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Why do serial murderers only seem to kill good-looking people? I can see not wanting to watch their beauty fade as they grow old, or getting some sort of seedy sexual thrill out of it that increases with the obvious value of the victim, but really—the killer has to live in the world as much as the rest of us do. Killing beautiful people reduces the amount of beauty in the world. Then again, people litter and vandalise, too, and for no reason aside from laziness. Criminals (regrettably) don't think enough about the long term consequences of their actions.
I feel so safe in this city. It's empty late at night, but not ominously as it would be at home. I don't know that I could ever be reckless, but my fear has been stripped away almost entirely. It's difficult to adjust to a lack of fear. Before, I would not stay out alone past dark; now, the heavy night air I walk through is foreign and lovely in the free, anonymous way everything unknown is lovely. Without a lifetime of warnings woven through this air, its emptiness is just that: emptiness. Thieves no longer lurk in the shadows.
I've always wondered if I could become addicted to adrenaline. If I were to lose control to anything, I think it would be that. Skiing, sky diving: sports don't interest me for the sport, but for the rush. I could never love soccer the way I love to ski. I could never love love the way I love fear, anger, power. I worry that I will one day find that nothing is satisfying, that I need more and I've already taken all they could give. I must at heart be unsure of my resolve in the face of true temptation.
I don't want to be a writer. I am, in a sense: I write, like I breathe (my life is a story I tell; everything is character, setting, and tone) but it could never be my job. I want to do so many things: fight, categorise, understand, redeem. I want excitement, and I can't find that in a pen. When I write, I explore myself. I expand myself. I need to make room for myself if I want to grow; I need to explore the world. I can only write if that is not the sum of what I am.
Fairy tales and fables have a strange sort of morality. Everything pales beside the value they choose to illustrate, as though that value has become the seed the world is built around. Robin Hood's criminal behaviour is overlooked because it is not important to a story about greed, and so he becomes a hero. The danger in these stories is when they seem too close to history. (This is the failing in my fairy tale: it is built around ideas, not a moral. I can't be so irresponsible as to ignore for one value the other necessary conditions for goodness.)
The luminous yellow sky is bleeding rain. It's been humid, the air so thick with water that smells were lifted heavy in the air. It's late enough now that I could expect students to be scurrying, huddled under umbrellas, to class, but none is. There's thunder, and clouds transparent to the light; this is not a gloomy day at all. Half-globes of glassy water glow on the underside of the railing: crystal balls, they say that summer will not go so easily, no matter what day is marked on the calendar. I suspected as much before they said a word.
Bishop and Cable are two of my favourite X-Men, but I can never seem to remember their powers (Note: absorbing and returning kinetic energy, and strong telepathy and telekenesis, respectively). How is it that they can be so powerful and still very few of the fans remember what they can do? It might be that, while a great deal of emphasis is put on the individual X-Men's powers over their mission (even with Magneto!), what we're most aware of with these two is their time-travelling, missions, and future worlds. Solution: make them use their powers more. Er. Maybe not Cable….
It's funny (disheartening) how quick people are to notice difference, and how much more that matters than any similarities. Despite being born in the US, and having lived there for years, and holding an American passport, I am Australian; although most of my family lives or is buried in Australia, and I can vote here, and I own property here, I am American. I never seem to be part of "us"; I am always "them". I suppose I make myself part of "them", too, by not trying harder to pass. I'd like to think I could—but I don't know.
I'm afraid to fall asleep. If I rest on my back, my tongue will block my throat; my nose is blocked, anyway, but I won't be able to breathe through my mouth. If I sleep on my stomach, I will smother myself in the pillow, never wake up. I can't lie on my side; my ribs will be crushed inwards and my spine fall slightly out of line, and I will break something if I stand too abruptly. I'm afraid that I won't be able to pull myself from my dreams, and that is the nightmare: to be asleep forever.
When something I write doesn't work, it helps me more to know what it is and why than it does to tell me it's good. I might be too close to the story to see its faults. However, I know why a lot of people don't like to give constructive criticism. Few people are confident enough to take criticism as honest opinion, and they either see it as a personal attack or give it more weight than is wise. I wish I could get more criticism; positive comments mean more to me when the commentor also sees my story's faults.
My room looked very messy, but it didn't take long at all to straighten it up. The clothing on the floor was either dirty—toss it in the laundry basket—or clean and folded—into the drawers. The papers and magazines only needed to be put on the chair, the books—the few that'd fit—to be eased into the spaces on my shelves. Most of the rubbish was plastic bags, left over from shopping, or empty bottles I've kept to hold water. Even my bedcover needed just a few tugs. I don't know why I didn't tidy up sooner.
