REPORT A PROBLEM
I gave up on my last batch. This will be the first time I'll not have done a month since I started. Now, you may think that this was because, by the 21st, I had only managed to write three entries. This is not the case.
You see, I didn't do the last batch because I was busy catching ideas. They tend to hang around wild places, far away from civilisation and computers. They glint whenever the sunlight hits them, and tend to giggle like bells tickled by wind.
So now that I've caught some new ideas, I can write.
I think a way of all of us commincating would be a nice idea. Maybe a facebook group. That way, we could reply instantly, instead of having to wait for a day before reading a message. I feel that this would be a step up, or forwards. Possibly both.
If people were really interested in it, we could organise a theme for a month, or each take a turn writing a part of a story, or other interesting ideas. I'm sure someone can thinkn of something creative.
To summarise. I support your idea. Thank you for mentioning it.
Apparently, I lean on a bar very well.
I was not aware that there were varying degrees of ability when it came to leaning on a bar. To the best of my knowledge, I always thought that you just simply leaned on a bar. I was not aware that there was the possibility of you being graded.
I don't tend to lean on many bars. I suppose I'm just a natural. Maybe, one day, I will be leaning on a bar and a girl will be impressed by my bar-leaning abilities and fall in love with me.
'...and then she broke up with me.'
'Thanks. I just...I just wish I didn't hurt, you know?'
'Yeah, I understand why you don't want to hurt. But I think it's important that you do.'
'What do you mean?'
'If it hurts, it means that it was special. That it was meaningful. Pain means that you were happy, that you experienced things that were separate from the normal drone of human existence. If you ever get to the point where you are no longer willing to feel pain, then you're saying you never want anything meaningful.'
He wandered around the town, choking on the buildings. There were too many of them, too close. They blocked out the sky and blinded him from the trees.
Desperate to breath, he walked as far as he could to get away from them, arms pushing against the crowds, panting hard, panting, to be away, to be able to see once again.
All he could find was a duck pond, where, if you looked at the correct angle, the trees obscured all the buildings. He could pretend that he was lost in a forest, far away from the inhabitants of buildings.
She was rather annoyed by what was happening, so she walked up the tallest hill she could find.
'Spring!' She shouted. 'Where are you?'
Suddenly, a gust of wind twirled the leaves in front of her, until they formed a crackling, pulsating ball.
'I'm here.' Sighed Spring.
'Why haven't you sprung yet?' She asked, unable to erase the annoyance from her voice. 'You should have sprung by now.'
The ball of leaves seemed to shrug.
'I'll spring soon. I think. I don't know...'
'You don't know?'
It shrugged again.
'I just don't feel like it this year, to be honest...'
She stamped her foot. 'What do you mean 'you don't feel like it'? You're Spring. You're meant to be here. It's like Santa saying that he doesn't feel like delivering presents.'
The ball of leaves floated up until it was level with her face.
'You think Springing is easy, do you? I have to wake all the plants, chase away the clod, store the snow away in the arctic until it's needed for next year, rouse the animals and clean up after Winter. The slob...' Spring muttered.
The girl blinked hard, and was silent for a moment, thinking through thoughts.
After a while, the girl reached out a hand and gently patted a random leaf.
'I'm sorry, Spring.' She murmured. 'I never really thought about how hard it must be to get everything ready. So please take your time to get it all perfect.'
The ball of leaves shivered as she touched it.
'Thank you. Now, don't you have a home to be getting to?'
Sighing, the girl let her hand drop down. 'I suppose so.' With a final wave to the leaves, she skipped back down, ignoring the brightly clod wind that tried to cut through her young bones.
'I feel ill. Make me better.'
'You know I can't make you better. Go to a doctor.'
'I don't like doctors.'
She shook her head, sighing.
'No I'm not.' He protested. 'I just don't like doctors.'
'Because they'll give me drugs. I don't like drugs.'
'Fine. You're not impossible. You're irrational.'
'Aren't we all? I don't sigh every time you ask me to remove a spider from the bathroom.'
'Yes you do!'
'Only a little sigh. A tiny sigh. A baby sigh. But anyway...I put up with your irrationality, so you should do the same.'
I'm drowning in textbooks.
Scientific curiosities and colourful diagrams are pouring out of my mouth, soaking my hair, sweating my body. Ticks and marks and corrections are carried away in the current, battering against my legs as I kick out, kick up in an attempt to gain some air, to gain some respite.
