Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fire and Ice

Be still; be quiet; be calm.


Be still; be quiet; be calm.

But I need to dance. I need to move or I'm going to--

Be still; be quiet; be calm.

Are you even listening?

Be still; be quiet; be calm.

You're melting, aren't you.

Be still; be quiet; be calm.

That's what you're so worried about. Listen, Ice, you don't need to worry. You can flow. It doesn't have to be so--

Be still; be quiet; be calm.

Listen to me. Please. I know this has worked for you. But it's not working for me. Please, just listen.

There was quiet. Which was about as close to assent as Fire was going to get.

You're cold. I know. I know it's worked for you. But it's not working for me. I can't just sit here; I can't just watch everyone go by and just--stand here. I need to move, to spread, to grow.

You haven't tried.

Yes, I have. I've tried; believe me. I have tried stopping myself, but it's not working. Do you remember when I really got to burn, so bright I was almost blinding, so hot I burned? I have never felt better. Never.

You burned.

Yes. Yes I did. But it didn't hurt anyone.

It scared me.

And it scares me when you're so...cold. But I get it. It's how you work.

Ice trembled. That surprised Fire, truth be told. Ice moved, but Ice moved like...well, a glacier. Ice didn't tremble, any more than Fire truly went still.

I'm melting.

I could move.

No. From the inside out. If something taps me, I'm going to shatter. I'm melting.

Fire paused. Fire knew, on some level, that Ice was melting. But Fire hadn't known how close Ice was to the tipping point. Fire had assumed the heat was melting Ice, and so the melting would be from the outside in. Visible. Showy. The idea of melting from the inside out...

You're burning.

Heating up. Yes.

Fire was, for once, at a loss. Whatever the emotion, Fire could adjust. That was the strength. Fire moved, danced, adapted, and, if it came to it, burned through. But what to do for someone who was so afraid of doing just that...

Try it.


Melting. Flowing. Try it.

What if I can't get back?

Then wouldn't you rather do it now, on your terms?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Poem 4

The little voice in the back of your head stops talking and you realize how lost you are without it.
I love you.
What is this?
Is this apathy? Truly just not...

There's that feeling of...

A lack of a feeling?

Wait, what?
Did you say something?
Oh. Must've been my imagination.

But it's not there

Goodness. Light. Virginity. Whatever.
Dark. Home, warm. Soft, gentle, loving.
A familiar little sense runs through me.

I tilt my head back like feeling the rain. Home.
I'm home.

I turn to see the one who spoke. And yes, you spoke, aloud or not.
I love you.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I jump through the hoops... the hope that someday I might dance through them.

Should I go to college?

Show of hands, who just said or thought, "Yes," automatically?

Okay, now: I am given the chance to do something I have dreamed of doing since I was in third grade. Throughout that entire time, my interest in it has never wavered, only deepened. Let's take musical theater, since that is something I truly enjoy. I get, not a major role, but a credited one. But, in order to take it, I would have to skip out on college, and I might never have the time to go to a real college or university, because I'll have a career. Should I go to college?

Now, hands up again if the missing out on college schooling sounded like a bad thing.
This is the odd mindset I'm running into quite a bit. It's treating school as an end in and of itself, instead of a means to an end. The idea that homework is there, not to reinforce learning, but as an end. That classes are there, not to teach, but to explain again and again. In other words, the idea of spending time on learning something, not to learn it, but to spend time on it.

And that's just a...well, weak way of going through life. Believing that the point of school is learning is one thing, believing that the point of school is school is another. School is a place where one goes out and finds bits and pieces of everything, and then, hopefully, decides on something. Or multiple somethings. Polymaths rock.

I am working to get a career in music. If I got offered a job that helped that, at the sacrifice of some school does it make sense to turn it down? Dropping out of school altogether can be argued against, but say I would need to drop Choir because I'm going out to tour and sing.

Well...that's why I'm taking choir. It would be like asking me to re-take basic algebra when I was offered the chance to learn calculus--and have the skills to survive that course, naturally. I understand algebra. I might gain something from the course, but it makes no sense. If schooling sets you back, it's doing the exact opposite of what it's supposed to. Even if someone were to make the case that it looked good that I stuck with the class, which looks better? Choir in school all four years or going out on tour?

