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Is Stevie Wonder Really Blind? (RESPONSE TO CNN)

By @BoldSymmetry                                                                        updated 10:06 PM EST, Sat Mar 1, 2014

Come on guys, need we see more? Really makes you Wonder as to the truth about Stevie’s supposed “blindness,” doesn’t it? Sure, you’re supposed to see some gains in other senses after you’ve lost your vision, think Ben Affleck (as documented in Daredevil), but enough to react within seconds and catch an extremely thin falling pole? Enough to find all those keys on a piano, and even the small black ones? The man wears sunglasses. What are those used for, keeping the sun off his non-functioning eyes? Get a grip, whodie! I credit CNN and the few other notable news outlets that were willing to break such a risky and stigmatic story. This article is merely a further development of previously established findings, including additional support for the claim that has come as a result of crowdsourced Internet scouring. Stevie Wonder, We Just Called To Say We Caught You!


Not so funny after all.

According to legend, Wonder’s “condition” came as a result of a six-week premature birth and the excessively oxygen rich atmosphere in the incubator at the hospital where he was born. Considering recent news, it now seems the only thing being incubated here was a capital-see Conspiracy, a campaign of propaganda meant to propel an undeniably talented artist (we don’t deny that) to an unparalleled level of success, a story of overcoming that, while inspiring, had been manufactured in greed. After 53+ years of successful hoaxing on behalf of Wonder, and the Motown/Tamla record companies that originally propagated it, some new light is being shed. Is the video above alone not proof enough of the wool that has been pulled over our eyes as to the truth about Wonder’s vision? It is clear Wonder is reacting in a manner only a sighted man could.

Perhaps the remarks of certified forensic video analyst (CFVA) Makaia Ransom will further convince you of the validity of what the video demonstrates. Ransom confirms in the comments section as recently as February 14, 2014, “Oh snap he reached out for it.” This sentiment is also endorsed by leading FBI official Charles Bradley, who states on the matter, “O by the way #Stevieaintblind.” Take a look at the complete performance for what happens after the catch (1:19:00):

Wonder abruptly stops clapping to the beat for the first time in the performance, realizing his blunder. He then nudges Herbie Hancock beside him who, if anyone, may be knowledgeable of the hoax (Hancock had already tried to make it seem as if he caught the stand himself). The nudge seems to be Wonder’s way of saying, “Whoops! Almost fucked up big time my nigga! ”  Additional evidence is provided by Mensa member and self-proclaimed “gangster of love” Bomani Jones in the two videos posted below:

Jones adds to the argument for Wonder’s sightedness, among other great points, the issues reiterated here:

  • Wonder would run around playing pranks on adults with no assistance as a child. How?
  • Wonder’s lyrics frequently reference imagery, colors and experiences that would have required vision, despite his being blind since birth! Strange, huh?
  • Stevie sits courtside at NBA games, trying to get the best view of the court, though he should have no view of the court. How could a spectator sport be fun for a blind guy?

Don’t believe any of the evidence just yet? How about some anecdotes from music industry insiders? Here’s an anecdote from Dylan of Diddy’s Da Band, who claims that Stevie Wonder, who was again inexplicably at an NBA All-Star game, was able to identify him from a distance in a crowded arena:

And a statement from none other than Boy George of Culture Club fame, as recounted by English forumer Kard (Holla Back Boy) of the renowned GovTeen Global Community:

I watched an interview with Boy George a few months back, and he reckons [Stevie Wonder]’s not completly blind since Stevie Wonder once came over and playfully strangled him at a party once, and Boy George was like; ‘how could he know where I was if he’s completly blind?’

[The original source of this secondary account of secondary source evidence can be found here, anda we can assure you that we are reporters of the highest caliber, holding standards of source verification to be of utmost importance. Be assured of the accuracy of our three-times removed report as it tells exactly what Holla Back Boy claims to have seen Boy George tell an unknown interviewer about a drunken memory of his in which Wonder definitely was maybe able to use his eyes at that party they were at. The hoax is real.]

