Conscience of A Youth

I sometimes look out at the world and I wonder, “Where are we going?”

Between the environmental degradation, the brewing conflict between east and west, and the psychological maladies inflicted by social media, just to name a few, I don’t know where I stand or what cause to lend my energy to first.

It’s an exhausting thing for a guy in his mid-20s to have to sort out alone.

Then again, I was even more invested in such matters, although more out of a sense of dry obligation rather than from the heart, when I was even younger. Much younger.

Indeed, I wasn’t even sure yet where I would be going to college when I was taking the idea of saving the world more seriously. Back when I acted like my short, incomprehensive, and unsophisiticated Facebook posts could put a dent in the prevailing conditions of the day.

And I say “acted like” deliberately, because deep down, I believe I knew that what I was doing was not having the effect that I wish it could have had on people.

I was already too depressed to come to any of the many serious issues in the world with anything resembling the enthusiasm required to tackle them, anyway.

I was sacrificing my own social status in an attempt to go beyond it, in an attempt to become “the hero,” as it were. Yeah. All just to serve something, to be a part of something. I don’t know.

I did what I could. And at the time, for me, biting Facebook posts were my weapon of choice.

I made a lot of enemies, some all too happy to indicate as much publicly, but most grumbling quietly, maybe able to rest assured that fate would foot me the bill for my antics soon enough.

I’m actually somewhat surprised that people show me any respect at all for some of the things that I said.

Not that every single thing that I said in my social media posts had no merit whatsoever, but the casualness with which I made controversial statements, I think must’ve rubbed people the wrong way, even more than they may show today.

Controversy is to be indulged in sparingly, not over and over again, unless you really know what you’re talking about. I certainly did not most of the time.

Maybe someone older than me, with a lot more life experience and research under their belt, would have been justified in making the same claims that I was making. Maybe they’d even be proven right eventually! But I wasn’t that person. I just wanted to be. And I don’t know why.

Why couldn’t I just be another high school kid?

I have a lot more that I want to say about these things, this is by no means subject fully served. I hope that it’s at least somewhat worth reading about for people.

Let me know in the comments what you think of some of this. Were you similarly guilt-stricken in your late high school to early college years? Or am I relatively unique in this respect? I’ve learned a lot since those days, and I’m still trying to learn from the expereince of those years themselves, trying to put the pieces back together.

I lost a lot, but I’m getting somewhere every day. And that makes it all the sweeter…

By Sha’Kim Bush

ig: trapdoor_productions

Thank you for reading this! It means a lot.

Reflections on Leaving School and Being an Anarchist—

Those years ago, when I chose to leave school…was it the right decision?

Because now I will occasionally be struck with great grief at my lot in life.

In my mid-twenties now, I’ve accumulated quite a few talents. But I know that if I had stayed in school, I’d be an even greater force to contend with in this world than I am now.

It was that voice in my head that did it, so to speak, telling me that I needed to leave, because receiving assistance from any government body is immoral.

This position was consistent with the values that I’d been inculcated with via internet-facilitated communication. And to be honest, I am not so sure that I have freed myself completely from investment in these values, that is, the values of an anarchist, even to this day.

A part of me still believes that the most moral individuals will have it as their central aim to create a world where coerced action and obedience to authority are things of the past, no longer seen as viable methods of creating “order” in the world, whatever that word means.

But as I’ve abstained from indulgence in anarchist philosophy, I’ve seen other areas of my life blossom.

I’ve always felt that I was too young to be ignorant of so many of my own needs, and replacing that ignorance with consideration has been instrumental for me.

But I suppose I’m still in the middle of the road in some sense. I could be the same anarchist that I was before perhaps, but at the moment I’m not. On the other hand, I’m still not back in taxation-funded school. I have my talents, intricate neural networks that I worked hard to construct. I have some people connections that I can draw various forms of crucial support from.

I have my vision, inner vision I mean, my vision for the future, part of the engine that keeps this machine that I am going…

By Sha’Kim Bush

ig: trapdoor_productions

Thank you for being a part of this with me. Goodbye.

