1. I know who did it

sauna-realityFor me the program, started quite suddenly and unexpectedly. I had no idea what it was, who these people were and only a faint idea of why they might be after me.

It began one day when I was going for my workout at my local pool. One of the only things to do in the small town that I live in is go to the pool. They have a great gym, a pool, hot tub and sauna. I go regularly to stay in shape (and secretly sculpt my abs and guns in preparation for the times ahead… )

I had just finished my weights, and had done some stretching in the kiddy pool when I decided to go for a sauna. It was the middle of the day on a Tuesday or something, so there weren’t that many people there, and I was enjoying a relaxing time that day.

I walked into the sauna with the usual intention of sitting in the top row to get the most heat, but that day I wasn’t alone. Three people had arrived before me: a tall, muscular guy that looked like a questionable masseur of some, a shorter intense looking fellow of latin american descent, and a thick limbed man with close cropped hair and a splatter of tattoos up one arm. Normally I don’t a crap about being polite, especially when it comes to my sauna time. But this day, as I entered the middle of this triangle of goons, it was as if I had bumped off of some kind of force field. I felt some kind of pressure to sit on the lower bench next to the thick, vaguely military looking guy.

So I sat down, closed my eyes and decided to pretend they weren’t there. No sooner did the first drop of sweat start rolling down my back, when Popeye piped up with a story.

“I just got back from Thailand, last week. I got mugged in the middle of the street.”

Cool, I thought. Now that sounds like an interesting story.

“Really?” I said.

“Yeah, I love Thailand. I go there all the time. You’d love it there. You’ll fall in love,” he replied.

Visions of child brothels came back from youtube videos I had watched about the child sex trade there. Not the kind of romance I’m after bro.

“I hear it’s nice there yeah. So did they catch the guys?” I asked.

“There were five guys that surrounded me … they had WEAPONS.”

“Weapons eh?” .. little fucken cowards need weapons huh? hAHAHA. Oh-oh, here come bad guys with bang bang toys! Haha. Wait ’till they get a load of Flash. It’s Elvish. Mwahahaha …

“But I didn’t care.” he continued.

“Haha, I know Right?? It’s like HERE I AM! Come and get me! Hhahahaha!” I shouted funly with a smile, hoping to get a laugh out of massage boy at least. Would these guys share my love of shit-bag-jitsu? I hope so!

Tick tock. Tick tock.


The sweaty wooden faces of the boards around me just sat there through my cackles.

“They were half my size, and I had no problem taking care of them,” he continued.

I had a chance to get a good look at the side of his face at this point. Hadn’t seen this guy, or any of these guys in here before. I noticed a certain softness in them, what I could only describe as a feminine quality. It reminded me of that french snuff film, about the gay underground rape clubs. And yes, massage guy did seem to have a kind of angelic quality about him.

“As if it’s size that counts right?” I interjected laughing sarkasstically. Hahaha.

I really wasn’t vibing with these dudes at all. They just didn’t get me. But I persisted in the hopes that we might somehow stumble upon just the right conversational ingredients to get a laugh or two. I had faith in ex-military pedophile guy. He would lead the way. And besides, they started it.

“Yes, you should definitely go to Thailand. I know you will like it there. You’ll fall in love. Just go, move there. Anywhere but here. Anywhere outside of North America.”

Well if this had been just a weird conversation with some fresh meat in the sauna up to this point, it was now definitely becoming much more than that. It was becoming: A MESSAGE.

Duh duh duh duhhhhhhhhh.

NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE, gives you travel advice like THAT where I am from. And believe it or not, I am from EARTH, fuckers.

Yes, the penetrating intent of this burly messenger sweating next to me was clear now. (Go to Thailand. You’ll love it there!)

Ahem ……

“I don’t think I’d go to Thailand right now anyways. Isn’t there a civil war going on there right now or something?” I contributed.

“Yes, the army has taken over the government,” he replied.