It is important to acknowledge that this report not only suggests Wonder continued sightedness, but also his use of vision for violence and bigotry in strangulation of an openly, and some may say flamboyantly, homosexual man. The idea that Wonder is “like not completly blind” has been further corroborated by certified Yahoo! Answers reporter aflkdsj l. In a report from 2007, aflkdsj l’s work with a music expert referred to only as “my music teacher” yielded similar findings. The report was met with similar backlash due to aflkdsj l’s radical nature of questioning. The music teacher in question has, however, confirmed that Wonder does require corrective lenses, only a slight redress for his treachery as this hoax has been far more consequential than any other recorded instance of hyperbole.

Ultimately, Wonder appears to be rubbing the success of the hoax in our faces, what with his frequent NBA outings, and more recently with public bus-driving and taxi-driving antics. [Alright, we will admit that the reputability of the outsourced investigator looking into Wonder’s taxi-driving allegations,  sh4rkybloke, seems to be questionable. He seems to be one of those asshats that rides his bike around with a camera on his stupid fuckin’ head, looking for car accidents. But, other than that, you can be assured, all of the rest of our sources are 100% trustworthy sources.] This leads us to our final question.

What are the ramifications of the Stevie Wonder Blind Hoax, perhaps the greatest hoax of all time? Does the man celebrated for over half a century for his musical talent in the face of adversity have his legacy revoked when that adversity is revealed as fraud? Is Part-Time Lover any less of a musical feat if its creator was a Part-Time See-er? The answers to these questions remain up for debate. We encourage you to share your take on the issue, to ask questions, and to demand answers of Wonder and his team! As for our take, well, first, man is Ray Charles lookin’ good right about now. We feel it is now difficult to refute Wonder’s deceit was anything short of very super vicious, and as for Wonder’s future in the entertainment industry, “the writing’s on the wall.”

Like, comment on, or follow BoldSymmetry! Thanks for reading!

Jaw-neck angle and its implication for treatment of clinical depression

Sometimes I wake up feeling as if I’ve been hit by a Mack truck some time in the overnight. I sleep by a train track (in my apartment though) and for all I know the noises of the parked trains (I’m not sure why they do this) cause dreams of being hit by one. I then wake up, as if from the Matrix, with the corresponding physical ailments. The morning pain usually coincides with a psychological tenseness and both feed each other in a compounding, snake-eating-its-tail clusterfuck of muscle soreness. 

I often will jump in a hot shower in the hope of relaxing my muscles. And sometimes I throw a few stretches in in there too. They seem to work better there for some reason. Arms. Legs. Ankles. Vocal cords. 

On this particular morning, feeling a bit jivy, I made the executive decision to try a new stretch. Rather than just rotating my head around in circles to stretch my neck by imitating a drunk, I settled on the head fully back position, eyes to the sky, and stayed there. The last time I did this maneuver it had been as part of a rehab regime prescribed by an physical therapist. I had been concussed and was experiencing cervical pain as a result of being slammed on my neck while restraining the legs of a mental patient in a psychiatric hospital. That’s a different story though. This one is strictly about neck stretching.

Holding the neck back stretch, ten seconds passed in the warm water, and then, like flicking a switch, I was thrown into a whirlwind of phantasmic purple euphoria. The water was God’s pussy juice, the bathroom an edenic shrine of peace. God, felt good. And then I started thinking about why. Maybe this position naturally induces an endorphin rush. Maybe there is some positive correlation between the angle made by ones jaw and neck and his or her perceived happiness?

Quintessential depressives, slouchers, those with poor self-esteem – what is your mental image of their body language? Chest in, head stooped, averting gazes downward. That’s right – smaller jaw-neck angle (heretofore referred to as JNA). Closing the JNA is associated with those who are down on their luck like poor-postured MMRPG-players on their keyboards, staring into their, well their whole worlds essentially. Chins sink into chests as basement dwellers become amoebic balls, hunching, to be perceived and to perceive less. 

What about the bigger JNAs? When do we see those? Puffed up chest, looking tall. “Did you get your ears lowered or are you just happy to see me?…” These are the proud ones, looking up to the sky and seeing their surroundings rather than living inside the sidewalk and inside their own clouds. Tell someone a joke. If you’re getting a good laugh, you’re getting a JNA extension. Eyes to the sky, chin back, a hearty chuckle, an opening of the throat through which all negative energy dispels from the body. Aha! A theory was forming in me and it was all making complete sense! 

