wrong. I would go back and reword that but fuck it, it’s going to be erased by tomorrow morning anyways, right? Why should I believe that tonight would be any different? So yah, fuck editing. About a week ago he told me that “the Gods are Returning” but that I shouldn’t be afraid. Most of the first visits were spent in terrified silence just staring at the figure in my dark bedroom and listening to him speak to me in an accent unlike anything I could ever articulately describe. Gradually and with timid apprehension, I began to shift the visitors monologue to dialogue. But some of the stuff he told me, Jesus. I mean, I totally understand, if it’s true, why he would erase all the pages. It was this Gods returning business that kinda freaked me out. Tonight I asked him about it again and he kept asking me questions instead. We watched another episode of Full House together. He shares my fascination (arguably a fixation) with the 90s. We actually watched most of the series together already. Has he been visiting me that long? Anyway, last night he actually brought two others and I wasn’t at all prepared for that. The one friend was also male, I guess, and looked like he could’ve been the visitor’s brother. But the other friend was breathtakingly gorgeous. I mean, how can I express this without sounding incredibly clichéd or superficial or whatever. People have been trying to describe the traits of the most “beautiful woman in the world” since there have been women in the world, but this . . . she can’t even be described in words. The three of them told me that this was the last night before the “Return of the Gods”. The beautiful woman expressed to me through a silent exchange that I could feel inside my head that I shouldn’t be afraid. They’re not coming for us. No citizens would be harmed. Their kind had been the former rulers of Earth after they’d colonized the planet, a sort of Planetary Mining operation, looking for mono-nucleic gold that their civilization used partly as a power source and as an ingredient for their secret to longevity. They were the builders of all the Pyramids and the other great Ancient Wonders attributed to early humans. Actually, and the deadpan way the other male visitor explained this to me still chills me even as I’m writing, he said that human beings were actually genetically created cheap labour by mixing their DNA with the an earlier hominid primate. The humans though vastly outnumbered their visiting rulers and an opportunistic ruler betrayed his fellow . . . oh fuck, they never told me what they were just that they were who created us I guess. Maybe I should’ve asked. But I was still reeling from the second male’s nonchalant reaction to having utterly destroyed my entire framework of reality. So yah, this opportunistic . . . one of them . . . decided to incite a human revolt against the visitors and offered them assistance under the condition that he and those visitors of his choosing would stay around the rule in their stead. The betrayer destroyed the hyperspace tunnel connecting Earth to their Home World and so his race was marooned on Earth after the Evil . . . FUCK I should’ve asked what they were called, anyway they were stranded here after the revolt. Outnumbered they hid themselves and their knowledge of the true history of Earth, for centuries popping up here and there when they’re needed and then promptly murdered by those in power. Who according to the three strangers were actually still the betrayer and those of his kind that had aligned themselves with him. All the leaders and the influential people are human beings, yes, but they are all in those positions because they have sworn an allegiance to the Betrayer. That part made a lot of sense in the moment but I don’t know. That’s a lot of people to keep quiet if you’ve conscripted people to appear like they’re controlling things but are actually the middle men. I feel like someone would’ve talked at some point . . . unless they don’t know any of this information and are just “following orders”. I don’t know. But there was more. They said that the Gods are almost here and that they are benevolent and will treat us with kindness and respect. I brought up that slave labour thing and they said it wasn’t slave labour, it was cheap labour. And apparently not the cheap labour we’re used to when the mental image pops into our heads. Apparently the continent of Africa is very different then we’re being led to believe and that if we looked more closely there we’d find more answers but we’re constantly being fed terrifying reasons why we should steer clear of a lot of Africa. But anyway, just before they left they explained the reason it took so long for the Gods to return. Since the hyperspace tunnel was destroyed they had to once again make the journey to Earth the conventional way before they could construct a new hyperspace tunnel to once again reconnect Earth with their home world. Kinda Star Gate-y and at the time I was accepting that as a confirmation that I was actually insane and in a Mental Institution day room somewhere watching an edited for TV version of Star Gate while the other patients around me drooled into straight jackets.

