Arthur Duvall

I could feel the needles hugging into my bloodstream. I could feel my panic slowly dissolving to a bitter sort of stress, a harsh dreamlike foamy murmur sorting my mental pain into categories; the supposed triumph of my Asperger’s’ willingness. What I was waiting for was an end to my grief. Not death. I was praying, against all else, that I would not die today. I would beat them, the odds. Despite all the chemicals and the legal matters, I wouldn’t be given this sentence after all. My hope had always been my benefactor; my ecstatic resistance to the negative world that was a barrier to my life.

I knew that soon, the first presence of the first injection would begin. And I wouldn’t be dying yet, but I would be reminded, “Yes, Arthur, the death is coming.”

In spite of my pain, my hope clotted my throat and caused tears in my eyes. I wished I could just make one last word be true. One last thing right.

I decided that since my hands weren’t exactly free to scrawl in the walls with my own blood my dying words, I would think my way through my life. The last parts mostly because adult life seems to be so much more detailed and monotonous yet tragic all at once.

Our relationship had begun not unlike a romantic writer’s initial debut novel. Excited to be published, he pulls out all the stops. Stuffing up his work like some taxidermy rat. Too thick and big for a flush down the toilet pipes.

She had been Rachel. Rachel Willows. Young, fine-tuned, atheist, abrasive but smart, brunette, the love of my life. I had loved her for every moment. I had. I wish that if I had been good enough before her, I would have remained that way with her. But my fatalness was caught up in her beauty, I suppose. And I lost myself in the present to the self I was in the past.

Our first date, we’d gone for a walk in the cute part of town. As cute as Havre, Montana gets. She’d held my hand, telling me I smelled like the wine from our dinner but that it was sweet of me to not act it. I told her I was thankful that she was around me. We’d fallen for each other so early, so heavily. Why had she? Why had she let me get so close to her?

My eyes fluttered, feeling something new begin to fill my veins. I waited for sleep but it wasn’t hitting me. It was the saline. I thought about the Rachel I missed most, the one I didn’t know that well.

Our first kiss. The way her skin was some purged satin to my heavy hands.

I thought about our first time. I felt the tears begin to feel gravity, sliding out of my reddened eyes, tracing my cheeks.

I’d never thought of last words before. Sure, when I had been younger, and more reckless, shoplifting and roaming around like the nomad without a home I was, the idea had come to my mind, but now, it was just a ghost, patting my back, assuring me it was okay to think of him now.

“Rachel,” I mumbled. The cement walls the surrounded me said nothing. Well, they were silent. That was sort of saying something. All the silence in the court room had been like shouting to me. Hearing the cruel way they had told me I was guilty, and then I could say nothing in return, only feel every ounce of blood in my body turn putrid with fear and shock. Hearing them tell me I was going to die.

I couldn’t have done anything but be horrified in that courtroom, and be horrified all those days in prison, leading up until where I was, my final minutes. I could only wait, then, and be so stupefied I couldn’t cry, couldn’t think, couldn’t be.

I wondered if anyone else in that room but my lawyer and I had thought to charge me as not guilty. If anyone could tell that on the inside I wasn’t the ungodly thing they thought of me as.

I cringed at the memory of Rachel’s face that day in the courtroom. It had not turned up from her lap to greet mine. Not once. I thought how evil it was of her to be so barren, even then. She had told me not to remind her of her problems during our time as a couple; of what she told me was not a sickness, not an issue. What I learned later was her Borderline Personality Disorder. I had kept that promise dearly. I had only ever spoken of her mentality to myself, in my sickly poetry, in my thoughts. And now I was dying, for her. I wasn’t dying, though. Oh right.I wasn’t dying.

I breathe in shakily, wishing for more thoughts to come, to cut my head out of the present and steal me to a better place. But none do. I was given my last dose of Lamictal the other night. Some sort of coupling with my last meal, I had guessed upon first sight of it. How thoughtful of them to do a dying, retarded man such a service.

