Sunday, January 27, 2013

Others

It is February 1st and it is raining in Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA.

We five are sitting in a hot tub. There are three women and two men. Everyone is married, though not necessarily to anyone else in the hot tub.

The hot tub is outside, fenced in, nested under an ash tree pagoda formed by wiring and binding three trees together into this hut, this

The hot tub is cleaned using citrus juice and hydrogen peroxide. The three trees are healthy and old and intertwined just like you'd imagine the best bonsai hut, ever, should be.

We five are taking turns laughing, and recounting, and sharing two bottles of cheap champaign and we are all completely naked.

One of the women just sold her first book, she is paying for everything tonight, on the advance. She's laughing and spilling the champaign into the hot tub and we're all laughing now and she's telling us there's an email in her inbox and one of the men is laughing at that word: inbox.

"That's a silly word," He says and we all agree.

This dates us all, but you'd date us all, too. (Doesn't matter, we'd probably not call you more than once, and only out of courtesy.)

"Right," she says, breasts bobbling in the froth of the hot tub, "but listen." She tells us how this email is from someone important at Universal Studios. How it is under an email from someone important at Bad Robot studios.

We all sit and think about that for a minute.

POP Goes another bottle of champaign and the taller of the two men is laughing and swallowing and one of the women, the shortest, bustiest, is telling him: Open your throat; relax; let it down you.

The other two women are kissing and the man, the quiet man, watches for a moment, then turns his attention to deciphering which trees are knotted together where, in the steam and the rain and the ice above him.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Boars were not the same as octopods.

This boar, a boar that dug a tunnel so, so far was impressive --a true spirit of determination and perseverance.

Eescaping the pit by doing exactly what pits do was something the writer would never have imagined. Yet, he woke, pen in hand, ink stained lips one morning, tired, and cold.

The last sentence in his notebook was, "The pig disappeared into the earth, boring through the surface of the planet and into another."

The window onto the fire escape was open, letting in cold feburary wind and there was a bacon-y smell.

"oh shit." He said to himself. "That was a horrible pun."

What was he to do now? He decided to go for a drive. And that is when the octopus crashed onto his car, into his life.

The octopus came through half blind. 


It itched constantly.

It was weak from the journey, the writer knew, and needed feeding. He understood the magic of octopods, and this particular the Octopus deeply.

The writer also knew the octopus would need help finding the boar, now, and . . . enacting whatever the octopus had planned for the boar.
Toa had a realization, sometime in the third week of climbing trees a full day away from her fire, the river, and the pit.

"I don't have to go home now," Toa said it out loud, whispered it to the constellations she could see, her ankles dangling smugly into the thick foliage.

The girl.



They had said their goodbyes, written like this:
  Q___D
and once the octopus had cast its spell and disappeared down the pit wall, the girl cried again and her tears streamed down her face, running rivulets on her lips. Goom, Gloom, Loam, Loom, Loa, Moa, Toa (pronounced Toe ah), the girl, sat and spat and dribbled into the pool the Octopus had slept in. Carefully, Toa unwrapped her bit of the Octopus's magic spell, and just as the Octopus had loquaciously explained, she slid the deep red, puckered and suckered stick into the pool, right where she saw her tears touch. She held the stick for minutes, savoring its ghostly weight in the salt water. She smiled.

At one point that night, she thought about climbing down the hole wall, but it was a brittle wall and would have taken her down and made her sleep forever.

"Why," Toa asked herself, "Did the elders send me, powerless, and frail to kill a god like the boar?" Toa asked herself some version of this question three times a day for two weeks during the dry season: Once on waking; once at noon, when her skin cracked and she wished to be the red, puckered and suckered stick that had planted itself in the silt and slowly curled and uncurled with the breezes; and every night before she evoked her grandfather, just before sleep --he never came.

After those two weeks, Toa added another question: When will the Octopus return with the boar, so I can return with the boar?

Another two weeks and she added a statement to it all, and began to practice climbing trees. The statement was, "I will make it proud, while it is gone."

It took Toa two weeks before she could climb every tree in the forest she could get to in under half a day.  

Another week and Toa could climb all the trees within a half day's run, so she started to go further, knowing she could climb trees high enough to be hidden, safe, while she slept like a sloth.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The boar's eyes reflected the girl's torch light. Its breath steamed, floating up with short, derisive snorts form the bottom of the deep pit she and the octopus dug, weeks earlier.

"Now what?" She asked.

The octopus shrugged in the darkness.

The boar sat on its haunches for a moment, staring at its captors, tusks cocked. Then, it stood; started pawing at the wall of the pit with dirty hooves. It huffed, annoyed.

"We can't drown it --it can swim." The girl said. "Do we keep it alive?"

The octopus shrugged again.


The man sighed. It'd been difficult, writing about his life being ruined, but he'd gotten through it.

The boar and octopus had, together, ruined his life, fighting in his mind for two months while he tried to figure out how the octopus could to pull the boar back into its original universe.

They'd wrestled across his shoulders and, in the end, the octopus had to do what octopods do.

There'd been a strange ritual.

