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Hi, and welcome! (Scroll past this post if you’re looking for the updates :))

This is my new thought and fiction diary! Here I’m going to be posting whatever comes to mind, experimenting with whatever I feel like at the time. There will be a lot of first drafts coming through here, but the quality of stuff should reach at least a decent standard. The first post (‘#1: for the sake of flow’) is actually an example of experimentation gone very badly, but you know what? Next time it’ll be better, and that’s the point of this secondary blog!

My previous blog is at ChasjngDreams, a blog that’s taken more of the spin of personal thoughts and rants. If you like what you read here, maybe you’d like the writer behind all of this too!

Hope you enjoy!

- j. NG

123: Riverman

One morning I woke in the still of the house
Still grey before that vixen sun woke all.
Echoing feet, slaps on cold wood floor
Brought me before the bathroom mirror.
With my eyes blurred by morning labor
The silvery plane swam ashore
And out came a man just like me
Whose grips fixed me by the shoulders.

He had a burnt out face with his eyes adrift
His hands were ice cold to the touch.
His hair meandered to the banks and then downriver
Like weeds they hovered, flittered, fluttered.
His skin was plagued with seagreen scabs
And a listless scar ran down his chest.
When he opened his mouth only ichor oozed out
And his stagnant breath; all my senses, he did molest.

He spoke no words or rather than that,
His hollow groans I could not understand.
But when he made thin the gap between us
My shrieks he silenced then.
His hair spread like wings gripping my head
Surrounding it like how a squid’s tentacles can
The world turned to black and then to green
And then the cutting began.

His milky white eyes shot to yellow
A devil held me above the throat.
The air that was fine was no longer mine
And like blades my breath began to serrate
My innards, they screamed red and my eyes
Fell back into a hazy nightmare kaleidoscope.
Somewhere out there a switch was clicked
And black became a muffled, silent white.

Clouds? Heaven? Was there anywhere a gate?
With a snap my head shot back from
Across a millenium away.

Another set of footsteps slapped down
In a bathroom down the hall. Ceramics gurgled
And the mirror stared, set between myself and another.
Hollowed eyes, a burnt out soul, but stiff hair
Standing upright from a bad night’s sleep.
A glass of water brought salt to the back of my throat
A dry oesophagus felt like rivets and cuts as the liquid seeped down.
As a basin upstairs unloaded its last litre it released out a low, guttural groan.

-j. NG

122: Papers and Youth (Afterword w/ notes at the end)

I would divide my moods into exact percentages but exactness is a dull thing; who is it that cares if every gumball machine holds 100 gumballs, if there is one that holds 101? Therefore I tell you something now and it is to be accepted as the absolute truth.

Right now I am half down with the flu, half drugged up by caffeinated panadol, half asleep in the 5:37am 8+ GMT Hong Kong time zone and half distracted by the card game on my laptop screen. I am a few more halves too, but you will not have those. Those are secrets that I hold in secret little quarters.

Meanwhile, let me tell you a story, one very close to my heart.

A woman was walking towards the train station one day with her purse overflowing with papers. She was walking in such a rush along the grey-egg speckled sidewalk and her bag was so crammed full that it came to no surprise to any onlooker that when a gust of wind came, all of her documents burst out and like ash scattered itself across the ground.

“Oh!” she shrieked. “I have no time for this! I have a meeting with a client in twenty four minutes and I have not been home to see my child in days.”

She looked around rather helplessly and began to gather her papers, starting with the ones closest to her. A young man who had been walking behind her and witnessed the scene began to collect papers too, but he started with the papers closest to and in the road. He collected all the he could and he brought his stack to her, his twice hers size and when she received it in her hands, she looked up at him from overtop two rounded, golden glasses frames.

“Is this all?” she asked. She began to sort through the papers, checking margins and page numbers, reorganizing the white sheets according to titles in the header. “Where’s page 13? Did you not find page 13? Page 13 was very important, you know.”

