And We’re All Invisibles
It’s almost the solstice, the shortest day of the year, in 2012.
I first heard about the end of everything back in 1998. I was dating a girl who didn’t like me very much; she had two pierced nipples and black tattoo; a snake wound around one ankle.
I was so young, back then. I was twenty-something, and it seemed like 2012 was further away than anything I could actually imagine. Who knows what I’d look like, or feel like, when I was in my thirties. What lovers would I have taken? What books would I have written? Would I even still be alive?
Now, here I am. Here you are. Here we all are. I’ve done more drugs than King Mob, and fucked more beautiful bodies than Lord Fanny. Or have I? Maybe I just got fat, selling cheap pop culture for minimum wage while I wrote go-nowhere stories in my spare time.
Maybe all those things happened. Maybe nothing happened; maybe I just blinked, and now I’m here. Now I’m here. A second ago I was 20, in a small town, doing nothing and going nowhere. Now I’m here. Now I’m 34, in a small city, typing nothing and posting nowhere.
Maybe it’s the end of the beginning, for me. Maybe it’s the beginning of the end, for everybody else.
December 22, 2012. The day information starts growing so fast that it doubles in ever instance. We live in an explosion of light and ideas, too bright to be kept down. A strobe light that flickers faster than the eye can see.
And we’re all made Invisible in the half-light.
Dear Grant Morrison,
I love you so much. I love you so, so much. I just think you’re fucking amazing, like you’re writing straight into my heart, into my soul, into what I want to be.
That said, pretty much everything you’ve done post-WE 3 is fucking terrible. I can’t even look at your Super-Bat stuff. It’s just terrible.
But I also can’t get through a day without referencing you, and your works. I can’t stop being touched by Doom Patrol, I can’t stop trying to become a member of The Invisibles. I can’t stop feeling like I’m somewhere in the cracks of Flex Mentallo. I had to go out and get the same tattoo that your misunderstood mutant terrorists were wearing.
Like anybody I love, you’ve done a lot of things in your life that I don’t really like.
But goddamn it man. You’re one of the best, most interesting, intelligent authors I’ve ever read.
Kings & Mobs
I wanted to be King Mob; like Leonard Cohen wrote once: The Perfect Man, Who Kills.
Yeah, I wanted to start out as an author, and then shave my head and get into shape and start showing off my strange fetishistic tattoos as I take up arms against the tools of psychic oppression - government, religion, and bad art.
I was going to travel the world, on the profits I made off selling my fiction. I’d learn Martial Arts and how to shoot straight, and how to not get nervous when everything was falling apart all around me. I’d take on new lovers and delicately strange situations - I’d sit in cars that were going very quickly, and I’d experiment with bizarre new drugs that’d make your nipples spit whisky.
I wanted it. If you’d asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, when I was twenty-to-twenty-six years-old, I’d have told you, I want to be a fictional bad ass. I want to be a hyper-sane assassin with something clever to say who shoots bullets for freedom, into the hearts of the hateful and cruel.
I wanted to be King Mob.
I wanted it more than I wanted to have a good job, to be a good person, a good employee, a good boyfriend. I wanted to be exceptional, and cool. I wanted to be way over the edge, dripping with charm and causing intense acts of ontological terrorism.
I wanted to be King Mob.
Now… I dunno. I’m a little too lazy for Martial Arts, to be honest, and I find guns a little noisy and gauche. I like the writing, and the being in bad-ass shape, and the sex looks fun, though I have noticed that sex can be heart-breaking and embarrassing and in general, not really the sort of magic one should just fuck about with.
Ah, but that’s it there, right? I wanted to be magic. Exceptional. I wanted to encounter something larger, outside of myself and all space/time. I wanted to have that experience, that mind-blowing, soul-fucking awakening into a world of new powers and capabilities.
But I didn’t; or at least, I haven’t.
I don’t know if I still wanna be King Mob. I don’t plan on shaving my head anytime soon.
No, I might do something else.
You & Me, We Got It Going On
I like to think that you’re a member of my superteam. You’re more than just a cool friend, or somebody I respect, or a girl I really want to mess around with. You’re part of a silent allegiance of ass-kickers, located around the globe.
We’re not do-gooders or world-changers.
We are caustic agents of karma, the bookkeepers of dharma.
