Xeno Hemlock


Hmm, Ew! Double Ew! Gross! How Typical.


It’s either:

a. You don’t understand my ramblings, which means you’re stupid.

b. I don’t make sense. It’s innate.

I’m betting on “a”. Here we go.


Hand me a photograph of me from, let’s say, college or high school, or even from my stint at a company I worked for previously, and I would throw it away declaring “Ridiculous!”

Chat with me about past memories we shared together over a cup of coffee and I may spend some time with you. But at some point when our discussion becomes redundant I will exclaim, “There’s a reason it’s called the past. I don’t live there anymore!”

I dare you to find any device that will transport us back in time so we can be face to face with our past (ridiculous) selves. While you scramble, plodding through the vault of technological science for something that can do just that, I am already having a conversation with an old version of me all thanks to my azure mind.

Now before you go ballistic on me exploding “What the *&#% is an azure mind? How can you *&#%ing tell your mind is azure? Or do you really mean ‘a sure’ mind?”, I want you to sit down, relax, breathe in and out, and just chill.

My head was semi-spinning from the flu I was recovering from. I thought I overdosed on caffeine also. From that too I am recovering. A caffeine addict (but I don’t drink coffee unless it’s good old Americano). I should’ve drank a liter or two more of water even when I had gone to the john so many times that I lost count with my ten fingers. Some jackass, who preferred to be called a ‘ghost of the past’, knocked my head to say “Hey did you miss me?”

I looked at the jackass, uhm ghost of the past, and squinted, “No.”

Trying to fit in with the times, the ghost (jackass) tilted his head 45 degrees and replied, “O RLY?”


Tilting his head 45 degrees to the other direction, the ghost (jackass) said in a flash, “http://azuremind.wordpress.com”. What I saw next flabbergasted me.

Black Leather Shoes. Hmm, I reblogged this just last year. Everytime & Lentil. Ew! Marissa’s Letter. Double ew! Rheum, Tumor & Headache. Gross! I hate rheum. Ridiculous! Hello world! How typical. Oh wait, these are from my previous blog.”

And at that moment I realized the jackass, I’m sorry I mean ghost, was the late 2009 and early 2010 version of me. Why couldn’t this idiot just choose either 2009 or 2010? Why must it have to be a mixture of the two? I’m – confuzzled [confused and puzzled].

He circled me on tiptoes and prodded my sides. I pushed his hand away, “Hey what’s wrong with you?”

He stopped tiptoeing and stood straight. He placed two fingers on my temple and performed a mind meld. I saw flashes of my dying dog, an ugly overweight friend, my college professors, a whore who pretended as a friend, and yes, ladies and gentlemen, me. My energy was sapped when the mind meld was over but they all made sense to me now. Left and Right, Annie, and even Sia and Britney.

Azure Mind was an old WordPress blog I made years ago for a few purposes: to vent my anger towards selfish and inconsiderate friends (who are not my friends anymore, thank you!), to pour out my distress over my dying dog, to complain about a headache, and to begin my path in writing. It’s not fair to say this (of course it was my blog so I’m kind of biased) but Azure Mind, like a science experiment gone wrong, was a failure. At some point, I abandoned Azure Mind and forgot the credentials for it. Negative energies surrounding me, deep-seated insecurities, lack of focus and direction, despicable outlook and attitude in life – they were all to blame. But after the mind meld, Azure Mind stood in front of me in his naked glory (or rather OUR, since you know, he’s me, that’s me, you know how time travel can be confuzzling) and I realized I relived history.

Reading my blog posts in AM (I have some insecurity over repeating names, you know writers), I cringed, flinched, smiled and even patted myself on the back (I asked the jackass to do it for me). I recognized my early style that had evolved. The writer’s voice had improved but I saw it was all me. The tendency to be controlled by the steering wheel involuntarily was very obvious to me now. And after rereading it all, I am fascinated.

I’m fascinated to know that my old skinny version already had that fire. It’s not as bright and as hot as it is now, but it was already there. Fate and Karma conjured a cruel plan for the old me to ignite the fire. Their scheme worked but it wasn’t really the time. He [Time] said, “This asswipe needs more eye-openers, meet new people, learn some nasty lessons, vomit, pass out, die, be reborn, and perhaps change name to be worthy of this fire.” And I did. Oh the great omnipresent Time is never wrong. I suppose at some time Time went back to Fate and Karma and said, “He’s ready. All yours.”

The parallel happened. I was gifted loss and grief, and pain and heartache. They prompted a change. They made the fire burn more than ever. The last time, the gifts nudged me to take a step. This time, they pushed me over the cliff to learn how to fly. For me, there was no going back. The old tagline “Non-Sense or Not?” became “I don’t make sense. It’s innate.”

Now ask me what happened next. I sent the jackass away. He’s me but he’s no longer me (if you get my drift). I want to live in the NOW, and the past is just a window where I can stick my head into and take a peek during nostalgic periods. Every night I take a look at the time right before I go to sleep. The next morning when I wake up, I have already forgotten about it.

This short story originally appeared on Hemlock Time. It also appeared in Xenanimus.

Cover image by Leo Hidalgo.

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