The passersby were bewildered to hear her response, but they did not berate her or slow their pace. They walked on and saw that the youth was smiling and apologizing. “I’m sorry ma’am, but that’s all I could get.” The youth wore a loose white T-shirt that traveled beyond his waist. Atop of his head he donned a red baseball cap, tilted to the side.

“Well, thank you in any case.” she said sharply. “I’m assuming that you want some kind of reward for your efforts. Young men always do, for doing something that they should for us ladies.” She withdrew a pocketbook from her purse, almost dislodging her papers once again. The youth started, but she snapped at him.

“Oh, settle down. It won’t be too much money. And if you think that you can just take my bag and my cheques, then let me reassure you. Every person round this train station knows the kind of fellow you are and will stop you, the moment I scream ‘Thief’. So you better settle down and just take what you deserve.”

The youth continued to smile. With a twinkle in his eye, he replied.

“Ma’am, I don’t need any reward. But a moment of your time, if I could.”

Again she peered from overtop her circular frames. Her eyes darted towards him and then towards the clock that sat next to the noticeboards for platforms.

“I have 17 minutes now, young man, and it will take me 10 minutes to get to where I need to be. So what is it? Walk with me and make it quick. Charity? Lost puppy? I’m not giving you my number, I am married and with child.”

The woman started to stalk away at a brisk pace, her suit pants waving in the wind, her papers once again frothing from the mouth of her purse. The youth, with his baggy pants trotted alongside of her, cheerfully. They passed by an information stand and two convenience stores, the scent of cinnamon traveling out of one and the aroma of coffee floating out of the other. They bounced down stairs and her heels clicked while the youth’s untied shoes occasionally tripped him, the aglets and tips of the lace dirtied black and brown. Their conversation shot back and forth in time with their footsteps.

“You’ve got a kid, ma’am? How old is he?” “Younger than you by a few years.” “What’s he like?” “He’s studious. Works when I’m not home.” “That’s good. What’s he like to do?” “He likes to talk.”

The youth paused.

“I like to talk. Is he as talkative as me?”

She gave no answer, but looked at the display-board for departures. One train was heading down west, not a minute off schedule. The placards flipped themselves every ten seconds and they flipped from top to bottom like a waves cresting and breaking on the beach. 

“I guess you’re home quite a lot then, to hear him talking so much.”

“No, actually. I’m not home too often. I’m a busy woman. I pay for rent and food and his father pays for everything else. And in fact, my son is talkative, but he’s ungrateful. No respect. He tries to tell me that I don’t understand him. But I’m his mother. I am working for him, and he doesn’t understand that.”

She turned and stared into his eyes.

“Nor do you, I suppose. I’d tell you more, but I have a train to catch. I have 30 seconds to get down to the next platform, and after boarding that train I will be on the phone with a client that I am meeting in two hours. If you have anything important to say or ask, say it now.”

The youth smirked and his blue eyes twinkled once again. “I bet you only have 20 seconds now.”

With a huff the woman turned away. The train station clock, which had been sitting at 11:59:59 began to chime. The bell resounded through the cavernous train station concourse and though no other conversation had stopped, there was enough of a lull to hear the youth say clearly:

“Miranda Kerr. Born 1973. Married at 25 years of age, husband living in South-East Asia, sending money home every month. Miranda West after the marriage, though to men you still introduce yourself as Miranda Kerr and hide your wedding ring. Your child is named Denton West and you had what you were told was a stillborn birth two years prior to Denton.”

Miranda froze. She checked her wrist for the time even though she had stopped wearing watches since twelve years ago. Twenty seconds passed and underneath her, though unfelt, a train rumbled into and out of the station.

“That child didn’t die,” he said, smiling. “Hi, I’m Denton’s brother. I have no name.”

All around her leather heels clicked and clapped like the sound of icicles falling from a thawing roof. Another gust rushed through and clapped a white sheet to her face, where it was as pale as the spots without text. Then her face reddened and she extended her finger.

