Monday, December 15, 2008

The inadvertant racist

It is a surpisingly racy feeling, to look, late at night, into other people's windows. watching them stand in their kitchen or living room, sleeves rolled up. They are aware, I suppose, but do not focus on it. It is astonishing how much we put ourselves on display, hoping to be held gently by those who view us. Man seeks reassurance, acceptance by his peers; seeks to find a hand to hold in the sucking black.
Seeing past the curtains, through the warbled glass, into the warmth, the mellow pool of heat, feels like tearing through the skin of an orange, sinking my eyeteeth into the pulpy treasure.

Monday, December 08, 2008


I had what I will refer to in my later years as "a brilliant idea".
Minutes later campbell's soup joined cooking sherry in a deep shiny pot on the stove.
I overcooked the ravioli, but somehow it all turned out perfect.
Needed mushrooms.

Friday, November 28, 2008


"Don't you ever learn?"
Oh but yes, yes I learn.
I learn in the quiet ways, the side ways, the hidden ways. You are angry with me, impatient; what are you doing now?
I willing leap into my mistakes again, ("You think something different will happen? It's exactly the same!") but oh, you don't see. Something has changed. I have. This new me hasn't made the same mistake. It needs to learn. To science this mistake. After the error, I devour my mistakes like creme bruille, so sweet, breaking the crispy crust.

Watch me learn.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Now available in a smelley box on wheels!

In self-defence against my driving I have decided to start jumping (i.e. NOT drving) all of my runs.
The positive? More time to write, think, and relax my overstrained forearms.
The negative? Not everyone in the shop is a better driver than me. It just means I won't be pegged with anymore accidents.
In other news I have broken down and purchased a car.
Angels weep.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My roommate Jared's anti-depressing advice

"Well, I've been feeling kinda bummed out lately..."
"You should stop eating cactuses."
"I...uh...Yah. Yah that might work."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Stolen Recollection

Trees flip past like the legs of a million soliders marching. Fields carefully tended iced in frost. A steel silo stands like a bugle call beacon.
Remembering, by this little red smile, what was given up for me. Young boys, older men, left home, hearth, hearts, to travel far away to the cold and fear, to fight for me. Plans left off, opportunities sacrificed, lives cut short.
In the morning and at the going down of the sun,
We will remember them.

Friday, October 24, 2008

As the poet says

Transformed utterly, a terrible beauty is born.
For once I am reminded of the power of my sex. The launching of a thousand ships from the look in her eyes, curves of a graceful arm shatter an empire, her tears salting the ground.
My motherly grief denied I turn to my other soltice; the avenging fury of a lost angel, wielding my rage like a scythe, laying waste, ravaging in my despair. Full aware of my childish actions, I am as powerless to stop them as those in my path.
I, Hiroshima.
I am a woman scorned.
Hell hath no fury.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Nothing left

I wrote a huge post about how frustrated and disappointed with myself I was for my complete inability to make anyone, myself included, happy, and accidently deleted it.
The irony is reaching critical levels.
I'm going to bed.

futuere stercus

Sunday, October 12, 2008

What awkwardness caught

What strange awkwardness, caught in my throat; this cough is never enough to pluck it, steaming in the cold air, from the bottoms of my lungs. It was transplanted, as am I, into a place it did not belong in; I wonder if it feels as I, my mouth far too wide, too open, the glitter of my necklace heavy on my clavicle, the scents in the air all merge like the sepia on antiue photos. I am surprised to find I am old enough for them.

Last night, while fetal in the cold, fingers sticks of lead, back a curving branch of beef on the butcher's slab, I dreamt beneath my fluttering lashes; my work partner and I, there was fear, a puddle of urine, and a sensation I wish I was not familiar with, of standing on one's head, surrounded by a honeycomb (but not sweet) of metal that sacrifices itself around me. Now we, four who are loved, dearly, deeply, travel home in this tiny precarious aspect, at speed our ancestors never dreamt of, in a tiny pool of lamplight, on this round globe of earth that cannot even acknowledge us, how much we need it, it's tiny passengers.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Mental invading forces

It has been a long time since I have had a sleep-over in someone else's house like this, I suppose. It is a strange feeling, crashing
(ooh yes crashing, since I have already broken something, the washer, damn knobs. Now I must glue it, and wrestle with the confession. What an awkward situation to be in, the strange complete familiarity of living in someone else's house but not even knowing how to address them.)
in a new house, no, a new home.
Many times I have stayed with family, even lately house-sat, but I adopted those area with such complete ease, having seen them many times, usually with the comfort provided by the aura of someone who has known me since diapers were haute couture.
Yet now?
These stairs are unknown to me, the noises all alien.
I'm moving through it like a tourist at a museum.
Staring at things like the consumers in Ikea, my fingers itching to touch everything, even the chairs I can't pronounce.

All this strangeness has done one good thing; The added adrenalin has spurred me to do some things I've been meaning to get done, so far I've completed three loads of laundry and read half-way through a book I've stared at for a week.
And now I'm surfing through garbage on the internet.
Perhaps this could be good for me?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Excuse me mister, I'd like to borrow some of your time.

I'm living on illicit time. I make silver tounged promises, compromises that wish for wings. 2 more minutes, 3 more hours, 1 more day, anything.
Time still confuses me. What possible effect could such a untangible, relative, vague concept have? More and more I find it standing in my way, or even behind me. Sometimes it trips me, sometimes it carries me. The hardest thing is to court it. Learn to dance with it, the proper seduction that changes daily; slow, sweet, furiously panicked, he is never the same twice, and because of that;
I may never be the same again.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Summer mournings

Staring through the bus window glass at a man staring out his car window at a Tim Hortens cup that is miraculously still upright in the road, summer waves goodbye, opens the way for a loving fall, the trees tentative in their yellow, but a million leaves on the ground already, washing through my steps toward my connecting bus, wishing I was camping in this perfection, with the yawning blue sky and the wind, staring at the woman staring at me staring at her wondering if I could overpower her and steal her double-double...

I am not awake today, wandering blearily in the sun through my kitchen windows. Instinct dresses me, I catch my bus on time, but this day has not even started, oh no, not even started not yet. I have a million hearts to break yet, and a million hearts to be broken. Possibility cradles me easing me into the cavernous bowl like an underground lake, so black it has no bottom, making me aware of my feet, standing on a thousand miles of nothing, perhaps watched, in their pink vunerability, by slick eyes with clear eyelids.
Every movement squeezes my heart; I am a sleepy ninja.

Monday, September 08, 2008

More work

Heavy, scarred man with a diamond earring like a gypsy's eye by campfire tells me he's never met anyone who wanted to join the army. Tells me how he takes his three year old son, rain or shine, to stand by the Highway of Heros in Toronto, waving a flag fo the fallen soliders. His voice is wistful, he starts for a a moment (such a big man stumbling?) saying he thought about it for a while, but with his, not with such a young son. His voice stops for a moment, and suddenly my hands are far too awkward and I don't know what to do with them.

Says he would support his son if he wants to. Wants to give him the chance others said he didn't have.

Isn't that what the army's for?
To give a chance when others say you may not?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I'm so happy.
Sitting here, adding things to the internet with my decaf coffee in hand.

I love myself so much, they gave me a special jacket so I can hug myself all day.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Notes on the hitchhiker's guide

It's been so long, so very long since anyone came to fulfill my purpose. To give meaning to my hollow existence. I feel so lost, barren. Without my purpose, who am I?
The most cruel fate is remembering what it felt like to be used,, but not feel it.

Doesn't anyone need into this storage closet?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fiction work

I can feel my hair stand up. holding this tiny rectangle in my sweaty hand. What do I do with it now? To keep it would be unthinkable. To throw it away, less so. It is funny that this stupid piece of plastic-y cardboard has stapled itself into my life.

This morning was dull. I made my bed, smoothing the comforter to the corners, drank a coffee, greeted my boyfriend with a kiss, and stepped out in cute pink flips flops for a relaxing day off in the park.

We had been out about an hour, my shorts were starting to chafe, and our hands were sticky with cotton candy, when we noticed a magician doing card tricks on a street corner. I've always loved card tricks, so I dragged my man over, and joined the throng.

He had on tight purple and black striped pants, old fashioned buckle shoes, and a jacket with an outrageously boring flower. He had a mustache that had seen better day, but well manicured nails. I suppose he caught me blushing with excitement because he pulled me into the center and announced I would be his "Lah-verly Asseesstahnt." (rolled his head and his tongue, hanging out,in a strange pivot as he spoke) I was delighted.

He instructed me to remain patient as he ran to his velvet- lined trunk to grab his special cards, so I stood awkwardly, trying to decide what to do with my hands while the crowd stared at me. Soon, he had returned, brandishing a deck of ordinary cards, well worn, however.

With the same tongue and head roll that made me begin to wonder if he was deranged, he instructed me to pick a card, any card, and replace it in the deck without showing me. I pulled out the seven of clubs, vaguely saying it to myself a few times before replacing it smoothly inside the deck. while I was thus engaged he roamed the crowd, making fashion commentary that seemed completely arbitrary.

When he returned, I handed him the deck, again reminding myself of the card. He seized it from my grasp with both hands, then, scarcely looking, pulled one out and yelled, "Is THIS your card?"
I looked at it and, after reassuring myself, told him it was not. He turned it to his face in surprise, that I had assumed was theatrical.

The crowd giggled as he straightened his arms in his sleeves, and tried again. His hand shook slightly as he waved it over the deck, muttering vague words. The crowd ooh-ed like obedient children and he whipped put a card, "Is THIS your card?"
Again I shook my head, and the crowd drew in, smelling suspense.

The magician grinned and wrapped both hands around the deck, then began to squeeze. His grin became a clenched tooth-ed grimace as his knuckles whitened and his fingers went blue. I backed up, unsure, and the crowd began to mutter nervously, no one seemed sure what to do.

I became aware of my boyfriend moving up behind me at t the same moment the magician first cut himself. A thin eddy of blood ran from his finger to the ground, and people began to move, some in to stop him, some away, disturbed. Two big men pulled at his elbows, trying to stop him as more and more blood appeared, but his face and arms remained unmoving. His eyes had not left mine.