Loyalty, as a trait, isn't helpful. Someone who is abolutely loyal is, in my opinion, stupid. Everyone has a price, however high. The person who won't divulge his best friend's middle name for a billion dollars will lose my respect. Absolute loyalty is idiotic; predictable loyalty is what is important. I can forgive a major betrayal I knew would happen more easily than a minor betrayal I didn't suspect. I would rather have a friend who will definitely tell my secrets than one who might, for a high enough price. At least I'd know then how much I could say.
I think it's brilliant that we're able to use economics to predict other things—I mean, in school, they generally told us impossibilities and taught us the difference between capitalism, communism, and socialism, and it was only because I could see something fascinating gleaming beneath the silly assumed 'facts' that I decided I wanted to do an economics degree. I love that economics can be used to calculate the optimal level of burglary and stamp out the rest. I love that you can calculate risk aversion and utility and externalities (in theory). I love economics. (It's a pretty good hobby.)
What's the deal with necrophilia? I get the whole 'ew, dead body, gross' thing; I prefer not to go around grabbing roadkill, myself. But when a man comes home to find his wife dead, but looking like she's sleeping, is he supposed to have a different reaction to all the other times he came home to find her asleep? Understanding and numbness don't set in right away, and bodies sometimes react without our wanting them to. ...or is he not supposed to find her at all attractive when she's asleep, either? Can't our taboos at least make sense and allowances?
[Dan thought he might hate Peter. His red, red cheeks, anticipating her taunts; his stiff way of walking—brittle, tensed for her laughter. The look in her eyes when Peter clenched his jaw, blinking away tears. Peter was the phantom third, a ghost between them in their bed. She woke surprised to find only Dan beside her. He could hear Peter's name in her moan, in her silence. "Only you," she whispered, grinned, laughed, but when he said I love you with fierce teeth, she pulled away, lay staring at the ceiling. She didn't understand; she had forgotten their language.]
It's raining. The roof of my mouth is coated in grease from bolting down McDonald's after watching the Sunday double feature. I'm tired, despite having slept nine hours last night and its only being ten o'clock; I'm tired enough, for once, that I could fall asleep thirty minutes after going to bed. I do want to go to bed, too, but can't. I should've started writing this essay last week, but what's (not) done is (not) done. I'm feeling somewhat dully happy—I don't know why, but won't complain. I'm as content as an anxious, ambitious no one can be.
The air this morning was cold, but not too cold. It skimmed my skin and went no deeper. I had forgotten how much I love to be up, to be out, early in the morning—few people are around, the cars are sparse, and the sun's shining without burning. Even when I haven't had anything to eat and have had only four hours of sleep, it's wonderful. I feel so alive. I feel large, and anonymous, and free. If only I could sleep through the afternoon instead or morning and night—I came home tired from getting up so early.
Getting enough sleep is no better. Having managed to get nine hours of uninterrupted sleep, I am now more tired at 8:15 than I was yesterday at 10. My eyes will not stay open. Sleep is like a drug that's necessary in small doses; the more you have, the more you need. It's not hard to get by on only a little, but it's addictive. It becomes hard to get up in the morning, you start to need it more and more; without the strength of will to resist it, the larger doses soon become the minimum necessary to function.
I'm pretty feminine, but I prefer (and usually expect) to be called by masculine or neuter titles and pronouns. He, mister, sir. Even 'it' would be preferable to 'she', because I don't categorise myself as a 'she' any more than I do the feminine boys I know, and at least I could get a laugh out of 'it'. I don't think of myself as 'she'—I'm only 'me'. And it's frustrating not to be seen as such, because it means that I'm not seeing myself as I'm being seen by others. It'd be nice if everyone could get over gender.
I sat in the grass with a bag of chips and bottle of juice; a policeman was hanging out next to his car at the end of the parking lot. I don't know what he was doing there; he was on the wrong side of the sidewalk to go after any speeders. Too many large ants were hanging around the area for my comfort, so I tried sitting on a rusted metal plate. (I probably could've been electrocuted.) The sunset was the sort you want to fix to the sky, beautiful and upsettingly short-lived. I love everything about life tonight.
Sometimes I get the feeling that how it is now is how it should be forever, that I could be happy if I never had to think of anything but the present. I know it's not true, that I would become incredibly bored and restless if I even stayed in the same city for too long, but it's nice to dream of contentment. It's that feeling, I think, that makes me want to work with numbers; I feel it most often when I'm calculating probability or standard deviation. Will I end up with a job that makes me that happy?