   Figure 1a.

Had I just uncovered the secret to curing my depression? The secret to humanity’s emotional salvation? Trumpers and anti-vaxxers, Kanye and SJWs alike, hand-in-hand, together throughout the streets of the nation, stretching their necks. Let’s think this one through:

Let’s assume for argument’s sake (even though I have cited ample evidence above) that the following statement is true – the average JNA of depressives over time, a day, a week, a lifetime, is smaller than that of non-depressives. In other terms, the average line of sight of depressives is angled more downward than that of non-depressives. Maybe it’s slight but it’s not hard to see that this very well could be factual.  Well, then maybe manual stretching of the JNA cures depression!, I thought.

Hypothesis: Regular JNA stretching alleviates depressive symptoms

Methods: 15-minute sustained JNA extension two times per day

Materials: Depression inventory, protractor

Conclusion: TBD

Needless to say, by the time I dried off, I knew it would be the start of a busy day. Not only did I have a new research project on my hands, but the results of it seemingly could lead to a ground-breaking discovery in medicine, namely a homeopathic cure for the epidemic of global depression, and with it, a three-book deal, obligatory appearances on Good Morning America (heretofore referred to as GMA)  and an arena tour to spread the word.

Not so fast! A potential logical error floated into my vision like those floaty things that sometimes float into your vision. Serendipitously, this served to preclude my seeing my naked body in the bathroom mirror. Had I misread the direction of causation?! I hypothesized that a large JNA may create a more positive mood, but perhaps a positive mood just creates a larger JNA. I want to or naturally look up if I feel good, but looking up when I feel bad won’t make me feel good. Could my dreams be dashed?

In a 1988 study conducted by psychologist Fritz Strack, it was found that subjects holding a pen between their teeth, simulating the musculature and physical experience of a smile, were prone to find cartoons funnier than their clean-mouthed compatriots. Wow, how fun! I’m sure at the time Strack was having the same thoughts I’m having now about this JNA thing, the great “delusions of grandeur,” as my therapist lovingly calls mine. The simplicity of the smile-pencil experiment (heretofore) made the findings easy to understand and prime to be widely publicized. They were shared amongst scientific circles and popular with those thinking while filling out Scantrons as well as elementary school kids who consume school supplies. Strack got the 360 deal and met Katie Couric. Then, in 2016, with a replicability crisis on the horizon for science, it was found that actually, no, Strack’s experiment was not replicable and “this isn’t a thing.” By this point I had been fake smiling to myself in private for 28 years, hoping to find something enjoyable. The news was disheartening then in lament for my wasted time and effort. Recalling it now seems to throw a wrench in my GMA prospects, but there is only one true and scientific way to rule out the possible miracle cure that is stretching your neck. Let the trials begin! BS

When I Die

I slid on ice and crashed my car into the side of a tunnel a few weeks ago. Princess Diana style. If I’m dying, I’m going out lavish.

The experience inspired a lot of questions in me. Some were very practical and selfish:

  • If I’d spun the wheel in the opposite direction, would I have clipped the SUV or got away scot-free?
  • How much will the repair cost?
  • If I can’t afford it, how will I get around and see friends?

The majority were darker, and selfish:

  • Was I close to seeing dead friends? 
  • In what succession would the living have found out about this catastrophe?

Paul’s passed away. Calls abound. Hopefully, there’d be some formality to it. I wasn’t much for formality, but at a minimum, no “Yo pauls ded” texts.

  • How many passing drivers would get some sadistic pleasure seeing my severed head roll to a stop by a dislodged hubcap? Would my cowlick fall perfectly into place as it did?
  • How long until the scattered pieces of my body would have been removed from the road? And by who? Who’d scrub the blood spatter off the side of the tunnel? Poor guy.
  • Would the story make Channel 5 in time for dinner? Who’d spit out their pork when they heard the news? And which anchor would be reading the prompter at the time? Joe Shortsleeve? Karen Anderson? I’d hope Joe Shortsleeve. Great name.
  • How long after I died would the secrets necessary for human immortality be unveiled? Huh, scientists? If it’s under a year then that’s fucked. Fuck me. Such bad luck.
  • How would the morticians prepare my body for the wake? Would they shave me?

