The customers at Mcdonalds always form a neat and orderly line even though there aren't any signs giving them explicit instructions to do so. I often wonder if the living dead will show the same courtesy when they rise from their graves and shamble into the store to place orders of their own. I miss my former manager, Lauren. Or maybe I just miss the things she showed me. Giant gold rings leading to special stages of green and azure. Waves of numbness that washed my senses onto the shores of oblivion.

The bungee cords slackened as C and I shot upward. I grabbed two blue balls scoring four points. C grabbed one red ball scoring five. "Isn't this much more fun and relaxed now that we aren't going out?" C said. That was the day I learned that being on the same medications as someone does not the basis for a relationship make. I wished we could go into the recording studio Fleetwood Mac style and record an album of breakup songs. Songs so innovatively retarded that they'd reshape the very map of Ragnarok.

When C and I talked we tried to avoid topics of conversation that might invoke the conflicting ideologies of a pagan and a disciple of the as-of-yet-unnamed religion that believes in the lifestream. Our conversations were filled with awkward pauses that begged for a real life version of the "..." used in japanese video games. My Zuni fetish doll talks to me but I don't talk back. I refuse to prostitute myself with words.

Our trips to Hot Topic were numerous and always left us feeling cheap and slutty yet oddly revitalized as though we had caught a brief glimpse of the elysian fields where happys are grown. The modern day goth still has the same morbid obsession with death as his natural ancestor, the artsy vietnam photographer. However, a newfound self-awareness has allowed him to make some curious discoveries. For one he's found that it's pretty easy to feel angsty and depressed when you're dressed like a homosexual pirate/gypsy.

While exploring xen I came across a sentient alien spaceship that's crew had perished thousands of years ago. "What's it like to be old?" I asked the ship.

"It's like being drunk and hung over at the same time." the ship said. "My cpu spends most of its idle cycles calculating fractal patterns. Dances of form and color I can space out to while contemplating ancient secrets as timeless as the sea itself."

The nights C and I spent with Lauren and her girlfriend. There was a different feeling in the ionosphere back then. We had courage, the rarest of the five dream energies. Through a softly spoken incantation we could become ghosts whose latent presence could only be detected with photo imaging devices. And somewhere at the nucleus of it all was a naive 21-year-old thinking it would last forever. I'd like to meet that young larva and try and talk some sense to him but he's long gone and this old insect is all that's left.

"I don't know about you but I'm left reeling by the constant data input of this information age." C said. "I feel like the girl in that Guns 'n' Roses video who's strapped into a chair in front of a tv that shows nonstop images of carnage and destruction."

"Uh, that's Axl Rose." I said.

"What? No way is that a guy."

"Stop the turbolift. I have a friend on this deck."

"Oh let me guess, he's a liberal arts major who takes artsy black & white photos of urban decay and can hook me up with this great modeling gig because his website is going to be the Hustler of alternachick sites to Suicide Girls' Playboy."

C and I's yacht is filled with neopets we're illegally smuggling from neopia. A coast guard cruiser appears on the horizon. Awkward instant and the first neopet is jettisoned. One more wocky that will never know the joy of lulling her master into submission with a seductive purr.

The Doc Marten boot doesn't fit. We were always too shy and self-conscious to be goths. Maybe someday we'll find the subculture that's right for us. Curved chutes that take advantage of cattle's natural walking patterns.

"I once knew another member of your race." the alien ship said. "A soldier. His military mind sought to identify patterns in everything it encountered. I often wondered what his sight meats beheld as they surveyed this alien landscape. Was it reality or just a series of dots to be connected into a definable equation? He claimed that he could objectively rate the fret patterns of Mark Knopfler guitar solos."

"That's bullshit." I said. "It's impossible to give form to the otherworldly sounds of Dire Straits. It is the music playing in a tek junkie's head as he crashes on the seat of his friend's car."

I'll always remember the time C and I were at the grocery store and a 4-year-old said she was ugly. Just say the word, C, and I'll give you a new body that conforms to this society's standards of beauty. I've got it encoded on this reel of magnetic tape. Did you know that human genes can be reconfigured with supersonic sound? We'll go out clubbing at Tech Noir where 80's techno never died, you in your new body and me in my Gloria Estefan t-shirt that I had to make myself on cafepress because apparently Gloria Estefan isn't cool enough for Hot Topic to put on a shirt. Then we'll go home and burn all our Nelly cds because we're 33 years old now and no longer have any use for the urgency and immediacy of Nelly's hard hitting street poetry.

Welcome to Mcdonalds. Come on in, Bub won't mind. This is the lobby where the Mcdonalds radio station always plays the same eight songs except it's actually one big song. A song about an internet writer who cried the first time he played Doom 3 because what he saw before him was his life as interpreted by a bunch of middle aged nerds masturbating to the Alien trilogy. My soul cube is glowing blue with emptiness and, even worse, apathy.

I'm looking out the window at a night sky that only a fellow aesthete could've made. I have to go to bed now which sucks because I detest sleep. Oh tiresome dress rehearsal for death, how much longer will you entangle me in hopelessness and prayers for meteorain? For those of you keeping track, this update is halo eighteen. Collect them all!

– Jedidiah "Jed" Kirchner (@notoriousamoeba)

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