Oddly, the next thing I wondered was of whom else like me had been here. Not in this gurney, with these leathers binding them despite their panic; who else had been sentenced to death, with no real reason behind it? I wasn’t guilty. I knew that better than I could say to myself in all my dying truth than I knew anything. It had all been a series of mistakes.

Rachel coming home upset. Me asking her the matter. Rachel telling me she was leaving me. Me grabbing her arm. My fingers are hard around her skin because I’m also upset. I think she’s been having sex with other guys. She’s never home. I want to shout at her about this. I never get my chance to. She never tells me why she’s crying, and I feel like I have a right as someone who loves her to know, especially if she’s lying about her long nights and late afternoons.

Then, Rachel slapping me across the face. Me being stunned and letting her go. Rachel going to our room. Rachel packing up her clothes. Rachel shouting, Rachel furious. Rachel. Rachel. Rachel.

I sob once. Allowing myself that pitiful thing, that ungrateful tremor of my chest.

“I won’t let you hurt me anymore!” she’d said. “You druggie, you filthy addict! You selfish, narcissistic, asinine retard! Go jump your therapist and her fucking cunt.

“Rachel!” I’d shouted, like I was calling to a friend on the edge of the bridge’s railing, about to jump. “I am not trying to hurt you!”

“I know what you are, you monster. You filth fuck! You can’t hurt me anymore, I won’t let you.”

None of her words make any sense. I had been only this way emotionally once before, and that had been on an awful night, when I had mistakenly gotten drunk, and taken my meds twice rather than once in one sitting. Every other second of our love had seemed so… fine.

Rachel getting a lawyer, Rachel accusing me of aggravated sexual battery, Rachel taking me to court, Rachel winning.

And now, I couldn’t believe it had come so quickly. My punishment. Well, it was so much more than just that, but what other words could I use? I had always thought that death was peaceful, and then you get makeup put on your corpse, and then you’re either burned or buried. Not this. Not dying for a reason you know is wrong. Not leaving the world a man who knows that he is leaving it for the wrong reasons.

Suddenly, the black wall in front of me retracts. I had not noticed it different from the other cement walls, so it surprises me, and my heart gains its vigor again.

In the room beyond the glass, I see chairs, mostly empty. I see a guard dressed in our countries uniformity. I see…Oh.

I see Rachel.

I have no family besides her. Or what she used to be. I do not know how to respond to this. Do I be still, do I do nothing? What could I possibly do?

She is alone. In the chair at the center of the small, lowly lit room. She looks at me. I wonder if she’s thinking what I am. If she knows how terrible and wrong this is. Probably not, but I suppose I have always known how to overextend my hope with fucked up people.

Her eyes say things I wouldn’t be able to know if I tried. They well over and cry. I look away.

I begin to feel the dizzying feeling of the second injection. The needles hang off of my arm, kids on their mothers at the dinner party, shy at the taller grownups, wanting to never let go of their sweet protection.

What had I ever committed to, besides hiding behind myself, hiding from the reality I wanted to never be the way it was. Trying to do things that were wrong, right. Asking a woman with a personality disorder who refused to go on medication or go to therapy to marry me, someone also with a personality disorder. At least I took drugs to be somewhat normal.

“What do you mean, marry me?” Rachel had asked as I looked up from my unsteady position on one knee. “I’m not ready for that.”

“I love you, Rachel. I want to wait if you do. I want to.”

“You’ll wait for me?”

“I will. I swear.”

I hadn’t done a lot in my life. I had loved, I had lost. I had been an unplanned pregnancy; I had been the retard son of a Montana mother who never showed me kindness. I had no father. I had only a high school education, but I had never enjoyed much more than that. I had liked writing, and had succeeded, but knew I would never take it very far.

I had loved Rachel. I had never married. I had been convicted a rapist on the worst terms. 

I had been given the anesthetic before the final injection.

I had been myself. And now, I was going.

I wasn’t dying, though. No. I wasn’t dying.

I was just getting dizzy. I was just sleeping…

I’m not dying,” I said as all faded out.