“Haha, don’t you just love martial law. I mean how ridiculous??!! It’s like, okay WE’RE TAKING OVER! Haha. WE’RE IN CONTROL NOW!! hahaha. What a joke. I mean who are these guys?” hahaha.

Now if I weren’t a Natural Born Social Sadist*, I’d a been kinda uncomfortable at this point. What a crowd. I mean work with me here people!!! Three witty comments with a solid delivery and a healthy dose of sarcasm to boot: still not even a Twitter. I mean what do you people want from me? A marching band or something?

For some reason, I still wanted to build a bridge, so I thought I’d continue talking. As usual, all I could think of was political topics involving mass murder, starvation, bombing and such.

“I can’t believe what is going on these days. What is happening to the world? Did you hear about Syria? Two million people displaced wandering through the desert. Unbelievable!” I held out hope that he might be real with me and offer a different perspective on things.

“Yeah, that’s what happens when you have all those al-qaeda terrorists everywhere. They cause nothing but problems.”

Oh man. Obviously this dude doesn’t know what’s really going on behind the scenes. But who knows, maybe he’s open minded. Come on guys, I need more cool friends. Say something interesting. Anyone? Anyone? Ah well, as usual it was up to me to offer an alternative perspective.

“Yeah, well either that or it’s the C.I.A.!” I offered.


dead. silence

like a radio broadcast into our heads.

I watched a bead of sweat drip down his cheek. It felt like a sauna in there.

“I believe we have uncovered a complex**, Captain,” said my inner voice. “The subject is at a loss for words as his brain capacity is occupied completely with finding a socially acceptable, albeit no doubt, scripted response to the topic introduced … Awwww-kwerd.”

The silence reverberated for a drum beat or two. and time, like some stupified murderer, seemed to stand still.

In that moment, I knew

he knew

everyonethat was anyonein that sauna knew

that I was right:

The C.I.A. had done it. (The voice of an ex-cia whistleblower echoed in my mind: The C.I.A. is everywhere.) I had confirmation from skynet. The C.I.A. IS everywhere. 

Holy fuck …

We jibber jabbered for a waste of time more: go to thailand, blah blah blah, yada yada, fall in love, blah blah blah. Then finally, massage guy and pill daddy left.

I looked down at my belly button, and wiped some salty grime out of it. The last remaining member of Sweat Club however, my new found friend from columbia/guatemala/ecuador, was still there.

It was going to be a sweat off …

* Someone who takes pleasure in making people feel uncomfortable by insulting them or making inappropriate and/or slightly condescending comments.

** A complex is a term defined by the German psychologist Karl Jung. A complex is a core pattern of emotions, memories, perceptions, and wishes in the personal unconscious organized around a common theme, such as power or status (Schultz, D. & Schultz, S., 2009). Primarily a psychoanalytic term, it is found extensively in the works of Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. An example of a complex would be as follows: if you had a leg amputated when you were a child, this would influence your life in profound ways, even if you were wonderfully successful in overcoming the handicap. You might have many thoughts, emotions, memories, feelings of inferiority, triumphs, bitterness and determinations centering on that one aspect of your life. If these thoughts troubled you, Jung would say you had a complex about the leg (Dewey, 2007).

Jung found evidence for complexes very early in his career in the word association tests conducted at the Burghölzli, the psychiatric clinic of Zurich University, where Jung worked from 1900–1908 (Daniels, 2003). Jung developed the theory out of his work on Word Association Test (Daniels, 2003). In the word association tests, a researcher read a list of 100 words to each subject, who was asked to say, as quickly as possible, the first thing that came to mind in response to each word (i.e. CIA), and the subject’s reaction time was measured in fifths of a second (Daniels, 2003). (Sir Francis Galton invented the method in 1879.) Researchers noted any unusual reactions—hesitations, slips of the tongue, signs of emotion (Daniels, 2003). Jung was interested in patterns he detected in subjects’ responses, hinting at unconscious feelings and beliefs (Daniels, 2003).



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