bootleg self-help demos

by marcus scott williams

in my meadow upstairs, i build symphonies sampling the secured-beeping of car alarms that rise around me and Lu w each parked car we pass. that is exactly the type of place Austin Texas is.

i arrive at the origin story of every paranoid delusion i been had. so, bare w me. imagine my thoughts displayed before me, flashing nonlinearly a la the last half of Neon Genesis Evangelion, imagine like when Shinji is trapped inside Eva Unit 001 and becomes one w his consciousness … yall feel me. each of these images — and there are literally hundreds, simultaneously stacked — cutting, jumping back and forth. each image can be a dream, a memory, a sensation, for the sake of keeping track though, they often have been entirely fabricated situations using the above to build their own anxious environments. my brain creates these as a protective measure, running a number of scenarios so i can be wholly prepared for whatever i’m projecting myself walking into. it’s a defensive mechanism ive cultivated subconsciously since a lil one, born from the warm springs of my anxiety, strengthened by my artistic sensibilities — for a long time til recently i described this as an“overactive” or “vivid” imagination, but ive come to terms w the line in the sand. zoom in on one of these fabrications: i’m runnin thoo the scenario, playing out all eem possibilities, and like i’m deep, welled-up, stuck in it. i get stuck on anything too long and i make myself believe issa reality, by which i mean i’m living it. once i’m in i’m in. i’m in playing out the worst case scenarios. preparation, and cuz i’m stuck i can only subconsciously get unstuck by … i never get that far. i gotta stop myself from getting that far. anyway by this point my anxiety has risen to such a level that it threatens my comfortable reality — ive unlocked my multiverse. i wanna skrrt back home, first i need a definition for that…

…click here to read bootleg self-help demos

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Photo Credit: Kassandra Pinero


marcus scott williams is a writer and artist whose current works investigates the borders between literary genres, radical vulnerability, and improvisation. he is the author of “Sparse Black Whimsy: A Memoir” (2fast2house 2017) and “damn near might still be is what it is” (Noemi 2022). he loves and appreciates you.