“Young man. Come with me.”

____________

They sat at a coffee shop inside that very train station and her questioning had taken place over thirty minutes. She was barely able to weasel out of him an incomprehensible story, and during it’s retelling her stomach began to pain her in a familiar place. 

“Who are you?” she had asked, but he had given no name. The bathroom stalls clacked and the toilet rolls rumbled as toilet paper was pulled free from their coils.

“How did you find me?”, she asked next, but he simply said that he had always been around, just too nervous to see her. Her face had been pale, but slowly it began to turn red in the mirror.

“How did you survive?” she asked last, but he was nonsensical in his reply.

“I did what I needed to do, all for this day, all so that I could meet you again, to be your son.”

Straightening her hair in the mirror, Miranda West even took the time to restack her pages in the correct order before returning to the table with her stillborn impostor. How disgusting it was, she thought to herself. Her face started to redden again but she cooled it with the back of her hands. A good thing that she had brought her purse with her, as stock full of important documents as it was. A competitor? she thought. Returning to the table, she glanced upwards towards the clock in the station and noted that it was quarter to two. Her wrist did not twitch.

Smiling, Miranda sat down.

“What do you want from me?”

The youth smiled back. Miranda supposed that he knew the jig was up, but that didn’t stop him from keeping pretense.

“I’m your son. I want to live with you. Under your roof. Be a family again. Eat dinner. Have Christmases together. Listen to Carol singers together.”

“We never listen to carols.” she lied. “Is that going to be a problem?”

“Not at all ma’am. I could also do with a name. Something like Denton, but maybe a letter before D. How about two letters for the two years? Benton. You could call me Benton.”

Her cuffs on the table, her fingers interlocked, Miranda squeezed her hand white as she ground her teeth together.

“Benton sounds great.” She unclenched her teeth as she took a sip from her cooled hot chocolate. “Who do you work for, Benton?”

“Postal service for now. Deliver mail on a bike. Look, ma’am, I just to be your son. I want to live under your roof. Want to be loved. I won’t even bother you. Once in a while I’ll come in to find you for some mother-to-son, totally normal lovin’, but beyond that, you won’t see me at all.”

Benton kept on smiling at her. She hated that smile now. She hated his red hat and his white T-shirt. She hated that the fact that his smile was like her husbands, and that once, her favorite color had been red. She only wore red now on her lips, everything else was black. She had worn black for a month after Benton –

– after her unborn child had died. She didn’t even know if she could say that he died. She laid thirty red roses in the snow by his grave but never returned to the grave, not more than once. Her face, which had been losing color, sparked red one last time. After all, she had an appointment to keep.

“I’ve got five minutes Benton, but I’m just going give you 30 seconds, because that’s all a scumbag like you deserves. I think it is despicable, underhanded, and downright unethical for you to be attacking me like this. I warn you. If I ever find out who you’re working for, I will bury you and your friends into the ground. I work hard for what I have made today. There is nothing that will take that away. Now you sit here, but I’m warning you, in ten seconds now I’m going call the cops. Hell, I’m going to call the cops right now.”

She removed her phone from her purse then, and several sheets spilled out. The youth wearing a crooked hat began to pick them up but Miranda thrust her finger out.

“Don’t you dare. Don’t you freaking dare.”

Collecting her papers with her heels, Miranda kept her finger pointed at the boy and hung up the phone.

“Get out of here.”

She turned away and stalked to her platform. From behind her, he called:

“Goodbye, ma’am. Or should I say for the first time and last, ‘Momma’.”

Tears of rage, she called them later on that day, ran down her face as she stalked away. Even if it were true, she worked hard to pay for one child and for her own future. Even if it were true, how could she love someone who she barely knew? She worked hard for Denton, and her only child didn’t love her back, didn’t talk to her when she returned. In fact, she had lied to the youth about her son. They never talked at all.

Later on that night Denton would ask her a question that she would never erase from her memory for as long as she lived.

“Had trouble at the train station? Ma’am?”

