…down on the floor, scratching for more…

Title from Fistula, “Smoke Cat Hair and Toenails”, from the album Vermin Prolificus

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Manic as fuck. This has been building. It’s a frantic race to nowhere. A deranged rat on a hamster wheel. The sedatives aren’t working (“I think I can handle my sedatives, bro…” -Charlie). Cyclical thought experiments. Running through my past transgressions. Recall, revisit, rewrite, restore. This is why the lines get blurred.

Suddenly, focus. Something intense, white hot, piercing, and its all that there is. It envelopes from the inside out, wraps tentacles, consuming. It is all that there is.

It is gone. And there is nothing. Less than nothing.

Fractured psyche, rearranged. The protective cover of scar tissue. Healing. Growth. Change…

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© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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A Beast Possessed

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Fevered, purposeful growling. The thunderous boom of paws quaking the ground. Unmistakable commotion. Looking out, I notice Herman trying to get at something on top of the fence in the backyard, so I go out to investigate. Come to find there is a pigeon perched calmly atop the fence, mere inches from his savage, clamping jaws (dude can JUMP).

Wondering why the bird doesn’t fly away, I look closer, thinking perhaps it decided to construct a nest at this precarious and exposed location. Finding nothing, I decide the bird must be hurt, and try to distract the Herminator away to leave the poor fowl in peace.

Herms, in classic obsessive compulsive fashion (he is my boy, through and through), can’t break his focus from this feathered intruder for more than a moment at a time. Eventually, he gets a running start through the yard and flings the full weight of his body into the fence, his gaping maw snapping down furiously where that idiot dirt birt sat only seconds ago.

The fucking pigeon bastard was taunting Herman this entire time, only to finally take flight at the last possible moment. It is long gone into the crisp Wyoming sky, and now Herman is a beast possessed. He is obsessively combing the yard, circling around, leaping against the fence with head towards the sky, searching in singular purpose for that foul fowl which dared invade his space and raise his furious canine ire…

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Not our feathered antagonist...

This reminds me of Molly Malone’s many dinosaur hunting expeditions in the feverish Arizona desert…

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© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Porcelain Strawberry (Part IV)

Image by Daniela Huhurez

Image by Daniela Huhurez

What follows is a selection from The Sacred Lost Tomes of The Ryan, the brief and terrible history of which is glossed over here and here.  “Porcelain Strawberry” is the second piece of short fiction I can recall having ever written, not including whatever crap I may or may not have been churning out in my adolescence, and has been presented here in several parts over the past week or so.  It was initially written for an assignment in a creative writing class at the University of New Mexico, and was influenced and informed by Nicholson Baker’s novella The MezzanineBut I won’t tell you HOW…that’s for you to discover, intrepid reader!  Go here to read Part I, click here for Part II, and navigate this way for Part III.  BEHOLD, the Finale, Part IV, below:

strawberry-field-sweet

One night, months later, as we lay together, entwined in one another, I look deeply into her entrancing, oceanic eyes, and I feel as if that moment will stretch on forever. I hope to myself that it does. I have something I’ve wanted to say to her since the moment we met, and the feeling of this moment tells me the time is right.

“I…love you,” I say softly, stroking her delicate cheek with the tips of my fingers. She smiles and kisses the tip of my nose, burying her head in the crook of my neck. But not before a flash of surprised, perplexed fear plays ever so briefly across her face. I say nothing, but I am disconcerted by this, a feeling that haunts the halls of my mind for weeks, festering and growing until I can focus on nothing else.

Images of other men begin creeping into my mind more and more often, no longer restraining themselves to times when we’re apart, and I take to visiting her perhaps too often at her job, sometimes lingering outside the entrance watching, waiting, minutes, hours, before even going in. I try to mask my suspicion and jealousy, but this becomes increasingly difficult. Too often I come upon her talking to some handsome, masculine guy, and I wonder at what’s behind her warm smile with him, the proximity of their bodies, the generosity with which she shows him to various sections of the bookstore. Sometimes I hang back and watch during these encounters, but most often I rush up, putting a possessive arm around her shoulders, maybe kissing her cheek or neck, as I shoot the bastard a contemptuous glare in warning. Usually I am a decidedly non-confrontational person – I generally just don’t care enough – but this is different. This girl is mine.

