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.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Unthinkable fiction #1

We won our battle against nature. It was fought over thousands of years, although nearing the end the major 'players' stayed the same. There were set-backs, of course, but they all paled when we triumphed. I have documented the process here.

It started, although we did not know it, when we began to replace parts of our body with technology. Limbs became new and organs were refreshed. Accidents became an inconvenience. Self-improvement was rampant. Physical competitions, such as the Olympics, became largely irrelevent. This was the first breakthrough, for it heralded in a philosophy which spoke, "to be human, not all must be organic or original".

The next paradigm shift came when we began to replace neurons with electrical connections. With this newer, more sophisticated technology for grey matter, forgetting became a quaint, out-dated, notion. We lost the art of writing. Now, not even the part that did the thinking needed to be original. Descartes was ressurected: "Something thinks, therefore I can be."

People became fully robotic. It became mundane to be entirely artificial.

Soon we discovered that with submolecular technology implanted in the body at conception, we could trick the body into making a baby to which ever specifications we liked. Development occured in vitro as usual, but under the direction of the robots, who superceded the genetic codes. People began to become more and more similar as the "assembly line" mentality took over.

Finally, we developed micro-transformers that rearranged molecules on a sub-atomic level. The flesh that was used to create a new child became an ultra-dense, super-light elemental metal that we called Thiridium. The first 'perfect' baby was born on February 12th. A noted professor said, "Humanity is a state of mind, a self-diagnosed condition."

The final paradigm shift was complete; Disease, suffering and death were eliminated. All bodies become the height of perfection.

We became aware of a growing collective unconscious. Within 200 years we all became one mind.

Only one consciousness housed in billions of identical bodies.

Slowly, superfluous bodies were shut down. People no longer reproduced. We dwindled.

Now, there is only I. I am the last of the humans, if human I be.
Should I be called as such, I am the epitomy of human-ness, the perfect average of all personalities. I am nothing that has not been felt, to some degree, by every human that e'er felt heartbeat on this planet.
And right now?
I feel bored.

In times past I would alleviate this by talking with others, but I have no social drive, nor anyone to talk with. The drive came from the desire to be normal, the motivation to be accepted, to fit in. I am in. I need no "fit".
I never age, and cannot die. I have existed for thousands of years, during which I learned everything on this planet. There is nothing novel here anymore.
Well, there wasn't.
In the face of complete madness from ennui I took the unthinkable, yet logical step.
I made an imperfect man.
The computer took all the elements of myself, then randomized a random number of variables. The only thing I know about him is that he is not me, since he has not the Consciousness. I cannot hear his thoughts. His closed mind fascinates me.

In the lab, waiting to decant him, I am delighted to discover I am experiencing fear. I am scared. Of what will happen.

It has been an unspeakable long amount of time since I did not know something. The sensation thrills me, like a new love. I have made preparations for him, created a life for him to live in, but what if he does not like it? What if he does not like me? How could he not? He must. I know as such logically. I am the perfect woman. But does he know it logically? I check the timer on the vat, only 60 more years. Perhaps I'll do some cleaning while I wait.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I'm noticing a trend...

Tuesdays roll around and I just don't care. (My tuesdays, which are sort of wednesday morning, but meh)
Seriously. I don't think I could've written a grocery list today, let alone anything I would inflict on my friends and family.

Plus I had my big interview with the armored division gentleman, which I felt went really well, but I didn't get out until 11:30, and at that point I'd be up for 23 hours, doing 'stuff'. I was kinda bagged.

Few things I'd like to jot down. If I get the job, they'll give me a boot allowance. Money. To buy shoes. I really love my chosen profession.

As well, I woke up early and went to the gym this evening. I really destroyed it today; one thing that made me really happy was the fact that the fitness center itself, with the weight machines and what-not was crazy crowded with stupid-hot guys. (Like so Hot it's stupid. Not stupid and hot. Well. They might be. I don't really talk to people in the gym, but it's at the university so...?) nevertheless the weight room with free weights, dumbells and barbells, was COMPLETELY empty. I'm usually too shy to do anything really challenging because I dislike looking stupid (having to be saved by two gentleman from a 'bench-press-gone-wrong' was an experience I wish I'd passed on) but since there was nobody around, I went to town. Now, as I sit on my bum at work, I can feel, literally FEEL my ab muscles begin to get sore. It's kind of like feeling the tide come in. This creeping, growing awareness. On the plus side I have a very definite four-pack.

