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Come, Young Lurker, I’ve Much to Tell You

June 14, 2017 Leave a comment

By Otis Nixon

Everything is in constant flux on this earth. Nothing keeps the same unchanging shape, and our affections, being attached to things outside us, necessarily change and pass away as they do. What say you, young lurker? Is there not a longing for immortality in your activity? To stalk among these fleeting affections—to watch them pass, like a large jungle cat fasting. You who dare to affront Nature!

Those very same fleeting affections, always out ahead of us or lagging behind, recall a past which is gone or anticipate a future which may never come into being; there is nothing solid there for the heart to attach itself to. Do you not, young lurker, in your refusal to make contact with the object of your gaze, dabble in some dark art? Do you not extend the boundaries of feeling which depend on acknowledgement and attachment? The lurker knows that, by erasing this element of humanity, he becomes inhuman. Society calls him an outcast. ‘Yes,’ he replies, ‘but it is I who have cast you out.’

Our earthly joys are almost without exception the creatures of a moment; I doubt whether any of us knows the meaning of lasting happiness. Yet we lurkers know what it is to suspend time by the rejection of worldly pleasures. The devil knows we are hungry but he doesn’t know that we are fed from a wellspring deeper than those at his command. We prowl in holy communion, invincible.

In the keenest pleasures of your ordinary Lankvillian, there is scarcely a single moment of which the heart could truthfully say: ‘Would that this moment could last for ever!’ And how can we give the name of happiness to a fleeting state which leaves our hearts still empty and anxious, either regretting something that is past or desiring something that is yet to come?

But if there is a state where the soul can find a lurking-place secure enough (say, a hedge or small tree) or to establish itself (say, the back seat of car or underneath an upended wheelbarrow) and concentrate its entire being there, with no need to remember the past or reach into the future, where time is nothing to it, where the present runs on indefinitely but this duration goes unnoticed, with no sign of the passing of time, and no other feeling of deprivation or enjoyment, pleasure or pain, desire or fear than the simple feeling of existence, a feeling that fills our soul entirely, as long as this state lasts, we can call ourselves happy, not with a poor, incomplete and relative happiness such as we find in the pleasures of life, but with a sufficient, complete and perfect happiness which leaves no emptiness to be filled in the soul.

Come, young lurker, I’ve much to tell you.

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Origins of a Lurker

June 9, 2017 Leave a comment

By Otis Nixon

I should like to take a moment to describe my father.

The lot of a Lankvillian lurker of his days frequently meant ‘moving on.’ And so father transferred the family to the Mid-Outlands, and finally retired on a small government pension there. But this was not to mean a rest from lurking for the old man. The son of a poor cottage person, even in his childhood he had not been able to stay at home and lurk. Not yet thirteen years old, the little boy then bundled up his things and ran away from his homeland, the Deep Central Forest Area. Despite the dissuasion of ‘experienced’ inhabitants of the village he had gone to the capital to learn a trade there (and also to be free to lurk without molestation).

A bitter resolve it must have been to take to the road, into the unknown, with only three dollars (Lankville) for traveling money. But by the time the thirteen-year-old lad was seventeen, he had passed his tire shredder apprentice’s examination, but he had not yet found lurking satisfaction. It was rather the opposite. The long time of hardship through which he then passed, of endless poverty and misery, strengthened his resolve to give up the tire shredding trade after all in order to become something ‘better.’ If once the village tire shredder had seemed to the little boy the incarnation of all obtainable human success, now, in the big city which had so widened his perspective, the rank of the high lurker became the ideal. With all the tenacity of one who had grown old through want and sorrow while still half a child, the seventeen-year-old youth clung to his decision . . . and became a high lurker. The goal was reached, I believe, after nearly twenty-three years. Now there had been realized the premise of the vow that the poor boy once had sworn, not to return to his dear native village before he had become something.

Now the goal was reached, but nobody in the village remembered the little boy of long ago, and the village had become a stranger to him.

When he retired at the age of fifty-six, he was unable to spend a single day in ‘not lurking.’ He bought a farm near the Border Area which he worked himself (and also lurked about the fields, both fertile and fallow, and thus returning, after a long and active life, to the origin of his ancestors.

Lurkers.

Reveries of a Solitary Lurker

June 1, 2017 Leave a comment

By Otis Nixon

Since the days of my youth I had fixed on the age of forty as the end of my efforts to succeed, the final term of my various ambitions. I had the firm intention, when I reached this age, of making no further effort to climb out of whatever situation I was in and of spending the rest of my life living from day to day with no thought for the future. I would give the entirety of my substance over to the lives of others. I would become one with them without their knowledge. If I reached the high bar I set for myself, I would disappear from the eyes of the world entirely, but not it from mine.