We have an agenda of a Good Time. Yeah, we want to have a good time. We want to get loaded on each other, on thrills, on kicks, we want to spend years at a time, locked behind a closet door, staring at a computer screen, levelling up and making strange new friends; creating strange new forms of friendship.
You and me, we’re part of a movement. A gang. A living meme built out of bodies and electrical signals. We’re an affiliation, and association, a loose-knit assembly of able-minded rebels, sulking off towards the front-lines of the culture war, dripping ashes from our smokes and drops of blood from our beautiful eyes.
A Tale Of Two Gideons!
I’ve heard Bryan Lee O’Malley talk about being a fan of The Invisibles, and I just noticed that…
King Mob’s alter ego is Gideon Stargrave
And the villain of Scott Pilgrim is Gideon Graves.
Is that like, a thing? Am I the first person to realize that?
Right Up To Their Edge
We were to be warriors. We went underground to take them on.
She’s got skin-tight skin and magical mental abilities. She always knows what flavour of pie I’m thinking of, and she can crack any bank-access code. She keeps us swimming in ill-gotten gains; we stay in penthouse suites when we’re not down in the sewer, running from daylight and the police.
She’s got blood-red eyes and the deadened smile of a broken doll. She fucks like an angry hooker and she has the diet of a fourteen year-old. Candy and hot dogs, mainly. Cheap street pizza when she’s feeling fancy.
I’ve got a robot eye and an index finger that can sense electromagnetic frequencies. Sounds kind of stupid until somebody’s using the things to reprogram the way you do math, or erase all the maps in your head. My robot eye can see in infra-red and ultra-violet, and even über-maroon.
We kill at corruption and we make love on the primary school jungle-gyms, late at night, when all the little kiddies have gone to bed, and only the bats and drug dealers remain. We bend around the metal bars and we scream and groan in that way that careless lovers get to sound when they don’t care who hears.
She growls my name when she’s at her apex, which is handy, because I’ve got so many alternate identities these days, I can’t even remember who I’m supposed to be, most mornings when I’m waking up with a fistful of bloody bullets close at hand.
In Love With On Fire
And I say, “This way is a waterslide away from me that takes you further every day”.
And I say, “I’m afraid of everything. An angler in a lake of darkness.”
I steal quotes from books and pop music, and turn them into conversation.
She looks at me like I’ve just turned into fire; the man of self-immolation. I wish. I wish I could just think awkward thoughts and then explode into caustic-yet-harmless energy. I wish I could just burn and burn and burn and never really look up at the sky.
I wish I wasn’t so sad about the process of waking up.
“Fuck You, and your Untouchable Truth”
I’m two steps away from sending you the sad, emotional songs I was listening to, back when I was broken-hearted and twenty years old. You never knew me then, but whatever.
Back then I took drugs and tried to replicate the paths to other worlds that I saw created in fiction. I tried to believe in shit like magic, if you can believe shit like that. Imagine a doorway opening where there hadn’t been one before. Imagine turning invisible. Imagine yourself into a better life.
I guess I sort of thought maybe anything could happen, but anything didn’t happen. More often than not, nothing did.
So now, here I am, right? Here we are? And I don’t believe in anything, I don’t stand for much, and I won’t stand for much either, there’s not a lot of shit I’ll stand for anymore.
“And when I say you sucked my brains out, the English translation is:
I am in love with you, and it is no fun.”
Song lyrics filter through my day like advice from uncaring gods, like the wind is trying to whisper me into action. I could face up to any number of fates, I suppose. Or I could just hide out a while longer.
False Media and Real Stories
Am I a fan of The Kinks? Shit, for about thirteen years now I’ve been trying to become King Mob. Does that count?
I wanted to write beautiful books and leave bloody footprints across white-sanded shorelines. I wanted to be the sort of thing somebody else could believe in, or at the very least,
read about masturbate to consider as a functional other-option to real life.
“Nice an’ smooth,” she whispers at me. She’s dressed in not-fucking-much, showing skin like a Bond girl in a Bikini.
Fuck yeah, a Bond girl - a Philip Bond girl. I’ve always wanted to fuck a Philip Bond girl, a Jamie Hewlett illustration, a cartoon character given flesh and sexual desires. And some days, from the right sort of perspective, with the right sort of eyes, in the right sort of light, I do alright.
“You know that, but you go on. On and-“
I am a fan of kinks, of dispositions, of original outlooks or clever questions. I am a fan of things that aren’t always as they need to be; I’m a fan of incongruencies and fire.