Category Archives: ebooks

Let’s Pretend

I lived.

I lived.

Let’s play pretend. OK. Let’s say this is who you are: You’re male. Mother died at say age seven, father soon after, perhaps ten. You were shipped off to a boy’s school with all the neglect, abuse and buggery that entails. You got on other boys’ good-side by doing their work for them. They all got A’s, but you neglected your own work. You attached yourself to a more forward boy. First in class, with your help. He’s a dick, but he protects you. Or at least he leaves you enough space to exist without the need to assert yourself too much. You can tolerate him, let’s say.

You graduate, you’re a professional. You and your school “friend” go off to finish your studies together. You pick up a strong habit of general laziness, debauchery and letting your buddy direct your life. He starts a business, you follow him into it. You’re his grunt, and his secret. He’s got the ego to push himself forward, you’ve got the brain to work out his professional problems for him. And you don’t care about credit. You get to continue your anonymous life, drifting. He gets to use you. You let yourself be used. You have no sense of deserving anything else. Anything better.

You stay up all night. You drink. You keep bad company. By your late twenties, you’re a person of wasted talent with no idea of how to turn the life that repulses your soul around. And if you did know how, you don’t even know if it’s worth the effort. You’re life is already a waste, to you, a “might have been.”

So let’s say something turns you around. Of course, it’s a girl. A perfect girl. A female so far above you, so ideal in your mind that you’ve turned her into a “goddess” that you worship, but of whom you’d never be worthy. So you hang out in her presence, around her among others. You don’t speak to her too much. But you’re there.

So, obviously, a woman so perfect would get a lot of attention right? And there HE is. And fuck him, but he’s so perfect. He’s just got to be for her. Not you, right? So why not make sure? You finally go to her and speak to her. You tell her you love her. All the words rush out in a torrent. But she doesn’t stop you. She’s even encouraging. And then, you do what you have to, you spell every microscopic, disgusting detail of yourself. You lay a perfect picture before her eyes of the ruin you would make of her life if she chose to be with you. Surprise! She agrees. But she’ll never betray your trust in opening up to her, and wants to save you (you of all people!).  So you simply promise that she will save, just by letting you do anything for her or the people she loves.

So, having spent a few minutes with this guy, what do you think? How do you feel about him? What sort of person is he? What sort of future does a man like this have? What sort of future does he see himself as having?

Most importantly, what if he actually got his chance. What if he (you) did have the opportunity to save her and her loved ones by making one great sacrifice — this life you hate. And what if that sacrifice not only completely failed, she died in the process. Everyone died but you. You lived — were, in fact, saved…what would you do? How would you feel?

Thoughts? Feelings? Please play with me?

JKHOA: What Can I Say?

The Seer - de chirico

One of my favorite images. The Seer, by de Chirico


For two weeks I’ve been posting here everyday except Saturday. Time to take a look at the experiment and get some new plan set out. See what I’ve learned.

I certainly have plenty so say, and I’ve hardly run dry. But, honestly, this has become a slightly more formal version of my journal. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. But looking back, mainly I just sat down with some tea and Mozart and started typing without a clue as to what would come out, with varying success.

Honestly, I got more responses from my nearly absurdist posts, with less interaction for the ones that I gave more thought to. I don’t know what that means. It could’ve simply been the day on which those posts were made. Maybe this the sort of thing Google understands. I surely don’t.

Also, I don’t know if it was the Mozart, or the lack of pressure I felt about what I was typing, or the caffeine in this chronic chai I’ve got (I mean the tea. I’m a tea snob. Shut up.), but even the posts I put more thought into weren’t much. I was just really goofing off the entire time. I almost feel a bit of fake. Sometimes when a thing is easily done, I don’t do it as well. Hey, or do I?

Anyhow, so aside from getting through a snowstorm, having the plague and some Nicholson level cabin fever, what’s next for Jess? Well, that’s a deep subject. (Yes, that was a very bad pun.) Dah! Darned if I know.

I suppose I’ll keep up on the blog here twice a week. I’m going consider which days. It’ll most likely be a combination of my stats for each day over two weeks combined with whatever the heck I feel like — probably a strong emphasis on the latter. And as I seem to find it useful to keep talking about myself and whatever happens to be on the brain that day, I’ll stick with that. By far my most popular posts are tagged “Geek”.  And while I also have a high level of nerd in me — I guess I’ll just keep on with my super-nerd/geek self.

I’m not apologizing for being me. I will continue to consider Star Wars, Roman military strategy, whatever video game I’m playing and documentaries about irrigation and flood management in ancient Mesopotamia with equal enthusiasm. After all, what is being a geek if not simply being a rabid fan of “your thing”. I don’t see any conflict between my enthusiasm for Galaxy Quest and that for ancient epic poems. If anyone takes issue with that, I don’t care. I just don’t. Go write your own damn blog.