I’ve always had a beard, God. I look better with it. Please, let me keep it. I won’t be able to grow it back this time after all. And I’ve never had a party quite as monumental as a wake set up just for me. Surely some of the more freakish I’ve come to be acquainted with would find it a rousingly impressive gathering that I was able to garner postmortem and I’d have to look my best for this, my last chance at getting laid, if only in the dirt. How kinky.

  • Should I have asked to just get incinerated into dust?

But who was I supposed to ask? “Yes, I’d like the ‘Full Spa Package.’” It’d be great to, in death just as I had in life, not be seen. I’m a shy guy. That’d probably be the best solution in this case, what with my head having rolled around on its own and all.

Then came some of the ultimate, philosophical-type questions that maybe were a bit less selfish:

Would my Death Party(!) bring people around me closer? Would it have folks singing about how the world is such a wonderful place? Had I ever even been responsible for that while alive?

Did anyone understand the vision? This is most important.

Did they get what I was getting at? Did I? And lastly,

What outlook, what ideas, what behavior would I like to be remembered for?

To answer this final question, I thought to look deeper and consider who has died in my life and how I have remembered them.

The following is a list of people who have died in my life and how I have remembered them:

  • Uncle Sonny. I did some yard work for him a few times as a kid. He was kind-hearted despite his resemblance to Elmer Fudd. I recall him having a slack-jawed, spit-slanging Southern drawl, but that can’t be accurate. We are from New England. I don’t remember much else.

  • His wife, Auntie Dottie (Aunty Dotty?). She gave me kisses whenever I left her, almost exclusively through open car windows as I remember. She had a raspy voice and a retarded son though I’m not sure which came first. Was she tired?

  • My classmate, Justin. He hung himself at the highest point of elevation in my hometown. Just after high school. He was a math genius, possibly gay, picked on by some. This one haunts me the most because I feel that I and many others had the power to prevent this simply, but again I have no idea what was going on in his head. Knowing him, it is possible that he cracked the code to interdimensional transport. Before he died he made some music and put it on Soundcloud. He hadn’t advertised it, but I found and downloaded it on a late-night bender. It’s in my iTunes and just as haunting as the memory of him.

  • My nonna. Being Italian, she was a great cook. Chicken, veal. She lived just one floor below me, but always seemed miles away, maybe because of her age (she was 86 when she passed) and because of the language barrier. “Mangia! Mangia!” always made it through though. Even without words, I could tell she cared about my brother and I.

Man, I hope the people I’ve grown close to have a better memory of me than mine of others. Otherwise I may end up being remembered as the dude with the glasses, and a Southern drawl. Yeah, my voice is a certain way, and I’m good at some things, but these aren’t the things I want to be remembered by. Maybe my lack of a strong sense of these people is a result of the fact I was not very close to them.

My grandma, however, I was very close to. She just passed. I was actually on the way back from seeing her at the hospital when I crashed my Saturn into the tunnel wall. She’d had her third stroke just before Thanksgiving, was completely rehabilitated by our Christmas Eve gathering, and was again having a more massive stroke the day after Christmas, becoming minimally conscious as a result. She’s gone now. Her funeral was last week and it actually still doesn’t seem like it has happened. I didn’t see her very often in the last year, so it is easy for me to pretend that she is still just sitting comfortably on her rocking chair in her home a few towns over. I can’t help but think if I had swerved right instead of left that I would not have had to see or experience her death. I remember a lot about her.

She used to play this game with me when I was a kid. I’d sit on her lap and she’d sing, “Bore a hole, bore a hole, right through the sugar bowl. Guess which fingered tapped!” As she sang she’d rotate all her fingers about my tiny back and just as she said “tapped,” she’d press one finger into my back and I’d have to guess which finger it was. That is, unless she was in the mood to completely abandon the game and on “tapped,” just open her legs and let me fall through the hole in her lap. Hot chocolate. Buttered toast. Rosary beads. Songs of hallelujah. And never caring about my facial hair, even when my mom was saying I looked like a Mexican or a homeless man over the holiday dinner table. Unlike the other people who have died in my life, I had a sense of my grandma, her energy, and her spirit. And that was one of love and of fun.