The octopus came to the man while he was driving. Floating, flailing on the windshield at 80 miles an hour on the interstate. They'd nearly crashed.




Saturday, January 12, 2013

The river is a cool and luscious thing, disarmingly clear; fast.


Friday, January 4, 2013

He's less hunched now, but he's wearing a mask, a bright luchador mask in red and purple, with gold flames fanning around the eye holes. He can't let people know who he is --or rather: He wants to be known as: That strange guy sipping gigantic chai smoothies through a straw, through a hole in his luchador mask. He has a porn site at the alt-tab ready, incase passerby in the window are walking too slowly. They cannot know he is a writer.

He's just written about how the girl almost killed the Octopus, when it walked into her camp late at night. He spent pages explaining the history and evolution of the word peace in the girl's language. It is this:

| |

| | is fortunately easy for octopods to sign with their arms.

She almost killed the Octopus with a carob tree spear. She showed the Octopus the welts, glowing red and pink all over her body. The word for "I'm sorry" takes all eight of the Octopus's limbs and requires two tight knots.


"Why are you wearing that mask?"

Reflexively, he alt-tabs to the pornography, then quick as he can, the man in the luchador mask opens a blank tab. The child does not need to risk seeing intimate midget women and their hulking men. "I wear it so people will remember me." He replies after a thought.

"Oh." the child is blonde, sexless, smiles nervously at him, "Is it scary?"

The man shrugs, "I don't think so." He says.

"Thank-you."

"You're very welcome."


The octopus asked the girl: why are you here? The Octopus's arms looked like this:

o ^^ _________

She told the Octopus how she had dreamed about her granddad whispering in her ear, and how this was her summer vacation. She explained that one of the wild boars had escaped death too many times, had become malicious due to her village's repeated failure to kill it, and so she was to sacrifice the boar to the village elders, or be a placative sacrifice to it.

At one point she saw the boar, sleeping during a rain --the water pulled a path of leaves down just so and glimpsed there, between the droplets was the boar, flanks and chest rising slowly and falling quickly.

"Dead, then?" Signed the Octopus, "Happy? Home soon?" The girl sighed sadly and proceeded to explain that, no, such was not her fate. This was days ago, beginner's bad luck: She had not yet made her spear.

Knife?

The girl laughed at the Octopus, shook her head and showed the Octopus her knife. The blade of the knife was serrated, but short, less than the length of a tall man's hand.

The Octopus deflated with a little burbling sigh. The girl nodded, momentarily glum.

Almost immediately she brightened, though (such was her nature) she smiled happily and pointed at the carob tree spear. The spear was almost as long as she was tall, and it had a good girth to it, thick enough not to quiver or divert, but supple enough for her young hands to hold. The tip of the spear was split, naturally, and the girl had widdled both paths to talon point sharpness. The Octopus nodded approvingly.

The Octopus signed: Boar. Why kill?

The girl frowned.


The man looked up from his keyboard. This was the hard part. Creating a reason for the octopus to want to kill the boar, too. The villagers had created a dangerous spirit by failing to kill the boar, and the girl and the octopus were going to force the spirit to escape its bounds, its very reality, and transcend somewhere else, but he didn't know yet where he could send it. He knew that the octopus was the only one able to follow the boar spirit across realities --that's what octopods do, after all.

But why would the octopus go after this spirit? It isn't like the boar spirit killed the octopus's family or friends. Really, the spirit was only doing what it saw as "right." or "correct."

Could the man let the boar escape into . . . wherever he wrote it? Would it just stop? Would its journey change it?

What if the boar became more powerful?

Was the solution Morrisonesque in that the journey to a new reality mutilated the boar spirit to the point of powerlessness?

No, that couldn't be it. Spirits don't die, and time heals all wounds, ergo, he couldn't let the boar live, even in  . . . some other reality. It wouldn't be polite, especially --what if the new reality weren't aware of spirits, or boars?

There had to be an answer. Clearly the octopus was the key, but in what sense? How? He sat, paralyzed, sipping uselessly at his empty chai smoothie cup.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Hunched

Hood up, arms out, trouser-less and bleeding from the nose. Staring at a picture of a long ago vacation.

She whispered to him, "I love you." But he was asleep.

(Write in the new year)


He wrote about a child, someone younger than him, naked and pure, hunting in a rain forest. A pig, a gigantic boar. The words eluded him, frustration at a lack of images, "no easy research," he chided himself.

In the story, he knows, the boy, it is a boy, a ... no! That's it. Step one: it is a young girl hunting the boar --befriends an octopus.

They meet at the top of a rocky water fall: the girl saves the octopus, who was dying due to the clean water of the river, from going over the edge of the waterfall by catching it in her fishing net.

The octopus, didn't  realize the true nature of the girl, though, and stung her seven times and the girl cried hot tears into the waterfall, turning a small tributary pond to salt water, where the octopus then scuttled to recuperate.

Later, the octopus thanked the girl by finding her camp. It spelled out words in her language, because octopus are smart creatures, and because the girl's written language was pictographic, so was easy for the octopus to duplicate with its many limbs.