Apple Cider (Short Story for Halloween)

It was amazing, the first thing I stumbled across in that newspaper: A man and his wife. That’s what it was this time, what the thing had targeted this time. Indiscriminate. That was the best word I could think of, and apparently the writer of the column had been of a similar opinion while writing the report. “In this particular instance, the victims were found with crude incisions made at the tops of their spines…a bizarre and indiscriminate killer.” She noted that the fatal attacks appeared to be becoming more gruesome, like whatever was behind it all was getting more and more zealous, or feeling less and less restrained…

Probably because not much was being done about it. Until last month, the attacks were attributed to nothing stranger than a shortage of ordinary game in the area, compounded by an unusually high volume of tourists. It was by no means an implausible explanation. But then I saw the county sheriff at that press conference. Something was different. He looked like he’d seen a ghost or something, all fidgety and stressed, having to refer to podium-supported notes every couple of seconds. Something had changed. They’d found something, or someone had told the sheriff what to say. Someone who wasn’t under his jurisdiction.

“I want to assure all the members of our community that there is nothing to worry about, so long as all safety protocols are ABSOLUTELY followed and adhered to at all times while within county limits.”

Something like that. Pretty big words from a county sheriff. I was surprised that I wasn’t seeing anything about it on FOX, guess they still weren’t taking it that seriously, and maybe they shouldn’t have been, not yet.

The idea to go out looking for something that I had no business looking for had been brewing in me for a while, I have to admit, really ever since all the crazy stories started getting around, like wildfire through a town as small as ours. Ours was a real close-knit community, and yet no one there came to know the impact the stories were having on me, or how great a shot I’d become since first learning that something was up in those hills, doing terrible things to people. No, I wouldn’t be one of those unfortunate souls. I had too much to live for.

The buildup had been long and organic, incubating somewhere within me for a long time. But I knew the big moment when it came, though it struck so suddenly and unexpectedly. “Could it really be now,” I thought, lying there on my bed, staring at the ceiling, feeling the warmth of a succession of drinks swirling around my mind, “that I should venture up into those hills, so late at night, so near the lowest point of the sun in the sky, none of my friends standing by?” Where was this impulse coming from? What was calling upon me so insistently, to go out and hunt the creature that was responsible for all of this chaos in our quaint little county? I didn’t know, and maybe I wasn’t supposed to. But I just knew that this was the time, the time that the beast would be at its weakest and least alert.

I remember nothing, between deciding that that WOULD be the night, and me nearing the summit of some windy crest or another in the topography, the moon present alongside my trek like an avid spectator, and breathing heavily upon the rifle that I was clutching. I was surging with something, the feeling that I’d experienced overseas once, the day that I actually got to see some combat. It was just like that. And yet, where was my enemy? Where was I? I’d gone very far, I was sure.

I looked down at my ankle, I remember, and wiped it with my fingers, feeling a slick liquid that I rubbed in a circle with my thumb. “I’m bleeding,” I thought. “Must’ve scratched myself on the underbrush.”

“Huh!” I gasped in, for I sensed something huge near me, a presence. I felt as though I’d been spotted! I quickly lifted my gaze back up as if by instinct toward the darkened horizon that was suddenly in view.

And I thought I saw something even darker than all of that, coasting slowly and silently, in the air before me. Something huge.

I watched it, and followed its scarce path through the sky as best as I could, quite difficult to do with such a darkly clad object, uncertain whether or not anything was even really there.

The moon couldn’t help but confirm that something was indeed there, its soft, charitable light reflecting off of a column of luminescent humps, each one therein glistening in their turn, that extended down the length of the thing. But in the end, it was darkness, and not light, which summoned my terror, for when the thing’s wings outstretched, all of the stars in the sky swiftly became blackness…

The next thing I remember is lying at the bottom of the woods I had blindly entered at great peril, spared by whatever it was that had claimed the place as its own. If I hadn’t awoken at the scene itself, I would have thought the whole thing a once-in-a-lifetime dream, a message from God…I had no idea why I had been let to live. Perhaps to tell the tale to others.

