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Slow steady Catch up.
I remember this site so vividly. I remember myself as I typed then, but I remember myself like looknig at someone familiar on the street. We stop, our eyes adjust a little, first to the light, then to the noise, then feet, shins, thighs, hips, stomah, chest (and arms as the focus of the lense is widened to take in passing traffic) shoulders, chin, mouth, nose (and ears), and finally eyes. Dull, grey eyes staring at me from the future, as I am trying to write. Lighten up, for God's sake. You know God, right?
An uneasy feeling settled into my body, like all the bad parts of an LSD trip, but resoving as irreconcilable.
I walk dogs twice a day. I make them sit before I open the gate. They know the drill. They give up as much as they think is not worth fighting over. At least not worth fighting me over.
I slept poorly last night. Actually that is not true. When I eventually fell asleep I didn't want to wake up. There didn't seem like a need to. One of the dogs that sheltered from the thunder shat in the room.
The laziest afternoon was never recorded. Even the reporters who considered working as printing whatever drooled from the tip of their drunken pens we so blaze and tired that they spread themselves out on the street like dogs during summer. I think the day was in autumn, but my memory stopped working that day, like everyone elses'. We do have a vague recollection of something, and we feel it coming each year (I say we because after what we believe was the laziest day we try and recount our memories in the pub), but no one can remember anything clearly.
"What does life mean to you?"
"Nothing, life does nothing mean to me."
"That's not what I asked. When did you stop listening?"
"When you stopped watching. Which was also the time you said you started, but actually stopped caring."
"What about us?"
"I've always cared about life. I just haven't always cared about your life."
"Nice way to talk to your partner."
"Nice of you to listen, instead of read. Nice of you to care about me for once."
"Care? I care."
"You don't. You don't care. If you did you would see how you are mean."
A gritty camera, or gritty reception, made the message as easy to swallow as grit, and tar, cooling on fresh roads. But choking on words when reception is crackly, broken, and stuttered is fine, expected even.
"I can't hear you you are breaking up."
The response, like piecing together broken bits of an unfamiliar language, seemed to fit prefectly with what had been said, but that didn't make sense. Surely the reception must be bad at both ends. Or was it only at one end where the signal refused to come across clean, but at the other side perfect clarity?
Damn the peots who uttered 'autumn twilight'
warmed by the crackle of sodden wood, in smoke
filled rooms surrounded by night time's mirrors
Did they not know death? Did they dare not look?
Couldn't they feel the radiating heat
that attracts worms to rotting carcases
beneath the soil where light refuses to penetrate.
Down there no long autumn twilight shines
long golden sheets through the forrests
freed of their canopy of leaves. A breath
of air moves unhastingly onwards
now unhindered by their burden. Branches
stretch and move and swing and creak
with a nervous painful sigh.
Winter is alive.
It is time to talk about music. The metronome is getting tired, and loosing count, loosing the one, loosing speed. This must be a talk with subtle rhyme, but exact metre. Don't rest three is the count, and four is for the feet. Her? She dances naturally, with purpose held behind closed lips. Of course she dances for you. She can't avoid it, and she doesn't try, naturally. Listen. It is almost time again. Refrain, one is approaching. I know, turn away. Don't look. Don't. Hesitate for a minute. She is waiting for us. She is waiting. One, two, three
A picture of home. A picture in one hundred words. The walls of my house need painting, and the grass needs cutting. The letterbox has been emptied. I think birds are nesting under the eves near my bedroom. They chip and scratch before the sun comes up, and they peck at weather deteriorated pegs. This year the tomato plants hae done much better aginst the back fence, but there is a stray cat that loves pissing near them. Do stray cats mark territory with piss? There is a book in one of my unopen mover's boxes with information in it.
What happened today? A fictional story for myself as a child, or what I imagined myself to like as a child.
Today I grew wings at the breakfast table and spent the morning flying. I didn't go far, but I went high enough for the landscape to turn into an aboriginal dot painting, but less stylised because my glasses perscription was renewed last week and everything is boardered by pixilated sharp edge.
There were lots of trees. Some with green leaves. Some with brown, amber, rust, ocher, red, yellow, gold, and bronze leaves. And I knew none of their names.
The dogs have been scared inside by the sound of distant explosioins. I have no idea what guns sound like, especially from a distance, but wondered, standing in my slippers, what I would need to survive in he woods if a militia came storming up the road. I think the essentials have been narrowed to the following:
sleeping bag and Bivy sac
First aid kit
Change of shoes
lots of socks
lots of underwear
tablet and charger
mobile phone and charger
only two books
pen and paper
We met only because she smiled first, and I went and introduced myself. We were on the same plane together, she said, from Berlin. Did I smile then? No, I don't think so, I don't remember much of the two hour flight, except that I find it impossible to read on planes, and wondered why this time I didn't take the bus instead. I usually do when I am coming to the end of an amazing novel. When she joined me for dinner we talked about books and the usual problems of being stuck between politeness and a language barriers.