But what will they remember about me? What would they have thought of me now if that tag-team duo of an ice sheet and a tunnel wall had been successful in completing my undoing?

That I was anxious. That I was always somewhere else. That I was weird and avoidant. Maybe sometimes I had a few good jokes, maybe that my intent was never to do harm to anyone. That I was as soft as a fly. That I was set in my ways and always did my thing, a thing that was quirky, but only because its ubiquity was kept silent. That I was strange but less so in death, the specter of death much, much stranger.

I hope that at least someone remembers me as fun. And not necessarily funny, or wild-and-crazy fun, or sassy fun, or loud fun, but pure fun. The type my grandma exuded and elicited in her family around her, the type that was communicated with a single “tap.”

(I Love Grandma.) BS

The Scariest Things on Earth

The following is a list of everything I fear. I made it in hopes that my boots will shake less in the future. Here we go. I fear:

Existential threats: Dying is scary.

1. Being stabbed. Especially in the dick and balls. Comparatively, the fear of being shot is negligible. Weird, huh? Being stabbed should be everyone’s number one fear. The rest are in no particular order.

2. Burger King. Yes, I fear eating at this establishment. There is a constant anxiety over whether or not there is hair in my burger. More often than not, yes, there is. More often than not, no, it does not seem it is of human origin.

3. Accidentally eating a piece of the aluminum foil on my burrito. Probably my second biggest fear here, a close second to getting stabbed. But this is justifiable. Aluminum causes brain cancer, right? Eating a burrito is a dangerous game with outcomes that range from brain cancer on one end to losing all of your ingredients out the other.

4. A tainted water supply. Anything from plastic to poison in my water, secretly. I’m not having that. If it was poisoned on the up-and-up then I’m a little more ok with that.

5. Dropping my iPhone in water. Our phones are extensions of us. I once jumped into a lake with my phone in my pocket and it traumatized me. For weeks after, I experienced a PTSD that involved weekly night terrors and frequently waking up in pools of sweat. I would then be re-triggered, hoping my phone was not laying on the bed in said pool. I know this is a fairly specific one but I’ve dropped a walkie-talkie in a toilet and it’s not the same.

6. Old people. For so many reasons… They are a symbol of the brevity of life and permanence of death, a reminder that I am only but a speck in time, and a promise of crusty ears, decrepit limbs, and Type 2 diabetes to come.

7. Björk. And her husband’s films. See below

Clearly he is transitioning into a non-human form.

Transitional threats: Change is scary.

8. Falling out of love. Especially with a mate you’ve made a commitment or promise to. For some reason, you no longer love her or are no longer attracted to her. When the reason is unclear, the fear is compounded.

9. Faking love. A means of making up for the falling out. For your partner’s sake, for the sake of not feeling that you have wasted your time with someone and/or to uphold a promise by force. 

10. The ephemerality of moods and thought patterns. Like falling out of love, or your daily surroundings seeming somehow different, or your life’s mission suddenly no longer seeming significant. It’s especially terrifying to imagine this from the perspective of one who suffers from bipolar disorder. No it’s not.

11. Forgetting and being forgotten. It’s called athazagoraphobia. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind gives me a panic attack. Alzheimer’s! Dementia! AHHH! The idea that at one point I understood or was able to identify something and now I don’t/can’t. The idea that I can run into someone I used to know well, who now has no idea who I am, and specifically when he or she gives me that “Do I know you?” quizzical facial expression.

12. Facial distortion. Whether due to drug intoxication, cognitive decline, or natural change over time. For example, I saw a cousin that I hadn’t seen in a few years. He looked much more like a cracked out Brontosaurus than I remembered from childhood. Scared the shit out of me.

13. Waking up in the dark after a nap and no one is home. You know. No explanation necessary. What happened while I was asleep? How could the sun go down without asking my permission?

Complexity threats: Not knowing is scary.

14. Combinations of even the smallest simplest parts can result in highly intricate, complex experiences. This has all sorts of implications, one being that if I had kissed her that night my whole life would be different. Regret. Another implication is that even one moment or object could never be completely analyzed and understood, never mind a person or a life. We can never know everything.