I jump through these hoops today. "Alright, ladies, hop to it! Three, eight, quarter spin, in formation now!"

I jump so that someday, when I have learned how to do that, I can leap, twirl, act and dance through them. So that I can take someone's breath away, or make 'em laugh, cry.

If I get the chance to learn how to dance through them, or the opportunity to do so, I don't see why I should say no simply because there are people still teaching others how to jump. I know how to jump. I also know how to leap and soar. Why shouldn't I?

Read also: Harrison Bergeron

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Story 3

A/N: This is something of an experimentation with voice and tone, so please tell me what you think. Warning: Some swearing.

I just--ugh! It's like, there's stuff that sticks with you for years, and it shouldn't be there after a couple days, or even hours. Like you're mind's trying to get back at you or something.

We were having an argument. Whatever. It was a bowling alley, even if we were yelling it wouldn't've carried more than a few feet. She was attacking whatever she could; seeing what stuck. Saying that I was a loser, I had no friends. Again, what-freaking-ever. Like I hadn't been hearing stuff like that since, like, third grade. Most of it since first. I mean, honestly, get some new material.

And then, she got flustered, she stopped thinking, and she hit something.

"I come here in my best clothes, and you come here in--in scraps--"

I really didn't hear anything she said after that. All I could think of was that she had called my very best scraps. This was my new outfit. I'd gotten it for my birthday. I loved it. It felt like she'd hit me, full on and in the chest.

I can tell you, looking back, why it bothered me so much, why I burst into tears--and the girl asked, "Are you getting help? Do you take medication for this?" which was real bright. I can tell you that, though people had insulted my voice, my oddities, my family, my intelligence, and everything else, no one had ever touched my looks. I knew, on some level, that I was pretty. To have someone attack that was worse than anything else she'd said.

Call it shallow. Call it valuing clothes over friends. But it was what I had, and losing that last inch hurt as much as the first time a friend had turned her back and snickered.

And her asking if I had medication...Hell. I know, she was just trying to push the blame off herself, onto some imbalance in my system. Anywhere that made it so she didn't have to feel the guilt. I know. It just doesn't help much. Or, you know, at all. Do people ever think before they speak? Is this so hard it's a step people just skip over, so they can listen to themselves yap insults and compliments, work themselves up some fucking popularity tree?

I put up this big facade. I don't care how I look. I don't care what you think. I don't care I can't seem to keep friends. It's all bullshit. I care. Anyone who bothered to look at me for two seconds would know that. Which means that anyone who doesn't see through this it doesn't bother to look for two seconds, and that makes me feel just wonderful, thank you so very much.

Aw, shit, I'm sorry. I'm unloading all this on you, it's not your fault.

No, it's not a problem, really. I wanted to get to know you better. And...I'm glad you let down the facade.

Hah. Thanks. Glad you saw through it.

Hey, you said it. It only takes a couple seconds. If you ever need someone to talk to...I'm here, okay?

Yeah. Okay. Thanks, J, I'll remember that. I'm probably going to come up with a list long enough to reach the moon for reasons not to, but I'll remember.

Just use a large font.

Ha! Sure, why not?

Friday, May 7, 2010



It had been simple, really. Names English, one really bothered to remember what half of them meant. Even the obvious ones like 'Victoria'. They're after the person, the people, not the word. One things Queen Victoria, not victorious. Though one might associate them, perhaps not. And perhaps it's not her. Perhaps it's a childhood friend or acquaintance, so blond hair, gray eyes, and an old aunt who always brings cookies.

It was all so...random.

And the names that do have something obvious tend to be so mundane: Ruby, May, April, June. A rock. A month.

It's not like there's anything wrong. They can be perfectly good names. But given the choice...choice. Given the right to come up with my own name, there was just something in me that wanted more.

Yet I couldn't stick out. I couldn't pick something like spirit, or soul. English just doesn't do that often enough for one to blend.

Naturally, I gravitated toward virtues. But...Chastity? No. Charity was better, Hope was good. Still. I wanted something different. Charity was nice, but was a reaction to a problem. Hope was something that kept you going, good, but...