Suddenly, he released and, pulling out one final card, "Is THIS your card?"

I thought about lying, but I hesitated, and in that moment he read it in my face,

"Oh. Oh well."

and moved to clean up his stage props.

My boyfriend put his hand on my arm and we walked away.
The day was obviously over, but we tried not to talk about it as we said goodbye. I unpacked my stuff, a few interesting market finds, and shuffled around the kitchen, craving coffee.

In the cupboard, in the sugar bowl, is the seven of clubs.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I have in my head

I have in my head a tearful admission from a young girl. She had gone to see the doctors and they have pronounced (labelled?) her fat. "but you're so tall!" I had insisted, but to no avail. She told me they had charts. Had measured, evaluated her, and had found her not wanting, but ample. I recall her stature, tall, curved, perfect. She is, in my head, the original amazon I now aspire to be.
I wonder if she knew. Knows now, how beautiful I remember her.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This is why I write

I'm so full right now. My ears full of bass, orchastrating my heart to the rhythm of my songs, my eye of the sunset, safety and sherbet orange, my lungs with oxygen, my arms of blood, my legs tingle with lactic buildup, trying desperately to push myself another inch further, my nose of the smell of cut grass, under my toes, my hair of sweat, my tounge thick in my mouth I want to pull the world into this open grass field in front of me, into my heart, show them the hunter we came from in the passion of fatigue, the hope of one more step under the pave...meant of my sneakers.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Need Goldbond

It's late at night, I'm bussing to work and I'm in one of the worst moods I've had in recent memory. I'm not sure why, but I think it's exaserbated by the fact that I have had no time for the gym or friends this wek due to my work schedule.

With some time on the company range, in the gym, on the sparring mats, and in the dark field with airsoft equipment all coming up, my mood promises to imprve, but I can only hope to do no damage to my close relationships with my grumpyness until it does.

Since my phone has become my mobile computor, I can promise some updates to my ongoing writing, with some interesting directions . Reflections on my own life within the writing has led to answers in both.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

La Clare de la Lune

Never before have I fallen in love in stillness.
There has been love in passion
in the crazy heat
hands clasped in a tornado
in a hurricane

It is so easy to be in love
when your heart is already pounding

But never before have I fallen in love in stillness

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

La Trivia-ta

Bahahaha! You are reading what is the fruits of my heartened three day pursuit of a mobile blog post! Rejoice, for I am finally posting this from my phone!

Go listen to Forest City Lover's "Orphans" to rejoice with me. I shall post more anon.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The day of my Father

I'm so embarassed it's been so long since I updated, but life has been mobile, and this is the first day completely off I've had in a while. Not to say that it hasn't been fun.

I have been training for my armored car job for the past few weeks, and it was surprisingly tough. I found myself hiding in the bathroom crying in frustration at one point because I could no longer force my shoulders to hold the revolver up and steady in order to fire the last few shots I needed to pass the course. I went back and tried again, and passed, but I can say that I would not have, were it not for the encouragement and patience of the instructors. I owe them so much.

Despite the frustrations and the struggle, I discovered many things; recoil is all comparative (something you think has a lot only has a lot when you haven't fired anything BIGGER...yet) I hate firing around barracades, preferring to stand and draw like a twit, which is still remarkably successful even when being fired at, and that I am a surgeon with a shotgun.

My first few days of work have been idyllic; I enjoy the sensation of wandering around with a gun and a bullet-resistant vest, and I don't think I'll ever tire of telling people what I do, and seeing their faces.

My coffee this morning, on Father's day, I like to think I'm drinking in honor of him. True, I woke him up with a phone-call this morning, but he did get many more hours than he would have, had we all been small obnoxious children still.

This past weekend, I travelled home to see my brother graduated, and (Omg, he's so tall and he's such a grown-up! I'm so proud of him!!) see the family home again, given that it had been two years since I had been back. Other than finally recharging, and re-discovering where I came from (It has changed completely and yet remains the same.), I took something back home with me. An old family rifle that belonged to my dad, and to his dad before him. It's old, but it's in incredible shape, and still works perfectly.

The coffee and pancakes I made today taste better than usual.

Friday, May 23, 2008

the Leviathan sleeps....

I wish I could say I've been neglecting my blog because I have been asleep, but unfortunately, sleep is one of the aspects of my life that must suffer in order to accommodate other things.

So is my blog. I have been thinking of interesting posts, but unable to find the time to post them. So I'm going to make a commitment. I shall attempt to write every half hour before bed!
This is, of course, after I come back from two weeks of "vacation" read: intense training that requires an athletic cup.

I have much excitement to relate, but two scenes ought to suffice for now;
I'm sitting in a shower, literally, of money. Twenties falling around me gently.
and two
I'm realizing how difficult it is to tie your shoes with a bullet-proof vest on.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Notes on an Unnatural habitat

I've learned the new site well enough to write again and still achieve all the patrol objectives, but it still takes every ounce of self-control I posses to refrain from sending a message that runs thusly:
"Dear Boss
Whatever I did, I'm sorry.
I can change, just please take me back! (to Dell)"
Perhaps I simply dislike change, but it seems the only benefit to this new site is the classical music playing on the loudspeaker.
In a few areas there are alarms that go off constantly while you patrol them; my partner says you get used to them, a process I call "aggravated hearing loss".
So far I've evicted 7 vagrants, found one pile of human fececs, and yelled, "No, I don't have a heart! I'm on duty!"
It smells of plastic and a life-size picture of a lady gives me a heart-attack every four minutes. I'm so short on sleep I think my hair is giving me a headache.
There are a dozen tiny delights, nestled for the dedicated observer, though. The incredibly lush greenery, verdant leaves and coral-hued blossoms, are real and lovingly tended by a flock of young women that look like flowers themselves, and cradle the leaves like baby birds. The old fashioned street lamp tucked ina corner, shining merrily, aching for a man in a trench to sing in the rain. Where Dell was like an infant child, sometimes crying and needy, but soft and loving, here is more like a high maintenance girlfriend, expensive and contrived, shrill and grating, but also full of breathtaking beauty. Probably a girlfriend all messed up on coke, though, since she's banged up inside and frequently smells of human urine. Since I spend several hours a night roaming her innards, does that make me a lesbian? Since my partner doesn't (at all), what does that make him?
Sixty-odd floors a night (walking); my legs should be sick, but really it's my stomach. This place doesn't love me, I can feel it. Dell and I loved each other, she talked to me, I cared for her. I am ashamed to say, I stay at the place for the money. Perhaps it can feel that, does not love me because it knows I will leave, here to go, as they say. I apologize to her, lay my hand on the granite stonework; they're warm, I think she understands.
I also think if my partner mentions his girlfriend on more time, I may jeopardize my police career.
A new song is playing, it's an organ piece, and all I can think is, "songs to wear a flowing, skimpy nightdress to".
Every time I crouch and then stand up I want to pass out because of the heat, but I know the building and I are getting along now; she lets me open her doors with one hang, a feat that thrills me more than it should.
Someone is growing a plant in a folger's can.
To properly experience this building, lie on your back on hot cement, with your feet on a cement wall, wrap your hands around some fresh plants, and listen to the sound of church bells. (the church bells come from not only the music, but also because if you tap your fingernails on the ever present handrails in the depths of the service tunnels, they sound exactly like huge bells)

I'm happy again?

Friday, May 02, 2008

Captain Bucher's Confession

The U.S. ship PUEBLO was captured by North Korean soliders on January 23rd
and held until the United States apologized for spying on North Korea. The crew,
by all accounts, were treated civilily, but the Captain was forced to write a
confession, which was sent to the United States. In order to maintain good
spirits and send a secret message to the government, this is what he wrote. The
North Koreans never realized the humor behind it, and sent it as a sincere

A final confession in anticipation of leniency for my crew and myself for the heinous crimes perpetrated by ourselves while conducting horrible outrages against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea for the purpose of provocating and annoying those stalwarts of peace-loving humanity. The absolute truth of this bowel wrenching confession is attested to by my fervent desire to paean the Korean People’s Army Navy, and their government and to beseech the Korean people to forgive our dastardly deeds unmatched since Attila. I therefore swear the following account to be true on the sacred honor of the Great Speckled Bird.
Following rigorous training in provacation and intrusion wherein each of my officers had to meet the overly high standards I had set for them we emerged from the bowels of San Diego harbor bent on setting records for the highest yardage gained in intrusions ever set in the standard patrol. Our first stop was Hawaii where I visited the kingpin of all provocateurs, including spies. None other than Fleet General Barney Google. He was all I had been told, sly, cunning, closed mouthed, bulbous nosed, smelling of musty top secrets and some foul smelling medicine that kept him going twenty hours a day in pursuit of the perfect spy mission. He talked haltingly with me but persuasively about our forthcoming mission. "By God, Bucher, I want you to get in there and be elusive, spy them out, spy out their water, look sharp for signs of electronic saline water traps. You will be going to spy out the DPRK. By the sainted General Bullmoose we must learn why they are so advanced in the art of people’s defense."
We entered into our assigned operating areas along the Eastern Korean Sea at latitude 39N and boldly steamed in a northerly direction to the farthest point we could. In so doing we had traversed Operation Areas Mars, Venus, and Pluto so named because like the planets, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is really far out. We knew that the lackeys of the Bowery Street Billionaires would never be satiated until we had found out all there was to know about the huge successes that the noble peace loving peoples of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had made in the recent past. Surely we had to find out how come such a newly created government could lead its peoples so quickly into the number one position. As we went about detecting this valuable information, particularly the oceanic salinity, density, ionic dispersion rate, humpback whale counts, both low and high protoplasmic unicellular uglena and plankton counts. This information was of the highest value to our own scientists for the development of war mongering at sea when no one was looking.
Now we have come to realize just how great our crimes were and we seek the leniency of the Korean people even though we are criminals of the basest variety and deserve only swift punishment of the just Korean law. Further, we know that our crimes are greater than those of any criminals discovered this century, nevertheless we ask forgiveness and promise never to engage in such naughty acts ever again if we are forgiven. We know that our crime is merely a reflection of the dastardly policies of the Bowery Street Billionaires and we can only hope they will realize their own responsibilities for our actions; because who else could have dreamed up such a heinous and foul playing ship as Pueblo and then searched out enough arch criminals such as we to operate it. Yea, we feel it is time indeed for those really responsible for us to step forward and accept their own roles and Admit, Apologize and give Assurances that they will never again prepare another spy bag to be filled with goodies.
In summation, we who have been rotating upon the fickle finger of fate for such long languid months give our word to the Great Speckled Bird that we will heretofor in all sincerity cleanse ourselves of rottenness and vituperations. We solemnly await our return to our loved ones so that the fickle finger can be replaced by the rosy fingers of dawn and salvation. So help me, Hanna.
S/L.M. Bucher

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Samuel Johnson

The student who would build his knowledge on solid foundations, and proceed by just degrees to the pinnacles of truth, is directed by the great philosopher of France to begin by doubting of his own existence. In like manner, whoever would complete any arduous and intricate enterprise, should, as soon as his imagination can cool after the first blaze of hope, place before his own eyes every possible embarrassment that may retard or defeat him. He should first question the probability of success, and then endeavour to remove the objections that he has raised.