Glancing around, I try and find something to cling on to, a raft of understanding to help me weather the storm. There's nothing there, just a few pieces of driftwood, half-baked ideas, general concepts, vague, insubstantial musings. I hold on to those, hoping that they're enough.
The clouds look like they have been stitched on to the sky. They're fraying at the edges.
Maybe this is a sign that the end of time is near. The seams holding to sky together are giving way, slowly breaking apart, giving us glimpses of the void.
Maybe the clouds are just old and tried. Maybe they have been traveling around the world for such a long time that they can no longer hold they shape that they had in their youth.
Maybe it's just a rainy day, and the clouds are bulging with rain, like over fed sheep. Maybe.
Stretching up high, the old man put down his thread and needle for a brief moment, sighing as his bones cracked.
Glancing down at his work forced another sigh past his lips. Old age had taken pleasure in creasing his skin, putting sand between his joints and painting his eyes with lead. His hand wasn't as steady as it once had been, back in the beginning.
Tutting, he bent his head for a closer inspection. His suspicion was confirmed. Those clouds were fraying at the edges.
He set about unpicking his stitching. He could do better. He knew he could.
I sometimes think of writing a story as trying to create a tower out of glass rods. Every little piece has to be carefully placed, with great thought and concentration going in to where each rod must be placed.
One little slip, and the whole construction would fall to the ground, glass cracking like bone as it shattered, spilling all over the place. Try and recreate it from the shattered remains, and all you would end up with would be bleeding fingers.
It's been such a long time since I tried to write something that was longer than 100 words.
Surprisingly, I had some free time, so I decided to practice some drawing. I always enjoyed drawing when I was younger, getting a pencil and sitting in a field and looking really, really intently at a tree and then trying to get it down on the page with every leaf and branch and crack and root and never, ever turned out how it looked in real life or how it looked in my head. It was always just a jumble of lines, smudged like a sunrise.
This time, however, I was able to reproduce the image inside my head.
You see, during the night, I had fallen in love with the woman in my dreams. She was beautiful. So beautiful that my eyes ached when I looked at her.
As soon as morning knocked on my window, I snapped back to the world and immediately picked up a pencil and located some paper, hastily scribbling down the dimensions of her body. A desperate fever overtook me, a heat radiating through my mind and down to my hands as I scratched at the page, defining, shading, erasing. A human shape took form. The girl who had danced through my dreams.
I study in Oxford, which is well known for attracting the upper class. This evening, I had a headache, so I did the only logical thing and walked in to town to buy a sausage roll.
As I sat eating, a homeless man was busking on the street. It was rather nice.
Halfway through the roll, a party of around seven, dressed up in their finery, white bow ties and everything, walked straight past the man. They didn't even give him a glance.
Why did they just walk past? They could have given him something. Just something to help him.
Eventually, I had here, there, pinned down onto the page. With a sigh, I let my aching fingers rest.
It was here. Not an imitation made of lead, but actually her. Her faint smile, her pale eyes and long hair.
I sat there for a long time. I'm still sitting there, looking at the picture. I haven't eaten for a while. A long time. But who needs to eat, when I can be sustained by staring at here face?
I don't think I'll ever leave. Every stop watching her. She's everything to me, now. Everything and more. My whole world.
Trapped in an unending moment of time, she stared up at her creator from the page.
She could think. She could feel. She could observe. She was an imperfect imitation of life, a facsimile frozen in a mirror.
Her eyes, permanently open, watching the man watching her.
He was grimy. Scraggly bearded with sunken eyes, as if they were trying to mine into his brain for new ideas. He looked desperate, hopeless, as if he had contracted a fever that he knew he no longer had the strength to fight off.
This was her God. A God rotting before her.
Hastily, he scribbled out a the phrase, 'worry crept upon him, like a caterpillar worming it's way through an apple'.
He had no idea about what was going to happen next. He didn't even know what had happened before. All he knew was that he had been thinking in one of the quieter moments of the day, and the phrase had come to him. He had rather liked it, and decided to write it down, even if he never used it again.
He grinned down as his work. He felt like a sculptor, knocking away the first bit of marble.
There were morris dancers, performing all around the city. I must have watched them for a good two hours. Eventually, I ended up having a brief chat with a girl who was drawing them. She was sickeningly talented. People would walk past, glance at what she was doing and take a moment to stop, or surreptitiously snap a picture of her work over her shoulder. She told me that it was an annual event, then let my flick through her art book.
After that, I went to feed some ducks. I like ducks.
Then sleep. Blessed, glorious sleep.