We are eating dinner at Vincilli’s one evening, our favorite spot for those rare occasions in which we dine out in style, when the already awkward conversation between us takes a turn for the worst.

“I need to talk to you,” she tells me, putting down her fork and pushing away a half-eaten plate of chicken alfredo. Her eyes are surprisingly cold, her face tight and emotionless.

“What is it, babe,” I say, trying to mask my fear and unease with overt sweetness.

“I think we need to cool it off for a while.” Her words are a kick in my chest, a vice-grip on my heart. That familiar, sickly, sinking feeling creeps into my gut. I clench my jaw to stifle the nausea.

“Don’t get me wrong,” she continues. “It’s been great being with you…” She pauses, my mouth hanging open in shock and loss. “Well…it was great, at first, but…but lately, things have gotten sort of…suffocating.” My head falls with this last word. I want to bring it down with a bang onto the table, to cry out, to do something, anything to release this vicious, pulsating tension building up in my skull and chest, climbing its way on sharpened claws down my spine. That’s the same thing Kate said, years ago, the last time I had dared to open myself to another person.

“I just think, y’know, if we saw other people for a while, maybe…maybe we’d remember why we got together in the first place.” Disconnected thoughts run fleetingly through my mind, countless things I want to say, but I can’t grasp any of them long enough to form them into coherence. I feel my brow wrinkle, beads of sweat gathering as my eyes dart wildly across the cluttered surface of the table, unable to focus on any one thing. I certainly can’t bring myself to look up at her.

“Aren’t you going to say anything? Are you just going to sit there, pretending like you didn’t hear me?” I close my eyes, take a deep breath, try to collect myself, desperately grasping for anything that might make her stay.

“You…you’re breaking up with me?” The disbelief in my voice is obvious. “I thought we were going to spend our lives together…I thought we were…made for each other.”

“I thought so too, but…I just think if we could spend some time apart…see how we both feel about…about giving some other people a try…”

“But, I don’t want anyone else. All I want is you. I…I love you.” She smirks at those last words, condescending.

“I’m sure you think you do. But, how can you be so sure? I mean, you’ve only really been with one other person. I’ve only ever been with you, so…so how can we know something like that?” She waits for me to respond, but I have nothing left to say. I can’t focus on the moment long enough to react to it. I feel myself begin to grow cold inside, my heart withering, a brief surge of pain shooting through my body before it goes numb…again. And when she finally gets up to leave, I can’t make myself go after her.

Image by Dambreaker

Image by Dambreaker

Months later, I’m on the phone with her again. Supplicate. Pleading with her to allow me a place in her life.

“It’s too late for that,” she retorts, her voice thick with aggravation. “You fucked that up. I told you I wanted some space, but you couldn’t give it to me. I’ve seen you outside my work, outside my home, every day for the last month. I feel like you’re stalking me, and now you want me to let you back into my life? Forget it, you fucking psycho, there’s no way.” I try to break in, to tell her I’m different, I’ve changed, I’ll give her space if that’s what she wants, if only she’ll remain.

“Get a life,” she snaps before slamming down the phone.

After this, eternity. I find myself in a sick state of self-loathing, plunged down into the blackest pit of misery and dejection, a hole which the light of nothing can pierce. Even that splintering speck of pleasure and superiority I once felt at focusing on the pathetic weakness in others is now gone, and I feel nothing but scornful contempt at the world around me. There is nothing, a perpetual emptiness, in everything I see.

I try to call. Her number is disconnected. I go by the bookstore, pretending to search for something in the Fiction Anthology section as I scan the store for her face. She is nowhere. Nowhere to be found, regardless of how often I return, how long I stay. Gone.