When the time came I carried out my plan without difficulty, and although my fortune at the time seemed to be on the point of changing permanently for the better, it was not only without regret but with real pleasure that I gave up these prospects.

In shaking off all these lures and vain hopes, I abandoned myself entirely to the nonchalant tranquility which has always been my dominant taste and most lasting inclination. I quitted the world and its vanities, I gave up all finery–no more sword, no more watch, no more shoeshines, no more daily applications of lotion, uncture and balm, but a simple pair of binoculars and a trusty leather duster–and what is more than all the rest, I uprooted from my heart the greed and covetousness which gave value to all I was leaving behind. I gave up the position I was then occupying, a position for which I was quite unsuited, and set myself to lurking, an occupation for which I had always had a distinct liking.

All the sharpest torments lose their sting if one can confidently expect a glorious recompense, and the certainty of this recompense was the principal fruit of my earlier meditations.

I write in the hope that other lurkers, solitary though we may be, find comfort in these very same meditations; indeed, that, in the lonely yet emotionally charged hours interceding the visual capture of our subjects, we may fix our minds in reflection; moreover, that such hours spent in solemn reflection return to us during the ecstatic moments of a marathon lurk, thereby adding a new subtle color to our palette. Dare I say we achieve the rank of artist?

A lurker is solitary by profession; he achieves higher ground (and on it meets his spiritual brethren) by this very same profession.

Reveries of a Solitary Lurker

May 31, 2017 Leave a comment

By Otis Nixon

Today there is more recollection than creation in the products of my imagination, a tepid languor saps all my faculties, the vital spirit is gradually dying down within me, my soul no longer flies up without effort from its decaying prison of flesh, and were it not for the hope of a state to which I aspire because I feel that it is mine by right, I should now live only in the past. The solitary lurker is an agent of the past; in his lurking, he embodies the past; this is the aspect from which society turns its head. Thus if I am to contemplate myself before my decline, I must go back several years to the time when, losing all hope for this life and finding no food left on earth for my soul, I gradually learnt to feed it on its own substance and seek all its nourishment in the act of lurking.

The country was still green and pleasant, but it was deserted and many of the leaves had fallen; everything gave an impression of solitude and impending winter. This picture evoked mixed feelings of gentle sadness which were too closely akin to my age and my experience for me not to make the comparison. I saw myself at the close of an innocent and unhappy life, with a soul still full of intense feelings and a mind still adorned with a few flowers, even if they were already blighted by sadness and withered by care. Alone and neglected, I could feel the approach of the first frosts and my failing imagination no longer filled my solitude with beings formed after the desires of my heart. Sighing I said to myself: What have I done in this world? I was created to live, and I am dying without having lived.

God is just; his will is that I should suffer, and he knows my innocence. That is what gives me confidence. My heart and my reason cry out that I shall not be disappointed. Let men and fate do their worst, we must learn to suffer in silence, everything will find its proper place in the end and sooner or later my turn will come.

Daytime is a curse. The sun its accomplice. I pray for dusk knowing all the while my prayers have no effect on the rotation of the heavenly spheres. Yet, I pray for the cloak of night; the cover under which I may lurk with my sordid memories. Away from their prying eyes; but not they mine.

Reveries of a Solitary Lurker

May 30, 2017 Leave a comment

By Otis Nixon

A recent event as sad as it was unexpected has finally extinguished this feeble ray of hope and shown me that my earthly destiny is irrevocably fixed for all time. Since then, I have resigned myself utterly and recovered my peace of mind.

All my efforts were in vain and my self-torment of no avail, I took the only course left to me, that of submitting to my fate and ceasing to fight against the inevitable. This resignation has made up for all my trials by the peace of mind it brings me, a peace of mind incompatible with the unceasing exertions of a struggle as painful as it was unavailing.

They were so eager to fill up my cup of misery that neither the power of men nor the stratagems of hell can add one drop to it. Even physical suffering would take my mind off my misfortunes rather than adding to them. Perhaps the cries of pain would save me the groans of unhappiness, and the laceration of my body would prevent that of my heart.

I glance at my watch, knowing already the time. Polish off my Lankbrau and step into the street. Take three longish steps in the direction of a hedge. Mutter to myself “Sweet Melissa” then “hum” then “pleonism.”

The Street Scoop by Otis Nixon

April 29, 2017 Leave a comment

By Otis Nixon

For many years, a short row of parking meters have been located along the 2900 block of Everbrown Avenue, just across from the Lankville Equitable Bank in the Snowy Lake District. Of the few residents who noticed they were there, no one could remember why they had been installed in the first place. To our surprise, when The Lankville Daily News contacted the Lankville Parking and Curbs Authority, they didn’t know why either.