He was last seen on the main street with his legs tied to two field driven horses that couldn't find any energy from the crowd to move their thin legs even one step alonng the paths that they were yelled, and hit, and ordered to go so that the crowd could get what they demanded: a quick death to an old man who had done the only thing left in the town worthy of capital punishment - performed witchcraft, bewitched the town into believing that he was human, that he was mortal, that he did have a mother, before the records.
He tried to remember and disect the sounds that haromised the creeking hingers of the opening door. One was distinctly sheets moving soft white leaves floating discreetly in a quiet stream. Another was clicking tounges, clicking telephones, clicking television, clicking light swithch, the fizz of tick-tack trad-jazz snare rhythm of disturbed sleep, and an off beat heartbeat bass humming refridgerator. Maintaining cool, the slap of his bag on the polished floorboards introduces his voice to the kitchen, livingroom, bedroom, that absorb his voice expectantly through ear opened doorways to dark places of individual minds anticipating somme immediate downfall.
Why is it always the stranger who forces eyes to open, and perspectives to be changed? Why is it so hard to accept the same things that the stranger communicates flawlessly? Would there be religion if the entire world got to shake the hand of all the religious icons, or better yet got to spy on them in the toilet, or asleep where, as someone said in a book, people always look stupid when they sleep (actually it was tugrenev in 'fathers and sons')? Maybe the only people left worshiping would be the purest of heart who saw themselves sleeping.
I am supposed to be working on another novel. This one like the first one keeps forcing itself upon me when ever I am out and with friends, or on my way to work, or the shops. It pleads like a cat needing food, or needing to be let out. It is impossible, like the crying of a baby, to ignore it is neglectful. So I sit, where ever I am, fine speak as you must. What is it you want to say? What is all the desperation about? Is this the promised start? Nothing. Just wanted to say Hi.
He arrived at the door with the rain drenched letter in his hand. When the door opened he followed his instructions: hand over the letter, turn around and walk away without answering any questions.
Around the corner, in his car, he lit a cigarette, started the car, and turned up the heater, then the stereo.
On the passenger seat more letters waited to be delivered that day, sometime before nightfall, but nightfall starts early when rain clouds arrive at midday.
He put the car into first, pulled out into the empty street, and wondered why nobody happily recieved letters anymore.
The tale of the naughty cat.
Let's call him Tom.
"My name isn't Tom. You don't even know if I am male."
"Fine. What do you want to be called?"
"Don't mind, just not Tom."
"Well... the cat who isn't called Tom..."
"Oi! Stop it. You know what claws are for, right?"
"Was a very naughty cat..."
"Why do you keep saying that?"
"If you'ld let me continue that is the point of this story"
"Wouldn't it be better if I told my own story?"
"Because you can't tell stories, and this is personal."
Some houses belong. They could not exist if they were moved, or altered in anyway. But in the hills, on a small patch of land cut from the trees, houses nestle the secrets of their crumbling facades into the inclining face of the hill and shine immaculate white washed walls towards anyone driving along the valley road. Some of these houses have lights that go on when the sun sets, but they don't light the way for people who haven't lived there for decades, they light their place in the valley so fearlessly it is possible to walkthrough abandonned towns.
"I love this place. Don't you?"
Indistinguishable popcorm scented grunts authorised her uninhibited excitement to guide her freely through the massed partiers. She moved freely for hours. Not dancing, but reacting: turning with a smile; side stepping branching arms, and bouncing feet.
"Wait! Where are you going? Did you see that guy?"
The last person she really saw was the half smiling guy on the note as the cashier slapped him on the face and dragged him away. So, no. She didn't see him. Strobe lights don't show people. She wasn't here to see people.
"Do you want to dance?"
When the first alien arrived on earth it was invited to dinner with an average family. The invitation was made at a press conference, to the surprise of the organisers, by a word weary reporter who wanted to see what her collaegues honestly thought about her, and this was the perfect opportunnity for them to imortalise their thoughts veild as one of the most publisised events since the church developed the printing press. They spent the next couple of questions discussing the alien's diet. She blushed when it said anything you cook will be delicious, how could it be otherwise.
Now, arguing is just a part of life.
"I love you" was generally how the arguments started rounding up, calming down, settling on justification "but we are different people now".
When they met they were in the same place for different reasons. When they fell in love it was for different reasons. When they failed themselves it was for different reasons. When they thought of the future they both smiled for different reasons. When they fought it was for different reasons. And finally, when she lifted the blood soaked knife from his chest, they were both happy for different reasons.
