1. Christmas Lights

Life is a gestation crate. The world is a shackled conveyor belt. The system is a vampire. A vampire … a vampire constantly sucking the life out of the innocent. An aristocrat eternally draining the life out of the working man. A corporation continuously consuming all of Earth's natural resources. All of its natural beauty. Raping it. Destroying it. Leaving it doomed for its impending evisceration.

Or maybe life is a simulation? A horror show? Yes, a horror show … a horror show full of: vampires, zombies, corporations, subhuman creatures, bankers, robots, rabid animals, sheep, greedy pigs, useless users, pathological liars, and of course the insects — never forget the insects — or the fucking parasites. I've been questioning a lot lately where I fit into this revulsion coaster; this disgusting circus; this nightmare; this ride that never ends. I'm constantly seething. I'm overtly occupied with anguish. I'm becoming sick. I'm tearing away. I think I'm a vampire. What the fuck is this? What the fuck am I doing here? How can I make this stop? Is it possible for the vampire to be the good guy?

I think I have multiple personality disorders. This is because I have multiple personalities. Lots of them are fucked up. Some are good, some are bad, and some are just – infected …

My multiple personalities have personality disorders. These problems keep me locked in a prison that nobody can see. I have both visible and invisible wounds. The invisible ones hurt the most. These issues I have keep me relatively isolated from the public by choice. I am much more comfortable alone with my cat and computer (with internet access.) I don't know if I feel a stronger connection with an animal or the digital-connection to the entire world by just looking at a screen, but one thing I know for certain is being around crowds and just people in general – I feel a distinct disconnect.

I've always liked cats. They are quiet unlike dogs and I hate unnecessary noises. Not saying that all dogs are loud and fucking annoying, but cats are generally the quieter, calmer animal. I don't know. I just can't handle a lot of barking.

As far as the internet goes, it is a great place to escape from reality or escape into it. When it first came out it was pretty boring but thanks to great inventions created to enhance the user's experience; such as search engines, YouTube, Twitter, and all of the user-updated porn sites; the internet is a great place to get lost in for a few hours before coming back to this questionable place of earth, reality, and life.

Sometimes I just sit by myself and just think about how we live on a ball that constantly rotates even though we cannot feel the rotation nor see it. Not only this, but this rotating ball that we are living on is floating in the fucking air! But wait there's more! It's not even fucking air we're floating in; it's something else. If it was air, astronauts wouldn't have to wear space suits supplying them with oxygen. We are just floating and rotating like it's nobody's fucking business and nobody says shit about this.

These thoughts usually come after watching a documentary on TV or YouTube or looking up crime statistics. I deal with this by compulsively looking at pornography, excessively working out after smoking marijuana, or drinking multiple alcoholic beverages to the point of near fatal intoxication; laughing (even though I want to cry) while punching my refrigerator door as hard as I can until the white-knuckles on my hand split open and drip cherry red blood drops that splash softly onto my smooth and glossy turquoise kitchen tiles.

As I survey the living room I am pleased to see Mr. Tibbs curled up on the couch sleeping next to my recently deceased father's special opts service pistol (a Smith & Wesson Model 39). About four feet over from the end of the couch — and right past my front door — my Mossberg M500 Cruiser lonesomely leans fully-loaded in the corner; racked, with its safety off. The dead bolt on the door is absolutely alive.

I walk over to Mr. Tibbs and gently scissor his left ear with my fingers; he kicks his legs out, greets me with a glare, and then curls back up into a ball. I turn around and look at my big screen TV and am happy to see one of my favorite movies playing – Die Hard.

I only watch movies, documentaries, and the news. When I was young I only watched MTV. When I was young, my dream was to become a rock star just like Kurt Cobain, Ian Curtis, and Bradley Nowell.

I look to the left and see the dining room table with a newspaper on it. A little more left and almost in the corner sits my mother's table, a coffee table that could be confused for a catholic shrine. A Hispanic one at that. A Mexican woman she worked with, a friend I presume, would sell her these Mexican prayer candles as well as rosaries and colorful sweet bread around Halloween time. My mother wasn't Hispanic or even catholic but I remember she said she just loved the craftsmanship of the rosaries and the vivid artwork on the votive jar candles. Most of the candles are in Spanish but have the English translation at the bottom. Candles, with names such as Vigen de Guadalupe (Virgin of Guadalupe), Santo Niño de Atocha (Holy Infant of Atocha), and La Santísima Muerte (The Holy Dead).

