벌레 일지 WORMDATE:
PHASE 1 LEVEL 4:
7,850-536,495: 964(+58): 70-4,456 (0.83%): 83.9%–81.%-15.5%
Strange, stretched, and strained. If one wants to believe that there is some fabric of reality –a sort of ineffable connection between everything– that fabric must be tearing.
I don’t like to speak about Humans but the species often seems to suffer from some need for grand narratives. A collection of letters becomes a word, a collection of words becomes, a sentence, sentences become a story, stories become a genre. On and on it goes. At every level, we order collages to make sense and invent meaning. In the spaces between the words, the sentences, and the stories, there’s some connective tissue.
That tissue feels torn.
I feel like I have a fairly high tolerance from ambiguity, contradictions, and nonsense. Just as a skilled photographer probably understands photos not as capturing reality but as technological creations, and a painter may see paintings as pigments and canvas, most people who work with words, learning to manipulate them into images and stories, probably develop an acute sense of the limitations of words, and a healthy distrust of narratives. I enjoy ordering things but I have serious doubts about whether this ordering refers to reality, reflects some deeper truth, and whether or not all meaning is not just some artifact of how we tend to process symbols mixed with a great deal of teaching us to process them.
“Today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups… So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing.”
― Philip K. Dick
This invention of reality isn’t just a fever dream of conspiracy theorists but a fairly fundamental part of how we relate to each other, ourselves, and our surroundings.
Some stories may seem more true than others, some more pleasing, and others more dangerous, but no matter how true, beautiful or deadly, they are stories. Our reality is woven from stories –tales invented by readers just as much as authors– and our personalities are only stories we knit into a theme and give a name. There may well be some some hard base of facts at the bottom of all these lies but, if we ever find it, it will be through stories.
Right now, though, I feel like the theme is in tatters. On a societal as well as a personal level, it feels like the stories are moving at cross purposes completely disconnected from each other and any base of facts. Reality itself feels strange, stretched, and strained. The contradictions are immense. Reality has a web of stress fractures. The cracks in order may be how the light gets in but it’s also how the weird leaks into the world. At night, in the dark, the light itself is weird. Blindingly odd. The full moon stands out against black space.
Although I believe in vaccination and have had mine, and will be signing up for my booster tomorrow, I’ve long had doubts that vaccination or any single technological solution would be enough to end this pandemic or create a genuine and livable –never mind just or ideal– adaptation to this situation. Yet, in spite of that, the current mess has stunned me.
It’s just hard to wrap my head around. Korea currently has over 80% of its population vaccinated, and things have never been worse. More people are getting sick, seriously sick, and dying than before vaccinations. Something like 35% of our culminative deaths have occurred since November. Cases and critical cases are through the roof. The system is quickly being overwhelmed. There’s reasons, of course. Waning efficacy, variants, over reliance on technology, loosening of restrictions, cluster infections, so on and so forth, but
It’s just hard to mentally reconcile the two things. Never more vaccinated, never been worse.
Bad things happen to good people. It’s possible to make no mistakes and still lose. One can always catch a stray. None of that is exactly news. But still
I can understand why some people just throw their hands up, declare the whole thing some sort of nefarious prank, and say “fuck it.” I don’t agree with them at all, and it’s bleakly hilarious to hear people who compare free medicine to the Holocaust claim other people are under mind control from Big Pharma. (Like, friend, if you think cheap medicine or anything that might even slightly reduce the grotesque profit margins of the medical industry can be compared to genocide, maybe, just maybe, you’re the one under the fucking spell.) But I can understand the urge to scream FAKE. It would simplify matters.
As would shouting and raging at these people. And don’t get me wrong, these anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers, this collection of sniveling, ranting, selfish, diaper-babies do piss me off. They have stoked an ember of hate and fury in me that might burn for the rest of my life, but, for now, that anger is just too comfortable. It’s just too simple and too comfortable. My heart is not in it. Hard to say where my heart is, really. Never really been known for having one.
It’s a confusing, complicated, and dispiriting time. Yet I don’t feel all that confused or dispirited. What I feel, rather, is disconnected. And not from the world. I feel like a grouping of working parts that bear very little relation to one another. I avoid crowds an go to an empty gym that requires proof of vaccination. When I get a coffee, I get it to go or drink it outside and alone. I have not been to a restaurant in years. Yet I feel like this is too much?
One part of me wears clothes, another watches movies, another goes into the woods, another does school, and another has an appointment this week about becoming a research apprentice. And it’s not disassociation I feel, so much as a lack of life simplifying into a plot. Instead of 2+2=4, it feels like 2+1=1+1+1+1. Right now, I’m all ones.
Hell of a time to see a cryptid but
that’s exactly what has happened.
I saw a fucking cryptid.
