©2022 Michael Raven

faces found cringeworthy --
i wonder how i once
called these friends

With a few exceptions (very few, mind), I’m finding my online interactions with people I’ve known or currently know in real life and called friends at one time or another to be “cringy” lately (many of my online associates that I have never met, on the other hand, don’t fall into this category of cringe).

I needed to vent a bit more about my bad diagnosis, so I made an offhand comment about it on social media. I got a few responses from those people who I don’t include in the cringy bucket expressing concern, so I explained further why I was all snarky. Tame, non-ranting explanation so that I didn’t get the same questions over and over again in private messages. “I was misdiagnosed as having RA, but have no markers for RA in recent bloodwork, so I am mad that I wasted so much time and money on treating something that was a misdiagnosis.”

One “friend” goes on to rave about his own rheumatologist, giving a glowing review, and then recommends that I visit his doctor for my rheumatoid arthritis… It’s about as tone deaf as you can get, based on what I had actually posted. “John,” I responded. “I apparently don’t need a rheumatologist for my non-existent RA”. “Great news!” was his reply. And then he was off to throw glitter or shit on someone else’s post.

It was obvious he was utterly oblivious to what I had actually written, so why bother commenting if you can’t be bothered to read what was going on.

Another response: “Sorry. What’s a good Chromebook to buy, computer king? Top notch without the top notch pricing.” The empathy was truly awe-inspiring.

These are paraphrased a bit, more to cut to the chase than to skew the conversation. But, yes, these are basically several responses I got.

And I realized, 95% people from my past were very much basically like this, 100% of the time — and there was little wonder why I don’t bother to go to social sites anymore. Rage about what is popular to be raging about, with little real empathy for your “friend’s” problems. Everyone seems to want the spotlight on them.

I need to quit visiting that site entirely. It just annoys me.


©2022 Michael Raven

i slowly crawl
from digital lethe
to analogue afterlife
rewilding my elder
ashen self

I probably should explain my thought process, as nebulous and unformed as it currently stands. I’ve been pulling back my digital presence and trying to reclaim my real-world being. It’s unrealistic to think that anyone in this day and age can walk away from the digital age completely (well, some have, but there are a few benefits I am unwilling to be done with such as email, information access, and writing; and most people have at least a few things they find beneficial for having come from this era).

However, things such as social media have ultimately been hollow and unfulfilling for me. Someone recently referred to much of what dominates the internet these days as “anger-tainment” and I couldn’t agree more. I’m weary of the anger and the tribalism and artificial constructs designed to divide people, which is why I’ve been posting less — I am more engaged in things like weaving, sewing, cooking and baking. Things that, aside from instructional information and raving about that can be found online, are almost wholly present in the analogue world. I find this calming.

So, I am in the process of closing out my digital accounts. Not entirely, as I will still “exist” as far as they are concerned, but I am deleting apps and logging out, removing bookmarked links so that I have to consider if I really want to visit a site.

WordPress is a different beast. It is a more unilateral thing, although not entirely so. I write, I engage when folks want to engage. I read. I rarely have a knee-jerk response to anything on WordPress. For now, I’ll continue my daily assault on writing — the other services are primarily going into the pile of neglect.

I’d rather be real. I’m afraid that it gets increasingly difficult to determine if anyone, including the self, is real when too immersed in the digital world. Maybe that’s the source of our feelings of a “matrix effect” simulated world phenomena that people go on about. Who knows what is real when everything it tied to a series of windows tinted with rose and dusty lens views?


©2019-2022 michael raven

He had barely turned the key when chimeric visions fell in layered veils fell over his sight — a hint, perhaps of what lay beyond that liminal threshold he was about to cross.

A gut wretch, a fellifluous and acid burning of the lower chakras, as the tumbler turned and the scribed door swung away from Llew.

There were second thoughts, but they came far too late to entertain for more than milliseconds. The time had long passed to entertain such thoughts. He crammed those fears into a place deep inside of himself where they could shriek in the void of silence.

The gateway yawned before him, multicoloured and writing, the many angles turning on themselves. Llew did not believe in Heaven but her feared his next step might confirm his suspicions about Hell.

Again, it was too late for such considerations. The door lay open and to walk away now would result in it staying open and something from the other side would eventually notice and come forth. The price for closing the door was passage, so Llew stepped forth, letting the door slam shut behind him as he fell. And fell. And fell.

Another bit of flash fiction from social media back in 2019. I made a few modifications in this edit, but they were minor. Prompt was the OED word of the day: fellifluous. File under New Weird.

Comfortable silences

I know I’m an odd duck. I like the silences that make most people feel uncomfortable. I only get uncomfortable when it becomes painful obvious that the other person is uncomfortable. I don’t like to make people feel out of sorts.

Back some eleven years or so ago, before I decided to kick the booze monkey riding my back, I was one of those other kinds of people — one of those poor folks who could and would fill up any uncomfortable space of silence that might rear it’s ugly head. I’d kill it and make a bloody event of the matter. Body part everywhere (none of the mine) and the silence was soundly defeated each and every time.

Continue reading “Comfortable silences”

Free your mind

…and the rest will follow.

The last post was more experimental and probably grating, but I’m, oh, so very much feeling a little more free today to explore a bit of writing now that I’m not beholden to the Cygnet Committee buried in the depths of Facebook.

You know, that faceless censor that makes you fear to say anything that might cause your posts to explode in a cesspool of hatred. Or maybe you’re just a little disappointed that it didn’t explode and you wonder what damp fuse you lit for a fizzle.

Continue reading “Free your mind”