You don’t exist.

And you never will. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t sit still,

Or stare, or bless me with your fingers in my hair.

And tell me everything. How you feel about every thing.

It wouldn’t be fair to ignore this craving that I have for you.

But where exactly does it go?

Further into my brain, where you wait, my imagination cradling your body with tight possession?

How come I can’t take it when I think of you and remember how much you aren’t what my thoughts turn you into?

How come I can be at peace, and then at war, almost in the same minute?

When I see you, I recognize the meanings in so many things, that my eyes are a haze of curiosity and joy.

Thank you for luring that out of me,

One day at a time.

I don’t think we ever met. If we did, he was there for my birth. Pulling on the end of my spinal cord. Putting it into place. Dusting the commute in my brain stem. Aggravated by me. ‘Why so young?’ He wants to know. ‘Figure it out.’
I ask him why he wants me to.
He turns like a shadow into the light around it. Going. Going. Not gone.
‘Understand, and maybe you’ll understand.’
I say okay. Because he’s right. I trust him to be right for me, for everything I touch and love and hate and find difficulty in.
I love my father. Not the pronoun for my father, but, he tries to comfort me. He knows that my father is a disaster.
‘Why doesn’t he love you?’ His voice is softer, coarse as a velvet coat.
‘Should he?’ I muse with him.
He wonders too. I want to comfort him, and my father, so I try to extend every bit I’m not, out. It goes. It goes away.
‘Is this love?’ He asks me.
‘Don’t I ask you that?’ I ask him.
He wonders why I’m forgetting myself.
I do too.
‘Well, what you believe I know is right. Somehow. This will be okay. You’ll defeat your doubt. You’ll be free, you WILL get out. I know you. I know that.’
‘Thank you,’ I say to him.
His smile is all I feel. It’s like a hand in my stomach, moving around, signing for help. SOS. SOS. Pain. Fuck.
I smile too.
I stare over at him. He’s laughing at me, holding an open flame under my thighs. Inside my chest.
‘Don’t you know what you’re doing? This is unsafe, Ruth.’ He says.
‘I really like it, though.’
‘I know, babe.’ I feel a burn mark bubble my skin, the feeling curdling me all the way up to my face.
His eyes freeze my skin away. Crackling blood. Eye contact I’m not expecting makes Him turn into a garish and grateful muzzle, and my eyes swish away.
‘Thanks,’ I mumble from behind his hand, his fingers fine on my lips.
‘No problem,’ He whispers into my ear, which is still a little burnt and frozen.
We need to move. We move as one. He grips my legs, and I comply. A vicious dance routine that makes my shaking seem part of my practiced walk and talk. 
‘Where what who why where what who why?!’ He blares the chant in my ears until I’m begging him to calm down. My heart rate and business about my body stay the same. Erratic. Expected.
‘STOP!’ I scream, and smile and make a friendly comment to Sarah as I pass her by. He slits my throat with a dull blade. I catch the blood by cupping around the incision with my hand.
‘PLEASE,’ I try, and my voice is gone. The coughing doesn’t help, and blood splattering the saddle as I heft it into my arms, off the rack. He’s still adhered to my back his twisted, his gibberish convincing me to sweat.
‘You’re still a child, you’re still a child,’ he says, his voice garbled but flagrantly loud.
‘No, I’m not.’
Simon pins his ears as I settle the saddle into the correct position. I apologize to him. 
No, not my horse. Don’t hurt him.
He steals my hands, and touches Simon for me. I lose my feeling, I can’t see or hear properly. It’s not where I am. He’s too in love with his control to notice.
We’ll always have each other.
You, I corrected. I’ll always have you.

Will you? Will you go with me?

Wooden. Her face was carved.

But when I spoke,

Her eyes moved,

Her lips were soft, her skin flexible,

No longer knotted and lacquered,

No longer molding and thin.

She was able to smile, and I could too.

My swollen medicine injection lips shined,

Like some glow sticks or fire embers.