But how about your book, Jess? Well, part of myself that just has to make that “B” an “A”, I’m glad you reminded me not to let myself slip. I was reading back in my journal to when I was working on it full-time. I’ve also been looking over my old notes, and I got some interesting thoughts from the feedback on the rough chapter I posted, but what I need is a new outline. And that will have to come before another chapter, because I don’t like the next chapter as it is. Let’s make my outline a goal for this week. That should satisfy my self-loathing. And make me happy. Not being disgusted with oneself is generally conducive to personal felicity.

I will post the next chapter when I’ve done the outline. I enjoyed that. I saw its shortcomings with far more clarity.  Possibly with the knowledge that someone was actually paying attention to the thing. Which is really why I’ve taken up the ebook idea anyway. I’ve got all these screenplays that I send out, and sometimes they get a read or something, but generally they just sit taking up hard-drive space.

Unlike Kafka, I did not take up writing with the notion that all my work should be discovered in a sock drawer upon my death. I write to speak to other people. It’s the best way I know how to communicate. So, at least with a book I can “publish” online, a series in which I’m interested and invested in the character and story, and hope that more people will read what I’ve done. I hope they enjoy it as much as I do. I hope they feel something when they read it. I hope they geek out on the reading as much as I did on the writing.

I guess I’m just here to talk to folks, and this is the best way I know how. So that’s probably the biggest take-away I’ve got. I like to write, and I enjoy it when people enjoy what I’ve written. Simple. What else can I say?






Jess Kicks Her Own Ass Pt. 1.3

Memoirs of a Traveler: In the Beginning

by,  Jessica Lakis


Look on my works…

Chapter 1: I Slept and Am Awoken

The midday sun assaulted my eyelids. They submitted and shut. The sun burrowed through them into my brain. I think the beer at The Drunken Barleyman must have been stronger last night. Maybe I if I just slept…

The elbow of Mec, my esteemed colleague, in my ribs, “The contract! Where is it?” I felt his spit in my ear.

I blindly laid my hand out on the table in front, put my hand on the document, passed it to him, stuck my hands into my waistband, and tried again.

“And the precedent! Keep your eyes open! If you at least pretended to be interested in your work you’d get on better, you know.”

His concern was always touching. I couldn’t ever ask him to stop. Gods forbid I should stop someone from doing what makes them happy. I pried my eyes open enough to be struck blind, but managed to again supply Mec with the documents.

The day was hot, and the morning’s cases were typical — contractual disputes over property or marriage, but usually both. But Mec was a predator. He pounced on each as fresh prey to feed his ambition and reputation. I suppose I admired that. He could care so much about something so small. That’s most likely why I worked for him. He also knew my habits, and he paid.

This morning the object of the hunt was some poor sod-tiller. The man probably didn’t know his seal from the King’s. But he relented before Mec’s attack. He identified the seal on the contract as his own. Fines were settled. The farmer shuffled out of the courtyard with his head down.

Mec wedged his body onto the bench next to mine. “Excellent breakfast!” Evidently onions. “Now the feast!”

“Feast?” I asked. I pitied his fleshy palms for being so rigorously submitted to the moist contact of one another. I saved no pity for my own flesh, to which he painfully transferred some of that red and sweat via my back.

“The Foreigner, Jackal! The Foreigner!” I’m not really sure how I had acquired the appellation of “Jackal.” I’ve born other names, I took this one indifferently. That was my name then.

The Foreigner, defended by Mec, was charged with what you’d call treason. Being Mec’s researcher, among other things, it had been my job to run about the City finding the truth of the Foreigner’s character. His crime amounted to being a member of a Northern Tribe during a time of general anxiety within the City regarding that clan. During such times, officials were prone to offer incentives to good citizens for information regarding plots and conspiracies to help focus the distress of the people. Such was the case of the Foreigner.

Afternoon cases promised dismemberment, disfigurement, or public shaming at the least. Today’s promised death. I prepared for a large crowd.

Mec prepared himself with more vigorous fat, sweaty hand rubbing. I was actually a little surprised that the wittnesses against the Foreigner dared losing a limb again. I guess liars also have bar debts. Maybe more than others. I imagined Mec was considering how to best hack them up for the offering. Which chop first and where. He was a crude butcher, but effective with guidance.

The stench of bloodlust. The citizens began to choke the baking courtyard. I looked up and traced the flowering vines along the lintels. Not much hope of shade from the Sun of the Immutable Law in them.

Following one of these tangles of green and life down, I found Her. High. High above me in the benches opposite my low table.

Separate. Apart. Beyond. Her face, no it was her entire self, focused into a beam of intense concern and honest pity. And that soft strong light focused on the figure now presented to the Court. The Foreigner. I hated him.

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