I remember that moment like it’s preserved in amber or under glass: sunset deepening rapidly to blue twilight, the air humming with insects, a hot day turning over into warm evening. I remember stepping into the darker shadows of the trees, tall pines perfuming the air with their sharp scent. Even just standing beneath the trees, it felt like stepping out of civilization itself, into another time and place undisturbed by humanity’s presence. And then, before even my feet touched the dirt path, I saw it; coming down the path from the direction of the mountains, footfalls silent, the bobcat approached me as if I were part of its everyday sights. I froze, not daring to take even a breath for fear the sound might shatter the impossible moment. I had never witnessed such grace and beauty than this wild feline; I doubt I ever will again, unless I’m lucky enough to witness another of its kin. Such a small body, to contain such power and wisdom! The creature padded down the trail past me with barely a glance for the clumsy human watching in awe and disappeared into the dimming twilight. I let out the breath I’d held and pressed my hand to my heart, whispering a thank you to whatever force sent this beautiful sign to me that night. Back then, I didn’t know the source of such a blessing, but now I do. Now I know this was just one of many signs from Bast, patron goddess even before I knelt before Her altar. I didn’t recognize the sign for what it was, just as I failed to recognize other signs She sent me over the years – perhaps I just wasn’t ready to hear Her call or follow Her path. She was patient with me, though, and I heard Her when I was finally ready for the journey She offered. Still, I thank Her for sending such signs throughout my life, a mother cat gently nudging Her child in the right direction while still letting her pick her own path.
I’m going to spend my lunch break freewriting instead of reading about kitties because I’ve been really lazy with the whole writing thing lately which I like to blame on the boys being silent but really it’s my own fault for just not trying, or at least not trying hard enough, putting sweat and blood and tears into it, I used to but I don’t so much anymore, not sure why, maybe just more things to spread the crazy over so the writing doesn’t get hit with the full force of an anxious, depressed, obsessive compulsive mind like mine, though it doesn’t help either that I’ve been doubting, wondering just how much of my belief really is that crazy mind just wanting to cling to nice ideas, goddesses that care and gods who exist outside of the chambers of my mind that is so many hallways and so many doors and so many rooms, it’s easy to get lost, equally easy to turn a corner and think you see something, someone, but probably not, they’re probably not really there, you’re probably just lonely or scared or angry, yeah, I can do anger well when I need, though these days the spark isn’t so easy to coax into a roaring flame, it’s more like a pilot light you forget about or maybe a lighter with no liquid left so you’re just flick flick flicking the switchy thing to no result, I wish I could be angry at a world that might not be as magnificent as I hope, that might honestly just be what you see is what you get, no magic or mystery, I wish that could make me angry but instead it just makes me, I don’t know, afraid I guess, but that fear that comes from not wanting to admit something might be true, if you say it out loud you might make it real but if you never say it, if you carry that dead coal deep in your chest maybe it’s not really real, not quite, and maybe one day you’ll have that experience that proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that everything exists, everything at all, but let’s be honest, probably not, that’s just a little too good to be true, not everyone can be right about everything, and anyway I guess the mystery is the point of it all, the not knowing, the believing despite the lack of evidence, but that’s stupid, honestly, that’s bullshit, what’s so bad about evidence? what’s so good about blind faith? and when some say it’s good to doubt and others say it’s bad to doubt, who’s right when everything right or nothing’s right or whatever, I’m losing steam here, and my train of thought, and really it’s only been like fifteen minutes, how did I ever do this before, this roundabout whirlwind wordvomit that somehow made sense before, had a point, seemed maybe even a little fucking profound, at least to the me that was writing it at 2 AM, and maybe that’s the problem, maybe that sort of thing can’t be written at 12:09 PM on a lunch break but I’m asleep at 2 AM these days and I like it, I like the not pacing and weeping and tearing at my hair, though I guess I do miss the result, haven’t really written anything I could call good in who knows how long, even stuff like this feels like cheating, just strings of words connected by the occasional swear because I’m