Yet another day of joy

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fiction work #15

Those damn Wright brothers.
We were one month away from catapulting ourselves into history, but they had to do it first.
They didn't even do it with style.
But us?
We got style; and a Dream. It's how we fell in love. We looked into each other's eyes, and saw the bright, beckoning, blue. Then we knew.
Twenty years later, here we are.
Standing together in the barn, staring, by dim lantern light, smelling like hay and grease, at our latest baby: The Mark IV, affectionately known as "Dolly". She's a bi with two old John Deere engines in her, heavily altered of course.
Just a few kinks to work out, the steerings still a little thick for what we need.
"What do you need?" You ask? We need her to turn sharper than the dog chasing his tail, to climb faster than the barnhand up the ladder in front of the bull's horns, to stop deader than...I dunno. Roadkill, probably. We'll get it. Oh, we'll get it.
Folks wonder why we need all this.
It's 'cause we're stuntmen.
The Amazing Marileze and Dupoir! Humans that fly like Birds! See feats of Darring-do that frighten women, children, and lesser men! Only 6p a show!
Dupoir will fly the plane, and I will wing-walk. There's a planted bar on poles on top of the wings. That's where I ride. Scarf trailing, and let me tell you, there's nothing better than chasing geese through the white clouds of fall.
Our most amazing trick is one I came up with while watching kids on the swings. First, we climb, straight up. As high as we can. Then, at the top, we kill the engine, and just fall: Diving, Tumbling, Rolling, Pitching, the ground covered in moss-like bushes, tiny humans like toys, houses like gingerbread, larger, down, the horizon a ruled edge of white between the heavens and the hard end that feels like it's balanced on your head as you handstand, plummeting unstoppably until WHOOSH he starts her up and we swoop away, seconds from death.
We call it the Icarus. It horrifes our bridge partners.
"But you could DIE!" They gasp.
"But we could LIVE!" We reply.
They shake their heads. They don't understand.
Especially the women. I've taken to wearing pants constantly now. They titter in horror and obsess in their outrage. No-one else knows why I do, but I'll tell you. On the mark III we had the engine running, hanging from the ceiling, blades a-goin, when my frock was sucked into the gears, quick as a blink. I've given thanks many times that I was wearing my cheap one (I'd stitched it back loosely after a mundane house accident prior) so it ripped at my shoddy seam, but it pulled my hip in, nipped a neat little bite in my thigh. Dupoir had gone sheet-white, was beside me in a flash, slowing the blood, weeping like a new calf. We held each other till we cramped; then, without a word, got up and dissasembled the Mark III, burying the main engine component. It had tasted human blood. There was no love there. It could not be flown. I only wear pants now.
The Mark IV is good to us. We can feel she's the one; the one to take us all the way there.

There have been exciting developments too. My favorite is our night-flying routine. We were at a loss for a while. If you can't see the ground, how would you know if you are going to hit it? We puzzled, for months. Then one morning Dupoir woke me by bounding on our ricket bed.
"I've got it!" he hollered.
It was magnificent. A series of lanterns, carefully hooded, reveal, by how much light you can see, how close you are to the ground. If you are above 300ft, only one ring is visible. At 200ft, two rings, and at 100ft, all three rings. We danced that night, like idiots, and drank the wine my parents had saved from their wedding night. We slept like puppies in the hayloft that night.

And now, we are in the home stretch. We no longer even need to look at our blue-prints, although we keep them close at hand. They are, to us, works of precious art. When we finally fly, we plan to frame them and hang them on our walls.

People ask us, 'When are you going to grow up and stop fooling around?' But we don't understand the question. I cannot imagine myself, other than with this piece I have found. I feel like I have been forever trying to get back to where I came from, in the clouds. Life without this quest, is not a life to me.

Sometimes I dream. I can fly by wishing very hard. I take off, and smell the sweet, cold, air from above the shelf of clouds, blue, white, and porcelain. The sun streams through holes like tree trunks in the early morning, beckoning me higher. When the clouds touch my face, they dissolve into a dozen shimmery crystals, tiny pinpoints of cold wetness that refresh my lungs when I breathe them in. I love to soar low over the houses, spin the weathercocks, and do handstands on the treetops. When I wake up, I shake Dupoir awake, and we sit in the barn for hours, staring at our plane by dawn's light.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Nomadic day #4

My tribe limps to it's death like an ailing animal, but all I can think of is my own personal catastrophe.

I have not had my courses for four months, and I threw up my breakfast this morning.