OH HOLY FUCK! Today’s early morning entry was not erased when I came to check! But, I also awoke to fins every piece of electronic equipment in the entire apartment inert and silent. I wonder … if the last journal entry is still here then that means that maybe this one won’t disappear either. I remember something else! I remember the names they gave me before they left. The visitor finally told me his name. He said most people called him Thoth but that his real name was Nannar. Kinda like Banana I guess. Not quite. The guy he came with was named Utu and the [I’m not even going to try and describe how beautiful she was] woman was named Inanna. Holy Fuck!! It didn’t get erased. Now I just have to remember all the other crazy shit he told me during our visits.

research source for my Short Story idea:

NaNoWriMo – Update – “the Watchers” excerpt

this is another excerpt from the third novel in the ouroboros trilogy: the Watchers.

______

I could see the hospital in front of me from his place amid the charred casings of what had once been cars. Rubble and other random debris lays strewn about, ejected from buildings that surrounded the city street.  Festering bodies layered the street so completely that in places it was hard to make out the black asphalt underneath.

I shuddered.

My detached awareness felt the incredible eeriness being surrounded by so much death.  Although, my awareness realized that the body attributed an apathetic normality to the scene. Something is very wrong here, wherever it is. I realized, huddled behind the nearest blackened shell of what may have at one point been a Honda Civic, that this was Winnipeg.

“What are we waiting for?” A blonde man behind me fidgeted impatiently, “The hospital is right there, why don’t we just-“

“Wait,” Another person brought a hand up to silence the man, “I don’t like this.”

How many other people were in my group? I couldn’t remember what lead up to the moment I was in. I didn’t really recognize any of the people, but the body I was in was treating them as friendly.

“Who put you in charge anyway?” The blonde man stood up and walked further into the street.

The other man called after the blonde man but he was already halfway to the lobby of what they’d said was a hospital. It kinda looked like Health Sciences Centre.

The blonde man stepped gingerly through the mass of dead bodies that blanketed the city street.  After he’d gone more than thirty steps, the man turned to wave the other members of the party to join him.

A woman with a pale sickly face leaned against the blackened car frame, looking as though she was constantly fighting sleep.  She was putting pressure on a wound somewhere on her stomach and her blood soaked clothes around her torso denoted the urgency with which she needed treatment. I looked past the injured woman and into the eyes of the redhead beside me; the final member of our expedition party.

“Don’t!” I shook his head, sternly.

Her face was covered in dirt, and her once lustrous, fiery red hair was dull and matted.

Her piercing grey eyes, which had once (as the body I was in remembered as I observed him) shone with a brilliant exuberance, were now murky and listless. Experiencing that he (this body) had, and seeing what he’d seen, his body knew that its own eyes had also lost whatever semblance of soul they may have once had.

“Are you coming or what?” the blonde man yelled to him.

I turned to glare at the man.

Didn’t she know that there were others out here? My apprehension caused the body to gritted its teeth. (Or maybe the body gritting its teeth was what caused the apprehension) The body remembered the Others that wouldn’t hesitate to murder us for whatever supplies they think we have on us?

<<Had he so soon forgotten the man at the convenience store, naked and decapitated with his meager belongings strewn out beside him?>> the body’s mind thought.

Is that what the blonde man wants to happen to us? My awareness wondered.

The redheaded woman stepped out from behind the Honda Civic and carefully navigated through the morbid obstacle course towards the blonde man who had almost reached the other side.

“Come back,” I whispered sternly, or maybe we both whispered simultaneously. I was just as concerned as the body I was in was for her.

Suddenly I was opened to her awareness and the thoughts spiraling around her panicked mind. She was anxiously stepping closer to the blonde man, closer to the Hospital and, hopefully, the medicine her husband so desperately needed. She felt a weird, uneven consistency underneath her feet and realized that she was standing on one of the bodies’ hands.

She could feel the clamminess of the upward facing palm on her bare foot and it made her entire body erupt in a violent shudder which I could feel with a surprising intensity.  As she anxiously tried to reposition herself, she caught her ankle in the crook of a heavily decomposed elbow and she fell face down into the heap of rotting flesh and exposed entrails.  She touched the gore with her slender fingers and a foul sensation tore through her.  She moved her arm, but wherever else she put it she still made contact with cold, dead skin and wet, gooey innards.

She screamed and flailed around, madly.

The other body, my original body, called over at the blonde man as quietly, yet forceful, as he could: “Go help her!”

The blonde man scoffed and turned away, continuing towards the hospital.