She didn’t say a word and never thought of Denton as her son ever again.

Yet that hadn’t happened yet. As she walked down the train station steps, the placards rolled from top to bottom like a wave. And just on time, a train pulled up to the station and rumbled out, bringing Miranda Kerr-West to her next appointment. For what it was worth, she made it exactly on time.

—-END—-

-j. NG

AFTERWORD

I hope you enjoyed this tale. It took me 1 hour and 36 minutes to write, written from 5:37 to 7:13. I did some minor editing. I’m extremely tired but extremely pleased to have churned out 2040 words. I’m currently working on some edits of some short stories that I once began/wrote a long time ago. This story’s setting is based on Copenhagen Central Station, which I visited just a month and a half ago. It was a magical place, but I believe that this setting could be based in any western, central train station. It’s a story very close to my heart but like I’ve been finding with many of my stories, I needed to get it out in one-go, or else risk that I never finish it. As such, please understand that this is a first draft and I will without a doubt, return to edit this story. The reasons for why I will explain in a separate blog post, for the reason that if you found something magical in this story, then the worst thing I could do is to degrade my own work or reveal the thought process (or trick/magic) behind the text.

Hope you enjoyed. Thanks for reading.

 

UPDATE: I’m just going to post my notes below here. If you don’t want to lose the magic, don’t read what’s below! Sorry, not mentally uhh… ‘up’ enough to do the linking properly.

The piece is about a conflict between my parents and I. My mother is never home and has been manipulative of my family’s finances. I have known my friends for longer than I have known my mother. Ever since I was 6, both of my parents have been away from my home and are now like strangers to me. Yet despite being adults now (by the way I’m writing this as I’m dead tired, so apologies for the bad writing and whining), my mother remains manipulative, passive aggressive and not understanding of the family.

I wanted to turn it on the parent to see how they would respond if a child came out and suddenly said: “Hello, I’m your child”, instead of the parent coming back and saying: “I’m your mom”. 

Meh. 

 

Things I wanted to change:

The ‘second part’ became a bit of a rush. I knew that I didn’t want to explain ‘Benton”s whole story, so I quite liked the way that I skipped time, but then the language became very… less fable, fantasy, dreamy-like as it was in the first half and more serious and character driven. Before the story walked it’s own pace, then it suddenly became Miranda’s pace. There’s a loss of flow that I will definitely rework when I rewrite it.

Anyway. Thanks for reading! Look forward to version 2. 

 

121: watery eyes

Depression is like leaving your eyeball exposed underneath a running faucet. The water stings you with every drop but instead of closing it, you wrench the lid open, no matter how much your body tries to flutter in vain. Your eye grows redder and redder by the minute and you hate it, but something deep down inside of you convinces you that you deserve this. You need to expose your emotional highs and lows to the world. This is living, except instead of winning highs, you keep losing and get the lows. Your emotions are natural, you think to yourself, even as you stop for a second to look yourself in the mirror. You look yourself up and down from a drenched face, bloodshot face. This is natural. Then you start to spray yourself with water again.

From time to time someone will stop you. They’ll shriek what’re you doing to yourself and while you’re grateful for the reprieve, you’re so waterlogged and groggy that you even wonder why they stopped you. This is natural. I deserve this. Someone had to be like this. It should be me. Even while they’re drying you off with a towel, telling you they love you, telling you not to do that ever again, to wait because they’ll get you something warm to drink, you’re scared and still thinking the exact same thoughts.

So when they leave you stick your head underneath the faucet again. But this time it’s a little different.

You don’t do it this time for the same thoughts, but this time, you think that if you’re worth it someone will save you again. The person that loves you, the person that dried you off, if you are really worth it, they’ll help you again. They’ll come back, and if they don’t, you were right about yourself all along. You deserve this pain. You don’t deserve anyone. Red eyed, you wait and twitch. Grabbed by the hair you’re thrust upwards towards the light. Stop it, stop it. There’s wailing, echoing on the bathroom tiles. Let me help you. Let us help you.

