The Nones of May

Kevin Cane stood on the margin of the car park where the painted lines gave way to a paved road between tourist shops. The asphalt looked like it had been poured thin and hot over a poorly groomed dirt road then hardened in place. Its fresh black with grey aggregate matched his goatee and moustache. The vespers sun blah blah.

[He is in San Diego attending the marriage of his friend Colin Abes. This is Colin’s second marriage; the bride is the same age as the bride at the first—which Kevin also attended.

At the first wedding fifteen or so years ago, Kevin had an affinity for the couple. Even though he was single, even though he’d been right in the middle of his first stint in the Navy, the event felt like a beginning for him. This obvious affair be contrast feels like an end.

Kevin turned forty recently, that gives him the right to say he feels old and wise even though he’s neither.]

186 words on day 967

Burning Her Shadow

Morgan pulls the seventh torch from the sixth once it’s well aflame. Then she arranges herself near the center of the group. The torches—barely more than flaming branches—do not form a hexagon, and if Morgan stabbed the seventh into the ground as she had the others that pattern wouldn’t form a recognizable shape either. She keeps the last of the holywood to herself. This is irregular magic. And she is burning her shadow.

Following writing this I googled “burn my shadow” and discovered the phrase is also a title for a song by Unkle, a song recently employed in the “Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood” game trailer. I bought the album.

120 words on day 614

Low-level Smoke

Morning wind kept the smoke from their abandoned campfires low to the ground.  Generations ago hunters may have worried about upwinding prey or having been detected before arrival, not so now.  Thermals peppered my semlam one signature for each for the small trees, pairs for the larger trunks.

I brushed away the semlam’s meta regarding radial poz-prox and again with mean trunk diameters for both groups.  Those data aid targeting but they don’t assist me…much.  Since calculating position and proximity are easy and relevant to our suits’ general elimination directive they appear first.  Bio meta faded in.  These I could use.  These meta describe the character of the encountered aboriginals.  This encounter was supposed to be cake but I now knew it wouldn’t be.

Day 374

The Undescribable Treehouse

This didn’t get off the ground.  The paragraphs below are more connected ideas I failed to stitch together  than true grammatical structures.

Aunchy xa’Thill spied the crooked black chimney through the straight gray firs and paused on the mountian trail above it.  A guild-made window—found or stolen from the city—covered a trapezoidal hole in the wall.  An unknown builder fashioned that wall from two L-shaped pieces of ply-wood: one painted red, the other unpainted, but still stamped with the mill name.  The evergreen roof pitched steeply was scaled more for a doll’s house than

The small home gave him a queer feeling that only increased the more he regarded structure.

The piece-meal home moved unnaturally against the distant backdrop of mountains across the valley and then, as xa’Thill descended the trail from above, it seemed to rise into the trees like the moon cresting the horizon and soaring into the sky.

Day 363

Lady on a Jug

John sets an overfull Hammermill paper box on the worn rug of the upstairs room he and Katie decided would be their attic.  The several LPs on top sluice to the side and spill, ramp-like, under Katie’s grandmother’s rocking chair.

“Ah, shit.”  John spots Cream’s Wheels of Fire album in the spread and wonders where the turntable got unloaded.  “Katie!  Do you know where the record player is?” he absently aims his yelling out the door and down the stairs.  Ahead of him he hears a noise he doesn’t recognize as a sob.

“Ah, shit.  What the hell Katie?”

John’s wife perches on a stout earthernware vase which sits on a lace doily which is draped over an antique coffee table—also her Grandmother’s.  She’s cast aside her slip-on tennis shoes and is wearing someone else’s white high heel shoes.  The flat front soles she balanced across most of the vase’s rim.  She managed to get the pegs perfectly on the other side of the rim.  She’s squatting with her hands behind her back and her long comfortably brown hair drapes her face.  He is impressed, confounded, and curious simultaneously.  He’s too afraid to go nearer.

“I can’t get down,” Katie sobs.

John’s arms surround his wife; he doesn’t recall closing the distance between them to get to her.  He lifts her into his arms.  Katie scuffs off the high heels and plants her feet firmly on the ground but continues to cling to him.  There’s nothing to say so he keeps quiet.