Blinking my eyes, I shake myself free of this fantasy turned dark. I look up, searching for my girl. She has crossed the bustling mall food court, making her way slowly toward the glass door exit. A guy walks next to her; they’re embraced hand-in-hand. When did he appear? Her head rests delicately on his shoulder, his black beanie matching the style and hue of her wooly black sweater. Quickly, I rise. Make way across the sea of tables, following her. Following them. She has changed me, in this moment. She has taken grasp of pieces of my tender soul, my innermost being, and I must pursue her to make them complete. I must possess her.

She will be mine.

Grey Matter by Amy Goodwin

Grey Matter by Amy Goodwin


© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

all mementos of an awareness unwelcome

Image by Madchangeling

Image by Madchangeling


i wish
you
thought of me
the way i
think of you,

with desperate persistence,
impulsively
in stumbling inadvertence

triggered by myriad
detonations
of surging escalated memory

yet another thing
i can’t control.

Image by Antaryamin

Image by Antaryamin


© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

miserable

i
fucking
LOVE you
and
i
want to
fucking
MAKE you
miserable
for
the entirety
of my
time
left
wanting,
loving you.

[Edited – I felt like the unending finish to this needed to be more ambiguous. So I changed something. Cheers!]

© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

stuck

stuck
inside
my head
with
All
of This
consummately
continually
eternally
with just
All
of This
to
keep
for me
toiling.

© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Crazy Pills and Brain Storms

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I am going off my medication.

There are several reasons for this.  The first is the Perfect Storm I unwittingly rowed into.  Without going into too much detail, I ramped up the Crazy, quit my job, lost my insurance, all in the middle of finding out my doctor was retiring from patient practice. Without insurance or a job, I’ve been unable to get a new doctor or have my prescriptions refilled. With the Crazy running increasingly out of control, I’ve had trouble searching for a new job and have ruined the few potential opportunities that have come along. Perfect storm.

So, I’ve known for about a month that my prescription would be running out. I started taking half doses for the last couple weeks in an effort to wean myself off physical dependence. I did try every avenue I could think of to try and maintain these medications and to obtain medical advice, but the medical system in this country is still faulty and broken and plenty of people like me get dropped through the cracks. No biggie, it has happened before.

Regardless, getting off of these particular medications is something I feel I would have chosen to do even if not forced into it by circumstance. Events in my life of late have led me to a great deal of introspection and self-reflection. Certain psychological and emotional issues that I mistakenly assumed were extinct assembled in hordes below the surface before finally coming unleashed upon the world in horrible misery a couple of weeks ago. We’ve weathered the worst of it, I think, but that leaves the hard part: sifting through the wreckage.

What I am trying to say is, I have been looking back, tracing lineages, and introspectively dissecting my own history of madness to try and get at the sources, the core of what is housing and feeding these festering demonic creatures that insist on destroying everything I try to cultivate in my life.  While it is clear that my issues go back ages into the Ryan’s troubled and ancient history, I have truly come to believe that this psychiatric wonderdrug coarsing through my veins, while intended to help curb and treat the problem, has in fact only been compounding it.

Evidence of this is as follows. After having been off psychiatric meds for several years (following the previous meltdown), I finally got myself enrolled with medical insurance and back under treatment for anxiety and depression in the Spring of 2014. During the time I was without treatment or medication, I maintained by either self-medicating or isolating and “powering through.” Most days were okay. Some were bad. The worst were relatively few and far between, but are what drove me to get back under medical care.

Following the initial month of physical acclimation to new medication, during which the drug’s active properties build up to effective levels in your system, I started to feel pretty damn great! Some of the potential side-effects were potentially troublesome, but with Crazy pills they all potentially are. I remembered feeling some apprehension when I read about the difficult withdrawal symptoms patients have when stopping use of one of the drugs, but it seemed to be working so well that I decided the risk was worth it.

