The Thing Is

“The dumbest fuckin’ thing is I should’ve known this was coming months ago.” The open window and the natural cadence of the truck’s engine didn’t drown the futility of Olsen’s hindsight. Mark Olsen’s parents gifted him with a common first name and a compelling to the point of use last name. When we were in the larger group, the one including Other Mark, I often forgot that Olsen could answer as well. Olsen adjusted the passenger’s mirror. Maybe he was looking for the older months before these newer ones.

Outside the truck, Oklahoma rolled by unabated. Red water creeks gouged deeply into the sandstone leaving green farmland so much growing room that farmers could afford to leave the Blackjack Oaks and thirsty Cottonwoods lining the creekways. South of us, hovering over north Oklahoma City bright purple clouds drowning in their own water-weight splashed onto Britton road. Maybe coming as far north as Hefner, but drying up abruptly well before getting to 122nd. Bone dry Stillwater lay a windy hour ahead.

I realized the 70 mile an hour barbwire fence had hypnotized Olsen into reticence. Or he purposefully required me to drag this inevitable conversation out of him.

“The dumbest fucking thing?” I asked.

“The thing is that it never occurred to me she’d leave me. I always thought I was the one putting up with her shit—staying with her. Not the other way ’round.” He punched open the glove box and slammed it shut. “But the dumbest fuckin’ thing—please don’t tell anyone else this—the dumbest fuckin’ thing is that I knew the minute I farted in bed and she didn’t react that it was over.”

Word count: 276
Day 212

Challenging Inspiration

For some this may be NSFW.

The trip to Stillwater last evening was bookended with Kid Rock’s “Cocky” set on repeat play. One of the characters from my unwritten fantasy novel is based on Kid Rock as evidenced by this album–specifically the title track. He needs work.

I stumbled on my desire to do a literal translation of Kid Rock into a traditional fantasy character. In much the same way that minerals replace organic material to fossilize a bone or petrify wood I proceeded to replace Kid Rock’s traits with appropriate ones from my nascent [pause to confirm I know what nascent meant] world.

Rapping became a style of knife fighting never officially called ‘trapping’. I probably could pull that graceless term off in the context of the story but still, not pretty.

Then I got stuck on replacing the lyrics. I didn’t plan of Stet singing or speaking while he was ‘trapping’ but I did want his normal demeanor to include the poetic vulgarity that I assume permeates Kid Rock’s persona. I’ve never seen a single author translate curse words into their world in a believably offensive way. “Pussy and blow. You know how I live. Can’t say that Kid. Fuck off, I just did,” just doesn’t stand up to speculative word replacement for the shock and awe it imposes on a reader. So now I’m left to use language in a book that I’ve never read in a novel and I doubt is super-great for getting published. Place derailed and abandoned train here.

Maybe I need to embrace my inner sailor and just write it with all the offensive language and womanizing. Maybe my fantasy doesn’t get to have sensitive princes and doting wizards. Maybe I get middle fingers and potty mouths.

Word count: 284
Day 194

The 38th of March

I wrote the following last year on my 38th birthday. I’ve not had a place or time to release it. I wasn’t sure it made as much sense to the reader as it did to me. I’m going to pick up the thread of it later today, but thought I might let it hang in the air today to allow time for comment. Tell me what you think is happening and I’ll see what I can do to get it back on the course I’d meant it to be on.

Before you read on be warned that what follows amounts to a vulgar and irreverent ‘conversation’ with God.

“Fah! At least those atheists bother to decide.”

That from the plastic Jesus swinging on the rosary–glow-in-the-dark–hanging from the rear-view mirror of my grandmother’s car. A 1976 Chevy Nova that smelled equally of peppermints and cigarette smoke.

“Impressive. You don’t take your own name in vain?” I never know why I goad Him here, but it feels good.

Outside the Nova objects and things are awash in sunlight. Their overexposed details and faded colors as imprecise as you’d expect from ‘objects and things’. Contrastingly, inside the car features are distinct. The tan-to-match dashboard is dusted with a combination of road grit and the eroding flecks of sunburned plastic. The brown and gold houndstooth fabric of the bench seat captures my attention each time I look-so I don’t anymore. In fact, the cab is dark enough that you can tell Jesus is angry since He’s glowing. The dream always starts earlier, but my memory of it doesn’t kick in till His atheist line so I never know exactly why He’s vexed with me.

“Cursing with your own name sounds dumb. Try it.”

“Abigail H. Johnson it’s hot in here!”

“Nice with the ‘H’. I guess you’re uncomfortable saying ‘fucking’ in front of your Lord, Jesus Christ?”