She grinned at him over her coffee mug. She had been doing a lot of grinning, recently. To her mind, grinning was an overused word, unable to fulfill the duty of describing her smile properly. The corners of her lips ached, she could feel her tongue pocking through her teeth and her teeth stuck against her lips. But there wasn't really a word for that.
So she grinned, taking a small sip of coffee as she watched him trying to explain, hands gesturing awkwardly as if his movements had been programmed, words stuttering, bullets flying, shooting out of his mouth.
Eventually, he gave up, bringing his point to a close. His words trailed off, butterflies decaying mid-flight. With a sigh, he forced his hands to his lap, trying to keep still. He was terrible at keeping still, especially when she grinned at him. He most certainly a squirmer.
Was that even a word? It should be a word. It seemed to describe his constant need to shuffle his legs, to tap his fingers, to scratch the back of his head.
Staring back at her, he waited for her reply. She would be eloquent, as always. Speaking fit her perfectly.
'Do you ever sit down and think that everything we do is pointless? That...I don't know...nobody bothers to appreciate any of the efforts we put in to this world? It's like...you're pushing meat into a sausage grinder, but no sausages are coming out.'
'...That's the most ridiculous metaphor I have ever heard.'
'What? I don't see anything wrong with it?'
'Don't you? You sit there, talking about your existential angst, a powerful and emotive subject that everyone eventually has to deal with, and you choose to use sausages as a way of explaining your point?'
The things I have seen:
Half a face.
Numerous arms and legs.
A dead man's penis.
You know, sleep is one of the most wonderful things in the entire world. I would quite happily spend all day in a slumber.
I will see whether you would like to go and feed the ducks. Feeding ducks is fun. And they're not too clingy. I like that in an animal.
I would like to apologise for the way I treated you. I never will, because that would mean dragging horrific emotions into the light. I'm not ready to scrutinise them just yet.
Jeremy couldn't remember how he had lost his eyes. He couldn't remember a lot of things.
The last thing he could truly remember was when he had fallen to the ground, and a stone had cut his cheek. He could recall the biting heat where he had been cut, the cracking of the blood as it congealed, the tight, shooting pain every time he moved his mouth.
Where his eyes had gone, though...
Perhaps a bird had pecked them out. That seemed like something that would happen to him. Probably to teach him something. Some type of lesson, perhaps.
The bird hopped around its nest, inspecting its eye collection.
It had all types of eyes. Pale blue ones, as if someone had sucked all the joy out of the colour. Dark brown ones, shiny and glistening. Dulled green ones, as if injected with plastic.
They were in varying conditions, of course. Some had been with him for over 6 years. They were starting to rot, melt like wax into the nest. Others had small bits of dust, even the occasional twig, stuck in them.
It enjoyed looking at the new ones, the most. They were always the most pleasing.
It's April. It's hailing.
Where is your God now?
Some things just should not happen. One of those things is hail in April. April is when everything is meant to be warm and sunny and lovely. When you can take a walk outside without having to worry about bringing an umbrella or putting on a jacket. It's meant to be the month where you spread your arms and twirl down the street as the warmth gives life to your bones and breeze carries a whisper of a promise of nicer things to come.
There should be no hail. Not now.
One time, I built this fort out of a blanket and some cushions and I used my saxophone case as a support beam and I sat in my fort and closed my eyes and it was so warm and so dark and so lovely when I opened my eyes again I could see all the stars pin pricking on the blankets and I could hear the slight breeze tip toe through the trees that held up the entire structure and I sat there was a smile as I felt the entire world and spin with time floating down the horizon.
You have no idea how much I want to sleep. To stop doing work and just sleep.
I'm not sure if I regret not telling you. I feel fine. I didn't think that I was going to feel fine. I thought it was going to hurt. But it doesn't. It's all fine.
The flowers are coming out. It's really pretty.
I suppose we all want to meet a beautiful stranger. I suppose some of us can find the words to say to them.
Sometimes, I just sit and think. I think so hard that I forget that the world exists.
'Hey Mr Blackbird.'
'Are you going to ask me for my eyes again?'
'Well...they would go nicely with my collection.'
'But I need my eyes to see with, Mr Blackbird. There are so many wonderful colours. I don't want to give up colours.'
'I understand...but maybe your other senses would compensate for your lack of eyesight. Maybe you would be able to smell new scents, hear subtleties in music undetectable to anyone else, taste flavours that would skip and dance across your tongue.'
'So can I have your eyes? I'll take good care of them.'
The Tip Jar