15. The number of people in the world. I could never meet them all. Even if I only spent one second with each of them, it would still take me over 220 years and I don’t foresee myself living that long. The anxiety is compounded when I consider this number in relation to the much smaller number of people I know versus the small fraction of those I am close to compared to the even smaller number that have seen my bare ass. We can never know everyone.

16. The immense subjectivity of reality. Everyone sees things differently based on a unique set of past experiences, relationships, and thoughts. This is the problem of other minds and of communication in general. 68% of our thoughts never leave our brain and are never shared. 95% of the other 32% that do leave our brain are not received and translated precisely. Of course, others will get the gist and of course all of these numbers have been made up, but there are infinite nuances in all that we communicate. We seek people we can communicate with effectively with and with minimal misunderstanding, but this is ultimately only judged by our perception of their reactions and responses. Though I have found some people “on the same page” as me, I will always fear that no one’s brain is exactly like mine and my brain isn’t exactly like anyone else’s. Needless to say, I find telepathy and that door from Being John Malkovich very favorable. We can never know anyone from the inside.

17. Self-deception. Not only does our subjectivity keep us from truly understanding others, it can keep us from truly understanding ourselves by fragmenting our awareness. Who is doing the deceiving? You. And who’s being deceived? You. Scary that it’s even possible. We hold definite falsities (pron.  Bi·ble) to be true and will refuse to process or even be subjected to challenges to these supposed truths. What is more frightening is that, such that we can never be convinced otherwise for fear of destruction of our entire worldview, we are actually able to change our neurochemistry to selectively stop seeing and hearing dissent. Our brains can be made to only perceive confirmation of our ideas (even where there is none), much like Google will yield support for any idea if we search for it (i.e. reptilian overlord shapeshifters, Flying Spaghetti Monster, “it’s the motion of the ocean”). Against all logic, we convince ourselves of an afterlife to relieve mortality salience. We convince ourselves we are something we are not. We compartmentalize and distort reality. And so, we can never even know ourselves.

The reason I used “we” in this last section instead of “I” is that even if I know we all do this, I am not able to locate where exactly I am doing it and what I am keeping from myself, nor am I sure if I could that I would want to. You see, self-deception is scary, yes, but it is often useful in that it can keep us from realizing an even more daunting fear, meaninglessness.

Nihilistic threats: Meaninglessness is scary.

18. Feigned objectivity. Because not knowing is scary, we like to pretend to know, which is often just as scary. No one is perfect and no one is imperfect, but everyone is judging and afraid of being judged. In some sense at least. Everyone has some belief system on how to live life appropriately, but no one really knows what the fuck they’re doing. And we self-deceive to keep this from ourselves and others, despite its hilarity. There are no Gods among us. As far as we know, no one has unlocked the secret of life. No one knows its meaning. No one has achieved immortality. No one can even fly yet, or read minds. I mean, come on! It’s 2021!  People dislike people, people dislike themselves, and someone dislikes you even though there is no real scale or rubric for any of this. No one is unanimously liked or approved of. No one is fundamentally attractive. No one is dressed correctly. It is all subjective, and at least one hate-filled person always finds at least one thing wrong with everyone and everything. *Beyoncé, a.k.a. the Great Hope of the Human Race,  is the obvious exception to all of these rules, though her case has been excluded from this reasoning as we have not yet confirmed her species. #Flawless.

19. Cultural impression of goals. There is no universal meaning but if we say there is, and have everyone vying for it, then the shit will seem real. There sure seems to be some consensus in pop culture as to what my goals should be – “Money, hoes and clothes. All a nigga knows.” “Pussy, money, weed. Shit, that’s all a nigga need.” In fact, it seems there is an unofficial list  of  socially acceptable desires that everyone knows, but that I never got the memo on. Kids, when young, impressionable, and easily preyed on, are made acquainted with this list. Growing up, they gradually find themselves using this societal rubric, one that they didn’t initially understand or believe in, to judge themselves and others. What’s worse is they gradually come to take it as their own and believe it to be inherent or objective when it was in fact learned. Ultimately, and as a result, they lose their wonder and acceptance, qualities which are responsible for so much good in the world.