She hated his bloody camera. The way he held it softly as a lover. The way his left eye closed and his right narrowed to focus as he lifted, and pointed it at her. She wanted to throw rocks down the lens in protest with a bandanna tied around her mouth and nose, but she smiled anyway, and swore later when she looked through the flick-book folders and albums of her ageing face, her greying hair, her yellowing teeth, her puffing sacks under her progressively duller eyes, her smile. Her ceramic still-lifeless smile. She hated his bloody camera.
The day the smoothest talker in town lost his voice was no day for laughing, even though, inspired by the envoius' calls of froggy, the streets were full of children croaking 'ribbit, ribbit', jumping in puddles and dirtying their clean clothes. The only sounds in the local shop were the chimes of the door, and change across the counter, the owner stood mute and spent the afternoon looking at her reflection in a five litre jar of gerkins. There were neither giggles, nor excited whispers tracing the smoothest talkers path. There was tension, and I silently tried to rib it.
Questions from the audience began before the boxer sat. He fidgets in his chair before answering anything.
'Yes. I have had these gloves since I was ten years old.'
'I gave them to myself. What do you mean?'
'There is no reason to talk about him. This is about this fight.'
'Can you speak up? Between you noisy bastards and a few thousand hits to the ears I don't hear so well.'
'...[muffled laughter]... but you have said otherwise before. Why is it different...'
'I still don't understand your question. That was then. This is the night before a fight.'
I made a promise to myself on my 30th birthday - this was going to be my asshole decade. After repetitive conversations about the benefits of ruthlessness I decided to try it.
Since that time, two years ago, I have had so many opportunities to be the bad guy. There were women in relationships who looked at me with lust, admiration, and fear, as I looked at them with exactly the same expression, but did nothing, and quickly started conversations about their partners. There were fights I stopped, drugs I said no to, and another promise that I broke to myself.
Jim's job provided him with a fulfilling combination of ease and accomplishment. He thought about his luck on the train to and the bus from work each day.
One morning, when he was completly absorbed in his pleasant thoughts, someone sat opposite him, and asked what he was thinking about. When he answered 'work' the question had already been asked three times.
'But you look so happy.'
'I am happy.'
'Lucky you. I'm not.'
At work Jim was distracted. The day was wasted repeating one simple task. His errors varied like the responses to the question he didn't ask - why?
Their gestures changed over the years, but were never discussed openly. Internally, monologues ran constantly, and if we had the chance to listen to them simultaneously the patterns that their thoughts produced could be considered harmonious, or 'a delicate oscillation between one's happiness and another's sadness creating the over all feeling of numbness, or emotional equlibrium'. Unfortunately we aren't omniscient, and neither were they. However, after years of searching for outward signs for inner thoughts they could accurately guess what to really think when asked from the doorway, with a coat still on - 'should I return?' - only answering was hard.
Life stopped. Being a race
and diveded so easily from you
I only streth my arms because
it feels good to press my plams
against the walls. On all sides
even where there is no light
in the corner, over there, go
dreams towards my god. Not yours
tonight, or any nigbt. Ask again
please will get you everything
you asked for. Too much
noise at this time of morning.
was I asleep? Didn't feel like it
alone. Almost like someone softly
spoke in a foriegn language,
recognisable meaningless sounds
pleading eyes, crying baby
begging shared responsability
'Spare change, sir?'
Let's just get one thing clear. I'm the buffing rag, you are the rescued dump car, and surrounding you is your new reality. Clear? These walls don't move. They have always been here. They will always be here. They will feel the same day, after day, after day, after you're dead, and I am here clearing the vision of the next lot, and the lot after that.
Don't think I'm the problem. I'm nothing. Any problems you encounter will be your own fault. I am not here to cover your vision with rainbows. I'm here so you can appriciate rainbows.
I have been really disjointed this last week. Most days I spend all of my time staring at the wall, and stoking the fire. I have no energy for anything. But the funny thing is I can't work out why. If I can find out the reason then I can find a plug to fit the hole where all my motivation, energy, and emotions are pouring through to who knoows where, or maybe it is like electrical impule - if there was no negative ions there would be no movement of positive ioins, and I could exist is an insulated peace.
He left yesterday, and took more
than he arrived with. My soul
withered, tired, beaten, living
in a foriegn land.
Her smile was all teeth.
A proud, wealthy dentist hung
tonight, for show, she was
a dynamic portrait
Of hate, and love. For all
that mess still waiting
to be sorted out. Drink now
we are still open.
His return. Her smile. Their
mutual existance brought home
by an embrace. Fear held close
solitude's unforgiving tounge
Spoke to them earlier. Nothing
to say. Would quicken communication
of what we shouldn't say. Hide
my love. I trust you no more.
The Tip Jar