Eventually you do it so many times that they look at you and say, I’ve lifted up your head a dozen times, a hundred times, if you do it one more time, I’m just going to watch. There. You understand now. That was their limit. One hundred times. One hundred times for your life. It makes you want to open both eyes this time, two fingers jamming the eyeballs open, both to be opaque red, what about now, is there one hundred and one?

Most of the time there is. Sometimes there isn’t. Sometimes they stand there and watch you, watching them. A standoff as your eyes sting with faucet water and theirs with tears. They walk away, hand over their mouth around the corner and you can hear them cry.

There. I made this person who loves me cry. I deserve this. I have proven to myself that I need to punish myself more.

——

During one of those hundred times we could have closed our eyes. Sometimes we do, too. But next time let us follow you down to make tea with you. Help us dry ourselves off, not to do it for us. When we learn that sometimes our hands can do other things than to expose skin to the frigid elements, sometimes we find that there are much better things to do with our time than to hurt ourselves.

You are not responsible in making us feel better, to feel good. Don’t pull us up – be there beside us when we try to do it ourselves. Believe it or not, we’re still learning how to be a normal human being, We’re worse than children in adult bodies. We’re high strung maniacs who wait underneath creaking tree branches to test whether or not we’re worthy of living or not. LET US pull ourselves up. Teach us how to do it, but don’t do it for. But that being said:

Thank you.

Thank you for pulling us up when we need it. For coming back when you don’t need to. For shedding tears for the people who feel that they don’t deserve it. For loving those who test you. For holding those who push you away with their actions when you’re gone. We want to stop it all, we really do. But we don’t know how. We don’t think we should. Little voices in our heads are infinitely more powerful than the loud ones coming from outside. Screams hurt us and shrieks bite at us. But a hand on our face, fingers and palm on our cheeks while we duck our heads down and burn them? Those make us cry. Faucet water and tears don’t mix. That’ll get us up.

Thank you for loving us and standing by. Thank you, for the next time that you put your hand on another’s face and help them grow. Thank you for not leaving them to burn in a cold, echoing bathroom with the sound of nothing but their own sobs and pain.

Thank you for loving me.

- j. NG

For those themselves who are depressed, try and do a few small things per day. Literally ask yourself – what ONE small thing can I do better than I did yesterday? One job application compared to zero is a small, easy step. 5 minutes earlier into the shower is a small, easy step. One nice piece of clothing, nah, screw it, one nice outfit compared to our usual attire is one small, easy step. Do the small things first. It’ll make you feel better.

120: A Wish

I made a foolish wish to God one day, as I sat amongst my stacks of papers. Upon a whim I had printed out every document and scrap that contained the beginnings, middles and ends of every unfinished tale that I possessed, making a printout on pink pages the plans that I had writ. There were crossouts of themes, of storyboards, of timelines and characters, and these were all in pink. Then there were the first drafts, the first chapters, second chapters in green, and these were all various stories, stories with morals, stories with love, stories with beauty and art. None of them had endings. Those I laid all around me before I sat crossed-legged in the middle of the room. In my lap I held another stack of paper, this time in white. These were the stories that I had finished. Even now I’m not sure which was more depressing, the lightness of the white papers, or the fact that the pink and green stacks didn’t add up to too much at all.

I hadn’t volumes and volumes of knowledge and tales tucked away. Just a tenth of a room’s full, two inches high.

Something overcame me at this point. Maybe it was the highly ritualistic way that I had made myself the centre of my work, or maybe it was the way that I despaired, my hands held high, clasping a few dozen, feeble pages. Maybe it was the pink and green and white, like a faded Christmas decoration that made me think of God. Whatever the reason was, I fell prostate after hurling my papers like confetti into the air and I made one wish.

“Please, dear Lord, God of all that is mighty and powerful, let me write a story that is of my own creation and of my own soul, in my own words. Let me write down my emotions, and until it is done, not to stop writing at all.”