20. Wasting time. And the subjectivity of what is a valuable way to spend time and what is not. Does anything matter to everyone? Would it be socially acceptable for me to spend the day in bed?

21. Never having everything I want. No matter how hard I try. At what point do I find out I’ll never be “that guy?” When do I stop believing I may suddenly become famous or strike a fortune? When do I give up? 30? 40? 50 years old? This process involves a certain amount of self-deception in its own right and it gets increasingly sad and scary with age. I’m sure many 40-Year-Old Virgins still think their Gene Simmons days are ahead of them. 

22. Having everything I want. What happens if I do identify a set of socially acceptable goals for myself and I do attain all I could possibly want? Then what? This scares me. I want to get to a place where there are no more “and then what”s. But is it even possible? And once I get there, what do I do? Profound ennui. 

23. Still always needing. We will always want to buy something else. Until we die. We will always get hungry again. Until we die. (Although consistently finding moose hair in your Whopper may change this.) We will always get horny again. (Although hating your wife may change this.) All our stuff will never be completely clean and organized simultaneously. Such is the cycle of life and we may only break free from it in sporadic passing moments of creativity.  

24. Publishing this.

25. Not publishing this. BS

Loose Ends: The Mission Statement

I only want to help people, in the freest and most playful sense of the word. First sentence and I’m already clamming up, worried you’ll judge me for my grammar errors. This is definitely not free-est? Most free. There we go. I have flirted with social work, gotten a degree in psychology from a pretty good university, but I’m left unsatisfied by all the current paradigms for help. I think this mainly has to do with the settings provided and corresponding stigma. You go to a hospital for a mental health problem and you’re crazy, but hold on to it and let it grow inside you as you walk the streets as a “normal” and you will be seen as normal. This is where I come in.

I want to help you on the streets. I’ve had all these crazy thoughts about ways to provide favors for strangers – driving around a van labelled HELP to replace a job our police once handled ’til some decided they favored shooting people and really screwed up the public image of a cop. I know it’s stupid. But even when I take a short walk, I see all these LOOSE ENDS, needing to be tied up. All these frays in the cosmic fabric where my presence, or the presence of anyone who can see them for that matter, could step in and stitch things up relatively easily before the hole is ripped open wider and pretty soon, Zika fever. What?! I don’t know, but it’s a hot issue.

Come with me as I help some people on the street and see if anything good happens.

Loose Ends: Helping an Old Lady Cross the Street…. How Cliché

I decided to get a job to help more people. I was on my way to the interview and, just a street from where I would be interviewing at, I saw an old lady in the middle of the street in the path of the train. She stood there for too long a time for me to feel comfortable with her staying there. I use “stood” liberally because, in reality, she was an upside down “U,” her waist higher than her head. Her cane held up her arm and lower body, but somehow her head hung low like a willow just above the ground. Tens of Boston College students right by her, none of which seemed they would be much concerned had the train come by and hit her. Many Tinder meetings at Starbucks scheduled, although I give them some leeway because maybe they thought it could be good for someone of her stature and gait.

Anyway, I thought it might be good to help someone before going in for the interview. After all, that’s what I planned to be doing after if I got the job. Maybe this was an intensely intricate covert interview procedure, more likely a Truman-esque or cosmic procedure. So I helped her cross the street and not get hit. I guided her and let her hold my arm, but she seemed to want to continue to stand on the train tracks. Was I ruining this poor woman’s suicide attempt? I asked her where she was going. Why do you want to stand here? She was trying to get to the train stop, which was on the side we came from. I said, “Oh that’s on the side we came from.” We crossed back again. I told cars to stop. I said, “Stop cars!” I brought her back and near the stop she was looking for but only seeing ground.

Before I was with her, no one was looking at her. When I started talking to her and walking with her everyone was looking everytime I looked up, which was a small amount of the encounter since I was mostly down on the ground with her. I know what those BC kids were thinking. “Helping an old lady with a cane cross the street? How cliché.” I enjoyed being down on the ground with her like we were looking for a St. Giles necklace in a high grass field. Helped her at face level. Hope she got her train.