Whatever the case, I know that there’s not a damn thing I can do about the creature in those hills. No one believes my story, but it’s the only lead anybody has. I don’t even know if I believe it all. It was so dark. I was as drunk as I’d ever been. I’m still alive. But I can’t tell you anything else and feel like an honest man…

I have my story, and I’m sticking to it.

My Gripe With Instagram…

I love how the snakes behind the control board at Instagram take time out of their busy days of attacking democratically-minded people to remind me to “register to vote.” Man, what would I do without you, Instagram?

Of course, as anyone can easily deduce, what Instagram is really trying to remind us of is how virtuous THEY are by conspicuously making politics a point at all on their platform, and by encouraging us to take part in the current political system, if only ideologically, as if that was EVER a useful thing to spend any of my precious personal energy on in the first place…

Listen, I’m 26 years old. I’m trying to enjoy my life, not be reminded upon the first second I open your app of why the people of this nation are divided. Politics is boring.

It’s literally front and center when you open the app as we speak. What are you people at Instagram, really, just a bunch of shit-stirrers?? Get out of here! Or, at least be transparent about what you are and what you’re trying to get out of me using your platform. I’d probably be a little more forgiving of you if you could at least do that…

Maybe not…

At any rate, I thought FUN was what you guys were supposed to be about. Making life more fun, by connecting people more easily, by bringing them TOGETHER. And if it ever became undeniably clear that that wasn’t what you were striving to facilitate, then I certainly wouldn’t want to be on your platform anymore, and I can assure you that no one else would either…

Or maybe you are really so out of touch that you can’t see how stupid what you’re doing is, and how counter-productive it is to the vision that any true SOCIAL media company should have. Everyone sees what you are, Instagram, whether that seeing is on a conscious level or just deep down in a user…

It has been made evident by your outward persistence that you have doubled down internally on this flawed campaign to involve politics on your platform, most likely because of how trapped you are in your own undeserving ego, still inflated off of a technological fluke that should have been reversed or drastically modified a long time ago…

Ever since the rise of Trump, social media has shown a determination to display just how on the side of the cool, woke left it is, and, thus, just how great its concern for its users’ political activity is. This is insanity…

It is so odd to see all of this shit-stirring be perpetrated at what could arguably be the highest levels of the socio-economic ladder in today’s world: Big Tech. The ones “above” us are inflaming the problems that we down below are suffering AT THE HANDS OF SOCIAL MEDIA ITSELF…

They make it seem like they believe that they’re doing a good thing, when really all they’re doing is violating what should be their own compass.

Why are you in politics, Instagram? Do you have a stake in politics that your users don’t know about? Who do you think you are? You’re supposed to connect your users socially, not obnoxiously, irresponsibly remind them of the ways in which they are divided.

We are different enough from each other already. You’re not doing any one any good by childishly playing with those differences. In reality, you’re a bunch of traitors for doing so.

The fact that anybody still uses your platform shows little more than how much you have exploited some of the vulnerabilities inherent to the human mind-body complex, liable to settle for a lower quality passtime if that passtime can distract it from other, less comforting things in its experience quickly enough.

And seriously, come on. If you were REALLY interested in making the world a better place (a laudable aim by any one’s standards), the first thing that users would see when they open your app wouldn’t be a call to misled political involvement, or a shameless attempt to broach whatever the trendiest geopolitical development happens to be at the time…

If you were really trying to make the world a better place right now, it might look something like you encouraging your users to take charge of their health, for example–just one of many that I could think of off the top of my head at the moment…

Hey, maybe you would even go so far as to show your users, millions of people, some of that data on how those COVID vaccines are affecting people, or some of the data on how many people lost their family-owned businesses because of lockdowns…

I’m just trying to help you with some of the ideas…

By the way, people are starting to see on a latger scale just how big of a scam all of that COVID stuff really was, finally. Unfortunately for you, you weren’t wise or noble enough to get on that bandwagon while it was still a courageous thing to do so, suckers!

Anyway, I hope I got my point across here, I have better things to do than berate big companies, as fun as that is. Ciao for now!

By Sha’kim Bush

Instagram: trapdoor_productions

Thank you for reading.