It was a foolish wish and a long shot. I hadn’t been to church since twelve years ago, and the last time I went I had not said my prayers and I hadn’t washed my hands before using one of the Bibles kept in the pews. Yet in a divine comedy where wishes really do come true, I began to write.

What you’re reading is the eighty-sixth chapter of the third volume of my life. It’s Christmas Eve and I remembered this sad tale. I’ve written it down six times now, though with each and every rendition you taste a different flavour of it.

In the rare moments that emotions wash over us, perhaps it would be better not to wish something with all of our souls but simply to drink it, and to re-experience it on another day, in another way.

That brings me to another tale from my days of being a foolish youth. This one, I’ve written down eight times now.

 

-j. NG

 

119:

A boy was standing at the top of a hill, tending to his flock of sheep when from behind a tree behind him he heard growled:

“Little boy, little boy. Won’t you cry wolf?”

At the sound the boy shot up. The voice was sinister, low and hissing. Slowly turning around, the boy replied:

“Sir?”

Once again the voice came out, but this time there was a silhouette in the shadow of the tree that gave source to the growl.

“Little boy, little boy. Won’t you cry wolf?”

And the boy looked at the shadow, not much taller than he and then back down the hill to where the village lay. It was so small, he thought, from his view up on the hills. That very morning he had eaten a portion of his sister’s blueberry pie for breakfast and the smoke trail from the leftward side of the village marked his own house. The village head himself had said “Hello” on his way out to the fields, “Work well today and that’ll be a good, strong lad”. With those thoughts in mind the boy even admired the way the sun beat down on his face, shining brightly above him and felt kinship with the sheep who stood about graziing, showing no fear. The scent of pollen filled his nose. The boy stuck out his chest bravely, even though the sun was setting.

“I will not cry wolf, you mischievous fiend. I have heard the tale of the lying little boy, and I have never told a single lie in my life. You are no wolf! You are but a mischievous little thing and when I find out who you are — I will tell your mother!”

In that moment the boy even believed his words about not lying and began to approach the tree trunk. But then the voice rolled out again, and the boy stopped and remembered all of the fibs he had told.

“Ah, then what a delight you will be to eat, for the purer you are, the better. Innocent little boys and girls are the most delicious of all. I am going to eat you. This I can promise. Won’t you cry wolf?”

The boy shuddered and took two steps back. He was fully facing the tree now and the grass blades pricked at his ankles as he retreated. The silhouette – had it grown larger? The boy looked once at the tree, then down at his village. What was it to be called a liar, if he was really to be attacked? He prepared his voice to scream.

That was when a bluebird began to sing. The song emerged from the tree again and its tune was strong and her chirp soothing.

Tra-la-la-la, this blue bird sings
Perched in a branch in full view of all wonderful things
Tra-la-la-la, I am a bird singing
Tra-la-la, bursting into song.

Of course the words were just in the boy’s head, but he heard the song and thought – no bird would sing with a wolf nearby, and not a single sheep is bolting! The boy prepared to turn himself round to face his antagonizer once again when he heard a terrible screech.

Freshly cut the pale flesh of the tree trunk gaped like naked flesh exposed to a winter wind. The boy’s hair stood on end and his skin recoiled in the shape of four parallel scars. His voice shook and the sun shrunk behind a cloud. It was setting faster now.

“This joke has gone on, far enough!” He called out to a shadow that was no longer there, behind a tree. “I am not a liar, and you will not kill me, because you are not a wolf!”

“Won’t you cry wolf?” the voice came with the wind, on the back of his neck.

He began to brandish his walking stick and wave it menacingly towards the tree’s direction and then behind him, twirling around like a spinning top. A howl pierced the air and the sheep started, alert.

“That was just the wind! Whistling through the holes and branches of the tree!”