I believe that the child I carry is a gift from the Gods to our tribe. That he will unite us and lead us into a new era. I wish I could tell everyone.
"How do you know he is a savior?" they would ask.
"Because I am a virgin."
Then the elders would examine me, and know it to be true, but I cannot risk it. The elders know the only man I have ever been alone with is my scholar; his privileged status allows him private counsel. They also hear the whispers; people believe him to be a phrophet, above the elders. Jealousy is an ugly fruit. They would denounce us. He would be killed for an act of indecency. But the child; known to be demi-God? They would raise him, twist him to their wills. That is not what fate has in store for my child.

What I must do now frightens and sickens me. I gather my tribe, tell them of my "vision". I must travel many miles, past mountains, plains, forests of clouds, to where the fountain of truth is. In it's waters I shall see the image of the demon; when I destroy the image of the demon, so too shall it fade away. But I must go alone. They shudder together, as we did at the first sight of the demon. A bonfire is lit to give me strength. The tribe dances ferociously, painted, eyes rolling. the drums echoes my child's heartbeat, resounding in my bones. I am now a part of another tribe; of motherhood. I dance without care this last night in the tribe of my father. I know my flailing knees and elbows entice some, and I receive two more marriage proposals, all discreet, promising to relieve me of the quest's burden. I could no more accept their offer then I could shut off my heart.
When all have collapsed, and we are alone, my scholar begs to come with me and my heart breaks a thousand times to tell him "No", but he must stay, to ensure my tribe any survive, that I have a home to come back to. It is to his credit as well, that he does not ask me to stay. He understands, I wonder if perhaps he even knows. By the firelight his eyes blaze and I could believe the rumors.
I take supplies and bid farewell, walking into the sunrise, as is our custom.

The hardest step remains. She is awake now, as I approach her cage, examining her toenails. It is time to fly now. I throw open her door.
" Eloise. My name is Eloise."
Instantly she is upon me, her hands holding my almost rounding belly, teeth gleaming, eyes wild. I see the power I have given her, in my folly, What have I done? I fear for my life, my child, my tribe. Damn fool! So taken in, her patsy! She sucks in air, triumphant,
"What a stupid name."
She laughs, steps down, and stretches,
"God. You're going to get fatter."
I hate her and at the same time, love her dearly.
Slowly my bright world begins to turn again.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Noir fiction #5

I came to in a garbage dumpster, feeling like a gorilla's accordian. Unfortunately, what I came to was the conclusion that I was getting nowhere. If I wanted that to change, I had to convince people to stop trying to kick me, and I had to do that by kicking first, and faster.
I straighted my tie as I lit up a smoke. It made my lip sting a little, but I liked the way the smoke made my jacket look. I turned up it's collar. Time to get serious. Like my grandpa always said, "No sense in smelling the cold shit." I couldn't understand smelling shit at all, but my grandpa was one of the best in his time, and who am I to argue?

The hot-shit dame had been hired on by the Pink Peri a few nights ago for her blockbuster show. I'm sure my piano man was thrilled, but I wasn't laughing. Neither was she when I kicked in her door.
"Heya Toots. You miss me?"
She tucked away the Magnum lipstick she'd been packin' and regarded me cooly,
"What the hell do you want? I gotta show." Time to turn on the charm.
"Well, darlin'. I want you to sing for me."
She huffed and began plucking her eyebrows,
"You're an idiot. Come to my show like a normal man. You ruined my door."
"I gotta special song in mind, sweetheart. About parrots and how my little starry-eyed friend is mixed up with dames that sic ugly men on me." I grabbed her arms and she leaned back on her cushion. I could smell her perfume.
"And I don't wanna do anything,"
I let my eyes drag over her dressing-gowned figure,
"Un-gentlemanly to hear it."
Her black eyes narrowed and her body, down to her teal feather, shook with outrage.
"You wouldn't dare."
"You use it. Why can't I?"
She hissed, and I wondered if she's knife me in the kidneys with her heels. I've leapt from a speeding car onto a bridge railing, watching the car plunge headlight first into a black river a hundred feet below, but this dizzy broad scared me.
The things I do for piano with my scotch. Her mouth turned into a languid smile.
"You wanna play with the big kids? Fine."
She purred with the same tone my Dinah used right before she clawed some poor Tomcat's nuts off.

He owes me some ragtime for this.

I stayed out of sight for their show, nursing a double. I couldn't face him knowing I was gonna throw his doll to the sharks. I watched them, though; her, leaning forward on the piano to kiss his forehead as he gazed at her, hands flying. He was in love, I could tell, but her? She caught me staring and pulled away sharply, her voice cracking, but her panic didn't make any sense unless...Aw shit.