Back to the Battlefield…

I don’t know what it was that put me in the middle of the road. Perhaps it was a combination of unsavory factors that I allowed to swarm my life. Quite frankly, I don’t like knowing myself as such a person, a truly insufferable being in relationship, that is, someone who has demonstrated an incapability to pick a side, as it were, in this war.

I think it is the apath in me, the one that comes and goes at unpredicatable intervals, that is responsible for this disturbing development. Quite the inconvenient companion to my baseline self, I must say.

Actually, it has begun, as of lately, to subsume that role altogether, the role of baseline self, for itself only.

Things will not remain this way for much longer.

In fact, I like to imagine that I HAVE chosen a side. I like to imagine that I am firmly embedded in the ranks of the valiant soldiers of the Good. And yet, I can never shake the feeling that I have fallen tragically short of what I need to accomplish, just to show up on any of my most honorable higher-ups’ radars, whatever form those beings have happened to take in this dimension.

I declare that I AM a man of honor. I AM a man of truth, and I have nothing but regret, save all of those other nasty, icky emotions that tend to go along with it, about the amount of time that I have spent doing nothing in the dark corners or life, not lending assistance to the crucial efforts being waged against the forces of darkness in this world. There is a lot to be done, a lot of looming need for combat still yet to be exhausted. I can feel it rumbling in my bones, even now, as I speak on it once-removed.

I want to make a return to it, to the battlefield. I am fighting every day, though, still, even from my distant bunker. And it is a bunker that I have taken refuge in, so to speak, a space hidden from all the visible, vulnerable swathes of activity unfolding on the surface. But I want people to know again, who I am, and what I do. I want to add to the momentum once had, once so gallantly possessed by my brothers in arms, and to be able to stamp my name on the contribution that came from me.

So much still has to be done, again, and something within me is tugging at the latch for release to get out and do it all, eager to impose whatever means and whatever effort necessary upon the enemy.

What would happen if I let it out?

By Sha’Kim Bush

Thank you for reading😁

Instagram: trapdoor_productions

Take care now👋🏼

Enemies, Enemies…

I have twelve enemies to subdue at present—one for each number on the clock you could say. And together, their passions, their hatred for me and for my projected success, coagulate into a force almost inconceivably pernicious. They are an opposition to be reckoned with…

Well then, let’s dance, shall we?

My enemies have taken all manner of forms, hailing from every aspect of life. Specific individuals rank prominently among the lot therein, alongside physiological infelicities, chronic as well as ephemeral; psychological, financial, and occupational obstacles are happy to be parts of the mix as well…I wonder if I will be able to subdue them all, to create the peace that I lust after. Maybe I’d need some help from somewhere. But maybe not. Maybe I have everything I need, and just need to start actually using those things for once. I bet I already have access to the things that I need most, whether I know it or not.

After all, what, in this world, is really all that hard to acquire anymore?

Appreciation?

Whatever it is, it must be wanted by everybody.

By Sha’Kim Bush

I’m Going to Marry Zoë Saldana!

I’m going to marry Zoë Saldana!

Sorry guy that she’s already with, but I got needs too, and you’re super in the way of me satisfyjng them.

It doesn’t bring me any pleasure to have to take her from you…

Except that..it totally does! Hahaha!

Zoë…Oh, my sweet, sweet Zoë…when I take you into my abode, from which you will never feel the need to leave, how will you contain your excitement?

I can assure you that no one knows you better than me.

I’ve been absolutely poring over your Instagram lately, a space wherein, of course, everything that you share is voluntarily disclosed, and I’ve taken due notice of the profound need that you have expressed to have your body nourished with the utmost in nutritional quality.

This I have assessed to be your greatest personal need…Are you not impressed by such insight?

Leave your alt-right husband for good, Ms. Saldana, and venture into my arms, where you will be availed to more nutritious, straight-from-the-garden food than your beautiful stomach has ever known—and from the garden shall you eat, my dear, without any of that pesky shaming from an alt-right buffoon, which you have grown all too accustomed to.

Let’s bring that miserable life you’ve been leading to an end. Let’s start a new life…

Together.

I will not stride into the bountiful future that awaits us without you.

Now then, I will be back again soon enoungh with more to say about us. That’s right. Us. It’s a reality that I am manifesting. And in that reality, you are overjoyed by my company.

