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I need some advice from a group of intelligent, insightful, and surprisingly deeply sensitive people. I had the thought that it is very hard for pain and suffering to really penetrate us. Even when we take a serious blow, and it seems to penetrate us, it appears that the last thing we want to allow is for that pain to change us. Perhaps we are afraid that it will destroy us. And I want to be clear about the pain: the kind of personal, emotional-psychological pain that we cannot even throw a punch back at. Debilitating. Crushing. Not that common, but you know it if you have had it. You've been beaten and there is no way out of it. But then, it seems like we get out of it - especially as time goes by and no one recognizes it (it is the rare bird that is willing to get deep in someone else's pain -- yet it is that lack of witnessing which "helps" make the pain unreal and enables us to keep our identities intact). So, we escape the pain, perhaps changed, changed deeper than we are aware of, but intact. It is a strange dualism: a deep, unconscious alteration that we do not acknowledge, perhaps making us a bit more reticent yet lacking the power of a fundamental alteration; while concurrently on the surface leaving us more tightly clinging to who we thought we were. (This has the vague, potentially desperate odor of meat about to spoil.) Once I had this thought something about Buddhism occurred to me (though I don't know if it is actual Buddhism, a Buddhist-inspired thought or a flagrantly misassociated thought) -- something about the ego or identity being an illusion and a barrier to growth and awareness. Perhaps this idea of great pain challenging or "obliterating" our identity and our resistance to it might actually be a spiritual test. A test that to pass means you relinquish that idea of "self" -- the thing we cling to tightly, that it makes us feel secure and in-control of life. The last thing I want to admit is that historically "me, myself and I", has been inadequate and needs to change. Also, since my experiences have been centered around this thing I think I am, to allow its dissolution could potentially feel as it the world is dissolving around me, and a foreign, unpredictable, chaotic, uncontrollable and dangerous world is all around me. Not something you want to allow on your average day. So, my intelligent, insightful, surprisingly sensitive new friends -- do I submit to the deconstruction and dissolution of my identity as a method of spiritual growth? Or have I have I got it wrong and need to build up the power, strength and reality of who I am and not compromise this? Is it weak or strong to surrender to pain, to allow myself to be changed by the vicissitudes of life? Oh, Also: should I lick my girlfriend's anus?

Date Written: March 24, 2005
Author: 10tonDonkey
Average Vote: 3.75

Comments:
04/1/2005 Partytime (4): Whew. I refuse to reread that, even though I didn't absorb it. If it's clean, lick her ass in earnest. If it's dirty, lick the shit off first, then it'll be clean enough to lick in earnest. One star for philosophy, one star for joke, one star for first time, one star for reaching the 500 word goal.
04/1/2005 Will Disney: welcome to acmeshorts, first time author.
04/1/2005 Mr. Pony: As for the other thing, imagine you are walking down a country road, and you meet yourself moving in the opposite direction. What do you do? How do you treat him? How do you respond to his embrace? What do you do when he tries to kill you? Answer these questions and you will have the answers you are looking for.
04/1/2005 Mr. Pony: Also, some paragraph breaks would make this already long and dense work much easier to get through.
04/1/2005 deliciousbrains (3): Too much lead-up neuters the punchline. Decent first publication so you win three stars from me. YOU'RE A WINNER!!!
04/1/2005 Daphne: here's how I would answer you: yes; only if you wnat to be locked in an eternal cycle of self-delusion; strong; and yes, if she's into it. ah-duh!
04/1/2005 The Rid: Too many words to read while the Pope worsens.
04/1/2005 Front: This is the coffee house pseudo-intellectual stoner spewing bullshit, right? If so, 4 stars. It's supposed to be annoying, yes?
04/1/2005 Litcube: My guess is that the author is intentionally trying to take us through introspective exercises in hopes of distracting us. Unfortunately, I'm screwing my face up through most of it, and when I reach the punch line, not a lot changes.
04/1/2005 Ewan Snow: My guess is the author is sincere (which is not to say entirely serious) about the majority of the short, though he/she knows that it is considered in poor taste to speak sincerely about introspective/philosophical issues, so the punch line was added to make it clear that the author is cool. (See Front's comment for an example of the rub in question.) All in all, I think it would have been better without the punch line. It would have been more surprising, anyway.
04/1/2005 Front: Okay, I think I get it. The tag at the end is part of the whole stream of consciousness (etc.) and not the actual Author's way of trying to make it funny. I'm still irked, more than anything because I've spent too much time thinking about something I don't really want to think about.
04/1/2005 Ewan Snow: No, I think the author was trying to make it funny, but only because he was embarrassed by what preceded it. Or maybe not embarrassed, but concerned that people would make fun of it for being sincere. Also, I should say that while I disagree with many of the narrator's points in the body of the short, I donít dismiss it as "coffee house pseudo-intellectual stoner spew". I think that that accusation is leveled too universally against sincere introspection, whether it is stupid or not. (For instance, Waking Life was accused of this, when for the most part the discussion was intelligent, I thought.) The author expected this criticism and so added the last line. This is merely a guess on my part, of course.
04/1/2005 Klause Muppet: I read a few lines, skipped to the comments, read the last two lines and smirked at "should I lick my girlfriend's anus?" line. Phew. I agree with Pony, paragraph breaks are nice. I could print this out and read it with a ruler, but alas, the pope worsens.
04/1/2005 Ewan Snow (4):
04/1/2005 Ewan Snow: Klause, are you the Rid?
04/1/2005 TheBuyer: Ha!
04/1/2005 Ewan Snow: Buyer, is he? Or is he obviously not, hence "ha"? I only said that because of their use of the phrase "pope worsens".
04/1/2005 Front (4): End result: this gets the reader to think from varying perspectives (Waking Life) and allows us room to make our own speculative decisions, follow non-linear tangents and generates conversation, which is fun. I had fun, anus or no anus.
04/1/2005 Klause Muppet:
Dear Ewan Snow,
No!
Sincerely,
Klause Muppet
aka The Rid