I hate a fellow whom pride or cowardice or laziness drives into a corner, and who does nothing when he is there but sit and growl. Let him come out as I do, and bark.

A woman's preaching is like a dog's walking on his hinder legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.

It is more from carelessness about truth than from intentional lying, that there is so much falsehood in the world.

I would rather be attacked than unnoticed. For the worst thing you can do to an author is to be silent as to his works.

Sir, I have found you an argument; but I am not obliged to find you an understanding.


What the hell am I going to write about?
Maybe that funny site my friend sent me? I am bitter, but despite effort, still non-asian. Probably not a man either. So what could I write about better than him?

There's a debate raging about whether polar bears are a threatened species or not. That's neat. Also kind of sad to realize one day we may have to contend with trying to convince our children that white bears existed ("Yah, right, Dad. Hands off my brownie."). Come to think of it, they are weird, aren't they? Maybe this is nature fixing a mistake? Moving on.

Apparantly the phrase, "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo." is a complete and gramatically correct sentance. The meaning behind it is, "Bison from Buffalo, New York that harass other bison from Buffalo, are themselves harrased by other Buffalo Bison." Now buffalo looks like gibberish. You're welcome.

I have a recipe for steak sauce.
1 clove garlic
6 Tbsp Tahini
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/2 c soy sauce
1 Tbsp Mustard

Other good recipies include; Gnocchi, cottage cheese, and shredded chedder (Microwave, drain off excess water, eat) bananas chopped, mixed with cottage cheese, and my special smoothie; Bananas, blueberries, milk, and soy protein powder. I distrust eating things I can't microwave or blender.

Perhaps I could tell riddles?
What is interesting about this request;
"May I have a large container of coffee? Thank you."
other than, as one friend suggested, it is unusually polite for a coffee drinker.
Once you find the key, it's easy as pi.

Maybe writing about Kung fu? Last night we learned, "Badass Elbow Attack with bonus 'Dignity-Remover' Backfist". We followed that exercise with "Steps to make your legs go 'Euwww'". I am now convinced someone snuck into my room and sewed sandbags into my thighs.

Work is fairly exciting. I was being trained for a new site this past tuesday when "drama" occured. Interested parties can phone me for further details that probably shouldn't go on a public blog.

This marks the point where I really lose all my ideas for writing today. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tongue may have to be surgically removed from cheek

There are few things I like more than a good rainstorm.
One thing I like more is coming out of a workout so good my knees are vibrating, into a rainstorm.
The first rain of spring makes a sound like a violin and piano in perfect harmony and makes everything glisten like emeralds. Today has been a blessing of perfect timing and fortunate coincedence. It must have been on such a day that the first caveman rolled a rock down a hill and thought, "hey...". On such a day Newton decided to smell the fresh grass under a fruitful tree. On this day Columbus set sail. (well, two outta three)
I have compelling reasons to believe that I am the happiest woman on earth.

What a shame I shall have to give up the gym.
No, no wails nor tears shall sway me. I heed them not. It was decided today after a discussion with an acquaintance.
He was telling me how he planned to get fit for an upcoming trip and I enquired about his routine, since he was a novice, and I've been fortunate enough to pick up a few tricks here and there. He gave me a rough rundown (Chest, arms, back, etc.) I suggested a few things and he brushed them off, asking where I'd heard such stuff. I replied that I went to the gym regularily and avidly sought out sources of information on proper techniques. He bravely countered that I went "just to lose weight, right"? When I voiced that my main perogative was to gain muscle, he informed me that,
"Girls that are big are gross."
I laughed a little, made polite other conversation and moved on, but the doubt, lingered...
Have I been scaring away potential suitors with my ham-like quads? (Yes, I always compare my muscles to food.) Could I be possible that every foot I set in a gym diminished my pool of soulmates? (Yep. It's a pool.)
Say it is not so!
So to my squats I say, "away"!
I shall be dead 'er I lift again!
Never shall I clean and jerk, else I shall never find my own clean jerk!

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a class on Fainting to Frame your Dress to Best Effect.

In other news, enjoy the beautiful weather. I'm thinking picnic time!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sunrise Symphony

Over the desk he tells me of his dream

to plant mango trees in his home city.

He lights up describing the five

thousand trees he planted last summer,

ripe with free fruit and promise.

Explains how everyone could eat,

saving hundreds that starve in the street,

with self-sufficient trees for a small cost.

His round face falls as he describes

the tractors that chewed them down




wrapped in bureauocratic red tape,

his innocent hope shines through

like sunlight on the smell of mangoes

Already he's changed the world.


Sometimes, walking in this building, it worries me

how long some creature could continue snacking

on my body before someone discovered it. D :

Friday, April 25, 2008

Artemis and Apollo pt. 2

I am a child of the sun
He shows me everything in life
without bias
I trust
only his hands
my sun

I am known to him perfectly
never desiring to hide, nor could I
weighed, measured
approved by
the only measure
my sun

I find the Gold standard no coincedence
without him there is no light
no life
prime mover
origin of all
the sun

I am a mirror of his goodness
untouched by years
people come
people go
anchored by this
my sun

(Faith) eludes me, a dance
full of deception and folly, mocking
my head
No anchors here
cast into shadow
no sun

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Artemis and Apollo pt. 1

I am a child of the moon
by night we roam the streets
like hooligans
No photosynthesis
my skin drinks
the moon

I have confessed my sins to her
Her face heard and forgave me
loves me
because of
and despite them
my moon

I am stripped of my hubris
the insecurities that plague
locust thick
Lady Godiva
my white mare
the moon

I am an orphaned child
In the black forest of my heart
hiding wolves
only faith
amid burnt caravans
under my moon

(Science) bundled me away
taught me civilized life, mocking
my heart
No wolves here
there is also
no moon

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thought Unthinkable #3

I did it. After lying in bed for an hour, puzzling, I just got up, throwing back the fuzzy covers and activated the decanting code. Almost instantly the chamber emptied and the glass chamber slid back with mechanical smoothness. His knees crunched, as they folded with is ankles, into the floor, hitting it with a sound like a sack of wet cement, and then the only sound was the steady drip from the tube. We paused there, his pink wetness, like a damp spot on a child's bed, offsetting my statuesque granite skin. Then his body lurched forward and he sprawled in the fetal position in the puddle on the concrete.

I could feel a hot rush pass over my body and I wondered, briefly, if I had blown a fuse.
This was Ridiculous!
This was a MISTAKE?!
He lay there with a stupid, wide-eyed stare as I became hotter and hotter. Normally time passed like fleeting sparrows, but as I stood there the minutes dragged by. Never had I experienced time before!
How pathetic!
That I would be able to learn anything from this inanimate blob!
What a waste.
I turned on my heel and marched, disgusted, out of the lab.

For the next few months I avoided the lab, throwing myself into meaningless pursuits that I had long ago tired of. I did everything I could to keep him out of mind.
His frailness taunted me.
His inaction annoyed me.
Had I erred? Was I mistaken? If I was perfect, how could this be so?

When I finally mustered the courage to enter the lab, he was gone.
Where could he go?
The thrill of mystery, so long denied, was like a sip of perfect wine to a choked tongue.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

In my dreams I never fall

I realized today I have no idea what I look like in my dreams. Several theories (mostly touted out by the same people who believe that your dreams can predict your life, but also a few reputable non-crackpots) espouse that the way you appear in your dreams is your "true self"; that is, a blend of what you would like to look like with what you believe you look like.
Thus I am somewhat at a loss, having no idea what my "true self" looks like.
The current most accepted theory of dreams is that they serve as a dual problem-solving, memory-filing process. I realize few dreams resemble the days that produce them, but it is more a matter of association and connections, then true representation. Memory storage is hopelessly complex. That is why people typically cannot remember anything from before their fifth birthday or so; it's "stored" in a different memory framework, much akin to a computor trying to read a .jpg file with windows music player.

My dreams always follow one of two patterns: One, I am saving people or have a mission to save someone, two I'm lost and terrified. The strangest dream I ever had included me running through a maze that had no roof, only darkness above, which was filled with Samurai and russian peasants. The samurai would kill the peasants when they found them, and I was trying to save them, but I kept getting caught and beheaded, but it never killed me.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Apr 18, 2008

Too depressed to write.
I was right about balance.
My uppance has come.

Friday, April 18, 2008

La mort qui n'est pas petite ou bonne

There was an article in Esquire today, in which the author speculated that teenagers shot each other because they didn't realize that the person could actually die. Teenagers understand that when someone is shot, they die. What they typically fail to understand is the higher moral code at stake here. The idea that one should refrain from acting in a "bad" way because it is morally wrong, not because you might get caught. People are too often punishing their children by saying, "Because I said so" Or some such nonsense, without explaining that hurting someone is bad because the other person has the right not to be hurt by you, or the right to defend themselves in a sufficiently unpleasant manner. People are failing to develop a sufficiently advanced superego (postulated by Freud (yes he's a crackpot- Except this once)) to take responsability for their actions, and adjust accordingly.