Loose Ends Tied: 6

Loose Ends: The Beginning

I have been inspired to start this series of posts by a handful of occurrences from the past week in which I tied up some loose ends. From now on each post will be one occurrence, but here are the initial few grouped together.

I walked by a man waiting at a bus stop. The bus approached. He asked me for two $5 bills for his $10 bill. Realizing he was trying to save himself from wasting ten bucks for a single bus fare (why don’t those things give change yet?), I offered him a 5 and three 1s, the only bills I had in my wallet, and he accepted. In retrospect it may have seemed a bit odd to the other man waiting at the bus stop. “Hi, can I give you 8 dollars for 10 dollars?” “Ya, thanks!” “Alright, peace.” The bus arrived shortly after. He was able to get on and hold on to a $5 bill he would have otherwise been throwing away had I not been there. I walked off with two extra dollars, first proud, later ashamed.

I later gave these extra dollars to a man asking for money at the train station. He was well dressed, asking for money, so there’s no telling how many refusals he had gotten that day and how many working people he had pissed off. It cost me only $2 for him to get his train, or his coffee, or his other drug of choice, and to relieve countless other commuters from having to pretend not to hear him as they continued on their less needful ways. +2

Total Loose Ends Tied: 2

A week later I was on my way to Kenmore Square in Boston to see the old buildings that were Grahm Jr. College in the 1960s. Andy Kaufman attended. I like him. Thank you veddy much. I was riding a Hubway bike in the rain toward Kenmore. It may as well have been a Fischer Price with the way it handled. I saw an Apple on the ground – an iPhone. Quickly put it in my pocket and brought it in from the rain.

I emailed her. Hi, I found your phone out in the rain so I decided to take it in and give it shelter at the Barnes & Noble in Kenmore Square. They’ll have it at the counter. Don’t worry, it’s still seems to be working! -Patricia Kaufman

She replied later on. Will, MANY THANKS! I’ve just picked up my phone & couldn’t be more grateful. She spelled my named wrong. It’s one “l”. But she seemed happy. I mean caps and an exclamation point. Takes a lot to get there nowadays. And she was a Kaufman – an unexpected extra? Fate? Probably nothing… My finger did spark the first time I touched Kaufman’s dorm building. +1

Loose Ends Tied Up: 3

I left the library and took a call. My phone is much shittier, even shittier than the iPhone 3 she had. But of course, neither is actually shitty at all. A beggar with a cup 30 feet away in front of the McDonalds wanted a smoke. We negotiated the entire deal, the asking, the agreement, the “you got a light,” and the the thanking, with hand gestures alone as a I continued to talk on the phone. I liked that. As he lit up, so did I. +1

Loose Ends Tied Up: 4

On the way home I encountered an old arts-and-craftsy type lady screaming that someone had parked behind her car in her driveway. Kids were getting out of school across the street and it was likely that another mom had decided to park there just for the few minutes it would take to retrieve her kid. Art-and-crafts lady saw it differently. This was an abomination, and the highest of criminal acts. A pen and pad materialized in her hand and she began jotting down the license plate. I’m not sure how numbers could be fashioned with the anger of those hand gestures. Maybe it was all an act. The other mom came back, apologetic. Art-and crafts continued, “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’D DO THIS TO ME. I’D NEVER DO THIS TO YOU. I HAVE AN APPOINTMENT TO GET TO. I’D NEVER DO THIS TO YOU.” It’s hard to imagine there’d be a scenario where she needed to and equally hard to imagine the apologetic woman would be this furious about it. So apologetic woman moves her car and is apologetic and Arts-and-crafts storms back in her house. I stick around, attempting to film as I’ll start doing for these things if possible (I didn’t get any footage here as I thought my head might get bitten off or smashed by a repurposed Mason jar). The most important thing to me was making sure the apologetic mom was ok, so when she finished moving her car I made it clear, “Her cat must’ve run away. You didn’t deserve that.” These words were enough to restore a smile to her face and I’d like to think that maybe this prevented her from a day of feeling sorry for herself then going home, divorcing her husband and beating her child for taking her sweet time exiting the school. You never know. Butterfly effect. By the way, Art-and-crafts took another ten minutes to leave her house and by then apologetic mom had left with her child. Meh. +1

Loose Ends Tied Up: 5

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