edgy, see?, but I remember how it was once upon a time, the urge, the compulsion, the flow, fierce river of words that didn’t suck so fucking much and didn’t need to be framed in a haiku because otherwise there aren’t enough to make anything of any value, and yes every time I write a haiku I know it’s a stopgap measure, water on one plant in a desert of dying vines, wow, getting real poetic here aren’t we, maybe 12:12 is the magic minute, though probably not, this lunch hour might have been better spent reading someone else’s words, especially since I’m really winding down, no anger or sorrow or indignation or other words that would sound nice here, no, I’m down to one maybe every twenty seconds, twenty five at the end of a thought, the what now? with no answer, I guess another few words, I forget what I wrote about up there but it was probably stupid, this is too so I probably won’t do anything with it, I’ll delete it all in a burst of another word that I can’t think of, maybe I should take up nope don’t backspace can’t backspace here that’s not how it works, there are rules, stupid rules but if we don’t have rules then everything’s chaos or whatever, though then again everything IS chaos right now, isn’t it? so maybe no one would even notice, and honestly no one’s going to read this anyway, not even me on some far future midnight because ugh, what’s the point, why walk the same old same old same old circles, it’s 12:17 now, can I be done? I can manage to eke out a few more words if you really want, banana combine harvester ecclesiastical wow I spelled that right on the first try, oughta get a sticker for that, and oh hey stickers! maybe those would help, though I doubt it, but at least it’s 12:18 now, see how the time flies, here are a few more words for you or maybe not, maybe my mind will go completely blank like a thing that’s really blank I guess, fuck off simile, which I guess I can’t spell, some grade level teacher would be disappointed in that but you know what Ms I can’t think of any teacher names well they can fuck off too, I’ll spell all the words wrong if I want, not trying to get published anyway, just yelling into the void and I guess taking up some precious storage data or something but hey it’s 12:20 so fuck this
feeling kinda bummed;
was expecting more than just
two friends holding hands
[ I just finished watching The Legend of Korra and I have to say… I’m pretty bummed about the way Korrasami turned out. While I understand the creators weren’t sure what sort of homoromantic subtext they could get away with, there is NO subtext in the show. None, not even a teeny tiny you’d-have-to-be-queer-to-pick-up-on-it bit. I’m the queen of picking up on queer subtext and believe me, I would notice if Korra and Asami were sending signals, even subtle ones. They barely even speak to each other in the last season, let alone in the last few episodes! Even their final conversation, the one which leads them to go off together into the spirit world, doesn’t in any way hint they may have deeper feelings for each other. For all intents and purposes, they’re just two friends going off for a well deserved vacation. Even the fact that they hold hands in the last five seconds of the show isn’t really proof of anything; Korra makes more obvious moon eyes at Mako in the final episode than she ever does at Asami. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m glad Korrasami is canon, and it sounds like the comics will develop their relationship further, but… I’m still bummed. I was really hoping for some legit representation, even if it did occur in the very final episode. But that? That wasn’t anything. Oh well. Good thing I still have all the queerness of Hannibal and Carmilla… ]
It’s funny, really, how vulnerable people are despite all their attempts at security. Firewalls, passwords, metal detectors, security cameras, background checks… all useless if you want to get past ’em bad enough. Like this, right now; see how easy it is to fall in step with a little crowd and blend right in through the slidin’ doors, past the cameras and the sleepy security guard? Everyone figures if you’re at a hospital this early in the morning, you must belong here. And anyway, no one ever watches for a girl hunched in her trench coat, skin like a candle’s wick and dark messy hair, they take one look and assume she’s visitin’ a sick relative. No need for suspicion, though I could be carryin’ anything under this coat, maybe somethin’ faster and deadlier than the handgun in my right pocket. But see, I walk right in and go left down a hallway and no one stops me, no one asks where I’m goin’ or if I need help. No one sees me, really, not even the mother and teenage daughter waitin’ by the elevator – I could shoot ’em both in the back of the head right now and they’d never know a thing. But I don’t, of course; instead I take the elevator with ’em, back against the wall and hands in my pockets, all innocent ‘cept for my martial stance.