“Won’t you cry wolf?” this time the voice was a growl. The sun was all but gone. The sheep bleated as they sprung as one down the hill, knocking down the boy in a stampede of fluff. Hoof after hoof came down on the boy’s arms, chest and legs and he flailed to protect himself.

When the dust settled the boy groaned. He turned from side to side but shattered bones greeted him from every position. Then from a close distance two sets of shimmering white teeth approached, canines like daggers drooling as they opened and closed.

“You should have cried wolf. You wouldn’t have lied at all” the teeth growled.

Winded, the boy could only hiss.

“Wolf. Wolf.”

But it was far too late.

Underneath the full moon a bereaved sister wept as the village head held her close by. Inside the sister knew that it was her that had taken an extra portion of the pie. She was the one who had called him a liar and told him that nobody liked cowardly boys. But the head looked on, even after her confession.

“Liar or not, we would have come” he said gravely, stroking his beard. “Not one damn thing would have stopped us.”

The next day the sheep grazed once again. In spite of the blood that stained various patches grasses, their appetites remained intact.

— END —

-j. NG

The Writer and Editor (in me) (ChasjngDreams): Recently wrote a post on my other blog depicting how the writing process seems like it’s being slowed down by having an ‘internal editor’. I also want to write a related/similar piece on trying to be a writer while being an eng. lit major.

forthesakeofflow

If ever I used this blog for any base purpose, it was to express myself in writing. It was used to be a release that removed all other sources of thought and extracted from the innermost shelves of my soul, feelings that I would translate into words.

It was no complex sorcery to carry out when I was younger. But then as I grew, I began to think through the logistics of it all, deciding where to put words and how to connect them with themes, rather than to use them as transmitters of my feelings. Even now, I consider the translation of the thoughts from my mind to yours more than I think about the translation from my feelings to words. Feelings became essays, and essays are things where words need structure, a floor for each thought, content for each floorboard. And as I plan for more and more, planning a skyscraper or even just a house, I’ve begun to find that there’s no longer space in my mind for even the words anymore. I’ve planned for so long that I no longer know how to express.

Once again I find myself muted, bottled up but this time not by inadequacy or by others, but this time in a cage of my own construction. Worst yet is that this construction is designed to keep me in. Thoughts are not crafted, they are produced. I am not free to go or to see what I wish to see.

From a soaring bird who wished to learn how to walk soundly and with emphasis, I became a stork with lead boots, unable to fly any longer.

It frustrates me to see the ground that I have lost and to feel the shackles that I myself have placed on myself.

Where is the freedom and joy with which I once wrote?

Where are the moments where the mere construction of a sentence brought me ecstasy?

Gone.

And I did it to myself.

116: What you See is What you Get (incomplete 750 words)

It’s time to start writing again.

What you See is What you Get

Having had bad eyesight from a very young age, Neil had forgotten the feeling of having to stumble about without his glasses. It was a rather unfortunate accident that caused his spectacles to have shattered too; having just walked outside of his apartment building, a bike courier with sunglasses and a turquoise green helmet collided with Neil head-on. The clash sent the biker to his side and Neil to the ground.

For many seconds, Neil’s mind was blank. Lying flat and parallel to the street, he squinted, blinded by the sun far up above him. The faraway orb kept the rest of the street buildings dark and in silhouettes, and the shadow of a giant, rising up from beside him held out his middle finger for Neil to admire before pedalling off. All had become blurry. Where he knew borders should have existed, there were none. His apartment door and doorframe had no gap between them, and though he knew they ran down straight, one image overlapped over the other so that they zigzagged, creating a lightning dash concoction of door and frame. His fingers, when padding at the shimmering steel doorframe confirmed that his eyes were liars, so Neil began the painful process of sitting up, pushing off of the scorching grey cement while using the ice-cold door on the other side as leverage to pull his chest forwards. Around him parked cars began and ended in two different places. Looking back at his apartment door he saw that the number read as %&, even though he knew the number was 48. His head spun and he touched at his stomach. It was probably marked red. There was the groove of the handlebar’s corner too, imprinted in his midriff. Then he began to search for his glasses.