I was in my kitchen today, making a sandwich of provolone and genua, under the dim spherical light, listening to the sound of typing from the next room; when I spotted a moth on the wall. Huge, fat, brown-velvet covered body; two massive, fuzzy wings folded neatly behind; slender, arching antennae wobbling precipitously in front. I shuddered (moths disturb me), and began to look around my little house for a shoe, newspaper, or some such implement of doom. Finally, equipped with my moth-remover paper, I approached the beasty from across the ceramic tiled floor. As I approached the moth, however, I realized I couldn't kill it. I could not move my arm, starting with the shoulder, moving the elbow, ending at the wrist, swishing the black and white weapon, to land on that fragile, unknowing creature. I could not imagine being the reason that the tiny brain that powers this barely-sentient bug stops puttering. "It would be almost instant. It would feel nothing, would know nothing." My brain told me; and I began to distrust it. What kind of brain would let me accept that as an excuse to snuff out this life? I threw out the paper, rammed my sandwich into the reusable plastic bag I use for my lunches and trooped out the door to catch my late-night bus.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Last stanza

So it has come down to us, mighty few, our backs to the wall as our opponents face us, brows furrowed in grim determination, hands full with implements of our undoing.

We've fought, so long it seems, and we've lost good people. In their memory, for their honor, we stand, ready.

I've been running so long, I don't know if I have the strength to save myself, should the next volley come my way.

From their eyes we know, they will do whatever it takes to defeat us. There can be only one victor here.

As I search for a way to save my comrades, an opponent turns to me and lets fly. A dull thud heralds contact with my abdomin. It's over.

A big, blue, squishy ball to the groin.
Guess I should've jumped left.

Dodgeball: If you can't take the heat, stay the fuck outta dodge.

Alternate end mottos also included:
-takes balls
-leaving you breathless
-because all you're good for is hitting other people
-shut up and throw
-not just for the playground anymore
-grab some balls
-because your girlfriend won't touch your balls
(I went with the "outta dodge" because I like cussing.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Gyroscopic Distemper

Things are good in my life right now.
Which makes me nervous.
I've long believed that things, moods and fortunes especially, balance. Sometimes I try to be miserable all day if I know the evening is important.
So good moods come with a sense of trepidation.
It's worse if I cannot find some bad to equal a good; what if someone is suffering for me?
The ultimate torture is to struggle on my behalf, and never allow me to make amends. In defence of my sanity, I adopt willfull ignorance about the origin of my clothes and food.
Even my heritage reflects this blend of oppressor to oppressed. Although, given enough history, whose doesn't?
I think nightshift might be robbing me of my ability to speak to people. I used to take after my dad, who has an innate ability to connect with strangers after about 5- 10 minutes. Every time I open my mouth now, a jackass comes out. (not to mention my main conversational partner is my roommate, a man who makes Dr. House look like Richard Simmons; although, he cut his hair and got a job today, while all I accomplished was to flood the kitchen and ruin my nails.) Perhaps this is my penance? For good fortune elsewhere, I will be alienated most everyone I speak to.
Perhaps I should stop whining and get out more?
Tomorrow holds the exciting prospect of a Dodgeball game. I'm heading out to watch, possibly even participate, in a dodgeball game with a team, coached by my boss, aptly named, "Dodgeystyle", (a name which causes me to stop and giggle uncontrollably for as long as 6 minutes at a time)Assuming I don't physically assault or offend anyone, this holds the promise of being an interesting social event!
Good luck to me!

(In anticipation, I have purchased a keg of Red Bull. Even if I fail at socializing, I should have some...insightful stories.)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Sight Unseen #2

This place is a mess.
One victim, mutilated, heavily, on the couch, grotesquely posed to watch T.V, the other in the shower, well, most of him. Camera flashes take it all in as men in sweat-soaked suits murmur respectfully about motives, epidemics, and, just once, about monsters.
What do they know about monsters?

After clearing the yellow caution tape, I take over the scene from the pirmary responders, and the witness: a seven foot angel, hunched in the corner, nursing a broken wing, his knee dislocated. He nods when I look at him and, if I'm careful, I could use this. I say out-loud, without looking at anyone specific,
"What happened here?"
The first constable gives me the rundown. I skim it for useful facts; none.
The angel, talking over him in a voice only I can hear, tells me everything he saw.
A man, allied with a demon, responding to his animal urges. The angel fought, saved the child, who I know has gone in the ambulance for a check-up and observation. The angel asserts this isn't the last we've seen of this man, but this is the most sloppy. If we're going to get him, we need to get him before he gets good.
"Someone give me something to run with."
The constable says it's no use; the place is (hah.) un-holy clean, but the angel points while wiping blood off his split lip.
I hurry over, finding a tooth embedded in the carpet next to the wall. People already think my powers of deduction are creepy, I'm not really worried it will arouse suspicion, but it may be prudent to exercise caution later.
I gesture for an evidence bag and, pretending distraction to the owner of the proffered bag, gaze directly at the angel's eyes,
"Thank you."
People are clapping me on the back, congratulating my 'great eyesight'.I just hope I haven't used up too much luck for us to pull clean D.N.A.

This new advantage both excites and scares me. We have a break on a huge case, these lucky-breaks usually only happen in one out of every 30 cases. This could be the greatest thing to happen to forensics since fingerprints. Should I tell others? It would be easy enough to prove I'm not crazy; pull some random ESP stunts. Here, my selfishness gets the better of me; This could raise me to international acclaim. I run the risk, however, of becoming too reliant on this new tool. I float through the rest of the day on a cloud of debate, finally clocking out early for once.

On the way home I grab chicken and corn from a mom & pop's corner market. My live-in friend has cooked for us both for the past month, so every night I arrive home to warm food. His skill seems to be increasing exponentially. I'm pondering bringing home increasingly weird food to cook with. He also made an attempt to clean the house, but I think his standard of clean is different from mine.
I'm...proud of him.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sometimes there's no words

One of the worst feelings in the world is disappointment. That dashed emotion of a stolen smile (Where again? It was right here...)
HELLFIRE! DAMNATION! Conflicted rage!
After months of desiring to run forward, I find I cannot even plant one foot.

Everything I do right now is wrapped up in annoyance, anger, and frustration.
I need a sparring partner.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Fiction work #22

He straightens his cravat, checking his shoes in the mirror again. Brown doe-skin breeches, a navy jacket, topped with a hat at a jaunty angle help to convince himself he's irresistable.
"Now or never." he thinks, as he grabs his silver-topped cane, heading out the oak door, across the cobbles, moving with purpose.
Today's the day.
He had lay awake all night, planning. After a few hours, he got up in his nightshirt, lit a candlestick and wrote feverishly by the muted light. When his masterpiece was complete, he threw off his sweaty clothes, flung open the shutters and stood in the moonlight, exhaling triumphantly.
God, what a rush; it was perfect. The diction painstakingly selected to suggest passion with purity, security with respect, patience with desperation.
He'd sealed it with a glob of gold wax and a kiss.
That morning, after only a few short hours of sleep, he lept out of bed, sure that this sunrise would lead to a sunset on his loneliness and aching desire.
She was a butcher. Somewhat below his station, but he didn't care. She was perfect for him. For weeks he imagined her reaction, her eyes would shine the way they did when he asked for her recommendation, her mouth curve in that impish little grin like when she suggested anything spicy. She would accept, they would be wedded and have several beautiful children he could teach the violin to. They'd be good at it if they inherited his ear; excellent if they inherited her exquisite hands.
They had just retired to a beautiful villa in his head when he noticed a man standing nearby. The man was dressed well but finished strangely with a maskerade mask, out of which two dark eyes stared, unwaveringly, at him. He looked around, but no-one in the crowd paid them the slightest attention. Finally, un-nerved, he asked,
"Do you want something?" (Which was odd, he decided later. He meant to say 'need'.)
"Yes. Your letter."
He goggled at the man. The letter was hidden in his pants pocket, and no-one knew he had written it.
"Why? and how...?"
"The letter. No reason. We will give you one million for it. But you will never write another."
The man was clearly insane, but he held a trunk that could have easily contained a million pounds.
"How do you know I won't go home and write another?"
"You won't. One million."
He was intrigued, and gestured toward the trunk,
"May I?"
As soon as he opened the heavy trunk lid, he knew he was going to trade. The rows and rows of heavily stacked bills was too enticing, too entoxicating. Besides, he could always write another, right? Right?

He closed the lid firmly, and fished the letter out of his pocket. He handed it over without looking at the man, who left without another word. The trunk was old-fashioned, but well made, and he carried it home without much difficulty. He didn't noticed the sun set as he counted it.

Three days passed while he was making arrangements for the money.

Finally after making sure it was safely inside the bank, fully documented and secured, he smacked his lips, rubbed his hands together, and sat at his writing desk with a fresh stack of paper and a bottle of ink, intending to write another. He began it the same way, using all the same words, but somehow, it felt hollow.

When it was finished, he re-read it, crumpled it carefully, and thoughtfully threw it away.

His palms began to sweat around the fourth letter. His fingers began to blister from pulling his collar away from his throat repeatedly.

After the twelfth revision he put his head on the paper and cried, the salt water mixing with the ink, throwing rainbows across the sheet in the morning light.

He spent the whole next day in bed, panicking that he had been cursed, sweating and crying like a fevered child. The life he had imagined was slipping away, smuggled away under that damn mask. What had they done to him? Who were they? What had he been thinking?
Later that week, he finally threw back the covers, leaping down the stairs three at a time, pausing only to add a heavy coat and untied shoes, before barrelling down the street. He tripped twice on his way, sprawling in the street in his dirty nightshirt, knees bloodied, tears streaming down his face, hands cut and rock-filled, his glasses long smashed, hanging off one ear. When he arrived at the bright blue butcher's shop, he hurtled through the door, rushing up to the counter in the mercifully empty store and kowtowed in front of her startled expression.

She listened patiently, after closing the store and retiring to the stockroom, while he sobbed his tale, clinging to her skirts and tiny waist. When he admitted he hadn't slept in three days, she stroked his hair, clucking under her breath.