Other than candles and rosaries there's two pictures of her. One is her military photo and the other is her holding me as baby. There's also about three handcrafted crucifixes – however - only one stands upright. A wooden one painted black stands slightly taller than her military photo almost as if it's protecting the picture. Inside the coffee table sits a old record player and some records. Some of the records are 70's pop but there's a few records with nothing but Gregorian chants. They were really the only one she'd ever play. On her days off she'd play them, light candles, and just look out the window or fix up the garden while drinking her vodka drinks.

I stare blankly at the table for about fifteen seconds and then grab a light-grey sweatshirt off the couch and put it on; then walk over to the back door and exit the house.

As I enter the backyard I hear the little garden fountain pleasantly pumping water through the fountain system. During the day there's always at least one dragonfly hovering over it. At night there's always at least one toad lounging in the small glade colored pool of water.

I look at the back of the garage and see my totaled lime-green Kawasaki Ninja ZX6R. I stare at the black helmet that sits on top of the street bike; the helmet that saved my life.

I light up a cigarette and then pull back my right sleeve and examine the scar on my right forearm. I'm so wired right now I can feel the metal plate inside. I then pull back my left sleeve and look at the two scars on my left forearm. I can feel the two plates and 14 screws inside; as well as the plate and 8 screws in my left femur, the plate and 6 screws in my left fibula, and the plate and 4 screws in my left clavicle. None of these feelings bother me though; what's bothering me now is the line of Christmas lights on my neighbor's house. I look at my house and see none and there haven't been in many years. I own some though, and know exactly where they are.

After five puffs on the smoke I make my way into the garage. Next to my dad's truck hangs his old fireman gear. 'Bunker gear' they call it. On the other side of the garage my dad's old workbench sits unoccupied. Nothing but a bottle of IMR 4895 smokeless powder, a bolted down Hornady Lock-N-Load bullet trimmer, and a Lee Turret Press clamped on the side keep the old workbench company. My dad was an avid hunter, and so was I when he was still alive. Behind the workbench old posters of the Houston Astros are pinned up on the wall. Old Astros like Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, and my personal favorite, Ken Caminiti. One other man stays pinned on the wall, the odd man out, Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks enforcer, Bob Probert. My father was born and grew up in Detroit and although he never went back there he remained a passionate Red Wings fan. I stare at ole Bob, the NHL heavyweight champ, and then an emotion comes over me and I have to close my eyes and put my head down. When I open them, I see a dilapidated and dusty cardboard box of Christmas lights lying on the decrepit garage floor.

I exit the garage and step back into the house and enter the kitchen. I snort the last line of glistening white cocaine off a dinner plate and slam the rest of my Johnny Walker and Dr. Pepper – and then unintentionally slam the ruby red styrene plastic cup on the counter where it flips frantically and crashes on the floor.

I stare blankly at the cup for a second, and then peer over at the Houston Chronicle sitting on the kitchen table. I walk over to the table, take my sweatshirt off, and exchange it with the newspaper. The date reads, December 25, 2008. The header reads, 'Man Dressed As Santa Kills Eight Family Members.'

What the fuck!

I read the article a bit and it say's a man, Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, went to his recently divorced wife's family's house on Christmas Eve dressed as Santa Clause carrying a large Christmas present. When he got there, a little girl ran up to him thinking he was Santa. He shot her in the face and then proceeded to fire at everybody else at the gathering. He then opened the present which contained a homemade pressurized fuel tank. He then sprayed what police described as high-octane racing fuel around the house and set it on fire. An explosion rocked the structure and he fled with severe burns and his Santa outfit seared into his flesh.

Oh my fucking God …

The article continues and say's he had $17,000 in cash strapped to his body. Driving 40 miles to Sylmar, he parked his rental car a block from his brother's house. He removed his shredded suit and used it to set up a booby trap in the vehicle. Police said, if the suit was moved, trip wires would ignite a flash fire and explode 200 rounds of ammunition. He then entered his brother's home, sat on the couch, and put a gun in his mouth.

The article jolts me and more negative emotions make me shut my eyes and put my head down for a few seconds. I then open them, turn around and gaze at my refrigerator. Knuckle-size dents accommodate all across the door like the dots on the Dalmatian in Sublime's What I got and Santeria music videos. I think about putting some more on it but the euphoria of the drugs and my already swollen and bruised hands tell me to save it for another time.

I step into my room and stare at my walls covered in mostly alternative rock posters and two movie posters – Colors and Gang Related. I start watching the Sublime music videos on YouTube. A distain fogs up my numb conscience when I realize that all three of Bradley Nowell's biggest hit music videos only show clips of him before the fatal overdose. Clips that are doctored in. Clips of him playing at shows when he was alive. I didn't realize, until now, that he was dead before he was legitimately famous. A true rock star, legend, and idol. He is now nothing more than a ghost in the shell of my computer screen … but that does not stop his message from making the world a better place.