As any spectacle wearer would know, the biggest difficulty in having bad eyesight is not that one wears glasses, but that one can lose them. It’s not exactly like losing a dollar, or a dime. The accessory becomes a natural part of the body. It’s put on at the same time in the morning when the body’s engine is revving up, taken off when the body is beginning to sleep. Being able to see for the glasses wearer is as natural as any other human being possessing fingers and flexing them to stretch in the morning. Repossessing them after losing them then, is harder than one might think. It would be similar to losing one’s limbs or fingers, all ten of them. He has them in front of him, but without using the palms to hold the fingers together, he have to somehow screw them back in. One could try to use their feet, to screw those fingers in or in Neil’s case, to try to kick the eyewear accidentally. One could bend down to the ground and examine it, but that process is slow. Glasses wearers know one thing that is true no matter who they are. When you lose your glasses, you pray, even if you’ve never been to church once in your life, that a Good Samaritan might walk on by. And Neil’s prayer was answered.

“Hey.” A voice said, coming into Neil’s senses in a streetward direction. Neil spun towards it. “Lost your glasses?”

He nodded. He could barely make out the blurred line of a face emerging from out of a hole, from what he supposed would be a window.

“Yeah”, he replied, stumbling towards the non-face with a grey line to mark out ears. “Thanks.”

“Don’t thank me yet. They’re over here.”

The man’s voice, not young but not cracked with age seemed to be filled with pity. He wondered why. As he got closer towards the car and traced the man’s outstretched hand, from the window he saw why.

Even without most of his vision he could tell that one of the arms of his glasses was skewed in the wrong direction. The other was missing. A moment of panic rushed into Neil’s mind.

I can deal with this, he thought to himself. It’s actually no problem at all, because I’ll just hold the glasses up to my face when I go to get them repaired.

“Sorry”, said the man, as he began to drive off.

It was then when Neil’s hopes were undone. The ground tinkled and the car’s shadow left the black cement bare. The black cement sparkled with crystal sweat drops, and Neil knew then that his lens were shattered. A trip to the optometrist. 

I guess I’ll just have to get a spare.

____________

So… this story kind of has a continuation and an ending, but I’m actually 100% sure that I don’t want to write it. It’s really irresponsible for me to be doing this, but as you might have been able to tell, the writing’s getting a little bit overdramatic for the ‘value’ of not being able to see, almost making it put this Neil character into tears about it. At this point, the story’s lost all of it’s realism, and to be honest, if there is any message that I want to convey, it’ll be a little over the top and at least another three thousand words of a story that I don’t want to write.

The original idea was to make Neil somehow visualize things differently after he replaced his glasses with three spares – one for sports (as his parents had always requested of him), one for studying (as his sports glasses always get bent out of shape) and sunglasses, which change his point of view when under the sun. I want him to see things so differently (as each glasses represent a different activity) for him to the point that it’s almost entering different worlds, of course with the hidden two ‘states’ of ‘glasses off’ and ‘eyes closed’ states being separate planes on their own.

I would explore the different ways that people act when Neil can’t see their mouths moving or how he would see a landscape differently with the sun’s glory facing him full on or also with the sun hidden away (it’s really different, I tried it recently on my trip to Copenhagen).

That being said, the story doesn’t interest me that much, and I apologise for if you found it interesting to start with. My only goal in writing this was to hit 1,000 words (like my friend is doing on his blog 1kormore.wordpress.com) and just get back into the writing game.

I also feel that this piece has value beyond the ‘getting back into it’ feeling that I have tried to attain. I wrote the opening of this while reading the opening to ‘The Dead’ by James Joyce. It reminded me of why I wanted to write in the first place, to be able to convey not only emotion and thoughts, but also to create life in my piece, something that I’ve been missing in my opening chapters of my novels (which I’ll return to as a result of writing this).

There was value in writing this. I’m glad, and hope you are for me too.

-j. NG