They stayed in that tableau, his hands clenching her muslin, genuflecting at her feet, hers in his hair, head angled in concern over his back, until sunset.
When he finally awoke, he lifted his face to hers and asked simply,
"Will you be my wife?"
and was rewarded with the smile that he'd longed for.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Your Attention: Is it turned on?

There is a photograph. It is of a vulture waiting for a sundanese girl, crouched on the ground, as if in prayer, to die. It has been passed around the world millions of times, you cannot see it without being affected; it's creator killed himself, although there is debate as to whether the picture was the cause or not.

There is a theory. In quantum theory, the act of observing a particle determines whether it is decayed or not. The act of placing attention on something changes the item being attended.

Our attention, a biological process documentable in the cortex, changes the world simply by being directed. I did a paper on "The Effects of Neural Plasticity on Deaf Persons over time", in which I noticed that congenitally deaf people had two points of attention, which they could control seperately. Typically people only have one, which is defined primarily by memory. We remember what we payed attention to but what we recall later. Even subconsciously, we pay attention to something. If you daydream, you will still show a preferential treatment in recall towards what the main focus of your attention was.

It is, unfortunatly, not only what your eyes are pointing at; this is demonstrated by a simple experiment. Fix your eyes on the period at the end of this sentance. Now, read the words around it, without moving your eyes. It should be possible, since even blind people, or people without eyes, are capable of fixing their attention.

This is, unfortunatly, also the extent of our knowledge about this elusive process. The actual mechanics of attention are unknown. People, even without seeing, can tell when someone is watching them, with a disturbingly high accuracy rate. Is it pheromones? It is unlikely to be eye contact. Perhaps electromagnetic disruptions. There are computors now that respond to thoughts; you focus your attention on a sliding bar with two lights on it and imagine pulling the lights apart, and they move. What is the nature of the process at work here?

I think it is likely to be electromagnetic disruptions. This, however, makes me wonder, can a computor pay attention to something? If it can, how will this affect our views of "humanity"? Will a computor be human? My personal beliefs regarding sentience and the nature of humanity is that if you apply a personal moral code, with guidelines, then you are human. This shows a higher understanding of one's actions, the motivations, consequences, and ethical ramifications therein. If a computor becomes able to pay attention, and thus become self-aware, for it is only a matter of time before a source of attention turns to itself, will it be classified as human? Perhaps an animal first?

This is not a fully-developed idea, as I have been busily training people, but this was too interesting not to write on.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Fiction Work #21

I'm standing on the dark wooden steps, bright blue sky above me, trying to imagine where things went so wrong.
I recall being sold, not really a big deal, I had known it would happen. Somehow I never thought it would really occur, however, so my goodbyes held the flavor of unreality, devoid of the realization that I would literally never see them again. Sweet family, I replayed our last moments through my head a thousand times, searching for new truths as a tounge searches for raspberry seeds deep in toothy crevasses. We spoke on paper infrequently, but it was hollow and unfamiliar.
Not even the voice of my mother was allowed to come the many kilometers across the border from Austria to France.
They even took my name from me.
No longer could I be a child, I was alone in a den of vipers and I needed to be cunning and full of guile. I failed at even that; so full of sweetness and sugar. It was a small piece of luck that my husband (whom I met days later) seemed rather taken with me, if unsure what to do with me. Unable to treat me as a wife for reasons my pretty head didn't understand, he resorted to doting on me in a permanent courtship.
I was without a purpose. Bred solely to forge an alliance between two huge countries. Once a child secured that link, I was aimless; a pretty slip of art in a symbol of wealth. However, what a price that child came at. The windows would never recover, as would my relationship with courtiers.

Scared of my husband's growing intensity with the war he was financing (again, a permanent courtship over full involvement) I engrossed myself with mindless hedonistic pursuits, sure he would follow me, and in becoming happy, I would find myself fulfilled with the ultimate goal of being a good wife and a good daughter.
He once commented on my shoes; I bought hundreds.
He admired my dinner parties; they became legendary.
"I prefer your hair up."; it never touched my shoulders again.

Despite my machinations, he found me unintellegent, and did not confide in me. I sought to educate myself, but was hampered by the lack of early learning so critical to higher learning later. Indeed, my life became wrapped tight by the cords that had been weaved in my youth. I further dropped into meaningless pursuits, but my poker game improved.

I was unable to understand this swelling sense of desperation, this urgency within myself. I only knew that I desired to please him, to make this strange war-like behavior stop. How little I knew how grave my plight would become. My slightest nod, or even lack thereof, became a herald of chaos on black wings, unseen, hidden behind my huge skirts.

The penultimate blow came from a hideous diamond necklace that I did not desire, yet was gifted from an oblivious dunce. The people of France villified me, and my spirit finally broke. I felt trapped. Surrounded on all sides by unfamiliar and unfriendly faces.

I could sense the fall coming, heavy and dark, like the blood red opera curtain that announced "la fin". I was in denial, as I had been about my Goodbyes, and it seemed whatever the outcome, I was to have no hand in it.

The death of my husband crippled me, but it was the death of my dear little girl-friend that affected me the worst. Her lightness and razor-sharp quips had been the toast of many of my parties, and I could not imagine someone wishing her harm.

My "trial" was a farce; accused of everything and anything, I fought to save myself only where the reputation of my son was concerned. In my vehmenency and desperation, I stole the hearts of many mothers, all who had come to crucify me. This was a small consolation as the judge passed sentance.

This is all a dream, the cakes, shoes, dresses, parties, flowers, mansions, and other extravagencies, a million miles away, as I watch the steel blade, crusted, held up by a scratchy robe straining against the massive weight of the wedge. The smell of blood is eveywhere; I am familiar with it, but it calls up the worst moments of my life, and I nearly faint. Even in these last moments, I think of my reputation, of the reputation of Austria, of my late husband, everything I have struggled for, in my way, as best I could. I grit my teeth, calling up reserves of strength I never knew I had, thinking of my best times, of the way his hair shone in the light, of the tea parties in the garden, of my favorite purfume, of my children.

And I show them how a Queen, how Marie Antoinette, Maria Antoina, dies with dignity; on this bright blue morning.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Felicitous Feline

Oh for fingertips
and a fat-lipped smile
my cat, my self,
the bed, and I

With mischief, wit,
and knavery
my half-waked state she
plagues to taunt me

Acute aware
of my lament,
(Of dormant time
too quickly spent)

She looks at me
askance to say,
"Haven't you had
enough sleep today?"

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Fiction work #20

There is a line. From my clenched fist, down my arm, across my shoulders, up my other arm to my folded elbow. The ends of this line wish to touch, to bend; they pull together like there is a spring between them but I hold them apart, creating a vacumn, into which I put an arrow. This bar of steel, wood, and feather sits, still, in the cradle of this vacumn, waiting, poised for flight. A bead of sweat has reached it's capacity and now rolls down between my shoulder blades to join it's comrades in the liner of my warm jacket. My hip is itchy. It has been so for the last thirty minutes. I long to scratch it, but doing so would ruin the shot I have waited a week for. My mind has waited so long, my body can wait now.

My attention is focused on my quarry, who is big enough that I am allowed a glimpse into what mammoth hunters from days of yore felt. I can see his breath in the air, coming from his shaggy throat. He doesn't know I'm here.

Picking his way with almost glacial speed, determined not to miss a single morsal, so scarce in this weather, he moves closer. A step, a smell, a pause, a smell, a step. For the last hour, not a muscle has twitched on this forest cow that I was not aware of.

As the pivotal second draws closer, I put myself, my heart, all my focus, into the arrow, double checking the wind, the time, the temperature, ground height, altitude. My aim is perfect, straight to his heart, the barb will kill him instantly. Those antlers will be a prize trophy, everything else I will either consume, use, or feed to the dogs; not a scrap wasted. That is my gift to this noble beast. He will lay down his life that I, the greater predator, may eat, and I respect his sacrifice, for we are all part of the circle of rebirth
The moose just farted. I bark out a laugh, so involuntary, and the animal bolts. I release my shot helplessly off mark then just laugh and laugh.
What the hell else can you do?
I pack up my kit and go home; the giggles are fatal to my trade. I'll get something tomorrow. For now, there's supper.
I think I'll have beans.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Wicker Basket

The first indicator that this night was going to suck was when I decided to leave my friend's house, instead of sleeping over. I just felt too terrible to be entertaining, and wasn't interested in watching "Jackass".
The night had gone, I believe, from bad to worse when we realized, my sister, her fiance, and I, that we had missed the last bus of the night. My sister and I had little "big city" experience, so we broke down, pooled our resources, and caught a cab. Too tired to enjoy my first taxi ride, I stared gloomily out the window and tried to ignore the sounds of happiness next to me.
As I gazed insensibly, a man ran into my view. What a perfect metaphor for mankind's current state, I thought, watching this man hurtle down the center line of the road, surrounded by stationary cars and ashphalt. I dubbed him "Apollo", for the Greek God who stole his father's chariot to ride across the sky, dragging the sun with him. I made a little story for him, speculating why he was running (fitness, drunkness, humor, women) but none quite seemed to fit his free sprint yet determined gait.
He made it about twenty feet from my window when POW, he was mowed down by a shiny red grand am, who I cannot believe did not see him. (Later my sister insisted he was chased by a large, angry, man, but this doesn't fit my romanticised notion)
I remember covering my face with my hands, and I remember he was in a blue plaid shirt and blue jeans, but I do not remember the trip home after that point. I think about him sometimes.
Strange days.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Fiction post # 19

I remember the worst night of my life so vividly that I could direct the live action movie, should anyone ever give enough of a crap to watch it. It was only two years ago, back when I was younger, and dumber. I thought I could handle anything. What an idiot I was...

I turned the ignition key again and the iconic "Rrrr-rrr-rr" echoed through the deserted, lamp-lit streets. There was no sense trying again. I was stuck. It was two in the morning, on a frozen Tuesday night, in an unfamiliar part of town with a broken down car. Probably a busted alternator. I pounded the steering wheel for a bit to make myself feel better, then sniffed up my tears, and exited the car for the first house with lights on.

