The Unswung Bat

Monday, January 24, 2005
 
Study Habits

I'm beginning to arrive at a more patentable understanding of those fantasies of daring violence people go off on. And of bravery as a backlash of a glowering pride. Unfortunately, this insight takes no form other than as a dumb acceptance of the idea naked of imagination or reason. There is a droning, in my mind, of failure, its wasted splendor transliterated to an unchanging, unmelodious thud repeating forever to which I draw closer until incited to animal fits in denial.
. . .
"I'm beginning," he began . . .

"I'm beginning," he began, "to arrive at a more patentable understanding."
"How's that?" asked one that was usually quiet.
"Hopefully it doesn't come from experience," interjected one more than was necessary.

Loathe to turn around and read a plodding story weak of creativity, equally unwilling to face forward and write my own, I settle in, stuck between, for the night.
I am trying too much at once, walking with every expectation at my side and getting jammed in doorways. When my typewriter's legs get caught together like a crushed spider's I freeze and gently push them down, and the machine advances one space with an implicit moral to concentrate more.
Don't tell: show. Don't think. Don't finish the thought.

Exhausted, Tod put down the textbook and rubbed his eyes. A dull admonition throbbed between his neck and his head to tell him he had kept on too long. Sitting across from her, he hadn't noticed when Keatridge left.

With a yawn, he rediscovered Susan in the kitchen. She had a sandwich made and pushed the plate with half on it to him, with the trailing implication that she had half intended for him to eat it.

There you are, he told her, and while taking a bite she agreed.

Finally got tired, ah?

Finally tired of her affectations, her unshapely 'ah' and ambiguous sandwich, thought Tod with undeserved malice.

She knudged him as she walked.

Don't forget to put the plate in the sink, she reminded as she rounded the lower post of the banister. He thought that without the words 'don't forget' he would have let out a breath and relaxed. Instead he didn't forget.

Tod wished for a moment that Susan would ask him if he was alright and he could launch into one of the soliloquys he'd dreamt of delivering if the world happened to have a spotlight sympathetic to him. She would be quiet the whole time, or else interject when and as prompted.

Upstairs Keatridge was neither restive nor listening. She had put down the monster of a textbook she and Tod had been reading, crushing her notes with it, and was flipping through a magazine slid from a stack of many. Without idleness or contemplation she twitched blankly through it.

Monday, January 17, 2005
 
The Cheat is Not Dead

I submit to you, what I did this morning.

Table 0-T7: What are you gonna do when you graduate (d20)
  1. Die of Starvation.

  2. 1d6+2 kobolds burst from hiding and attack (Double treasure).

  3. Basically watch TV for eight months.

  4. Plastics.

  5. Combine the awesome powers of the 20th century's six greatest Steves (Allen, Martin, King, Seagal, Sondheim and Soderbergh). Conquer universe.

  6. Lutheran missionary work in Vatican city.

  7. Retributive Strike.

  8. Visit Japan, Thailand, India, and the Cantonese and Szechuan regions of China to see if their respective cuisines really do taste better in Toronto.

  9. Locate, and piss on, the graves of all the great tyrants I can think of.

  10. Coupon reseller.

  11. Write technical manuals, read a lot of escapist fiction, dream am character in said fiction, not be one.

  12. Found cult (preq: Cha12+, Leadership feat) premised on notion that works of Shakespeare actually authored by Kevin Bacon, go out in utterly pointless blaze of glory.

  13. Enlist and ship into Iraq, or wherever.

  14. Left-wing druggie beatnik freak.

  15. In dusty trunk in attic, find Bag of Holding containing Orb of Dragonkind. Colossal White Wyrm attacks.

  16. Adopt moniker of Elbus, Chronicler of the Paranormal, exploit weak-minded cows on tv phone-in show.

  17. Jedi Knight. Definitely Jedi Knight.

  18. Bake Pies, Eat Pies.

  19. Somehow be rich, drink gin, smoke cigars.

  20. Roll twice, combine results without use of pronouns, conjunctions, or commas (Ex: Go Iraq bake pies eat lots pies.)


Also I went swimming although technically that was after noon. I am at work, Marge. This is what I do. Move along now, this isn't a parking lot. So should I be trying harder (consistently, rather than in panicked spurts) in school and spending less time on silly crap? Probably yes, Jimmy-Jimmy.

I am provisionally back to writing, on my Incredible Machine - A Silver-Reed Silverette typewriter that, when not being used to write with, just sits there, thereby one-upping this timesink of a laptop. I'm perennially building elaborate fictions in my head, featuring dozens of human beings who pass through or stay, but I'm loathe to do the finalizing, fleshing-out work of actually putting these on paper. Well that stops now, or at least decelerates. It's not without good cause that so many writers go by the saying that a writer writes, preferably every day.

The beginnings of Chris's stories are always awesome, this one especially so. Anyone else know of any fictionesque blogs out there? Like, good ones? And also neon lightspeed rollerskates to fantasia like this, of course of course. If you do, that's what the guestbook's for.

Gotta go now, got things to do.

PS: I typed this entry out from handwritten, so it only took like 20 minutes. When I started the sky was kind of hazy. 15 minutes into it I looked out the window and suddenly it was snowing so heavily I could hardly see across the yard: big, crowding cyclones of puffy flakes dancing like some kid just dropped the snowglobe on the couch. Five minutes after that I looked out again and not only was the snowfall gone, but outdoors it was so clear it hurt me to look. I can still see the image of a tree, its black dendrons burned into my retinas by a crystal-blue atomic backlight of bright winter sky, and it's been almost half an hour. I might have to learn to live with this.

Sunday, January 16, 2005
 
None of You Understand!

So the Goulais River Rats show at the Red Lion was awesome, about a million of us were there, distributed by tables into bitesize chunks, and I believe the consensus among one of those chunks was that I need to be more emo. So I'm gonna try harder. Clearly.

Andra's teching a play for the Hart House drama festival this Wednesday. Anyone who feels interested in seeing some plays, I think tickets are like 10 bucks, and there's 3 shows of like 30-45 min each. We're also going on Friday to see Jenny-from-New-Years's play.

So there you go. Man I can't wait for spring. The apartment's cold all day long, and I didn't have anywhere else indoors to go today.

'Night.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005
 
Recitation

It was very complicated, even as it was simple.
One day she was in a crooked box of a shanty
chattering between pots and pans.
Mercury hands flowed and set on a pen.
Set and sprang.

Eyes unlidding old countries, scanned,
gaped
while the mercury hands brought the flying stylus
breathless across a new-known path.

In a quiet home and the land an open
and restive question, she, shy
hands sandduned on a warped woodplank tabletop.
Ocean sussurating outside
like Mercury, gasping.

Monday, January 10, 2005
 
What Am I Doing?

What you ask? Waiting for Andra to finish changing, whilst I blog at the Athletic Center. They've got five computers right outside the changeroom for checking stuff. It's awesome. And it puts a comforting pillow of nerdiness on the daily swim session, lest I start to feel like some kind of fancy big-city athletic type, with my executive swim trunks, and my fancy leather towels.

I spent nearly all of poetry class writing a poem. Out of all the ways of missing the whole goddamned lecture, that one can't be bad. Or maybe it's like skipping my G2 test to go joy riding. I've been playing some litererary mailbox baseball.

Hey! Andra's done changing. And away I go, there's dealings to be wheeled.

I'll post the poem later. Mind you, though, if anyone calls it pretentious I'll shoot you. With a pointy syringe. Fulla contraband ouchulants. Then you no be so big.




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