“I pulled some giant tomes off shelves,” noted LPCA employee Jean Stargell. “There was nothing in any of them about any parking meters.”

Just like that, with a simple question from The News, the meters will be no more by summer.

“The process essentially involves beheading the meters and then leaving the posts up for a year or two and then taking the posts down,” noted Stargell. “Or maybe not.”

After speaking with Stargell for a few more moments, I was able to glean some information about her whereabouts. Utilizing the Lankville Real Property Data Digital Workstation, I discovered her home address.

I picked up a six-pack of beer and a pack of short cigars and drove to the house at dusk. Indeed, a squat, shapeless woman was outside watering some dead ferns. A radio played somewhere deep inside the house. I cracked open a beer and watched Jean– I watched her until darkness fell. When she finally went inside, I got out of the car.

There was a little area in between the wraparound porch and the dining room bay window where I could lurk unseen. An overhead maple shielded me from the neighbors. At one point, a strange-looking man wandered by aimlessly, walking a little puffball dog and whispering, “C’mon now Hugs. C’mon. C’mon Hugs. Please urinate, Hugs.” But he didn’t see me.

I am still lurking.

Tension Mounts as Older Man Stands by Side of House for Second Day

July 13, 2016 Leave a comment
By Otis Nixon

By Otis Nixon

LANKVILLE ACTION NEWS: YES!

Mr. Crowley standing outside by the side of his house.

Mr. Crowley continues to stand by the side of his house.

Tension is mounting in the Southern Swamplands as an older man is standing by the side of his house for a second straight day.

Several tactical police units, members of the Air Legionnaires and Lankville Army special ops are currently on the scene.

Gordy Crowley, 72, a retired associate of the fire department, has refused to make his intentions clear.

“We’ve rolled several desirable items to Mr. Crowley in transparent plastic orbs but so far he hasn’t touched any of them,” noted Detective Gee-Temple, who was the first to arrive at the scene.

“Most of the items were purchased at malls, so we’re talking quality,” the intrepid detective added.

The standoff began yesterday morning at 7:30 A.M.  An advisory notice was issued last night at dusk and an 8:00 PM curfew was instituted. Nearby homes and businesses have been evacuated and residents are currently being housed at local emergency shelters.

“We told everyone to grab anything that was dear to them and flee,” noted Gee-Temple who was clad in body armor.

A press conference is expected later this afternoon.

 

Older Man Stands by Side of House

July 12, 2016 Leave a comment
By Otis Nixon

By Otis Nixon

LANKVILLE ACTION NEWS: YES!

Mr. Crowley standing outside by the side of his house.

Mr. Crowley standing outside by the side of his house.

An older man has been standing by the side of his house, sources are confirming.

Gordy Crowley, 72, of the Southern Swamplands, was first spotted at the side of his house this morning at 7:30.

“I saw him, sure,” said a neighbor who refused to be identified. “I was eating breakfast and reading a technology magazine and he came out and just started standing there.”

Crowley has been standing in the same position by the side of the house for nearly two hours.

“Physically, he’s fine,” noted Detective Gee-Temple who was the first to arrive at the scene. “I observed him for awhile from behind a nearby tree and I saw no signs of stroke, rabies or any sort of lunacy. We believe that he’s fine.”

Calls placed to the Crowley home went unanswered.

“That’s probably because Mr. Crowley is standing outside by the side of the house,” Gee-Temple opined.

Crowley is a retired fire station associate.  He spent 37 years in that capacity.

“He was not a fireman but he had a strong association with the fire station,” said Captain Lance Wilcox of the Southern Swamplands Fire Department, who was interviewed by phone.

No further information was available at press time.

“We’re monitoring the situation,” Gee-Temple commented.

Bumpkiniana

June 20, 2016 Leave a comment
By Otis Nixon

As Told to Otis Nixon

The Lankville Daily News is lusciously delighted beyond measure to present “Bumpkiniana”, a series of Bumpkin tales as recorded by folklorist Otis Nixon.

Earl came 300 miles along the tracks of the Southern Outlands Express to see his sister Tulah who lived above a greengrocer’s. He sang an old bumpkin folk song as he walked:

I’m walking
Yes, I am walking
I’m walking
To see my sister.

When he arrived, Tulah greeted him from the porch. She was wearing a unicorn costume.

“Aww, honey,” Earl said. “You ain’t gonna’ wear that unicorn hat the whole time, are you?”

