Okay, here's the twisted bit. Most of the time, no one knows that anything is wrong. So in that sense, this dark charachter, the one of which I do not tend to speak, is looming in the shadows - not invisible persay, just - out of sight. Nonetheless, I can feel his presence - yes, his. Is that surprising? Anything sinister is a "Him" in my book. The one that stays closed in the deep recesses of my psyche. And its my psyche we are exploring anyhow. So, anyhow, Him.
You can't see him, persay, but if you are perceptive, you will feel him, a darkening about the edges, the curtains stained by the sent of his presence, the lasting ochre silence of his hands clenched about my shoulders.
Now, this is where is gets interesting. When I was a child, my sister and I loved to trick people into believing I had wires surgically embeded in my shoulders. People would think we were being maudlin and silly until they actually put a hand to touch me. Running outward from my neck on each side to touch the tip of my thin shoulder was a line of tension pulled so taut it felt inhuman. They would belive us. We were delighted.
Even then, at the age of seven or eight, he held the other end of the wire.
Did you catch his voice? A humming, rattling in the next room. No, nothing, just the quiet noise of the motor running in the refrigerator. White noise. White noice that tints a room grey. Forboding.
If you were to see him, imagine him as the man from my dream. The one that came into the room, slowly around the door.
The one I thought was my father, but as I strained to force my eyes open, found I was paralized, deep in thick grog, could barely see through my blurry lidded eyes. His face was blue as paint, white streaks running down from his eyes, vivid as burning. And as I lay paralized on the bed - not my father - he walked slowly to me, lay his hands on the back of my neck. The energy ran through my body, voltage unmaneagable, vibration, terror, lightning. I fought to wake. I couldn't. Relax into it, I thought, this is how to slow the terror in dreams. Relax, just accept, relax. But that only let him farther in, the energy shrieking up a higher octive. Not a Dream. Fuck, fight it off. WAKE UP. And I did. Forced my eyelids open, a hundred pound each. In the same bed, in the same room, the same light. But he was gone.
Monologue - Arrow
The sting of loneliness sets in. I can feel on my shaft the heat of an afternoon sun, dappled through the leaves above me. My untested brethren lay fletched together in their case, full of possibility, moving father and farther away from me. Their potential almost at its peak, while mine, of course, having passed me by in an instant. I’ve never before been alone. My life has been spent in the closest companionship of my kind, awaiting, cozed up, tips all akimbo, feathers tickling feathers, face down in a quiver, while our turn lingers in the future like a happy ending. When in fact.
So much time waiting for that one moment of singularity. The moment of flight. Loosed. Shot like a bolt, shot like an…. Well too obvious. Over almost before it began. And here I am. There I went. Here I sit. Time moves on. While my self, the whole of me, begins already to come apart. Into parts I go. The feathers first. I can feel that lazily glued little third fluttering half off. That mistake. As it turns out, my defining flaw. The flagging tuft which came loose during flight, which caused me to miss my mark so widely that I never actually even grazed glory on my way into this stump. One following the other, teased by the wind until they wiggle free, my feathers will drift on the forest floor, tousled with the duff, until, like all things, they rot into the dirt and are consumed by the tiniest of mites.
My shaft, being made of a harder wood, it could be possible to outlast a few branches here and there. A thin consolation, and does it really matter? Certainly, I won’t stay long at this angle. A jaunty plucky strait-out, seeming almost reattached to the mother tree my body came from. Perhaps, looking so natural, a bird will pirch on me, loose a few droppings and feathers to join mine on the ground. Perhaps it will lend its clever little beak to speed my way to entropy.
And the truly comical bit - the point of me, already lost. That most essential element, the fierce biting end, is now buried to deep to pull free, yet not deep enough to say, even as a turn of phrase; I am not buried in the heart of the tree. No poetic satisfaction. Sort-of close. And where is the poetry in that. Ah life. The cruel pranks of it. Only the ordained receive glamorous ends. While the rest of us spend the longest parts of our lives halfway to somewhere, yet no where near our mark.