“I just…it made sense…at the time.”

Got no more time today for this one.  I’ll try to come back some day soon.

Day 357

I Know a New Word

I like words OK, but I really love vocabulary. Having a precise word for a grand feeling, a quaint situation, or a complex thing excites me. I don’t need to be able to use it in everyday conversation or even ever use it as long as I know I’ve safely pinned it to a corkboard and splayed it’s wings a bit.

My favorite (internal) exclamation is “They’ve got a word for that?!”

Yesterday I came across a word I’d been collecting in picture and anecdotal form for some time. Though capturing the vapor is nice, distilling the essence is much much better. There had to be an arrangement of letters into a word for what I collected, but where do you turn a definition into the term–the dictionary just doesn’t work that way. So the great thing about stumbling onto the textual form was my complete ignorance in getting there. Sure, you’re in a magic castle and you unlock a strange chest you’re going to be amazed but not truly surprised. But if you’re cleaning out the front coat closet looking for an old pair of gloves and you dump over a shoebox full of rookie baseball cards you’re going to be shit-your-pants overjoyed. I typed this word as part of a larger string of words into a search box looking for references to a bit of art I’d found. I got pages of hits with this one word highlighted–wait what?–I clicked the best of the bunch and serendipity escorted me right to the definition.

I’m certain I read none of the page, but still knew what it said.


How Much Food Do You Need

Recently you may have seen a round of ‘earth from above’ pictures looping around the Internet.  Seems like we get a new batch of these every six or nine months.  A couple made it to my ‘inspire’ tag in my reader.  This is one:

I’ll serve up a bit of brainstorming for you rather than a disjointed ending-free story.

Unlike the Veleme, who are isolationistic, the people that live here are adventurous.  They could each live out their lives in complete solitude, but they choose to gather together to take advantage of each other.  Not in a survivalistic way but in a increasing our fortune kind of way.  It’s a gathering of striking individuals that suspend their individualism in this one place.  However, since they are such individuals the community could lose half it’s people and still survive because each one person is self sustaining.

For this reason they are perpetually misunderstood by other communities.  Other communities gather to give things up, to allow small groups within the community to perform tasks they are suited for.  Divers dive, soldiers protect, merchants sell, weavers weave.  These kinds of people—that kind that give things up to specialize—cannot understand a group that never needs to give things up to become a community.

Seasonally, probably Neap Tide, the sea level drops enough that only pockets of water remain surrounding the stilt houses.  At this time new houses grow and cleave to the existing ones while the existing ones get repaired.  This ought to either follow some very strict community rules or nearly none at all.  For these folks everything is either good or bad.  Done or not done might be a better way of putting it.  Actually maybe the best way to put it.  Here if you do something then it should have been done and if you don’t do a thing then it should not have been done.  That ought to make for some interesting perceptions on the part of neighbors.

OK so where’s the drama stem from then?  We’ll have to upset something.  Put someone in the community that cannot be an individual?  Someone so dependent on others it drags the rest down, cramps their style so to speak?  But what could do such a thing in a community of individuals existing in a rather relaxed anarchy?  How could one person’s desire/need/requirement for dependency be met with anything but bemused indifference?  Some kind of doomsday situation: if Bill dies, we all die.  So, what?  Bill explodes?  Has some magical disease?  Maybe Bill represents an unexpected dependency the people of this place hadn’t realized existed before.

I’m going to have to learn about equipment free diving and the ocean and living in and near salt water for this one.  Plus survival in an unusual niche.  Where do they get water and food and power?  How much technology does a place like this require (or disdain)?  If you show up with a propane stove will you be derided as some anti-traditionalist or a hero?  Begrudging respect?  Something like that could be a sign of dependence on others for propane.

What do these folks do for entertainment?  Are their lives so full of activity eking out a living that they crash in bed at the end of the day?  Wake early to get enough time to feed their family?  Thus there is no need for entertainment—no down time?  Or is food in the form of fish so abundant that they loaf around all day after a busy morning of fishing?  How many fish do you need to catch to support your family.

Day 301