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Back in January, I had an idea for a magazine which would contain articles written by all of my friends, but mostly by me. I ended up working on it bit by bit over the first half of the year, but never completed it
I don’t know you. I don’t even like you.
Not in particular; I mean, I don’t hate you. You mean little to me. Measurably little. Approximately one-hundred and forty characters worth of little, as many as twenty times a day.
Does that sound too little? It’s probably because you care more about other people than I do. After all, I’m kind of an asshole.
It’s not hard to figure out why I feel some connection to you. You’re like a next-door neighbor whom I see a couple of times a day, and share a sentence or two with.
Actually, that’s not true. That’s what I want it to be. I wish we had that kind of simple but friendly relationship. Those little howdy-dos to remind one-another that we care—even just in a neighborly sense—about each-other. But that’s not what’s going on.
Instead, we live in a culdesac with some three-hundred houses on it. Every so often, each neighbor comes outside and shouts something into the air. Sometimes, this begins a mid-air conversation between them and other neighbors. Sometimes, we shout into the air and head back inside.
I’m the grouchy neighbor who spends most of his time indoors playing video games, only stepping out every once in a while to scream random shit, often going back inside before any neighbors can reply. I’m happy when they do—I really am—even if it’s hard to hear them over all the other fucking neighbors chattering their skulls off all day. Only fifty of the three-hundred live within earshot to begin with; but they never shut up. And I don’t even know most of these guys.
I don’t even like them.
The conversation is actually happening inside, while we’re all playing video games. In the past, playing video games inside never meant that we didn’t want this conversation—it only meant that we couldn’t have it. I’m the one who’s playing video games and avoiding the conversation. It’s not a circumstance—I’m just a shitty neighbor.
It came to this logically. I once cared about this neighborhood. I once maintained my lawn and listened in on more of the conversation. I once kept up with talking points and discussed popular topics. Eventually, I lost track of the conversation. I stayed in a little too long. I ignored the hot topics. I didn’t watch the newcomers. I distanced myself. I let my lawn grow and grow, and I painted my house in new, garish colors. I only listened to the people who lived right next to me.
Now, when I pop my head outside, I hear a bunch of noise in a bunch of tongues that I don’t recognize. I hear some familiar voices, but I don’t know what they’re talking about, nor who they’re talking to. People I don’t know. People I don’t even like.
The conversation has gotten old. I wonder if I can lock myself in.
I forget what to do with myself. It’s too much to be inspiration—too misguided and misdirectional. This is what people mean when they say that music makes them “emotional,” or call it “powerful.”
I have a hard time buying those sensational statements, which add nothing to conversation. And because I don’t like reading them, I don’t like stating them. But then what is there to say? How do I express it?
Inspiration. Dangerous inspiration. The feeling from a song that makes me wish I could capture it in a song my own, even though I’m not passionate about making songs. The desire to capture the feeling in prose, when my prose always distorts the feeling and turns it into something new. I never get the fulfillment of having sated the emotion.
It wells up every time. When I listen to Shinsei Kamatte-chan or SoGreatAndPowerful, or so many other artists, but especially those two and another handful. The ones that crush and destroy—that render everything I’m doing stupid and useless, yet leave me with nowhere to go into their light. They are the birth of self-loathing and sorrow, even as they create within me the greatest kind of passion that my heart can know.
That’s what it boils down to. One massive Fuck. One, “what do I do?” And the ever-present question: why does it stop mattering when the music stops? Did I stop caring? Or is it that the me who hears that music is a different, new me, whom I haven’t learned to be? I sometimes wish I could listen to the same song forever until I’ve spent enough time there that I can learn to create the emotion.
This kind of craving could kill me.
According to the Terribadder, I was destined to write a hybrid of Garzey’s Wing and Ryokunohara Labyrinth. After watching the latter, this seems like a natural combo for me. So, here’s my first attempt at such a terribad catastrophe, which I wrote in about fifteen minutes.
Tetragram Panopticon ~Unholy God Requiem~
The soul does not exist. It should be common sense, and I’m no romantic. Yet each time I call to myself a voice cries back, and they are two—you and me, this realm we share in a mind maybe tied to the body I believe is mine; maybe not.
Oh, I hope not. I love you.
Who’s body is this?
But what of the other body?
I don’t understand!
WHO ARE WE?!
I am warm in your embrace. Spring. The summer is here, yet only in your arms can I say it’s “warm.” I kiss your sleeping lips. Hard. With perversion. My pants throb as I lick between your lips obsessively. I only fear your awakening as I fear that you will make me stop. You don’t. You wake up. You grab my ass. Spring grows hot.
Eighteen years I’ve lived in this other world. Is it an other world? There may be a threshold for the length of time that one can be in a place before it becomes reality. Had, after a year of two, I returned to my world of origin, this surely would have been an “other world.” Now I have been here longer than I was ever in another place, and it feels more real to me than there.
It doesn’t hurt because I still have you.
“You are so easygoing,” you taunt. I know. How long have we stayed in this void of togetherness? Have we sustained ourselves? I’d forget to eat if my meals with you weren’t as beautiful as you make every moment. I take a picture of you eating with my cell phone and save it as my wallpaper.
There is an unread text from M.O.T.H.E.R.
“When will you be coming home?”
I throw my phone in the lake, only to later lament the loss of your picture. Now I must always have you in my sight. So that I’ll never feel pain.
“The Cufkoahw are attacking!”
