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‘Lo child,

Welcome to the Gentle Cult. You might have noticed the world ending outside your window recently — well, we noticed a long time ago, and we’ve been mapping the wasteland. Got a little guidebook and everything. Here are some things we’ve found in the rubble this week:

Booty Roll

We know you depend upon us to regularly top off your Booty Meter, in accordance with the demands of Booty Ghost, whom we venerate.

This week’s standout booty is that of Sarsya, another of a handful of succubi we’ve been 3D printing and painting lately. …

Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

“I don’t know,” I say. “ It feels like therapy has only made me worse at making friends. I’m so conscious now of all the fucked-up things I used to do, and all the things I should never have let people do to me, and it just makes me want to hide from people until I’m whoever I’m supposed to be.”

“I don’t understand that.” My coworker isn’t really paying attention to my answer to the question she asked. I’d be angry, but it’s probably the only reason I answered her so honestly. She continues, “It always seems like you…

“Climb,” Gentle Zacharias, Nov. 2019

Being a person is hard. You may have noticed. In fact, I’d say it’s probably the hardest thing in the universe to be at this moment in time.

I’ve spent the last two years in therapy, working through my CPTSD. Therapy, especially trauma therapy, is a process wherein we build ourselves consciously with the help of an impartial observer. We discard the experiences we’ve had that no longer serve us, determine which qualities are part of the person we want to become, and take steps to become that person. …

Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash

So I was bopping around the internet today (I know, I know, but we all do it) and stumbled upon this discussion of our next would-be digital overlords. Is anyone but me completely terrified right now? I mean, more terrified than usual. Above and beyond the basic ambient level of terror we’ve all come to enjoy daily.

You’re telling me this company would like to compile a comprehensive list of my purchases, travel plans, location, associations, memberships, security measures… and then tie this profile they’ve made to my fingerprints and iris, so that it cannot be detached from my physical…

As the first entry in a spicy new genre I’m prepared to call the father-fighter, Hades lets us join Zagreus, the immortal son of the eponymous lord of hell, as he works out some daddy issues the only way the Greek gods know how: trading mortal blows and expensive gifts until someone consents to stay dead. It seems that Hades’ erstwhile squeeze Persephone has wearied of the old man’s sparkling wit and sunny disposition, and lit out for the surface, leaving her godling son to absorb an endless torrent of divorced-old-man whining and backhands, and the underworld in a state…

At the worst time in my life, I had nobody. No one to talk to, no support, no family, no friends. I had users and abusers who groomed me, and indifferent people who stuck around because they were bored. It makes me feel like none of this is worth it or really matters. I may get better one day (as in be able to function again, not feel like dying 24/7) but even that’s not guaranteed. I’m sure if that does happen, I’ll meet people who want to be with me. But it would feel a little bit fake. Why…

Photo by Magda V on Unsplash

I let my neighbor know beyond the hill,
and on a day we meet to walk the line
and set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
Robert Frost, “Mending Wall”

So we talked the other day about surviving criticism from our loved ones. Certainly there’s plenty flying around at this moment — the generational differences in how we’re all coping with our evolving fascist hellscape alone are inspiring a lot of… unsolicited input, let’s say. Every generation has some notes for its forebears on how things ought to have been…

Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash

Your girlfriend is mad at you.

You can tell. She hasn’t said anything yet, but you can tell. The hug she gave you when you came in was halfhearted, and she’s been trying to ignore you while you’ve been trying to start a conversation all night long. Every time you throw out a topic and she shrugs and turns away, you feel this dropping feeling in your stomach, something like nausea, something like vertigo. You want to walk out of the room, get angry, cry. …

Well, kids, I wrote another fucking poem. At this point it’s starting to resemble dysphoria, the way I insist I hate poetry. I’m sure there’s a school of self-loathing poets somewhere I can align myself with.

This one comes in the form of an open letter to my mother. I’ve come to understand a lot of things about her during the last year and a half in therapy, even though it’s just been me on the couch — she worked so hard to make me into her, you see. You can’t shape clay without leaving your fingerprints on it. …

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

The whole country is infected with it right now. You can see it seeping into discourse like a poison, choking off voice after voice with scornful cynicism. “Impeachment is meaningless — no president has ever been removed from office that way!” “The damage has been done, why disrupt the system further?” “The system itself is rigged; there’s no point in playing at all.”

“You poor fool,” they say. “Don’t you understand there’s no point in fixing anything if you can’t fix everything?”

Listen. I get it. We’re all in a frantic fog right now, the kind of mindset you fall…

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