And my stomach rotated

Around my spine,

Like it was my carousel.

And we would laugh,

And laugh,

And I never got the feeling I was lonely.

I never wondered why

My hands were losing fragments day by day,

Or why my laugh started to become a cough,

And then an ache,

And then nothing.

None of those uglinesses occurred right out to me.

I just thought,


I love her.

And why shouldn’t I?

E says,

“I’d cut open your skull so I could make you feel my hands.”

“Focus on the sun, it tells you where you stand.”

“I’m afraid to love you.”

“Won’t you just realize I’m ready to go ahead with something other than the silence.”

“I’d prefer it if you kissed my cheek instead. I’ve been waiting for your lips and I don’t want that dream to flutter away so quickly that I can’t feel it for a few more hours.”

“Wouldn’t you rather love yourself? That makes a hell of a lot more sense, I think, and wouldn’t you agree?”

“Remember, we met in a place that looked up at nothing, felt nothing, and we felt all we had to in order for it to be… Special I guess.”

“I can’t say what you want. I’m not anything like you want.”

“I’d rather fuck you than my hand.”

“Say my name, it looks like your lips are canoodling each other.”

“I laugh at you especially when you’re funny, but mostly when you look funny. Which is often haha.”

“I used to go to church, with my mom. But she hated it. So I missed out on a lot of the God shit. I don’t know if I can even pray, I don’t think he’s listening anymore.”



Amp up the revelation

You are my favorite destination

Past and present no referendum

Hold me back don’t let me let them

Keep me

From you.


I had this dream about you the other night. We kept fighting our same old fight, the one I’m afraid of, the one we’ve never had.

The fight where you forget and obliterate me

The fight where I leave and you feel left bleeding

But I was too you fucker.

In fact, you never even arrived.

Just ignored me from the other side.

How could you? Taunt me with your strength, your trust, your lust, your faith?

I want it all so bad now,

This lively being you’ve set up in your place, with words, and goodness, all fiction.

I should just forget it.

The problem is,

Will you?

Because I’m pretty sure you’re too self serving to even make the attempt.

MBTI: The Types (of Types) of Heroes

I love this post so much. I want to keep it in my stranglehold while I sleep at night. Love it.

Zombies Ruin Everything


A few weeks ago, we did a podcast for our Top 5 Heroes. If you haven’t listened to it, correct your mistake! If you listened to it and couldn’t understand one of us, well, that host has since been shot and tossed into a ditch. Anyway. What are, generally, the best ways you can tell what kind of hero is which type? Some of the best written examples can be the most confusing to enthusiasts because they defy stereotypes which is normally what you could go off of.

This is a quick guide to about half the MBTI-related articles you’ve seen here.

Keep in mind, these are heroes, not villains.

*Additions made to the INTJ heroes section on 5/4/2015

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I know nothing, but, I’m still elated.

The urge to tell you that I love you is beyond reason. I can’t help but wonder if I really do.

Or if, I just have this urge. I have it in similar tones for other ways of my life.

But in you, the urge faces ambiguities so vast, it knows that it is probably not love.

Tempered and trusted, it tries even harder to back away, to release all doubt, but it finds this hard. Who are you?

Do you have an urge, a similar dream holding the leash where the collar closes around your sternum?

Do you trip over the lead when you run? When have you ever just inspected its resistance to slower speeds?

Does it ever occur to you to bother with what remains after your actions, the imposed reliance, the figured out anomalies?

I can for sure say that you know nothing, not everything at all. Truth is a flattering concept, to the starving urges of our minds, but it’s supple eyes and witty complexion is not so true. No matter it’s opinion.

Or yours, for that matter, or mine. We all just ogle the mannerisms of that informality anyway, and hope for results.

Who’s despondent lecture then, will we amount to be brave enough to question once we all confound these reasons? When? Will we never forget that our remnants are never sought for by the lack of urge?

We are all curious, we all know this. So why try and lie so inconspicuously, then?We know there’s no reason to.