Near the woods but not yet in them. At night, of course. And to be clear on this point, I feel like this is an actual animal that I am unable to identify. I saw them clearly. I watched them for a while and they watched me. I even took pictures. But I did not know what I was looking at. I still do not know. More than that, I could not even tell you what sort of animal it was.
Now, just to give you an idea of how clearly I saw these, this is a picture I tried to take of a deer that I could also clearly see. You see the deer? No?
Tree in the center — the one bending to the left. It’s standing in the shadows just to the left of it. And, in real life, that was an easy deer to see.
So I got a really good look at these weird beasts.
Watching them, I tried to shove these creatures into categories I know. I found these categories wanting. Seeing them, I ran through and rejected the gamut — feral cats, wolves, raccoons, possums, tiger cubs, bobcats. Coyotes? Some sort of weasel? A lemur? Some sort of fucking monkey? A strange dog hyena thing? I could not tell you what they were.
I can tell you what they were not. They were not cats. I’ve seen cats. Believe or not, I know what a fucking cat looks like. These were cat-like but they are not cats. If anything, they looked like they would eat a cat. They were too big to be cats. Long legs, big paws. A general impression that they were teenagers. They seemed curious, wild, and intelligent.
I mean – zoom in on the face – that’s not a fucking cat, is it? Too snouty. And those ears.
They looked big and strong enough to take down a small fawn, if they worked in a group. That’s not a thing I think about cats. I don’t think cats could do that.
Seeking comfort in the familiar, I thought maybe they were some sort of fox. But they lacked tails. I do not know what they are. They do not fit into any of my boxes. This is a creature previously unknown to me. And how often do you see an animal, like get a good long look at them and are like – is that a monkey or a cat? I mean, one usually knows the difference!
So, I don’t know if it’s a real cryptid –I doubt it– but this is certainly the experience of seeing a cryptid. And that’s a thing that has never ever happened to me before.
There is a local cryptid. It’s called Jangsan Beom. There were sightings in this neighborhood in 2012. I don’t know what those people saw, if indeed, anything. That could all be a hoax.
Here’s the rub: The Jangsan Beom is described as a sort of huge white cat with a monkey face, compared to a dog and a sloth. It moves fast and makes a noise “similar to the sound of scratching a blackboard or the sound of a human scream, creating a sense of fear.“
Now, these things had light gray fur, a wispy sort of white tail, and there was something oddly monkeyish about their faces. None of it is as extreme as Jangsan Beom but, I could see exaggeration doing some work on this creature and coming up with Jangsan Beom in much the same way a manatee might become a mermaid if you were horny and lonely enough. So, I don’t think I saw the infamous Jangsan Tiger, but if those sightings are honest and given in good faith, I think I might have seen the creature that is mistaken for that beast.
And, as far as the sound goes . . .
In the area I saw it, there has been a barking deer. Water deer make an odd sound that actually sounds a lot like a human scream or nails on a chalkboard. It’s pretty goddamn scary to hear in the dark woods – especially if you don’t know what it is. (Believe me, I know!) And shortly after seeing these things, I heard a deer barking in that very area. Makes me think, these creatures might set the deer off. And if you didn’t know that they make this ungodly sound, you might think, it was those weird fucking white haired cat-monkey-dog-sloth things you just saw. Like, that would be reasonable. It’d be wrong. But reasonable.
Anyway – a barking deer:
I’ve shown the picture I took to people, hoping to get some answers. One person had no idea and was scared, another thought owls, another thought foxes, another thought –and this strikes me as currently most possible– that they could be something called a leopard cat. There’s still things that don’t fit with that but it’s the best explanation I have.
One person told me they were just cats. Like I don’t know what a fucking cat looks like. Like, c’mon . . . IT WAS NOT A CAT!
Hearing that shit, one has some sympathy for those people who see Bigfoot once then dedicate their lives to proving what they saw. Because, I don’t know what to say – it wasn’t a fucking cat. When someone says something like that, it’s very easy to understand the crazy urge to prove that you actually saw something weird and not just a fucking cat, a sandhill crane, or a bear. I can also see why people might start exaggerating the weirdness. Just to make the point it was not a normal thing. And it was not a normal cat. Had there just been one, I might have thought it was some freak cat. But there were at least three of them.
So, like I know, I’m like the worst and least credible person to see a fucking cryptid. I’m always fucking around with Bigfoot and Mothman and whatnot, and goofing around. And I don’t even care if anyone thinks these were Jangsan Beom or the creatures that get turned into Jangsan Beom. Really, it’s just weird to see something that you honestly do not know what the fuck it is that you’re looking at even while you’re looking at it. I would like to know what these creatures are. They are just not an animal I have ever seen before. I don’t even know what type of animal they are. But they are not fucking cats! That much, I know.
The cracks might be how the light gets in but I sure wasn’t expecting these things to come crawling through too.
As it stands, they’re cryptids
we’re all cryptids until the cops name us.