Mustering all my courage, trying not to think of what could go wrong, I rapped my knuckles on the brown, standard-issue door of the house at 10837- 55th avenue(So the chipper brass numbers showed, the police report would indicate, later, that this was inaccurate). After a few minutes filled with bizzare and suspect thumps, it swung open to reveal a big man in loose jeans and a sweatshirt.
"What?" He had terrible breath, reeking of booze. I noticed his mouth was wet.
"Hi. Um." I could feel my hands hide in my sweater- a nervous reflex of mine, "I'm so sorry. My car's dead and I need to get home, can I borrow your phone?"
He took his time scanning me up and down, and I knew what he saw; Shortish, slender, brown-haired, twenty-something college-chick, probably just off a late night study session. I fiddled with my hair. I hate when people stare at me.
He grunted a "Yah. Sure." and gestured to a cream rotary phone on a side table. It was close enough to the door that I figured I'd be fine should anything happen. I mean, I could run fast, right? Right?

I could feel him moving around as I made my call; He was big. 'Roid-monkey big. It was at this point that I started to doubt that this was a good idea. I relayed my name, address, and car details steadily, but my hands shook as I hung up the receiver.

He came up behind me, I could feel the floor flex through my heels, and put his hand on my shoulder, so heavy it weighed me down, asking, "How about a drink while you wait?"
I regret my answer. During my time in the hospital, I had a lot of time to think about how stupid I had been, and cursed myself for casually answering,
"Sounds good."

We sat at his kitchen table, snorking back whiskey, in view of the living room window, waiting for the truck to arrive. After a few shots (few? maybe several...) he got up and stood next to my chair, rubbing his hands on his visibly stained shirt.
"Well, I think that's enough for you..."
He wrapped his hands around my bicep, tried to pick me out of my seat, but I resisted. I just needed to wait until I saw the truck. His face reddened and he tried to jerk on my elbow, nearly dislocating it, but as he yanked I saw the truck out of the side of my vision. He had size on me but I knew he'd had a few and as he reached for my shirt, I stood up and drove the side of my firm hand into his neck in a chop. He flinched and his eyes bulged; "What th?" he began, but I was in full flight now, ramming my knee into his solar plexus. It forced the wind out of him and he went down like a sack of shit while I whipped out my cuffs.
"Michael Botada? You're wanted for crimes including grand theft larceny and arson."
I shackled his beefy wrists behind his back, too tightly for him to even wiggle, since I knew his type; they liked fighting, and if he got up, he'd have his weight over me and I wouldn't even have surprise anymore. His face grew crimson as he cussed at me, spouting entrapment and false arrest. I love these bottom-barrel, legal-knowledged types. I drove my boot into his knee.
"You little bitch! This is police brutality! I'll sue your badge off for this!"
I couldn't help but laugh.
"Oh I ain't the 5-0, boyo. I'm a gen-u-ine bounty hunter, and your name is 'Mortgage Payment' now. So shut up." I walked over his body, out the front door, where my team was waiting in the blue truck I had called for.
"Hey guys. Got 'im."
They went to work "taggin" him to bring in for payment, and I enjoyed a quiet smoke outside. He was the biggest catch I'd netted in my professional career that far. He brought quite a fair amount of prestige too; I was honored with the national hunter's award that chirstmas.

Oh, why was it the worst night of my life? I had a little more whiskey then I'd care to admit, and broke my leg on a hidden pothole ten minutes later; had to spend 4 months in rehab for the compound fracture, and missed my sister's wedding. Life's funny, ain't it?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Thought unthinkable #2

Too much a coward to decant him, I instead content myself to watch him floating, nude, yet shameless, in the very gel that feeds his body and his lungs. Every time I imagine opening it, setting him free, bringing him to conscious life, it seems so hollow, so contrived. For such a momentous occasion, what ceremony could exist? What would I say? What would I wear?

His house stands, waiting for him. Architecture and house-building were revoluntionized a few decades after a heat-malleable plastic was created. Soon someone could change any and all aspects of their domicile with a hot-air blower. Walls began to consist of three layers: Outside, a durable, heat-insensitive plastic that also provided plumbing, middle, a malleable metal sheet that conducted all forms of electronic signal, and an inner plastic that was extremly malleable and could be pulled separate from the walls to make bowls, tables, beds, anything. Some people still bought hard fixtures, for a time, citing their "classic nature", but even these were standardized to the new system. Moving lights, toilets, bath and appliances became a five to ten minute job; simply unplug, smooth over the old hole, plug in somewhere else.

The earliest form of this plastic was only available in a bright orange, but soon any color, pattern or texture was made available. The orange remained the least expensive, leading to the rise of the phrase, "Peach cheap".
Computors evolved to the point where they could read thoughts, and rearranging a house became as easy as daydreaming. Tiny projectors made color-changing instant.
As human bodies became more efficient, they outgrew the need for plumbing, and the plastic was made to conduct electricity. The materials required to build a house (no furniture) was reduced to a block the size of a person.
Other forms of waste were eliminated as well. Everything fell into one of two categories: Consumable or reusable. Anything that was not a consumable was legislated to be composed of the same plastic, thus when one were finished with an object, it could be molded into something new, or simply added to the walls.
"Throwing things out" became a children's game, then a legend, then un-known.
An unusual side-effect is that theft only dropped a minor amount. Only the rise of the collective unconscious finally stopped it altogether. Scientist agreed it was because the main psychological component for theft was control over another person, to take what they had, to control their need-fulfilment. Another joke among the emerging collective minds was for one person to "steal" another person's things.

I had a dream while I slept last month. He had come awake, alone, and hated me; he approached me, breathing heavily, and as he exhaled on me, my skin flaked off, tiny wisps of metal revealing a soft pink flesh that could be cut and would sag. I felt so naked, so open, like a sideshow to the world. As he stood over my weak frame, bent double as I had never known how to stand on spindly bone joints, he said to me,
"Now you are human. Like you have cursed me to be."
I awoke cold all over, my ribcage covered in a tepid sweat. Would he hate me for making him mortal when I did not need to?

Will he realize, I wonder, how beautiful I find him?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fine wine Tuesday

A cold has invaded my head, marching across my gray matter like gambolling purple fluffs. Everything above my shoulders is stuffed like cotton in an aspirin bottle, everything below, loose joints like elastic banded wood 2 x 4's.
My eyes feel pushed from behind, tight against their lids, and I've prayed a million times for something to happen to free up tomorrow. (Volunteering 2- 5, PAL-restricted 6-10, work 12- 8)I want someone to create an extra twelve hours in the day, tuck me into bed, comb my hair, and tell me I'm still a beautiful little amazon. Because I know I look terrible.

Oh no, that was no ploy to fish for compliments; I know I do. The first PAL-restricted course was taught today by the same man who taught me the PAL- non-restricted. He's seen me before, twice, for four hours, about three weeks ago, amid about 30 other students. I walked in today, first thing he says? "You look awful. You sick?"
Sometimes I think I'm hard to read, and other times I'm sure there's a neon sign above my head, "Michelle is talkative today because blah, blah, blah."
The feeling I am experiencing can be reproduced by burping up cheesesteak, and thinking of lane changing with no power-steering in philly on a drizzly Thursday while the radio plays a song with only acoustic guitar. Actually, it's best if you imagine an off-duty clown in a Bogart trench loping along the sidewalk, too.
Seriously though, I like Haiku. I like the concept, the execution, and the result.

This place gets even weirder when I'm sick. Two chairs lined up in a cubicle, and all I can think is, "Brokeback time!". I pause to discreetly adjust my underwear and turn to find a plastic skeleton, his hand over his mouth in mute, hallowe'eny horror.
When my cold gives me chills, my body becomes a huge pacemaker, pounding it's electric shock heartbeat through my ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, and elbows.
I become a giant, fake-blood filled plastic I.V bag on the shelf at the Edmonton Space and Science center.

Someone's flowery, magnetic wedding announcement makes me weep, until I see it was last year, which means it's over, which makes me happy, cause now it's a marriage, which means work that I'm not doing! HAHA!

electric pacemaker haiku

Don't think the images, feel them. Far too people experience what life feels like. Breathe it through your nose, resting on your palate like wine. Taste the world through your skin. Like a grand piano, a merlot, and a box of chocolate...

Grab some kleenex and go here:

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fiction #18

There is a choice to be made:
My integrity? My belief that I am a good man, whose actions lead to good outcomes?
Or human life?
It matters little, now, to curse the safety failure that has led to this moment, where a million tonnes, literally, of responsibility comes crashing onto my shoulders. My hand is on the switch, it is foreign to me, as if disconnecting the arm at the joint could ease the burden.
My mother taught me to be a good man.
She could not forsee this; No-one could.
Which is why I am unprepared. My careful facade of training and thought is dissolved and I am my core; An animal - Man, and I am alone with my choice.
Perhaps I should begin.

This morning I went to bed. I woke up this evening, tucked my little girl into bed, kissed my wife good night, then packed my lunchtin and went to work in a 6 x 6 booth in the middle of nowhere.
I work for a railroad company, running an integral checkpoint. I have railroad crossings, timing sheets, some mechanical stuff, and a large switch that controls an emergency track diverter about a mile up.
This is the scene in which this Shakespearean tragedy will play out.
With me to decide; Antagonist or Protagonist?

From my booth today, I saw five men enter the main tunnel, I am unsure of their purpose. I could only identify them from the lights they carried. They were swift, and soon I could not see their lights anymore. When a train began to approach, I was annoyed. I would have to divert the train, signal it to stop, back it up (trains take a damn long time to stop) then wait till they clear to resume the course. The tunnel is twenty miles long, so I was sure they were still in there.
As my hand gripped the switch to divert, I saw, to my growing horror, a person on the diversion track, obviously stuck between the rails. Should I divert the train, the person would be killed. Should I fail to, the five men will be killed.
My mind rails against this disgusting unfairness! I should not even have to make this choice! It is four hours to my next scheduled train; I do not know where this one hails from, and we are allowed, even encouraged, to sleep between trains, to promote alertness. I should be asleep! Then I would not know this, would not stare this evil in the face, but I do and the knowledge sits on my brain like a gargantuan toad.
To save five men, I must kill another.
Blood on my hands, but to watch five men die?
I wish to close my eyes, to pretend it is not happening, but I cannot avert them. I must confront this abyss, and see who I am. To take direction. To not let anyone die without consideration. This decision must be made. Must be owned.