I ain't a romantic. Graveyard's are full of folks who died for love, but I suspect that whoever was behind this had a bigger wrench in their plans then they knew what to do with...
This city is full of people; Old money, new money, no money; all trying to work it out together. But here I was, caught like a lynch pin between two cogs trying to press together to what might be their mutual destruction. Maybe I should just let go? I was tired. My old wounds were acting up, and all they got me was an empty apartment. Maybe I was in the wrong plot, reading the wrong script. Their love story wiping out my tragedy. Love conquers all, but where's that leave me?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Fiction work # 14

Two tiny eyes, framed by such an expanse of hair I originally feared they belonged to a black bear. My fears abated as two human arms picked me up, and I lost consciousness again.

He was not there when I awoke, pulling the tucked in blankets out from under the couch cushions. There was a huge, aged Malamut, however, and beside the fireplace, a box of yowling puppies, no more than a few weeks old.

On the rough oak table in front of me was a bowl of semi-cold chili (the best I had ever tasted- messily devoured) and my pack. I dug through it, almost as hungrily as the chili, looking for my journal. The memories I had of the last few days were sketchy, but I knew I always wrote the day's events in the evening, ever since my first major marathon.
Reading back through, recollection came easier. I had begun the Iditarod, the largest winter adventure race in the world, a few days ago. My confused writing and increasingly erratic trail notes and timings showed I had erred seriously somewhere in my preparations.
I set to work assessing damage control, silently hating myself for whatever mistake I made to cause this near-catastrophe. My toes seemed the worst, still waxy and hard. I next began to evaluate my surroundings. A typical winter cabin, somewhat sore from what I believed was (at the time) disuse, yet it was devoid of the quintessential bookshelves or even a T.V. Neither had it a phone, as far as I could find.
I must have fallen asleep again, for I awoke to see a great, hairy man sitting on the floor in front of me, shovelling down chili so quickly he almost seemed to be using his hands. I extended a greeting, offering my gratitude for his rescue, but my speech seemed to startle him, and he did not reply.
He stared blankly as I ran through the little Inuit, Russian, even French, I knew but not once did I sense comprehension dawning. He chewed the chili, regarding me as one watches a street performer. After a while, I gave up, huffing a sigh. This excited him, and he began to... well, there's no other word for it; he barked.
Over the next few days, after discovering an old radio and informing race officials and my wife where I was and that I would be back once I knew where I was, we seemed to bond. I was fascinated by him. He hunted like a wolf, with his hands and a kitchen knife, and seemed more comfortable in the snow than in the cabin. He had twelve dogs, a full sled team, and we frequently went on trips to see if I could landmark where we were. He seemed to know the woods as well as another person knows their city.
Meals were many times easier than I had expected; the cellar was full of jars, roots, strange plants, and smoked meat. I can only assume he canned things himself (mushrooms, softer roots, carrots) since some were almost fresh, but the thought of this sasquatch of a man in an apron, boiling jars was a tad strange. I laughed over this image for a while; He danced around me, barking gleefully for awhile. I suspect that while most of my actions confused him (shaving being the most baffling), he understood my mirth.
The fireplace was only ever lit for my benefit. After trips, he would often blow through the door, pursued by the slobbering dogs, leaving it open to the elements. He was so discomfited, whining and roaming, when I closed the door and lit a fire that eventually I compromised; I left the door open, but built a large fire.

The first few days he would sleep where-ever he stopped long enough, but eventually he began to sleep at the foot of the bed I slept in (one I surmise his late parents used).

His most unusual characteristic was that he never spoke. After a while, he began to understand what I intended, but I believed that his vocal cordds had altered so far that they could no longer produce regualr speech. He "talked" to the dogs almost constantly, and seemed to be able to understand their replies. I began, as well, to pick up some of the more simple words, first learning the dog's "names", finally what I believed to be verbs, although the language seemed to contain a large component I could not begin to understand. The most pivotal part, much like the tones in some languages, or the clicks in others, was a series of evocative connective words, conveyed through body language and smells. Frequently in the evening, he would regail the dogs, and sometimes myself when I was quick-witted enough, with tales of his escapades; fighting with a bear, a huge moose he had tracked, when he almost captured an eagle, but fell off a cliff instead. He would often get caught up in the physical retelling of the story, and by the end was visibly winded.

Almost a month after my arrival, I mapped out the final last clues, and uncovered our location relative to everywhere else. I packed my kit, taking enough food to make it home, tried to thank him, and left early one morning.