I want to make the world a better place; I think to myself as I grab a bag of heroin out of my desk drawer. I'm not an addict. I only do this about five times a year; on my birthday, on my dad's death day, September 11th, my mom's death day, and on June 24th.

A year ago, during Hurricane Ike, I was a hero when I helped people escape the flood in my truck; there is no drug like helping someone in need. I put the small bag down on a Black Sheep DVD case and then reach for the spoon I used 7 hours ago. I pull out a cigarette and rip the filter off and place it on the DVD case. I then fill a syringe with water and dump the smack and cigarette filter onto the spoon. I pull my lighter out of my pocket and flick it once, twice, and then a third time. What the fuck. I flick it a few more times and then come to the conclusion that it's dead and proceed to lay the spoon down softly on my desk propping up the handle on the DVD case so the contents wont spill. In agitation, I eagerly and destructively search for another lighter yelling out loud while swiping all of the stuff on my dresser onto the floor. I aggressively head to my mother's table and randomly grab a candle. A red one. I light it on the stove, and go back into my room where I gently pick up the spoon, heat the dope, fill the needle, and then hold it up, flick it, and push out the air bubbles.

I inject on the top of my hand and pull back on the syringe and see blood drawn into the needle which indicates the needle is securely in the vein. After I pump the heroin into my system I escape into pure trance and tranquility. I lift off. I float. I undulate in my desk chair for about an hour and a half. I then stabilize and blankly stare into my closet and see a pile of yellow safety vests sitting on the floor.

Ten years ago, when I was 18, I started working legit at the UPS warehouse on Canino. I had no felonies and wanted to join the army but my dad wouldn't let me. He kept telling me, "It's not what you think it is, it's not what you think it is son". He wasn't the most articulate person but I could see he was serious; he never really gave me bad advice. Later on, after watching Ron Paul videos on YouTube I realized my father wasn't scared of me going to battle for a noble cause, he just didn't want me to die for corporatism and the American military-industrial complex.

The UPS gig was my first legal job. I worked the midnight shift. I worked there specifically because it had a midnight shift. I can never wake up in the morning. I can never fall asleep at night. This is why I feel like I'm a vampire. They started me off as an unloader. I'd spend 4 hours unloading 53' trailers with a ten minute break. I did that for about five months until I got bored and then passed the sort aisle test and became a sorter. This paid a dollar extra but I soon would come to find out I hated the sort aisle as you stood in the same spot next to other workers like a can of sardines. After some complaining and making it clear I wanted to go back to unloading they sent me to IRREG. IRREG is short for irregular. The IRREG division consists of about ten men. There's about 300 employees on a single shift. Nobody wants to go to IRREG. The IRREG men are responsible for all of the irregular packages, the: tires, doors, wooden crates, chemicals, and any package that was 75-150 lbs. The IRREG division was the only position that required you wear the yellow vest. I worked double shifts there for about two years until my father got hospitalized.

I walk over to the closet and pick up a worn neon vest; the reflection stripes glow lightly in my hands. I put the vest on and go back to my computer where I grab a bag of weed and pull out some zig-zags. I break up a joints worth of weed and sprinkle the residue from my three coke bags onto the weed before I roll it up and light it with the red prayer candle. I spin the candle around to see which one it is … St. Michael the Archangel.

The picture propels me to a Zen like state as it's an angel clad in a white robe with large flaring angle wings; with his foot on the neck of a horned demon creature while holding a sword in his right hand in an attacking position and in his left he dangles the scales of justice over the satanic ghoul.

I stare at the picture for about thirty seconds and then stare back at my computer screen. I start clicking on my tabs; some porn, some music, the rest serial killers and weapons. I know a lot about serial killers. I suppose you could say I study them. I don't like them, however, I do find them unique. I sometimes fantasize about serial killing serial killers.

Another thing I often look up is crime stats.

Experts say an average child molester will offend 200-400 times before being caught, if ever. The vast majority of offenders do not get caught, and they have no criminal records. According to the FBI, only one out of ten cases of child sexual abuse is reported to law enforcement.

The FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit, says, "A very conservative estimate is that there are between thirty-five and fifty active serial killers in the United States" at any given time. But others who study serial killers think there are many more of these demented predators out there than the FBI admits to – maybe as many as a hundred of them actively operating right now …