Breakfast at Sea

A late-afternoon family breakfast in the middle of the ocean,

Where the life was quite inviting and the food was mighty delightful,

We ate soggy sea chips with soggy seafood, then in our comfort departed.

It was two a.m. and the waves floated in on a darkening cloud,

Carrying shells and seaweed with grace to the awakening shore –

Since forever it seems that nothing has changed -, then the waves floated back.

At three a.m. the family made its arrival and expected adventure,

With alien eyes and alien bodies to the great island before us,

The sky strolled on foot and then rained its confusion, then we danced in the mist.

Once the palm trees started to bend we knew it was best to stay inside,

For the shower of coconuts shined like the moon arriving in an apocalyptic blaze,

Like the end time but more pleasant than the Christians had imagined, then we laughed.

After it reached four a.m. we sensed trouble on the horizon,

As a pirate ship sounded off and barged in with a “BOOM!,”

Taking the family for prisoners and the island for their kind, then sipping on rum.

Then in ten minutes time the family had boarded the dangerous vehicle,

Since we braced for the worst, we knew the worst was yet to come,

But they sacrificed little sister Rita to their captain, then anchored off.

At five a.m. the sky unglued itself from the dark of the dawn,

And the mist had rose around the pirate ship to their dismay and commotion,

So the family devised a plan which would surely work, then we cheered.

Once it reached six a.m. the sun had taken his watch over the land,

Peering through the crack in the sky that it crafted especially for him,

Such that the moon could rest for a while in his spectacular light, then awake again.

When the clock tower struck seven and the birds rose in the east,

It was time to unleash our plot upon the dastardly pirates and surprise them,

So with great ferocity and coordination we struck them with steel, then with iron.

We escaped the ship in a bang as the cannons fired after our tracks,

But in the ocean we were protected among the coral reefs and fish galore,

And we enjoyed a nice meal with them in the distant shade,

Then at eight we finally awoke and forgot the great dream we had shared.

 

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Bad Person

Not sure what to say,

What to do, who to speak to,

Where my mind was,

When, why, when,

A few months ago when I

Left my lifeline hanging out to dry

Left the kids there too,

Waiting for me to come back, I’m sure

I’m sure of it

Why, why, why,

For me, for myself, for my sanity

Is that selfish?

Am I a bad person for choosing me

Over a hundred people?

At what point does the number tip over?

When do the scales move in their direction?

Am I a bad person

For sacrificing education for health?

For leaving behind unfinished work?

For treading water afterwards?

For letting another take the reins,

Without full training or anything?

It is hard not to be a bad person

In your own mind

#43: The Mythic

Mythic dungeon runs in World of Warcraft are stressful, nerve-wracking, and high stakes. They can sometimes take an hour or more to complete, and their completion insists and relies upon five people and their ability to coordinate with each other through dangerous obstacles and trials. One healer, one tank, and three damage dealers join together as a makeshift team to take down bad guys and delve far into some of the most deadly places you can imagine. Often, the obstacles in the way test the stability and patience of those brave enough to venture inside. Bosses, which are difficult enemies that require more intense coordination and mechanics to triumph over, line the path to the dungeon’s exit. Trash, which is what the nameless enemies you face between bosses are called, can test your patience too, if you’re not careful enough. Trash often is grouped up and has to be aoe’d down (aoe = area of effect, which are spells or moves that deal damage in an area, affecting multiple targets, rather than just a single one.)

The difference between a mythic dungeon and a regular dungeon is that mythics are timed. Each mythic dungeon has a specific, preset timer that your group needs to overcome in order to progress through your key. If the dungeon key is a high enough level, you might even face against certain “affixes” that make it even more difficult, such as quaking, which makes it so that every 20 seconds or so, your character exudes a large area move around them that deals friendly fire damage to the team. The strategy for dealing with this, ultimately, is to keep separate so that the area doesn’t overlap with anyone else’s before it spawns. Accidents happen, as they often do, and strategies can dissolve in an instant if the unexpected takes place. The truth to overcoming a mythic is complete trust between group members: trust that they won’t screw each other over, and that they will do their best to avoid making other people’s lives miserable.