I will hug my wife and child when I return home, on stress leave. For now, there are the men, the tracks, the switch, and the blackness chewing on my soul.

A side note: This is my 200th post. I wanted to make it something happy, but it is deep instead. Please give this thought experiment due consideration, and thank you for reading! I hope things will only improve from here!

Saturday, March 22, 2008


I didn't even think about it. I just did it one day.
Got behind the wheel of the world's ugliest Volkswagon Jetta and went. Placed myself like a black crowbar into the crevice of the road and wrenched the sky open.

This life doesn't feel weird to me. It feels like I escaped from a kidnapping, back to a life I hadn't met yet.

I volunteer to stay alive. Soup kitchens, food banks, shelters. I weight less than a gnat's spit, but I don't mind.

You think I'm running from something? Not from, nor to. Just running.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Nomadic #5

The witch and I have settled near a river about a month's walk from where I left the tribe last. She said it would be easier on me to give birth in a place that is familiar. A silly notion, that. The heartbeat of this land is in my feet; I have never been here, but I know it's every inch.

She has set about being my midwife, and since the custom in my tribe demands every able woman to assist an expectant mother, I accept her goodwill. I suppose we are a tribe now. However, willing though she is, she is also inept.
The hot afternoon has urged me to rest my newly curved body, and my strength has waned with my appetite, but we must eat, and so I watch her in the river.
Her skirt hiked up, hair soggy, she wades in the shallow areas until she spots a fish, at which point she lunges, throwing herself upon it with a terrific splash. With only two handfuls of mud for her efforts, she re-sets herself, wiggling her fingers in malicious delight and anticipation.
If I was a fish, I would be terrified by her shining eyes, and lolling red tounge. Fish are simple, however, and only see her shadow as a warning of her attack. I allow this debacle to continue, thoroughly amused, before waddling to the bank.
"Come here please." She slogs over, briefly obedient, "I will teach you and you will learn." She scoffs, but does not retort. Calling on the wisdom of countless hunters before me, I show her. First we roll in the grass, a tricky feat for my new shape, then we wade in, neck deep, and wait. Slowly, the fish come by, pecking at the bugs and grass stuck in our clothing. Eventually I feel a very large trout swim lazily under my arm. Quick as a blink I slide my fingers in his gills, letting the water flood his lungs. It is only a moment, then he is mine, and big enough that it matters little when she claps her hands and dances around child-like, scaring the rest.

As we shake ourselves dry on the shore, I cannot resist a sly jab,
"You might be too dumb to catch fish." She topples over backwards in her mirth, giggling, but soon rolls upright with a jackal-ish grin, and a hand poised. At the snap of her fingers, a school of fish are pulled out of the river. They hover, twisting, writhing, contorting, suspended on invisible skewers, their silver flesh dripping perfect diamonds of water. When I choke on my own gasp, she barks a great laugh and drops them back in.
"That wasn't the POINT." She clucks.
My legs are cold and prickly. I had forgotten the most important rule of dealing with her; She will always have the last word.

I let her cook the prize, for she collects grasses that make the fish palatable to my finicky body. I always eat what she cooks, no matter how odd looking, for I had no fear she wanted to dispatch me. If she had wanted, she would have long ago. But after today, I am not sure. Perhaps she toys with me?

The next day we stood together in the water, and a second fat trout approached my belly. He began to nip at my shirt when the baby kicked him ferociously in the snout. He scooted backwards into the witch, who lifted him out of the water and squeezed the life out of him, with no joy, as I expected, but a grim neutrality. Slightly unnerved, but satisfied, I retired to the bank to allow the baby to work out his glee on my spine and ribcage. She followed me and spent the remainder of the afternoon prodding my baby with the head of the fish. We are certainly the strangest tribe ever.
Yet, and yet, I find myself growing proud.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Misconceptions and Plans I have abandoned as I aged

M: Good morning Everyone!
For your reading enjoyment, I have brought with me today, myself.
8: HiHI! age eight.
8: So, like, people read this?
M: Yah, a couple. It's on the internet so anyone
8: Really? You write on the internet? Like, anything? But there's no unicorns? Who'd read it with no ponies in it?
M: I'll, uh, try to throw more in.
8: So you write as a job? That's cool. I want to be a Spice Girl, but writing's good.
M: Actually I just write as a hobby; I'm a security guard.
8: Don't you need to be, like, a ninja? Do you shoot people? Isn't it scary?
M: No, no. I mostly just make sure no-one steals my building.
M: Oh. No. That was a joke. See, I'm really funny when I grow up.
8: No you aren't. And you look all weird. Why are you in pants? I only like dresses. Why's your hair so short?
M: Short? It's shoulder-length. That's long enough. I had it shaved once.
8: No you DIDN'T! You're lying! Mom wouldn't let you do that!!
M: She thought it was a nice idea.
8: Nu-uh! You'd look stupid! How would you get any boys like that?
M: Well, I was dating a guy at the time
8: EEEEWWWW! REALLY? So you've, like, kissed a boy?
M: Yah, a couple.
8: So, you're married right? Cause if you kiss a boy it means you like him and you're gonna get married!
M: Not really. Nothing's worked out so far. It just hasn't been right yet.
8: But you're like, twenty-two! That's, like, a MILLION! How're you gonna have kids now?
M: Well, I'm thinking I might not.
8: But what are you gonna DOOOOO then?
M: I'm going to become a police officer.
8: That's stupid. When I grow up, I'm going to marry Blaine Biberdorf. He's a boy in my class.
M: Don't you think you should challenge yourself?
8: That is tough! He doesn't even know I'M ALIVE!!!
M: I mean there's more to life then boys. Like taking care of yourself and learning new things.
8: That stuff's boring. Besides, where am I gonna live if I don't get married, huh?
M: Well, I own my own place, so I live there.
8: Really? Like, all by yourself? Don't you get scared at night?
M: I work all night, so not really.
8: That sounds scary. But if you live by yourself you could sleep in the living room! In front of the T.V!
M: Actually I don't watch that much T.V anymore.
8: You're stupid. What do you do all day then?
M: Well, I work out a lot
8: Do you, like, work out your butt? *giggle*
M: My gluteus is included in my lower body strength routine. I do squats, leg press
8: BOOOORING. What else?
M: Taking care of the house takes a lot of time.
8: What, like, you have to clean it? All by yourself?
M: Nobody else is going to do it for me.
8: Why don't you run away? Or, like, get a maid.
M: Maids cost a lot of money.
8: You work all the time! Don't you have a lot of money?
M: I have bills too, and other things.
8: Do you ever do anything FUN?
M: My friends and I like to spend time together. They're fun.
8: Like Melanie and Amanda and Jocelyn? We're friends forever!
M: No, mostly guys I've met at the university and work.
8: WOW! You were in university!!?!
M: Yes. I've already graduated with a psychology degree.
8: Psykologee? I want to do dancing. So you must, like, know EVERYTHING, right?
M: Not quite...
8: Where's your car? We buy a porsche boxster, right? That's my favorite! I'm gonna drive it everyday and so really fast!
M: Oh. Uh. I don't have a car anymore.
8: WHAT?! I grow up to be so stupid! If you don't tell me ONE good thing about being a grown-up, I'm NEVER GOING TO GROW UP!
M: Really?
8: I MEAN IT!!!
M: Well, uh. I can drink red wine.
8: MAJOR GROSS-OUT!!! That's stuff's yuky!
M: Well, I like it now. I can eat whatever I want too.
8: Mom cooks you whatever you want?
M: No, I cook for myself now.
8: Like, everyday? That's kinda cool.
M: I'm really confident now too. People say I'm really charismatic.
8: NO DUH. You have BOOOBS.
M: What? What does that have to do with anything?
8: Boobs make you confident. People like you more when you have boobs.
M: I, uh,... where did you get that idea?
8: T.V says so! Duh!! You know, for somebody that was in university, you're kinda dumb.
M: Oh really? What else should I know?
8: You should get a HUGE house.
M: I can't really afford that.
8: That's silly. Everyone can. Barbie does.
M: Barbie's not really accurate. Not everyone lives like she does.
8: But you do wear make-up everyday right?
M: No. Not really. Only for special occasions.
8: AHHHH! NO wonder we're not married! And you wear Glasses! That's even stupidest! You should only wear contacts! Glasses are stupid!
M: Actually, glasses are cool now. They're a fashion statement.
8: Is the statement, "I'm a huge DORK"?!
M: Well, I'm proud to be a geek now.
M: Well, at least I can buy a chocolate bar whenever I want!
8: Yah but you can't eat it cause you'll get all FAAAAAT!
8: NO! It's cause you like boys!

This has been a Michelle vs. Michelle interview. Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Suspended animation

It's tuesday again and my brain is full of pap, drek, and garbage.
I did just create the most iconic scene of my life though. Standing in my kitchen, my legs too sore to sit, in my security uniform, maowing down a tablespoon of Jif, the jar labelled "fa san au yau" (lit. peanut butter), arguing over the phone with someone a country away.
I managed to achieve one of my goals so far; I squatted over my body weight for 3 x 5 reps. Next stop? 200 lbs! I am more motivated lately since I discovered that not only DOES edmonton have a "SWAT" team, called tactical, but there are 8 squads in it, one of which seems to be composed of gorillas. I have a Plan!

Now I regret not using the washer and dryer that were readily available not 40 feet from my bedroom when I lived in High Level!!

I find it interesting that no matter how rich, how famous you get, the one problem that never goes away is other people. You could be the first man to cure hunger, poverty, and disease in one day; you are still going to get a dirty look if you accidentally tread on someone else's foot. Even Bill Gates has to fight with the drive-thru waiter at McDonalds ("Just a freakin' Big Mac!"). I suspect even Jesus had to console his mom after forgetting her birthday just once.
The moral? Learn to get along with people. Being able to connect with people, really get along with them, will help you more than an extra $50, 000 a year.