Unfortunately, the apparent effectiveness of the medications quickly tapered off, even declined. At first, I just assumed my body was acclimating to the drugs, and that what I was feeling was me growing accustomed to this newness, settling in to “normal.” Soon, however, I could tell I was doing worse. It was not long before my Crazy was back to the level I felt before starting treatment.

So, of course, I discussed this with my doctor. And, of course, the solution was to increase my dose. Makes sense. Everything followed in due course much as one would expect: the acclimation period; effectiveness; plateau; descent. It seemed my body was just too good at adjusting itself to new levels of drugs, my Crazy too proficient at adapting and overcoming. After all, I was an active drug addict for more than half of my life. I have tolerance, yo.

Again, I went to my doctor to discuss. Maybe at this point it was worth it to abandon this pharmaceutical cocktail and try something else, I thought. Unfortunately, I found my doctor in the last week of retiring from direct patient care. Apparently I had missed the notice in the mail. It was just my last bit of good luck that I called to schedule an appointment a few days before his last day. All he could do was refer me to a new provider and give me adequate refills to get through a three-month waiting period. New patient problems, yo.

In the meantime, while waiting until I could get on the panel of another medical provider, all hell decided to break loose in my brain. Confusion. Mania. Depression. Whirlwind of thoughts. Paranoia. Bewilderment. Anger. Violence. Defensiveness. Scorn. Anxiety. Lashing out. Self-loathing. Misanthropy. Suicidal ideation. Hallucination. Destructiveness. Ruin.

What started as a slow and gradual decline soon sled steeply into full-on maddening descent and downward spiral. I get the sense it was painfully slow and toilsome for the people around me. In here, subjectively, from my perspective, the whole thing happened so quickly I couldn’t even see or feel to get a grip until the worst of it was done. Hindsight and all that.

I woke up to find myself physically and mentally bruised and bleeding. Alone. Bridges torched, relationships in shambles. In my madness and loathing, in those moments of lashing out trying to stay afloat, I severed some vital ties that I fear in my darkest moments might never be mended. I found myself having dug in, burrowed, hidden myself below the surface of all beauty and magnificence. I had led myself to the lowest point yet in a pit of despair that had become so comfortable as to feel like home. I didn’t want out, subconsciously. And so I hurt everything, everyone that tried to lead me towards the light.

This Shadow has always been a part of me. It always will be. I made the mistake of believing I could separate from the darkness through sheer willpower and focus. I know now that belief is a fallacy. It is not about separating from the diseased parts of ourselves. It is about reconciling those parts of ourselves with the whole, with finding balance and harmony and seeking healing through the whole, the absolute, with becoming complete and not separating, dividing, or removing. Nothing will be gained with trying to cut diseased flesh from bone, with dividing or fracturing. It is about rebuilding.

In any case, I can see now that my issues extend outside and beyond the realm of pharmacological interactions or biological side effect. However, in looking back, in searching clues recovered from the wreckage of this latest subjective event horizon, it seems clear to me that the medication I have been on has not done me any favors. If anything, it felt like the medication was water on the Gremlin of my Crazy. I need to get back to a baseline, to find out what “normal” feels like for the Ryan at this point.

I feel like doing that is the only way to move forward.

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© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

this is Our World (wherein Our hero acknowledges and rejects your reality and proceeds to create His own)

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The Real Banksy
Banksy Goes Gaza

This is Our World. There are many like it, but this one is Ours. Our sky bleeds purple, and god is a chimpanzee train conductor in a top hat who shits Jolly Ranchers and carries a flask full of children’s tears. His name is Roger, but that’s not even his real name. Or FACE!

Patton Oswalt’s monkey god

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Also, we have snickerdoodles. They grow on doodlestalks here. I wonder if there are giants? I’d better go explore…. 😉

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Have you found Our Saviour The Ape of God?

© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A melodramatic and introspective aside concerning the things that stay and those that stay with you…

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Here’s the poor, ignorant bastard with his head so far up his doppelganger’s ass in infinite dimensions that he only now realizes The Meadows are a test.  They are always a test; for those who call them home, the test becomes ingrained, a constant, unwavering embattlement between the Place, the demons, and the soul.