I keep feeling that something's falling. There's a movement at the edge of my vision (probably imagined). My stomach tightens. My hand darts out (too slowly, not far enough) and I suck in a quick breath. There is no sound as nothing hits the ground. I don't dream of falling; I dream of dropping things. Maybe it's just a reflection of the fact that I can trust myself but am always scared that I will lose control. If it's a warning that I should worry less about control, it's failed—it only reminds me to keep everything firmly in hand.
What you do when you're scared defines you. Who you are then is who you are; you are not the you who's made up in front of the mirror with practised smile and flattering clothes. Very few of us are brave against our fears, and we all have them, although they're all very different; a man who says he's afraid of nothing is lying. What will I do? Dodge fear or face it, submit to it or defeat it, ignore it, break down, ask for help? I think: I'd worry, complain, plan, hide—then face it as best I could.
I need to work on not being an idiot. Failing to make an assignment perfect and brilliantly insightful is not a good enough reason not to turn it in. My choices are not 90% or fail—80% is good enough. It is worse, I think, to allow myself to let an opportunity pass because I can't exploit the entirety of its potential than it is actually to be dull enough not to see what it could be. I have been stupid, and I can't allow that to continue. I won't start working on it next semester—I will start now.
How much of everything in my life depends on the thoughts, actions, and words of others? If, when I open my e-mail account, I'm thinking 'Mum probably won't have e-mailed me', could that influence her past behaviour so that she won't have sent a message? If she's thinking of calling me, could that have an effect (even a negative one) on how far my last class goes over time? Could "spontaneous" joy or anger reflect far-away persons' feelings? Is every so-called coincidence, every incident, dependent on every thought (et cetera) that concerns it and its participants in the least way?
I hate when certain things are assumed known and so are made the basis for another thing entirely, when they're totally mystifying. I know next to nothing about Australian political history, or its past relations with Indonesia; I imagine this is the sort of thing you pick up when I picked up all that information on Stonewall Jackson and the Trail of Tears. If we're going to be tested on history, I wish we'd be tested on history—then at least I'd know to learn it, know where to find out, know what's important to know. This way, I'm lost.
Things that might have upset me even two years ago can't touch me here. Part of it is that I'm more self-confident every day, but, I worry, I might be more closed off, too. You can't hurt me—nothing you say has weight. You can't hurt me—I'm waiting for you to try. You can't hurt me—I don't expect you to keep your promises. An acquaintance said something about my 'impenetrable walls'. I laughed it off, but it could approach truth. I don't try to be secretive—don't think I am—but I just can't trust anyone but myself.
If you draw a character well, he should be recognisable naked with his head shaved. If you rely on hair colour and costume, the characters might be pretty, but they won't be interesting. There are things that can be done aside from clothes, scars, and colouring to differentiate between characters—small details, like Iruka's eyes and Kakashi's eyelids. That's not to say that the normal tricks are bad, or shouldn't be used—just that there's so much more you can do with a character than use him as a pretty mannequin to show off your fashions. Make him someone interesting.
It's strange, but I can change the entire tone of a story by changing only the genders of the characters involved. There's so much information, connotation, background held in the 's' that makes 'he' to 'she' so dramatic. It's fascinating, frustrating. It would be an interesting exercise to try to write a story that could work the same way, with nothing added or lost, if the pronouns were switched. It could be done—there's not that much hidden in those words—but it might be hard. (I realise: it will never be universal; it might already be true for some.)
I'd much prefer to know people without hidden depths. I like people to be more intelligent than they show, but being more emotional causes problems. I'm never quite sure how to deal with emotion, especially when I'm not expecting it; I don't want to say something that might trigger a strong emotional response.While a lot of people I like are emotional, I like my friends to be stable, predictable. "Hidden depths" means that I don't know what I'm getting into. It means that I like someone who doesn't exist, who's not you. It means I don't know you at all.
I see life so dully; everything I write is hazy, to me. Yet I'm told I write vividly. Is life supposed to be filtered like this? Am I imagining seeing relatively clearly, having seen clearer still in the past? I want to get back to where everything was bright and comprehensible; I don't want my mind to be veiled for the rest of my life. Unless I'm misunderstanding. Perhaps in criticism, "vivid" means that while it could never approach life, it's closer than most other fiction. If that's true, how sad. I'd like to believe that fiction can approach reality.
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