And some quotes shamlessly pilfered from my good friend Kirkie.
"The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary."
-- James D. Nicoll

"I am going to have words with that boy, and he'll have gurgling whimpering sounds back."
-- Mike Plambeck

"Pivot tables in excel are... ok. You get used to them. Like treppaning."
-- Mike Plambeck
(I think he means Trefanation. Where holes are put into one's skull to relieve the demon influence)

"Universities are like the difference between a prostitute and an escort: Just because you pay them alot doesn't mean you're going to get something out of it. So it's like taking a course in philosophy."
--Corwin Dodd

"You know that fantasy about going back in time with a shotgun... The one where you raise a mighty army of savages thanks to your boom stick and force them to build you a pyramid? I think that's what it would be like to go to the US with a dictionary."
-- Ian Bailey

"Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced"
-- Geek's corollary to Clarke's law

"People sleep peaceably...only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
-- George Orwell

"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life."
--Winston Churchill

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
-- George Bernard Shaw

"Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms should be the name of a store, not a government agency."
-- Unknown source

"You cannot reason a person out of a position he did not reason himself into in the first place."
--Jonathan Swift

"Nullum magnum ingenium sine mixtura dementia"
(roughly, There is no great genius without a tincture of madness)
—Seneca: De Tranquillitate Animi, 15.

"There are 4 boxes to use in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, ammo. Use in that order."
-- Author unknown

"Manners and civility are the grease that make the make the machinery of society go forth. Politcal Correctness puts the focus on word choice rather than intent, and is sand in the gears."
-- dosquatch (924618), on /.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fiction post #17

I was nine years old when the first world war, known to us as the Great War, started. It was such an abstract notion to me and my brother, armies an ocean away clashing in exotic countires over a Duke I'd only ever heard of. As children it fascinated my brother and I. We made guns out of branches, gave ourselves exorbitant commissions and generally made tremendous nuisances of ourselves.

My daddy worked in a new munitions factory, having been offered better pay than his old job as a site foreman, and during dinner, over beef stew and wonderbread, he would show us casings he brought home. Once he dropped one so big it smashed one of mother's striped brown water glasses. Her mouth was tight as she mopped up the spilt milk. I think that is what initially turned her off the war, despite all our talk of grandiose adventures. That night, as I hid under the covers to read comics, I heard them arguing, and no more munitions were brought home.

The damage was done, for all mother's machinations, and my brother surprised us a week after his 18th birthday by announcing he was enlisting. His face expected praise; he was a naiive fool. Mother held his shoulders and sobbed, pressing his face into her bosom, like he was a toddler again. She eventually cried herself sick and retired to bed. My father turned on him, shouting how could he be so selfish, and he was complete idiot. My brother stood up to defend himself, but their argument bored and scared me, so I went upstairs and amused myself by dropping increasingly larger objects into the full tub.
Presently my brother sat next to me and asked if I would mind, little Rosie-dosie, if he left for a bit to save the world and I asked why couldn't I come and he laughed and said maybe when I was older and not a girl. I remember hoping I'd grow into a big man soon. Due to some confusing health classes I thought I would grow from a girl to a woman to a man. It was many years before science cleared this up.

Two weeks later my brother boarded the loud, black, train that would carry him to parts unknown. The platform was packed, so my daddy picked me up to wave good-bye. He smelled like cologne and I knew he'd dressed up. As the train groaned and ponderously lumbered away my mother used her strong Italian elbows to work her way to the front of the crowd, hand outstretched, reaching, framed by the rivets on the windows, desperately trying to hold his hand, just once more, please. The train picked up speed, there was one brief touch, then she was alone, on the platform, hair just a bit loose, swaying with the crowd.

The day the letter came, she swayed the same way. She couldn't speak, just sank onto the couch as my father snatched the white paper from her hands. It was very brief, as they always were, and heavily censored, but we understood this:
His term of service was over soon, and he had fallen in love and married a beautiful italian girl that summer.
My mother wept she was so relieved, then fumed she had not been told sooner, then fretted when she realized the letter was late, that they would be here in a month! She spent the first two weeks cleaning, then the next two cooking. Everything. When I told her he wasn't going to bring the whole army with him, she swatted me and muttered something about "healthy grandchildren".

When my brother and his wife returned home, we invited over the whole family and celebrated. They petted over how much he'd grown, wondered at his huge arms, and rejoiced over his medals. He told us about all but one of them, saying it would worry mama. He told me later; he'd pulled a friend off the battlefield, patched him up, and carried him seven miles to safety. When I pressed him, how could he do that, he rolled up his sleeve and flashed his bicep at me with a cheeky grin.

Years later, another war followed and I followed my father to the muntitions factory. On my way there, in my blue coveralls, hair tucked under a red handkerchief, an artist stopped me asking, did I think we could win the war?
I remembered my brother's confident smile, rolled up my sleeve, and announced, "We can do it!"
And the rest? Is history.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Fiction post #16

The ides of March.
The word of the day is Betrayal.
Great soaring political plans brought low by our stinking humanity.
My brow is grim on this, the day of mighty Caesar's death.
Even now, I draw breath that he has exhaled.
He must die for what he has done.
I am Brutus.
I am Cain.
I am Judas.
I am Delilah.

The traitor. Mutinous dog. Forever Villified.
Death for treason, they cry, and smack their lips, but none may judge me.
What the traitor owes the betrayed cannot compare to what the betrayed owes the traitor. We were tools. Used unjustly?
What would be trust if it was never betrayed? Without faith or risk? Nothing.
You say our hearts crawl with maggots, but our actions speak no lies. Finding no recourse through our distaste, we spoke with daggers. Let blood heal what pretty words cannot.
In every betrayal, there is a touch of disdain for the victim, that they did not see this coming. There is anger for those close to us, who allowed us to become something we hate. There is an equal measure of happiness and sadness in everything. Balance of energy. Circular.
Gain only through loss
Loss only through gain

Friday, March 14, 2008

Sight unseen #1

When I meet new people, or even see others close up, next to me in the theatre, on the street, I always imagine the same thing. I lean over to them, place my lips right next to the folded shell of their ear, and whisper, softly,
"I see angels."
Their eyes widen, sometimes their mouth gapes, and no matter what they say, all I can hear is the crystal shattering of world I have worked so hard, sacrificed so much, to build.

I am Boston's most sought after homicide detective. My perfectly placed slate fireplace in my immaculate trendy condo on the richest street in the city, is covered with sparkling glass trophies, marble commendations, awards from foreign countries, and the grateful thanks of a small army of people whoese personal tragedies I helped alleviate. I have been told that some people pray to have me on their lost loved one's case. When I go to a restaurant, I never need to wait for a table.

And yet, I see them. Demons too. They go about average lives, newspapers, coffees, reports, buses, squabbles, dates, vacations. I think they know I can see them; it does not seem to matter.

I remember the first time I saw one. She was incredible, even standing on a street corner, waiting to cross. A head taller than anyone around her, a classicly beautiful face, high cheeks, soft lashes framed golden eyes, her brown hair curled playfully around her exquisite jaw, the halo behind her glowing softly like a proud parent. She was athletic, with massive wings folded genteelly behind her, garbed in a wafting greecian tunic. She was so stereotypical, I thought it was a religious protest, or an advertising stunt. But when she moved, She flowed through space as through soft waters and as her eyes fell on me, I could feel her presence in my bones, her blood pounded in my temples. Her breath was in my lungs, my chest heaving as she searched me for evil. The fear of God, awesome and terrifying, huge inside my mouth. Her hand gripped the sharpened blade she weilded, fire raced from my veins to it, then nothing. The light changed. She moved away. I looked up to the overcast sky and fainted.

I awoke naked on my bed at home, smelling the rain outside. My clothes, in the hamper luckily, bore the stains of my lunch, which I must have thrown up on myself. Looking at the remains of the hastily-consumed McDonalds, I knew I would never eat such garbage again.

I also remember the first time I saw a demon. I know, too, that I will never be able to quit smoking.

There is another secret I struggle to keep. A security blanket of a vice which could ruin me as well. I'm not sure I have strength enough to write it. I am sure lancing this boil would leave me gaping open, dribbling my secret to the world.

Two weeks after the First, I was walking to work, rushing to fill the gap made by the days I had taken sick to recover, when I stopped by a homeless man to give him my change. The folded five passed from my hand to his and our eyes met. I saw in them the same hollowness, wonder and horror, as I knew he saw in mine.
Without a word, he followed me to a cafe where we lunched in silence. He lives with me now, helping out where he can, existing silently by my side, and I by his. We have not spoken, instead relying on feelings to communciate. He leaves in the morning, to do what I know not, but I rountinely receive messages from companies saying, "Thank you for your interest, but the position has been filled." Once he entered the room as I was playing one. I deleted it, but his great hot shame overwhelmed me. I believe he cannot get a job because he does not list an address. In deference to me, he struggles with this challenge, desperatly trying to climb back onto the world he fell off of without cracking the thin ice of my own world.

I do not know why we have been given this gift. I do not know if it is a gift. Perhaps we are to do something with it, but I cannot think of anything to be done about it.

A month later, after he moved in, I was waiting in the park when I saw a demon approach a small girl. He began to smell her hair. I could not finish my coffee, my book slipped unheeded to the ground. My own uselessness sucked me into a pit, freezing me to the bench I occupied. Horror drained my face. But as she skipped away I saw an angel charge in. He held a great axe, which he buried into the demon's back with a scream that shattered my elbows, and heaved my shoulders. The demon turned in kind, slashing open the angel's consecrated face. The angel responded with a kick to the abdomen that revealed the edge of the axe through the front of the demon. The black soul bled to death, but not before delivering a final blow that broke the angel's legs. In the aftermath, he looked at me, we looked at each other; he pulled himself over to the shade I sat in, and lay his head on my lap. I covertly stroked his hair, weeping silently. Eventually he rolled into a patch of flowers, which all bloomed, and seemed to sleep.

That night, I went into the guest room that my ally slept in, and bawled while he patted me awkwardly. If this has a purpose, let it be known soon.