I think this is a super pertinent question right now, and one that, as a white person, I wonder about too. I'm glad you are getting some thoughtful answers in with the bullocks.
Of course there is no cut and dry answer! This is such a complicated topic, made up of people's feelings and thoughts. As far as I have learned, being willing to ask, try for respect, make mistakes, and recieve feedback and answers is right on. The fact that you are asking the question is a good sign! My advise is to keep asking as your character develops. It's awesome that this character excites you.
@llLeoll - no need to read my work :) But thats a sweet reward you are offering.
It juts from the log, nearly erect. Sad dismembered fletching hanging loosely, dismembered feathers in three flat peals, now limp and lifeless, once handsome and prim.
It remembers the fingers - his fingers. They touched lovingly, almost yearningly, the firm round flank of its shaft. Smooth, the smoothness fondled by his touch, as he gazed, stared, penetrated the foliage with his intensity. He loosed it, suddenly, without warning. There was nothing the arrow could do, once released from the agency of his hands. It flew where it was aimed, except the twist, the mottled bleched twist of it, that one feather had come loose. And it swirled, furled, unfurled, spiraled, and veered in its trajectory ever so slightly to the left. Or was it right? Was the direction from the viewpoint of the sender, the releasor, or, perhaps, from the target? That lithe she who galloped, cantered, hopped, blithely away from it’s tempered sting. Or perhaps from the arrow itself. Left then, left and left, until caught, the wethered shaft, the fierce tip, in wood, inches in, for the stump was rotted and accommodating, as much as the flesh of the victim so neatly absconded, so neatly spirited away, so neatly avoiding its taught disaster in the wind.
It could feel the agony of His breath, as he turned, left it there quivering, yet not of the quiver, no longer. No longer of the quiver. Shame, it thought, but who’s? Again, the archer, the maker? He who shaped it, sharpened it, from a low straight branch, a high flying bird, a stone from the riverbed - or the arrow itself? Its face buried in decaying wood pulp, near the heart of the tree, but not quite reached it, just as the heart of the animal, the she, it so nearly kissed with death.
Me, Myself and I
I promise to love you, through thick and thin, and even that awkward above the hip tummy flab in-between.
I promise to accept your odd quirks. Even the one that makes you go stale as two day-old flat bread when confronted with small talk, and shrink to the dimensions of celophane when confronted by any authority figure. Even when you become overwhelmed by anxiety just as you prepare to walk out the door, causing you to dilly-dally randomly, causing you to be late by more than 15 minutes while your friends wonder what happened to you.
When you get overwhelmed and leave your body, I will reel you back in like a fish. I'll go running, even when you really, really dont want to. When you dissapear into yourself and won't return phone calls, I'll call you back from a hundred miles away. Hey, get back here. You're being an ass hole. I know your terrified. You think this will be the time. When all your friends finlly really realize you are a total lame-butt and ditch you for good. Let's give your friends some credit. Lord knows they've earned it.
I'll help you come up with better vocabulary than "Lame-Butt." I'll forgive you that none is forthcoming at the moment.
I'll forgive you for being terrified. For having no spine. For making lame attempts and then giving up on anything that you aren't instantly good at. For forsaking your writer self. For dabbling helplessly at everything. For letting the frightening mirage of failure leave you stranded in the desert while your creative thirst withers. For imagining all our ideas out to the end, and then visualizing them as lame, lame lame.
I will see you anyways. I will accept you, and your beauty. Yes, beauty. I will see the poet that lives in you. Hey in there. I will give you grace. I will wonder at your wonder. I will remain aware that you will never be younger than you are now, that we will look back and say "geez, what was I worying about? What wrinkles? You call that a fat roll? Get over yourself, you look great."
I will remenber that we need to play to survive. That to write is to be alive. That guilt will overtake you, but that it is only self loathing in sheep's clothing. That to connect with others, you have to connect with yourself. That to truly see others, you have to be willing to see yourself. That social anxiety does not define you. That Nihilism is a passing craze. That you will again regain access to the poignance of this moment.