“You fucking asshole,” the body muttered under its breath before I could. The more I watched the body the more I felt a growing connection and affection. I hate it when I’m in a body that behaves in ways that conflict with my moral alignment. I find it wonderful when the awareness is benevolent.

Standing up, his body readied itself to go out and assist her and my segmented awareness that was feeling her terror amid the limp and decaying bodies.

He tried to calm himself down, and I tried to help him. I sent the body calming and supportive energy from the seat of my detached awareness while doing the same for the woman the body was speeding towards. We saw the redhead was taking in deep breaths and trying not to think of the charred bodies around her as having once been alive.

<<Mannequins>> She tried to make herself believe. <<Yes, these were only mannequins>>

Something in her brain clicked over and she was suddenly able to see everything at once. She connected up to me. I didn’t think that was possible. And it frightened me. They shouldn’t be able to do that.

All the bodies, all the wounds, and then it became instantly obvious to her; painfully, horridly obvious; to both of us.

“Go back,” we shouted at the man and the other part of myself.

The bullet tore through her head snapping it forward with a force that threw her to the ground. The violent burst shot me out of her now disabled awareness and rejoined with the other fragment in the body of the other man.

Bits of bone, brain and clumps of matted red hair spayed the bodies behind her as she landed; another body added to the collection amassed in front of the Hospital.

ersatz – short story (from the ouroboros universe)

They sat silently together on the couch, watching the news. Alex frequently stole short glances over at Nathan who’s sombre default face stared vacantly over at the television screen in front of him. Alex saw the aura of synthetic unreality had come to envelop Nathan as well.

What’s the point? Alex stared back at the TV. The news anchor was saying something about bike lanes or something about rapid transit but Alex was conscious of the sickly film of dream-like imitation that seeped into all the pockets of matter and imbued them with a profound ersatz.

Neither of them talked about the woman in the apartment next door. They didn’t remind one another that they’d pulled her out of the ground. They didn’t talk about the time traveling drug box that had been the catalyst of their existential collapse. They didn’t talk about Seth’s suicide.

Both Nathan and Alex were numb. Death seemed to be constantly present in their awareness and their lives had taken on a subdued, unimportance that left them both lethargic and detached.

Alex had separated himself so much that he no longer believed any of it was actually happening. Everything he experienced exuded an artificial and illusory glow that seemed to emphasize how fabricated and immaterial this version of reality was when pressed against the unknowable other world from which he now believed was the source of his consciousness. It seemed like some unreal inner fantasy that he was watching unfold, emotionlessly, detachedly. The contrast was so emphasized in his mind that it would’ve been comical if it weren’t so wholly and cripplingly terrifying.

He wasn’t eating. He wasn’t really sleeping. He even stopped going to work. They just sat in the apartment, staring at the television.

Well, he was. He could only be sure that he was actually sitting at the television. Alex’s anxious thoughts had made him so discouragingly isolated that almost every moment was spent acutely aware of the division of his body and the impenetrable barrier of the material beyond.

The dishearteningly persistent feeling of déjà vu re-emerged, clasping tightly the once limp and meandering attention for control of Alex’s conscious awareness. Although this time it was paired with a kind of parallel memory that swatted menacingly as it tried to infect his mind; to insert a memory he knew couldn’t have ever truly had. And yet, still, he was sure it had. He remembered he was in a living room.

My living room! In that brief fraction of momentary memory Alex felt unwaveringly confident that it was absurd to even consider the memory as being illegitimate; impossibly absurd. Of course it’s my living room!

Alex’s thought seemed to stutter and flash around jerkily as the awareness that the separate memory was also irrefutably true.

In this other memory that couldn’t have ever happened, yet had, Alex was sitting with Seth. He was aware of that same feeling of utter disconnection from his experience and the reality that was the medium of that experience. He was massaging his wife’s shoulders and . . .

Wife?

      He battled with his equally unwavering confidence that he did not own a home, but instead co-rented an apartment with his roommate Nathan. A roommate who, until that instantly preceding moment, Alex was fully convinced existed only in the impenetrable state of artificial otherness. He’d acknowledge in that moment that there was another Alex; an Alex with a dramatically different life. The other Alex had also come to that same discovery of the otherness. Both were considering if reality was one solid substance through which each separate Alex navigated.

A bright, nauseating flush of déjà vu crashed on top of Alex again and he could feel his throat tightening.