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For those just “passing through” — us Tourists, regardless of intent or purpose — the test is even more subjective; it is a breeze or a burrowing — a kiss or a fist — torture-tailored for and experienced only by the individual.  As it should be.

And this dumb motherfucker, for all of his showy verbose diction and ponderings of the cosmos, is too goddamn dumb to know he failed the Test. Dammit!

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Well…if yer gonna be dumb, yeh gotta be tough.  And also, study more. Otherwise you’ll just stay dumb. 🙂

“We all go down for the sacrificial moment
Crucifixion nails stain the bed of the holy.
Space thing blues diamond studded – sugar coated
Well, I am hell a miracle overloading…” – Rob Zombie

© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Indiscriminate Musings, Callous Language, and Nerd Rage

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Last day in The Meadows. Happy sadness. Miss me Dawgs!

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Partially delusional with sleep deprivation. Unable to type complete sentences. Terrible vibes all around us. Are these my hands?!

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Side Note! The Ryan + Meshuggah x 1200 mg Caffeine ^ Manic Moments = We may have broken something  \m/..\m/

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Conversations Held at Target (The CHAT):

Lady Jenn: “You need to get out more.”
The Ryan: “But I don’t want to get out more.”
Jenn Baby: “Your isolationism has made it so you have no idea how to interact with people.”
The Ryan: “I interact with people fine. You just don’t like the way I interact.”
Jenn: “You are ridiculous. I’m going to look at different stuff.”

Five minutes earlier…

Ry-Guy: “Baby! Check it out, I didn’t know they made Game of Thrones toys! It’s a tiny Tyrion Lannister. Well…tinier.”
Child of Seven: “Look! TRANSFORMERS!”
Seven’s Clan: “Kyle!”
Ry-No: “Mine’s bigger.”
Seven: “….”
Clan: “Kyle…get OVER here.” *uneasy, wary glances*

Aaaaand SCENE! Fuckin’ Kyle, man…Fucking. Kyle. 😀

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Perhaps 1200 mg of caffeine in a 90 minute period is too much. But I can hear colors (purple sounds like jet engines and bonfires) and it feels as though the Universe is coarsing through me in ecstatic trance, which is kind of cool. The downside is that I want to bury my brain in the crust of the Earth and use my spinal cord as a longbow in an epic battle with the piskies that have been invading my ear cavities and burrowing into my soul at night.  I should probably drink less liquid insanity. :/

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In just over an hour of milking the local library’s WiFi for all it’s worth on a manic, frenzied, stream of consciousness surf of the Interwebs of DOOM, I’ve managed to find a good two thousand dollars worth of vinyl and digital downloads that I am now obsessively longing to possess.

And ZERO fucking Dollars of DOOM. Wait a minute, though…do I really need two kidneys? This guy over here looks like he knows a few things about the black market vital organ trade…

Reason Number 5280 why I require “Adult Supervision.”

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SWEET BABY JESUS.

Zappa Plays Zappa at the Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, you say?! I am so glad I didn’t sell my spare kidney for vinyl money earlier. Cuz I may need to sell that bad boy for Zappa tickets!

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Or maybe I will just live here on the strip until April, making that good street money whilst perfecting my one-man “Ian Anderson Does Aqualung” solo performance routine, as well as gathering material for my “Post-Post-Apocalyptic Mutant Zombie-Stripper Waster-land Dia de los Muertos New King of Vegas Spiritual Saga Semi-Autobiographical Prophetic Novel”…

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I just found out that the fucking fluoride they put in our tap water is petrifying my pineal gland and driving my subconscious deeper into the abyss! This is some motherfucking CIA mind control Illuminati social conditioning bullshit. I prefer my pineal gland to be nice and pliable and juicy, goddamnit! This is a fucking conspiracy!

VENDETTA!!!

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© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.