04/1/2005 Ewan Snow: really? I thought you thought it was bullshit. what gives?
04/1/2005 Ewan Snow: Okay, thanks, Klause... what the...???
04/1/2005 Front: Bullshit or not, it still engaged me. It grabbed hold of me on whatever level (doesn't really matter), it was annoying, it wasn't funny, but it still affected me. Isn't that the point?
04/1/2005 Ewan Snow: I don't know. I'm not very familiar with the point.
04/1/2005 TheBuyer: Mr. Snow, no my 'Ha!' was my genuine he's-not-Rid reaction. Klause, who I found out likes it pronounced Clause as in Santa, is up here in Canada getting rained on.
04/1/2005 Jon Matza (4): Fairly interesting discussion. Agree it would've been even interestinger w/out the 'punchline'. +.5 first time bonus.
04/1/2005 The Rid: Yeah. And I'd engage in this rather pithy exchange, but the Pope worsens.
04/1/2005 Klause Muppet: My secrets are revealed! Curse you, The Buyer! Curse You!
04/1/2005 TheBuyer: Also, Klause one time got all stoned at my house and convinced this poor, dumb skid that homies were coming to get him when he went to the 7=11. He made me throw eggs at him. Made me, totally wasn't my idea but they were my eggs. Instead of the skid, we hit Yahzick on the head with the eggs [on the hat, actually] which was pretty damn funny considering he was in on the joke. Thinking back, I want some eggs, I'm starving. Dude, that wasn't a secret, right?
04/1/2005 Klause Muppet: Who is this Yahzick you speak of?
04/1/2005 Klause Muppet: Who is this Yahzick you speak of?
04/1/2005 Litcube: Klause: That other tall freak with the same last name. Buyer: Who's this dumb skid of which you speak?
04/1/2005 Ewan Snow: what the f is a skid?
04/1/2005 Litcube: I'll field this. It actually occurred to me that it might be a term only used by us locals (and more so from my generation). Both homie and skid were semi-derogatory social classifications (in a melee, it helped determine who you were supposed to hit). A skid is one who wears ripped jeans, listens to Pantera, long hair, etc. The homies, where I came from, were overly aggressive, listened to rap, wore baseball caps, thought it was cool to act dumb (though most weren't acting), and often drove lowered cars with sound systems whose worth far exceeded the vehicles in which they were installed. There also existed jocks, geeks, and DFs.
04/1/2005 TheBuyer: What the f is a df? The skid was Doug. Not that that narrows it any, all skids are named Doug, Dean, Kevin, or Jason, so are their skid dads.
04/1/2005 Klause Muppet: I love skid doug
04/1/2005 Klause Muppet: I love Yahzick.
04/2/2005 John Slocum: nothin' wrong with a good old fashioned anus joke.
04/2/2005 TheBuyer (4): jesus yes I forgot, sorry author, here's a lovely, crisp four for you.
04/2/2005 John Slocum (4): and another. My advice: forget all about the first question, just ignore it. Focus all of your energies on licking your girlfriend's anus. Start on the outside, but don't take too long to get your tongue all the way inside. Thank you.
04/2/2005 Mr. Pony: But what if he should meet his girlfriend's anus moving in the other direction on the country road?
04/2/2005 The Rid (3): Oh, come on. I took a break from mourning the Pope's passing for this? Lucky you're a first-timer.
04/8/2005 10tonDonkey: Thanks for everyone's comments, sorry it has taken so long to chime in -- I tried adding this previously but ACME was down and could not post it. Mr. Pony certainly adds value in reminding me of the ethical question of meeting myself, but more importantly of meeting my girlfriends "alter-anus" - there was an audible sound of mirth here. In reality I have no girlfriend, but more on that in a minute. (Greater formatting promised in future.) deliciousbrains, thanks so much for your affirmation. Litcube, I was hoping the introspective process does just the OPPOSITE of distraction. John Slocum, something tells me from reading your work here that you don't mean to really forget about the first question. However, you seem passionate about the anus question and it seems in my best interest to follow your lead. The Rid, sorry about the distraction from the Pope, RIP. Front, thanks for your ambivalently passionate response. Not supposed to be bullshit, annoying or psuedo-intellectual. I think you make the point I was hoping for: that it's divergence from much of the writing here would be accepted because at some level it "still affected" you. And Ewan Snow gets 5 Stars for the correct analysis of the last line: I agonized over it, but felt it best to meet the group where they live, and let's face it, where I spend much of my time -- making inappropriate sexual comments. I agree it would have been more surprising, but would I have been ostracized for not understanding the culture of ACME SHORTS, a group I am looking forward to being associated with? So, certainly not simply an anus joke, there is something there that is sincere though certainly not definitive in my own mind -- which is why I sought advice from a group of intelligent, insightful an surprisingly deeply sensitive people.
04/10/2005 John Slocum: TenTon: What is it in my 'work' exactly that makes you think I don't mean to really forget about the first question? Not that I wasn't kidding, but was there something to your response?