Nothing else exists!

Bye babe…

By Sha’Kim Bush

An Expression From the Pits

I write this from a place of deep sorrow, forlornness, and worry. I worry about what the future holds for me, what it holds for all of humanity. I wonder if it was a good idea for me to leave school, those years ago. I wonder if I am just a piece of shit who’s just destined to never quite get it right. Sorry for the somber quality of this writing, but this is how I feel right now.

More likely than not, the answer to my suffering is right in front of me. It’s not some big thing that I have to achieve, although that is the game that I have been playing with whatever it is that’s running this whole thing called “life,” hoping, in quiet desperation, that it is the proper game to be playing. It’s just the ordinary things of life which I need more of, those things which I have foolishly denigrated as unnecessary or dispensible, forgetting how instrumental they were in keeping me sufficiently satisfied with life over the years.

Family, friends, love, a future that I can trust. A country that I can believe in. What happened to all these things? Are we all in the same boat? Are other people out there suffering like this?

I hope to one day soon be able to give myself to something worthwhile, and to know that it’s worthwhile.

And I mean soon.

More to come on this, but thank you for reading about my problems haha. Good night.

By Sha’Kim Bush

I Survive by Moves Infinitesimal

I survive by moves infinitesimal

This line has at once been a poetic encapsulation of my day-to-day creativity and resilience, and also a leaden reminder of the terrifying reality of my current way of life, and, even more terrifying, what will continue to be my way of life for an indeterminable length of time into the future.

The words point to the way in which I’ve needed to live, or at least, the way that I have lived, ever since my overall energy began to fall again: by intuition. By the detection of the subtlest shifts in the air, as it were, by infinitesimal stimuli, to guide me in the direction that I need to go—for such narrow gradients of difference have seemed to me to mean the difference between success and failure in every aspect of my life while plagued by this deficinecy in overall enthusiasm.

My advice to kids: Do not underestimate and forgo the opportunities that you have before you, including the opportunities that have been generously placed right on your path by your culture and your parents for your own success in the world. Otherwise, you might find yourself wandering through a barren wilderness financially, where all opportunities must be seized with a desperate lurch, rather than with measured judgment and essential trust in the decisions that you are making.

However, my life as of lately hasn’t been without its rewards. I’ve made great strides, strides which I hope to be able to maintain, if I can’t find something more profitable to do with my time than what I am currently doing. I’m trying to stay healthy as well. Life is a lot easier and more promising now than it was even a year ago.

But something lurks, as it were. Something threatens, though quite distantly most of the time, to take those things which I have worked so hard to accumulate, should I dare rest on my laurels (is that the correct recitation of that saying?).

How could anything be so cruel?

The threat keeps me fit, I suppose, keeps me alert, running toward a desirable thing that is always trying to get away from me, and running away from an undesirable thing that is ever on my trail. I have yet to be able to identify the nature or the proximity of this threat. I just know that something is there, waiting for me to get lazy and arrogant with the treasures which I have acquired.

And isn’t that the way it goes with all valuable possessions?

By Sha’Kim Bush

Something Nice…

What do I do with this feeling? This…love. Or, maybe it isn’t quite “love”, that full-fledged sentimentality. But it is at least the beginning of something significant, a deep emotion that I have yearned the experience of for a long, long time.

In my loneliness, I fear that my solicitations will be made with too great an eagerness, and that will scare her off. “Obviously,” she will think, “this guy has never been with any women in his life (and in turn), the women whom he has previously attempted to attract have instead been repelled, and for good reason. I should follow their lead.”

But nay, I pray thee. It is only that I have never crossed one so fair, and yet seemingly so avoided, for some time now, if ever.

Why does it seem like something is aligning here? And yet, that same demon, that monster, whose face is still so shrouded in mystery to me, and whose influence seems so inescapable, and insidious, is in the background, threatening to foil any plan that I might formulate to make my move. But I hope that it is just a phantom. I hope I can see the truth, that no such demon exists, apart from my own self-contempt and self-denial.

I hope that God can squeeze some happiness for me into his plan.

By Sha’Kim Bush