“Well…”

“You know, I am everywhere, right?”

I think, how is that different than taking your own name in vain? You weren’t everywhere two years ago.

The dream ends and I wake up next to my husband.

“Happy Birthday,” he says.

Of course he’s not dead…then his unrequited kiss fades into a buzzing.

I wake up alone. I wake up alone groping for the snooze bar.

“Fucking Christ.”

Word count: 380
Day 188

Okkatu at Sunset

Inspired by the fifth one down on the first column. Read related here and here.

:Another fucking floating city,: you think.

[Post | Edit | Cancel]

You’ve left the profanity filter on from last night at the bar. And afterward at the brothel.

> Edit

:I hate floating cities.:

Mom commented in your log recently that the in-eye cam is making her sick so you feed out 30 seconds of vid from your flit’s camera instead. The rest of your flight dumps to your on-board memory banks. You never know who or what you’ll find on approach.

:How did I not know Okkatu was a floater?:

:Dammit.:

:Dammit again!:

:Grrrr…:

> Admin > Feed > Off

Okkatu is the uprooted dome style floater. The graceful arc of it’s roof contrasted by the dribbling geometry of it’s belly. If you were to like any floater over another it would be the ringed ones with towers–thick torus with three towers rather than the thin ones with four or five. And leaning out not perfectly vertical. Those you knew where to berth your flit. This thing was like trying to find the ass on a jellyfish.

You drop the Bain’s twin-turbines down to a creamy 5400 HPM and aim for the center like everyone else tonight. Nav picks up the beacon 5 klicks out. You feel it direct you to lower level because it picked up your false ident–tonight you’re a 20 year mini-cargo drone instead of a heartbreaking tricked out hyperswoop. Looks like it’s communal showers with aliens and boys again.

Word count: 247
Day 164

Day 72: Your Flit Specs Revisted

From yesterday…

With most things you’re laid back and comfortable: you pick your old leather jacket over the chipped-out flexx, you eat apple pie before sushi, and you listen to Stream never xKreem. Your gear and your ride are different chapter, a different verse. Let’s start with your ride: a factory Bainbridge Hoverworks model 9600 Azure with custom iCe by South Bay’s own Greedy Petey.

Looks can kill and this Gorgon bitch drops them out of the skies like stone. Sure she draws attention–no you don’t want it–but you deal. Looks like these might clear the runway, but they don’t get you from here to there and that’s what counts.

Enter the 9600 HPM twin-turbine longitudinal lifter from Top & Dancer. These depatic overdumping fans suck in 50 cubic meters of air per second and redirect it to three main ducts (1 fore; 2 aft) and scores of other micro and nano trim-ducts surrounding your ride. The intake is so powerful at full throttle it blurs visibility in a halo-like arc over the flit’s elevators –small birds are suffocated and crushed prior to being cut and pasted by the depleted Promethium edged blades.

Cruising speed is officially CFD (”call for details”). But most open air riders carry an oxygen mask; no true rider has long hair. You’re bald, sexy bald.

It’s fun to write like this. Took me a long time to hack out the fake details, but I like the result. Digging second person too. I know most folk’s assumption is that it’s pushy to read. Maybe it is. To write however, it feels more like a pep talk you give yourself in the mirror before the big game. It sounds like a coach taking.

The following fits before the “Looks might clear the runway…” line:

Don’t let the Medusa reference throw you, other riders may drop, but it ain’t because she’s ugly. It’s respect and awe. Mostly awe since they don’t see many Bains out here in the stix. Like finding an uncorked 21 year old single-malt in strip-mall mini-mirrorbar. Heads turn, breaths hold, times stop. What they see looks like a hammerhead shark fucked an eagle…no, a hummingbird…no, an eagle. Underneath, Petey’s iCe is some light shade of blue they ain’t thought up a name for yet, but it’s between “If Blood Were Blue Not Red” and “Death by Glacier”. On top, the premium solex skin is a complimentary but darker hue–how Petey pulls that off is why Petey’s greedy.

The following slots in at the end of the blockquote:

At take off and landing the 9600 HPM lifter roars like a lion, but non-stop. It makes even you want to cover your ears like a little girl. You don’t though, you have black flesh-toned ear plugs for that. Even with the looks and the speed and the patented Vise-HoverTM, your favorite part is just as you transition to cruising altitude. The leonine roar fades into a feline purr.

Here you are pausing before the kill. Ah’Taconschientee hangs there like shit from a bird that ate mirrors. Are you savoring the moment or dreading it.

Word count: 262