I will love you, through these jeans, and back to those. I will love you even when you do nothing of substance for days.
I Love you. I LOVE you. You are one of a kind, Wierdo. I love you, awkward-moment-in-the-grocery-store-girl. I love you.
Dystopian Future Novels!
They capture the imagination, because its where were going, or might be going.
They tell the story of our human existance, the ending to the saga we are all caught up in, the great human drama.
They can illuminate the present, and influence thinkers about how to shape our world, or not to,
They capture the futility, the tragedy, play on our deepest hopes and fears, bigger than any one individual life. They tickle our minds with realms of possibility, which we all hang on the edge of.
Plus. They can gain even greater importance as time goes on, providing a projected mirror of times and trials as time progresses. Plus, just awesome.
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The Tiger Who Wanted To Eat The Stars
The tiger wanted to eat the stars he saw shining in the water
He tried them in puddles
He tried them in a lake
He tried them in a dew drop
He followed the grasshoppers song, thinking he might find them.
He sat down on the grass and cried.
The stars reflected in his tears
And he could taste them!
The stars were salty, as they ran down his face.
Funny, I was just thinking about this today. I was lying on my, with 20 lbs of baby cradled between my theighs and my chin, and my hand was burning. the lid had fallen off the kettle as I poured, and basted my thumb and fingers in scalding steam. It hurt in a screaming, high pitched way, almost like the sound of the kettle itself.
But as I lay and felt, it seemed such a basic, simple, innocent pain. So easy to accept. Perhaps, as I am a tea fanatic, and careless as well, and so I have burned myself with boiling water to the 2nd degree many times in my life, it feels like an everyday pain. Perhaps familiarity makes it less intense.
However, I dont think this is the case with emotional pain. And maybe that is why it feels so much worse.
I thought, as I lay there, and for the first time, that I could see why they call it emotional pain. I've never thought about it as pain exactly in the literal sense before, as it isn't the kind of pain the arrives from a stubed toe, a burn, or even a headache.
But emotional pain is pain, in actual a rather simalar wat. It is a physical sensation, that the mind tells the body it won't survive. And like physical pain, it is the trying to get away that brings the level of misery up to unbearable.
Emotional pain is worse. But then I guess, having struggled with deppression, I've lived with chronic emotional pain for so many years, whereas I've only lived with physical chronic pain for a year or so at a time, following an injury.
With Physical pain, you know what to expect.
Emotional pain is invisible. It's unexplicable. It's unexplainable. Its unpredictable.
And it is sneaky. Its shameful. It has no proportion or scale, it can be bigger that your body, it can appear eternal.
Inspiration comes when it will, at no ones beck and call. If you answer, reach out to meet it, it might get familiar, start calling. But there is no preicting, apprehending it on its vague flights around the earth, unless it selects you.
But you can make it welcome. Fill the bird feeder with the right kind of seed, so to speak. Set out the bird bath. Of course, it is you who ends up taking the bath. You gotta go looking for yourself, that’s when inspiration finds you. Then, seeing that you are taking great care, it might alight for a while. If you keep it up, it might come back.
Its cyptic. Mary Oliver said it’s shy. She said you have to make a date and keep it.
If you say you will show up to write when the baby - the fat muse - is sleeping, then it might come to take a peek. If you didn’t show up, don’t think it wont notice. Oh, it will. It won’t come knocking next time.
But if you show up, it might make you a regular stop on its routine circumnavigations. It might begin to habituate your dwelling place. Eventually it will be downright harassing you as you bike down the smooth sidewalk, forcing you to scramble through your backpack for a pen and your pockets for anything paper, to smooth out reciepts and tatter the back with words. Then you’ve got it. Then you better take care of it. Then it’s the lover you always needed, coming on its own terms, leaving you delighted and entranced, mesmerized, horrified, helpless and rivited, by what pours - not out- but through.