Whatever Gets You Through

A Soap in One Prologue and 11 Lines


To live sanely is to limit the awareness. It is to draw back from the incoherent cusp of each on-setting moment to organize snippets of conditioning into sheltering illusions and idealized blinkers. Enough of these patches can be cobbled together into a process that one can call their own perspective; a discreet, serialized narrative that is manipulated to function within others and around others—currents knotted on currents—and function smoothly as long as one can pretend it is non-fiction. To live sanely is to suspend disbelief in the Inner Disney, the master of make believe and author of The Cautionary Tales. Sanity depends on how closely one attends the Inner Disney’s Cautionary Tales.

Act I

One — “I’m afraid…”

Another — “Tell me.”

One — “…of the chaos out there…”

Another — “The chaos within?”

One — “We can only hope for Integral™”

Another — “Oh, but Darling, how can you sacrifice your authenticity, your heat, for such a…a…clunky…I don’t know…oh god…it’s a cloister!”

One — “I need to gain control again…” (sobs)

Another — “But there are others…other sheltering illusions.”

One — “What? Existential Phenomenology? It’s too sad. It’s too scary…too real…so close to the edge. We have to fall back! I’m frightened.”

Another — “I’m afraid…”

One — “Tell me.”

The Scene

Outside: Reality remains the same as it has always been—but that’s an incidental matter.
Inside the Tale: Their content is nothing, their style is all.

They are trembling through the night.



About Steven Nickeson

I've been a cowboy and a hobo and a truck driver and a newspaper reporter and magazine editor. I've written two text books on Native American property rights and been awarded national prizes for investigative journalism. I've ridden horses, all named Alpo, damned hard in the Westerns. I was once a range detective for Santo Domingo Pueblo and a private investigator for 18 years. I've also been a manuscript physician and writing tutor and journalism teacher and consultant to a literary agent. I've been a fencing contractor, and a welder in one of the most beautiful opera houses in the world and read Nordic Runes as a contract oracle on several psychic hot lines. My occupation for the last 19+ years is "Artist/Blacksmith" and I've done better at being an artist than any other calling. For nearly half of my life I have had an address along The Pan American Highway (Carretera Panamericana) in five cities/towns/villages, five counties, four states, two nations, two continents. I am in some way wedded to that road. View all posts by Steven Nickeson

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