Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Yesterday at Lonsdale Quay

The people on the skytrain looked bored and tired. I sat beside my cousin who seemed more mellow than usual, dressed all in black, yawning occasionally. She had mentioned a couple of nights prior that she would corrupt me by taking me to Vancouver (I had told her I wanted to get out more). I think she thinks I am still much less wild than her. We're both wild, if you ask me. It's just that we are two different kinds of wild.

It was alright to get out of my art cave and go somewhere different. I was more fascinated by her than by the market or the sea bus. She became my adventure. Why the sudden change in her personality? What was it about the framed picture of a mermaid that mesmerized her? Why did she think that taking me into a sex shoppe would corrupt me? Was that a subtle change in her perception that I noticed? I realized there's so much more I could learn about her and we're both hoping to do more outings like this together.

I almost forgot to tell you. I bought a hat.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sock Writing

The thing about sock writing is that you're not supposed to think too much about it, you just let the words come out in one big long stream and if it's a stream of nonsense it's just as well. So I started trying to do sock writing but was getting too hung up on trying to make it sound good and I realized that was missing the whole point, so I just deleted a whole paragraph and have ended up with this and so far I've not stopped typing to check if it looks good. There. That's what I was hoping for and now to give you a whole lot of nothing in particular because this is a nothing kind of task to dump whatever out and hope to find some sparkling idea in the midst of it. Except my brain just paused for a few seconds and the idea is I'm not supposed to pause, but whatever. I would like to tell you that I have managed to kill my chicken. It was twitching for a while after I killed it and then three or four more chickens appeared and I was trying to scare them away with my broom. I was successful at that, actually, but then they came back again a few times. This is what happens when I'm left hanging. The chickens multiply. It's fine, though. Right now I have zero chickens. Okay, maybe one. Not the one I started with, but a new one. It's hard to kill because it looks friendly. Oh, what the hey, I'll just keep it. I don't like killing animals anyway. That's cruel. It took me fifteen minutes to put my socks on this morning because I was doing it in front of the fireplace and it was warm and it felt good and also I was daydreaming. My imagination has been nuts lately, coming up with snatches of conversation and fantasies and dreams of going to faraway places. It's good when I can reign it in a bit and, you know, live in reality where the red rabbits go. I'm pausing again. I'm not supposed to pause when I do sock writing. I'm putting myself in a time-out right now for messing up my sock writing. That's ridiculous. I think I have problems. I'm going to do something in reality tomorrow. I'm going adventuring.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Soft-Served Sweet with a Dash of Bitter

Dayna wasn't well the last time I saw her. I had no idea. It was all that cheese she had chopped into cubes, stuffed into that small round tupperware container. I mean, if you are healthy then you can chop some cheese. Obviously.

The thing about Dayna? She always wore that huge puffy jacket. You could throw a bunch of pointy rocks at it and they would just bounce off like she didn't even notice. It was so incredibly soft. And next thing you knew she'd be giving you a piece of gum from her pocket or else a five dollar bill. Sometimes she'd even offer to buy you some automobile magazines or do your homework for you.

I felt somewhat guilty about this after a while, when I grew up a little, so I figured it was only fair I start to offer her something. Maybe I could make it up to her, you know? I took her out for ice-cream during lunch hour. She sat there in my passenger seat, all smiles and sort of bashful, but cute as heck like a child getting to stay up past her usual bedtime.

She was smart, but sometimes she'd say things that didn't seem to match up. Or she would hang out with people who didn't fit her style. And she was insecure, you could see that, but she had a braver side. I once saw her catch a garter snake with her bare hands.

I only saw her angry one time, and she was super mad. At me. Or herself. She was trying to impress me, I found out later, with her acting skills but she accidentally knocked off my watch and it landed in the creek. I yelled at her to turn around and get it back for me before it floated away or sunk. She wouldn't do it, so I yelled at her again and she fell in the blackberry bushes. When I helped her up she muttered something about her neck getting sliced open, even though it was fine, so I grabbed the watch myself and tried to console her. She wouldn't respond.

And now? I wonder if there's something I could've done to change her mental pathways because if I could only tell you one thing about Dayna it's that she's one of the sweetest people I've ever known. I suppose I could've given her ice-cream more often.

It's okay.

Monday, April 13, 2015

To Kill a Chicken

Sometimes it feels like my brains are tangled up and wrapped around some dark unknown thing that needs to come out. Last night was like that, and today it has faded but continues to linger somewhere in the back of my head. I don't need to be afraid of the thing, but I don't know what to do with it either. Maybe it can be teased out through creative work in the next few days (or weeks). Or maybe it will go away on its own.

In the meantime, I sit down to type, hoping to keep my creative momentum going. My attention has begun to shift toward old friendships, people I haven't seen in a long time, but who I would like to see. Fear arrives, of course, but I don't want to listen to it. The what if questions surface almost imperceptibly, but I have become better at snagging those rascally impostors and chucking them out, even if I can only be rid of them for a few moments.

The worst I can do is let my fear control me. Sometimes it helps to say out loud to my fear, "Thou art not real," or I can imagine myself stomping on it until it's gone. Or I can just... you know... breathe and let love motivate me. The kind of fear that seems to trip me up the most is the fear of what other people think. For instance, if I want to see an old friend who happens to be a man, I might be scared that other people will think I'm up to something adulterous when I'm actually not. But I consider the bumper sticker quote: "What other people think of me is none of my business."

And now, or at least very soon, I shall attempt to kill my inner chicken. Wish me luck.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Keep Me Wild

if you want to keep me,
keep me wild and sweet and free
so we can drink the moonlight
and walk into the sea
listen to the shoreline
and hearken to the breeze

crash into the city
where the lights are bright and loud
follow where our feet go
and mingle with the crowd
if you want to keep me,
keep me wild and sweet and free

Monday, April 6, 2015

A Glowing Encounter

Anastasia had just finished bathing in the calmest part of the river she could find, and had just ever so slowly put on her summer dress after drying off, when Harris popped through the thicket carrying the black scarf she had left at his place during the youngest of all winters.

Tiny fairy-like creatures, almost too small to be seen by the human eye, were flying all around her in zig zag patterns, glowing through the haze of pollution. Harris thought she appeared to understand what their patterns meant, for she was smiling and listening intently. So intently, in fact, that she almost didn't notice him.

"Hi," he said.

She broke out of her reverie and looked upon him with delight.

"Your scarf," he said. When he stepped toward her, holding it out, five of the tiny creatures flew straight at him, fast and furious.

"Aah!" he shouted and stumbled backwards.

She felt like apologizing, but she didn't because she was trying to break her self-defeating habit of being sorry for things that weren't her fault.

"These little glowing guys like to think they are my bodyguards," she said. "Mostly they're only protecting me from myself. They know my weaknesses." Then she crouched down and began to draw something in the sand with her finger while singing a made-up tune. The singing summoned the flying creatures back to her. All except one, who flew into Harris' ear and was trying to find a way into his mind. Anastasia wasn't worried.

"I came too late," Harris said, while scrunching his face and holding his hand to his ear.

Still crouching down, she said, "No. You're here at exactly the right time. You can come closer now, if you want. Do you want to see my drawing?"

He did so, still holding his ear. "I hope you keep up your drawings. You're worth it. Be unstoppable!"

Anastasia believed he was being genuine. She gathered some sand, packed it into the shape of a heart, and began to stand up and give it to him but the creatures flew into her cheek. And she knew.

She felt a tear rolling. "Thank-you so much. I hope you keep the scarf. Come again and look at my drawings as often as you like."