After a few seconds the elevator comes to a jerkin’ stop on the wrong floor and a voice over the intercom commands, “Put your hands on the walls!” and when the duo look around in fright it repeats, “Now!” They both do as commanded and of course I don’t, my hands are in my pockets and I’m prob’ly smilin’, I can’t help it, I just love when things go so smoothly. The elevator door has glass panels and beyond them we all watch, they in terror and me, well, still grinnin’ like the cat that ate the canary, as what looks like a whole damn SWAT team surrounds the elevator. The guy in the lead approaches, points his big fancy gun at me, and demands in the same voice from the intercom, “JewelThief, put your hands on the wall or we fire!” That’s not my name, of course, just one of my handles. Booker Shaw, that’s not my name either, but it’s what I go by when I feel like going by somethin’. Anyway, so I take my hands out of my pockets, empty, the boys don’t seem to expect that, and lift ’em in the air, still smilin’. “On the wall!” he yells again and I obey, I can play nice when it suits me. The elevator door opens and they gesture for me to walk out nice and slow. This is my favorite part, where they think they’ve caught me all on their own, that I didn’t plan this down to the second. Sometimes you have to go deep inside in order to get past some of those security measures, break ’em from the inside out, so why not have ’em open the front door for you to do so?
“Dum spiro te amo”
kiss and raise a fist
give your bow, gentlemen
this stage won’t forget
[ If you haven’t read Kathe Koja’s stunning work Under the Poppy, or its equally as heart-wrenching and powerful sequels The Mercury Waltz and just-released The Bastards’ Paradise, do yourself a favor… read them all. Now. ]
A rare moment, the calm after one storm and before the next spent in weary and listless silence. Head to Tanim’s shoulder, Daren asks idly, “Which madness do you prefer? Which is the least of the evils?” but “I’m not sure I’m the best judge of evils,” the other answers with a wry nod to the bottle at his side, half empty or half full depending on the day. It earns him a jab in the ribs and, “I’m the only one who gets to dodge questions.”
“Fine,” Tanim stares down at the bottle, rocking it from side to side to make the amber contents dance. “I don’t prefer any of them,” his reply thoughtful, “but I think the quiet one scares me the most. When you’re not angry, not sneering or snarling, not fighting back or lashing out or anything. When you’re just still and blank…” His voice trails off and Daren laughs, or his rough version of the sound anyway, honest amusement with a one-sided smirk for accompaniment. “You prefer the times when I try to gut you to the peace and quiet? You really are a masochist.” Tanim ignores the last comment and shrugs, careful of Daren’s head leaned against his shoulder. “I suppose so, yes. The knife I can see, even if I can’t always dodge. It’s predictable. This… it’s like not being able to hear the ice cracking beneath your feet.”
“That’s fair,” The smirk twists, turns sour and oddly introspective. “I’m not sure even the ice knows when it’s about to shatter.” Tanim nods in acknowledgment and the silence expands once more until, “It’s never really peace,” he admits, unnecessary confession, “But I don’t want peace. Neither of us would be here if we wanted peace.”
I wonder what those grunge singers and goth kids would have done if they knew such gods as you existed, if they had been told their militant atheism could find a better home in your worship than in the denial of any worship at all. How might their songs have changed if they had sung to you instead? What fires might their rebellion have lit if they had rebelled for you? Death gods abound and always have, but there are none in any pantheon that light even a candle to your fierce and fantastic blaze. If things had been different, you might have had a following instead of a single scribe. You might have had an army clad in leather and safety pins, black painted nails and kohl lined eyes; an army fed on stolen cigarettes and hard liquor, energized by sorrow and hate. I just wonder what others may have accomplished with you to fuel their dark creativity – could someone like Kurt Cobain or Elliott Smith have handled you, or would your darkness have only fed on their own? Or perhaps you were there after all, in another iteration, another cycle, whispering the same wrenching dirges in their ears as you do now in mine?