The trip home was deceptively easy, and by the time I got home, I was breathless with anticipation to be back in civilization. I indulged myself and ate McDonalds (usually forbidden with my racer's diet), sat in the tub for two hours, and held my wife until she insisted that, no really, she had to work in twenty minutes. It took a while to regain my normal life, but regain I did, and finally everything was as usual. Or so I had thought.

I came home from work one day to find him sitting on my lawn, surrounded by his dogs. The camera crews had already been there for a few hours, coaxing him with food, but my wife was still at work. He lept up when he saw me, but I was confused. How the hell had he found me and what did he want?

I invited him in, shooing away the reporters, and fed him while I waited for my wife to return home, so I could consult her in what we should do next.

My life broke when she walked through the door, however.

I brought her into the kitchen, let her sit down, and explained everything to her, my rescue, my months with this man, his disposition, and everything we had been through, that he was not dangerous, and I wondered if she would mind if we let him stay in our basement until he was sufficiently civilized to live in our world, since I believed he keenly wanted to learn our ways, and regain the life he lost to the woods.
"What man?" She asked, slowly.
I laughed, thinking she was giving tacit approval for our new lodger. She wrinkled her perfect brow, and, in our spotless kitchen, surrounded by metal, plastic, warmth, luxury, culture, and easy, she blew away my tiny grip on reality.
"What man are you talking about?"

I could not find him. The dogs were gone. Our yard, spotless. The food I had brought back with me, and saved out of nostalgia, turned out to be rotton, foul, autumn leavings, the kind you scrounge under the snow. I could find no indication that this man ever existed.

I laughed with her, and said it was my little joke. Tried to forget it. Wrote it off as a dream. But now, everyday of my life since, I stare out the window of my 25th story office, and dream of snow, trying desperatly to ignore the blood pounding in my temples, crying out for the thrill of the hunt, the honor of the pack, and the sheer joy of earning a true life.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

I am shamed.

Guilt is something that comes very easily to me. It is second-nature to feel guilty over something even as simple as a perceived social slight I have perpetrated. (I seem especially suceptible to embarassment over lack of social grace) Sometimes this motivates me, other times, not so much.

I had written, or more clearly, begun writing a story about a gentleman with a dog-sled team, while on my usual patrol, when I became aware of a general discomfort within myself. I did not vote this past election. In fact, I have never voted in any election of consequence. This has never bothered me before.

Earlier today, while making coffee, I read the article concerning the recently-deceased trooper Michael Yuki Hayakaze. His story is a tragic one, as all deaths are, but it struck a particular cord within me when it was reported he said (of his tour in Afghanistan)"If I die- obviously I don't want to- I'm OK with it. I'm at peace with everything." This man believed in what he was doing. He believed that Canada was making a difference by being overseas. Believed so strongly in his country that he was willing to give his life for it. In my quest to join the military, I had believed I was willing to do the same; had thought I, too, loved my country. But I'm not even willing to go fill out a piece of paper to help lead the country.
I cannot close my eyes, now, without seeing trooper Hayakaze. He fought for me, for my freedom. I will never be allowed to fight beside people like him, owing to past stupidities, but perhaps I can find a life that is worthy of this man's, and other's, sacrifice; their tremendous gift to me.
I would like, now, to say "Thank you" to Hayakaze, and to all the men and women who fight, in whatever way they can, to promote this country.

It seems rarely said, shadowed by America's massive ego, but it needs, sometimes, to be said,
God Bless Canada.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Conceptual abstract of a wedding

Had I eggs for fingertips, what would it feel like to touch a star- would it feel like laughter? Their singing does not reach inside my shell, so sturdy. But, Hah! I, unprepared, have been transformed. A hole drilled through my top, what was inside has been removed, to be refreshed. So hollowed, I am now an object of great beauty.
Silence! Of your objections, I shall have none. The frequency shakes me to my grit calcium core.
You are chosen to lay testament to this great and noble honesty.
Open inside like great stone cathedrals.
OH! Quake and Fear for the balance of your souls!
Measured on tenderhooks.
But now, claws sheathed in kittendown; Bring to me, for I require, a measure of mirth, with which to see this concluded.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Star light, star bright.

Sometimes, when I am sitting alone, late at night, music on the crackly radio, my legs fly away from me. It feels like they float up until I can no longer sense where my body is, or in what position. It is wonderful and yet very strange.
I think offlying, then, up through the rafters, to the stars, to dance on the dark heavy clouds, to swing from streetlights, waving to commuters on the long bus ride home.