More often than not, the dungeon has a clear path from beginning to end, leading through all the aforementioned baddies. But, sometimes the dungeons have branching paths, and sometimes there are efficient shortcuts that skip certain packs of trash, if you’re careful enough to avoid their sight range. Sometimes, the trash is as powerful as a boss, and there’s lots of trash to clear on the way to the end. There are, however, some common strategies that help you take down these threats. It’s the tank’s responsibility to “tank,” or command the attention and aggression of, all the enemies you face, while keeping the rest of the party safe. The healer’s responsibility is to cure any wounds the party faces along their journey, while the damage dealers are glass cannons: especially weak to damage, but especially good at dishing it out as well.

Now by this point you might be thinking, this sounds stressful (remember that they are timed, too). And it is, no doubt about that. But the rewards are often worth the stress that goes into it. Mythic dungeon runs are repeatable, and each new difficulty level (+2, all the way through +25) has a chance to award new levels of gear for completing it. If your character wants to progress at all, they’re probably doing some manner of mythic dungeons.

Aurora

Into the natural world
I dive headfirst
Brain charged and sure
But one must abandon
Their head in the ground;
In the blistering sunsets
Our hearts take-over
The streaming lights
Touch the soul
The auburn muses sing
For the purity of the mind,
While it’s lifted
From the Earth
To the domain of the 
Aurora

Blue sky

img_8708_blue_sky2

I love the blue skies.

I lay down on the grass and enjoy the scene I’m seeing. It’s one of the first spring days to feel like a real spring day. Not often is the wind blowing at such a dead calm that it’s not a nuisance but is noticeable all the same. By all counts I imagine the speechless masses emitting sounds and shrieks of anticipation toward the summer, but what of spring? There’s rain, allergies, and sickness, but also a subtle natural brilliance that puts even the most anxious and irritated of people to rest. The leaves of trees grow once more after a long season of ineffable dread. The colors radiate like the birds soaring northward, back home. I love the blue skies because they remind me of spring.

Childish Dreams

Yesterday I dreamed of Aquaman

It reminded me of when I was a child and

I also dreamed of Aquaman.

He’d storm out of the ocean with a pack of rabid

Dolphins, sharks, and whales

Riding gallantly toward the evils that plagued the land

And extinguished all of the previous nightmares from my consciousness,

 

I didn’t really think that I was rediscovering all of my childish dreams until

Three days ago, when it began and

I was standing in line at a Subway

And the sandwich-maker, or

“Sandwich artist” as they self-stylize,

Asked me what kind of bread I wanted.

I immediately slipped into a daydream, a memory of when someone else

Had asked me that same question in the same manner of speaking long ago.

It made me angry at the time because

I wasn’t ready to answer the question so I left,

And so I did.

The same thing happened at Stop & Shop not too long ago

When the man bagging my groceries

Asked if I wanted paper or plastic.

But, taking the initiative

He had already started bagging the eggs and milk in plastic bags

Without my consent, so I said plastic.

Because paper would take longer.

And there was someone else in line,

Someone likely not as environmentally friendly as I am.

For my unfortunate transgression

Aquaman turned against me that night.

 

Two days ago I was sitting on a wooden park bench adjacent to

The actual park but facing the opposite direction.

I thought of the traffic soaring quickly and

Dreamed of when the park bench faced the park instead

Of the traffic, and it was much more serene that way,

But they’ve locked it in place.

And so I left.

That wasn’t how it used to be.

Back then it was a much simpler time,

And it was socially acceptable to wear white

After Labor Day.

White was my favorite color.

Until they shamed it;

That was a bad day.

When I told my therapist that I regularly wear white after Labor Day,

He said I must be insane,

And that I needed to see a therapist.