Arrows rain like hellfire and catch our women aflame. This won’t do. I lead the battle charge. You have to stay at home. There is no better way. If I die in battle or of grief of your death, it would be the same. I tell myself it won’t be the same for you. I can’t want a possibility of your pain.
We drive them back. They kill my horse.
M.O.T.H.E.R. came. She decapitated you with her scythe. I thought I would die. She wouldn’t let me.
I must kill her. I must die.
The Cufkaohw sen their suicide squads. We’re no match for their superior technology. They slaughter all of the women. They burn the children. They rape you in the ass and skin you alive.
M.O.T.H.E.R. descends from her Zenith on Everest, her one-woman Olympus, and the battle rages.
(Eiden why don’t you save them? They were your friends.)
[They cannot be saved. Only joined.]
They put me on a pike.
I am sure the soul isn’t real. Yet here we are. And only love remains.
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(This is for another @2dteleidoscope prompt)
Marcus left not one, but two fucking guitars in my room on a permanent basis. This meant that if he left his third guitar, and then Brandon left his, and, for the coup de grace, Victor also left ours (i.e. his), then my room could contain as many as a whopping five god damn fucking guitars at one time.
All of my hate.
The first guitar was Marcus’ old shitty one that he didn’t want, because he had two others. The second was a blue guitar which had old, warn-out strings that needed to be replaced. Marcus argued that if he replaced the strings, it would be fine, but he didn’t replace the strings, and he certainly didn’t care enough to get the fucking thing off of my floor in the many times he came to visit.
So. All these guitars. Of course, most of the time my room was a huge mess and the guitars would end up on my floor, and I’d step on them, and I’d have no remorse for doing so because I didn’t give a shit about those guitars, and apparently, nobody did.
My resentment went beyond the mess, though; because having guitars in my room, it was natural that if I got bored, then I was going to pick one up every once and a while and tinker with it.
That’s why the bass guitar is wrapped up in a bag, and my old electric guitar, in my closet, has no strings on it. I didn’t toss them, because they didn’t bother me, because I didn’t have to pick them up.
I can handle picking up an electric guitar if there’s an amp nearby. An electric guitar sounds good just by frantically running a quarter across the strings, or tormenting it with a screwdriver while dribbling on it with my fingers. I love that sound of utter chaos.
But acoustic guitars let me know when I’m failing my ass off. They leave me to explore in silent rhythm the curse of having zero patience and negative-zero passion. My average play time on an acoustic is under a minute.
So I gave both of the guitars to Mike, since for all his amazing skill and wealth of instruments, he hadn’t ever owned a “grandpa’s guitar.” The blue one wasn’t really mine to give, but I don’t care. They’re his now. Good riddance.
I don’t know many people and haven’t talked to a great variety of them at much length. As such, I think my frame of reference for how people are, in a way deeper than observing them, is very limited. I know things people say and do, but not the way they think like I would my friends.
When I’m creating a character, which I’ve done some 1,000 times, I’m creating their psyche, not just their outward personality, and for me to do that, I’m limited to portraying a psyche which I can actually understand, unless the character is someone my character observes with their own slant and doesn’t really understand.
I don’t take that into consideration when I’m creating a character, but it’s my reasoning behind how it is that I’ve never written any characters who practiced any religion, real or fictional.
I know jack shit about what it’s like to be religious. I don’t know any religious people. I’ve obviously met a bunch over the course of my life, at times (in my youth) having put myself at ends with them, and later just avoiding the topic altogether in conversation. But I’ve never been close friends with one.
Does it matter that my characters aren’t religious? Not really. It’s always up to me what things are important to my characters and how much of that I even expose to the audience. It’s not like people expect to always learn the religion of a character anyways. Just I find it interesting that religion is something so totally alien to me that it never even occurred to me to give a character one.
Haikasoru’s release of Mardock Scramble is one big-ass compilation of the three (light?) novels, and so far I’ve gotten through the first half (2 chapters) of book 1. I’m loving it, but it’s really weird.
The book is awkwardly paced, having featured two small bouts of action in over 100 pages and otherwise been mostly dialog, introspection, and a hell of a lot of exposition. I don’t consider this a bad thing. The world and the characters are all highly interesting and honestly, I’d rather be inside the character’s heads than worried about other things anyway. It’s a novel I couldn’t easily expect others to like, but for me, it’s perfect.
Almost too perfect, which is the trippy part. It totally feels like something I’d write/have written in every sense. Throughout the first chapter I kept thinking that the novel was exactly the kind of thing I’ve been trying to write myself, but done much better, and I was getting very jealous. However, the second chapter was a lot more clumsy as I started to recognize the author running into the same problem I have, which is that he knows so much about his characters and wants to say so much about them that it becomes hard to write about them.
Sometimes aspects of the characters come out that seem odd, like I didn’t expect it, but the author totally did. And then there is a LOT of monologuing and backstory given.
Perhaps the biggest similarity though is that the author made one of the main characters capable of reading peoples’ emotions and understanding their mental state through smell, and the main character also able to communicate with them on a mental level. This is almost exactly like the way I made a lot of my main characters either geniuses or communications experts so that they can understand each-other exceptionally well. Really chapter 2 was like total deja vu of my informant duo from my own novel.
I get the sense that these characters exist for themselves and not for the story, and thusly the story takes a back seat a lot of the time. Which is totally okay with me. I’m glad I’m not the only one writing this way and it’s very inspirational.
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