The grating dissonance of the two alternate memories crackled with an ominous potential energy. As the conflicting memories jostled for supremacy, superimposed over a single point in his brain, Alex began feel dizzy. He feared the awareness of the reality collapsing paradox. The growing intensity of the two opposing sides cast off brilliant sparks that burst soundlessly about the room.

Most of him was fearful, though part of him was anxiously anticipating the collapse of reality. Pleading for it.

There was a jolt of a feeling his static filled mind tried to label and quantify.

An acceptance, or a connectedness . . .

Alex was too busy trying to latch on to the rediscovery of feeling to accurately describe what it was. He’d already accepted that those feelings would remain unceasingly absent for the rest of his life. Their unexpected rediscovery caused his body to convulse in another warm spasm of bright, protective, wholeness. The filter of synthetic unreality through which Alex had once viewed himself and his surroundings, began to disintegrate and dissolve away. Every atom in the room seemed somewhat brighter, as if each light were casting off a subtle glow of serenity and purpose.

Nathan was still staring at the television expressionlessly.

Everything looked different. He knew he couldn’t put it all together in that moment, but something bright, something good, something benevolent had revealed to him the knowledge of an unalienable connectedness that exists between everything. A connectedness that while at some times feels illusive is always present and persisting eternally inside every atom.

He found that he was holding his breath and he exhaled loudly and kind of coughed. Nathan didn’t seem to notice.

Alex knew that his newly acquired knowledge was frustratingly fragmented in terms of the larger understanding of the exact mechanism of the connectedness, but something told him that when he needed to know, the universe would enlighten him.

The newscaster threw to a commercial and Nathan hit the mute button.

“I fucking hate commercials,” Nathan was still staring expressionlessly at the sequential flashing of the quickly rotating still images that soundlessly bled together. Alex was conscious of every one of the individual thirty frames in every second that flashed by. Time slowed and Alex became aware of the connectedness of everything that had been captured inside the single, still image. The position of everything inside the individual frame: the placement of the actors, the lights, the colour of the countertop, the font choice for the logo the ad was attempting to coax the viewer into purchasing, it was all one.

When the news came back on, Nathan still had the TV muted but Alex immediately recognized the picture of the woman.

Under the woman’s picture was a police hotline phone number.

Wanted in connection with weekend homicide.

“Turn it up!”

“-lp in finding information into the shooting death of building superintendent Jacob Phillips this past weekend,” the newscaster said as the image cut to an establishing shot of the outside of their building.

“Holy fuck!”

Alex’s eyes began to burn and he realized he had no idea when he’d last blinked. He’d been so disconnected that he didn’t even know about Jake.

Does death follow me? Or do I follow it?

“Police are trying to locate a woman whom sources say shared an apartment with Phillips. During the course of the homicide investigation authorities discovered the building’s basement was being used as a marijuana grow op. Right now it is unclear whether or not the homicide is connected with the basement grow op although, it is alleged that Mr. Phillips has past ties to gang activity stemming as far back as the 1980s.”

“Holy fuck,” Nathan reached over and grabbed the pipe and began filling another bowl.

Alex felt the full immediacy of reality as his awareness of the present moment expand. There was more of reality than he’d ever been aware of before. He was part of something larger. Something important. And he began to feel something that had been ripped from him long ago.

Optimism.

Ouroboros – The Complete Original Score

The complete score for Ouroboros by Grey Spade.

Written/Programmed/Performed by: Joel Nickel

The Mind’s I – 0:00
Prisoner – 4:12
Cafuné – 7:14
Petrichor – 10:46
Ensō – 11:54
Waldosia – 12:52
The Tragedy of Choice – 15:18
The Architects – 18:35
Nexus – 21:00
Claire – 23:39
Anima – 26:52
Ennui – 30:30
Soma – 34:51
Copulatory Vocalizations – 36:52
Dislocated in Time – 39:39
Ava – 43:04
Litost – 45:10

Google Glasses – Never Stop Playing – Ouroboros

Watch these two videos and then watch Ouroboros. Augmented Reality glasses … video games we can take with us anywhere … it’s only a matter of time before we start creating worlds to jack ourselves into ….. and thus: Ouroboros.

Google Augmented Reality Glasses

Playstation Vita – “Never Stop Playing”

And my short film – Ouroboros Season One