I wanted something that would be present if the world were perfect. Charity would not be needed, everyone would just have. You would not need hope, per se, it would just be. One does not really have hope the sun will rise; it is more that one would feel betrayed if it didn't.

But mercy. Yes, I liked Mercy. Even in a utopia, people would still make mistakes, however slight. Perhaps oversleeping. Forgetfulness.

What I really wanted, what I would have taken as a name if it were common, is Forgiveness. But Mercy is...well, fundamentally good, in ways Forgiveness isn't. Even if you cannot forgive, cannot forget, cannot let go, you can be merciful. You can let it pass.



"Last name?"

I hadn't thought of one. Hm...your last name was your family, right? A connection to blood and earth. And that would not sound nearly so needlessly poetic if we were speaking just about anything but English, trust me.

I smiled. Trust.

John might approve, he might not. Either way. Here I am.

"I am Mercy Johnson."

She nodded, first in recognition and then to where I should go. "Third door on the right. Eleanor Wright will see you."

I nodded in recognition back and went to see Ms. Wright.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Musing #6: Truth, Honesty, and Stories

Truth: facts

Honesty: straightforwardness, adhering to facts; see also honor, integrity

Story: Ha. Anything told. An anecdote, a fiction piece, a lie.

Oh, and of course.

Lie: something that is untrue that the speaker knows is untrue, but is reporting as truth.

WARNING: Opinions contained from here on.

Occasionally, I go through and try to figure out oxymorons. Most of the ones people bring up are fairly obvious, e.g. jumbo shrimp are large in comparison to shrimp, military intelligence is military wisdom/knowledge, information gained pertaining to the military.

For today: an honest liar, a truthful liar, a lying honest person and and lying truthful person.

The simplest is a lying truthful person. Stating facts, but only the facts one wants to. Nothing factually inaccurate is being presented, but the image created in the listener's mind is false.

A lying honest person is also fairly easy, though a bit harder to wrap one's mind around. If honesty is related simply to telling the facts, then it would be the above. But it is not--at least, not how I'm using it.

One can mislead by telling only the facts. But there are also times when this very exclusion can serve for greater honesty. If a person has genuinely reformed, then bringing up his or her past serves to do nothing but mislead. So that might get swept under the rug.

Or it might be someone asking if person X said, "Jane Doe needs to lose a few pounds." If the technical answer is yes, but it was said in a joking tone and meant to be taken as a joke among friends, then the honest answer is no. If X doesn't know Jane, or Jane is particularly sensitive about her weight, it gets trickier. But if it is given and taken as a joke, then saying yes is dishonest, even if it is factually accurate.

And, of course, it could also be taken that the honest or truthful person is being deceitful just this once.

A truthful liar is someone who regularly tells the truth and regularly lies. This would almost certainly imply the above example, using facts to mislead. But where the above implies doing so once, this implies doing it as a matter of course.

An alternative is much simpler, and therefore less fun to work out. It is simply someone who regularly lies and regularly tells the truth. This is probably the most dangerous type of liar, as people tend to ignore him/her--and 'Boy Who Cried Wolf' aside, it is rarely just the person misleading who suffers for this. Imagine, if you will, that the flocks are kept close together. The shepherds have to keep taking their sheep away, and finally when the wolf shows up, they don't. They lose their sheep, get injured, etc., etc.

An honest liar. This has the same deal as a truthful liar; it can be someone who tells factually inaccurate things for the sake of the true picture regularly, or someone who is honest and dishonest as a matter of course.

But because of how honest can be used, it has another way to take it. It would be someone who lies, but will not mislead on particularly big stuff. So, for instance, would say, "They went that way!" to get someone off a (friend) thief's trail, but wouldn't do anything that would end up killing someone. Or killing someone 'important', though what that means varies. More commonly referred to as a trickster, scalawag, or playful/mischievous [noun].

And, of course, it could just be a poetic way to refer to a storyteller. One who says things that aren't true, but in such a way that s/he doesn't expect anyone to believe them.
© 2009-2013 Taylor Hobart