“Naw, Earl,” Tulah said. “If it bothers you, I don’t need to wear it.”

She removed the helmet with the big papier mache horn to reveal long flowing brown hair.

“Aw, now, see Tulah, you always did have the most beautiful hair. Why, you’re gonna’ have just all kinds of suitors asking after you now that you took that unicorn hat off.”

Tulah blushed.

“I got you something Earl. It’s a present.”

A local lunatic's imaging of Tulah in her unicorn suit.

A local lunatic’s imagining of Tulah in her unicorn suit.

“Aw, now, Tulah, you didn’t need to go and do all that.”

She gave him a box with a big colored bow. Earl removed the top to reveal a giant crushed hat.

“Aw, my God, Tulah. Look at this hat! It’s beautiful!”

“I’m sorry it got crushed, Earl. The man at the hat store was rough with it.”

“It’s beautiful.”

They embraced, sister and brother, for the first time in years.

“You must be hungry Earl. Let’s go over to the train station. There’s a fellow over there that sells franks.”

After dinner, they sat on the porch above the greengrocer’s. A man came out below and screamed for a long time.

“Who’s that devil?” Earl said.

“Aw, he does that all the time,” Tulah said.

They set out awhile.

“Aw, this is a beautiful town you live in, Tulah.”

“I know Earl.”

Earl left the next day. “I gotta’ keep on,” he said.

As he walked away, he sang another old bumpkin folk song:

I went to see my sister
Oh, I went to see my sister
Now, I’m done seeing my sister
And now I’m fixing to walk back home

PUBLIC SHAME: I Was Lurking Again

February 17, 2016 Leave a comment
By Otis Nixon

By Otis Nixon

A LANKVILLE DAILY NEWS: PUBLIC SHAME SPECIAL

You kind of know when you’re slipping.

I’ve been in therapy for a couple of years. Without fail, I go to the support group that meets in the gym on Tuesdays. Things have been pretty solid with Teri. The News gave me the big Keebaugh scoop. And there haven’t been any false reports about me dying lately. Been a solid couple of months.

Even so, where did I find myself last night?

Lurking. Lurking in a swamp.

I’ll tell you about it. So, I was down outside the Great Lankville Swamps of the South. We were initially doing a story about how a lot of the towns down there are just sinking into the swamps. Matter of fact, I was supposed to go out to this island that had been a big resort at one time. They put me up in a motel room and told me to wait. So, I got a pack of tall-boys, a basket of wings and a pile of magazines. I thought, hell, why not make a night of it? So, I’m just lying around getting a little drunk and then I get a call and they tell me the island just partially collapsed into the swamp. Then, after about an hour, the guy calls again. “Ok, well, it just completely sunk into the swamp. I’m calling from a raft.”

Well, that was that.

So, I called up Marles Cundiff (Lankville Daily News editor) and asked him what I should do. “Whyn’t you just wander around in some of the swamps, just get a feel for ’em. We’ll make it a kind of travel/human interest piece,” he said.

The next morning, I rented a car and drove down to the northern edge of the swamps. There were a number of dirt service roads and I followed one out to the edge. There was another guy there, dumping a couple of corpses into the slough and I asked him about that, figuring on getting a good quote for my story. But he wasn’t interested in talking much.

I wandered around for awhile and I got more and more lost. I got a little panicky. I removed my dress shirt straight over my head and lowered myself slowly into the bog. I saw more guys pulling up along the distant fringes, dumping bodies. “Jesus Christ, they have a real problem with that down here,” I thought to myself, in a rare moment of lucidity. It passed and I covered my face with mud and began moving slowly through the muck.

Hours flew by. I came upon a finger of land jutting out into the mire. There was a cabin on stilts and a homespun woman hanging wash on a clothesline that reached from the house to a pole that rose impossibly out of the water. When she was finished, the line suddenly broke and all the clothes dropped into the swamp, disappearing forever.

She didn’t seem bothered by this at all– it was as though she expected it. I was intrigued.

And then, before I knew it, I was lurking.

I lurked all night. Just outside the range of her meager porch light. I believe she heard me a few times, I believe she knew I was there. By morning, surrounded by mysterious submerged creatures, I was hysterical and completely covered in swamp mud. The authorities found me.

I awoke in a small, ill-lit cell still covered in mud. The mud dropped off of me in great chunks. I suddenly became aware of a detective. I cleared my eyes and saw it was Gee-Temple.

“Lurking again, huh, Nixon?”

And I had to admit my shame.

I also told him about all the dumped bodies but he didn’t seem too concerned with that.

 

So, now, I’m starting over. I am Otis Nixon. I am a lurker.