Wednesday, 31 March 2010

An ode to their plight is this dirge.

He was falling. Hurtling down an endless expanse of nothingness. Slowly. Then fast. But always falling. Always, always falling. Like a star from the skies, like a raging comet across the universe. Falling down, sometimes sideways, he'd chance a look every now and again at whatever infinity of blackness went past him, only to see the ghosts of scorching, fiery contrails for as far as the eye could see. And here, the eye could see very far indeed.Downwards, ever downwards, the man stared at the gaping maw of an abyss far below him : it forebode of more flight through this desolation, probably into another dimension of despair. And suddenly, it was like he accelerated, he started to fall faster and faster. He likened this fall to the original fall; and, in a way, it made all too perfect sense to him that he was falling, likely never to ascend again. This fall justified everything that happened before, whatever that was, whenever that was. Still faster he fell, by now faster than the speed of light, the abyss that once seemed distant now aeons behind him. In the approaching distance, the man saw a light : a light at the end of the tunnel, in a way. A light at the end of all the darkness, and he fell towards it. And when he reached it, he woke up.

And he woke up in the middle of the night with the feeling that this had not been the first time he'd dreamt this dream. No, there was something too familiar there, something that spoke to him from time out of mind. A sort of cosmic, all-seeing, all-knowing presence lingered there, just at the edge of existence, in his dream. He always felt that he was trying to tell him something, and he could just remember hearing... what? a voice? No, a song, that's what it was. But he could never figure out the words to it, and like as not, would probably not even be able to comprehend them at all.
But it's still early in the night, a few hours before dawn, and there wasn't much to do. He wasn't in a reading mood, and it was too early yet for him to turn on the computer and see what was going on in the world. He needed something more... more active? More physical? Well, something that made him actually do things. And so he thought he'd make try and make a sense out of his room, a chaotic jumble of things long in dire need of a complete overhaul.
He got out of bed, went to the kitchen. From the fridge he took out milk, and on his way out, just as he turned off the light, he took some biscuits from the nearby cupboard, so he'd have something to nibble while he worked.
The first order of business would be to look through the dozens of boxes of all sizes that were in his room; he needed to sort out what was to be kept, and what was to be thrown out. It took him a few hours, but soon enough that chore was behind him. Bags full of once treasured possessions were filled, and he quickly moved on to the drawers that were full to bursting with long-forgotten items. This he dreaded the most, for there were things there that were purposely kept out of sight. He found it somewhat surprising to see that truly, most of what sat inside the drawers, amounted to be nothing but mementos of a bygone era. With a smile, he sifted through the papers, the photos, the memories... most of it he threw out, they no longer had any sort of sentimental attachment to him.
He surveyed the scene, and saw that it was good. The place was looking like something different. It was somehow lighter, much less cluttered. Something had been set free.
But still something nagged at him. Oh. Yes. He'd forgotten to go through his wardrobe. He moved towards it, opened up the doors, and felt at ease with knowledge that there was only the bare essential of clothing there. He looked down, and he saw a box. A black, unassuming box. From the first look he gave, he knew what was inside the box.
Her letters, her drawings of him, her words to him. The sound of her voice, the smell of her perfume wafting from the papers, even after so long.
He picked up the box, and sat down on his bed.
And then he opened the box.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Where do all dreams go when they die?

Breathing. Spirit. Discipline. Focus the mind. Cleanse the soul. Keep sight on my target. Concentrate. Focus...
Be prepared for the unexpected. Concentrate…mind and body as one. Achieve tranquility through movement.
Integrate spirit and flesh. Channel the powers. Focus the mind. Cleanse the soul.
Release that which is negative. Separate darkness and light.
Mind and body as one.
Give birth to yourself.
Oneness, through knowledge.
Define your existence.
Oneness, through emotions.
Create your divination.
Oneness, with the heavens..
From strength, learn gentleness. Through gentleness, strength will prevail.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

There the road begins where another one will end.

It was a beautiful day out there : the sun was shining, birds were singing. Early spring already held the promise of a glorious summer, and as he walked out on to the street, the wonderful warmth of the sun bathed him in golden waves.
Today would be a a lazy day, he'd decided. And so, and seemingly at random, he wove in and out of the city's streets, stopping here and there wehn necessary. On one such stop. he bought something to eat later on, as well as water to keep him from becoming parched.
After walking for a while underneath the sweltering yellow globe above, he made his way into the garden. By sheer dint of its verdant nature, it kept temperatures just a tad cooler, and that was good.
Fir, ash, oak and pine greeted him, were all around him. He walked by the solitude of trees, crouched near a forlorn bramble where a small cat had disappeared into seconds earlier : he wanted to see if it was still there, or at least nearby. He inserted one hand in the shrubbery, pushed it aside, but the cat was gone. When he made to remove his hand, he pricked his thumb on a blackbriar thorn. He sucked at it for a bit, and sure enough, the bleeding soon stopped.
Walking on, and past an artificially engineered stream of water where ducks and various other fowl lounged and swam to and fro, he slowly - but steadily - made his way to the amphitheatre. In the open air, beneatht the blue sky, savouring the sun, and spread somewhat thin all over the amphitheatre, sat a dozen or two other souls. Some just sat, their feet resting on the seats in front of them, their eyes closed, their faces turned skywards. Younger people studied what might have been quaint and curious volumes of forgotten lore. Not far from him, a beautiful girl sat listening to music, whilst writing down on a notebook. Soon, he sat down and rested.
So rested he, by the shade of the lemon tree, that after a score of minutes of idle thinking, he looked inside his shopping bag : he took out the bottle of water, and a small plastic container with cherry tomatoes. He unscrewed the cap, and drank eagerly from the water. Afterwards, he opened the container, removed the thin plastic film, tipped the bottle over it, let it pour down over the tomatoes, and the water fell on the cobblestones from the orifices in the container. He lay everything on the seat next to him, and every now and again, he'd remove a tomato, and proceed to eat.
They tasted of earth, still, and this made them all the more delicious. In his mind he could imagine torrential rains falling over the plains whence these small, red orbs once grew, imbuing them with the taste of the very earth around them, over them. Under the sun, and with the insects buzzing and droning all around him, he almost dozed, almost surrendered to the day's sweetness. But the shrill cry of a bird flying above lurched him into sudden wakefulness.
Weary, he understood at last a fundamental truth that had been eluding him. It wasn't something that couldn't be rightly put into words, because it was an internal action; it was as if gears had shifted, and he suddenly realized that something was different, that something within him had changed.
It was time. It was time, and he no longer cared, no longer wanted to hold it in. It's time to break down. Yes, a breakdown, of a sort, but the sort that you need to go through before you can start picking up the pieces again, and reassemble yourself anew.
And so he let it all out.

[In another world, in another life, he'd have stared a bit longer at the beautiful girl and noticed that her purse was a perfect match for his jacket. He'd have found a way to make conversation with her, and then mention this. She'd agree, and they'd laugh. Then, just before he left, he'd tell her that if she wanted it, she could keep the jacket. It'd fit her just fine, she'd look amazing in it. She'd reply that she couldn't possibly take it, but he'd insist so much that eventually she'd give in. She would thank him, and just before he made to leave, she'd offer to give him something in return. It was now his turn to decline, but she moved closer, so much closer, and kissed him full on the lips. And he'd wonder why she had done such a stupid thing.]

I've found a way to make you free : kill that sound!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Sometime around midnight.

And it starts sometime around midnight, or at least that's when you lose yourself for a minute or two. As you stand under the bar lights and the band plays some song about forgetting yourself for a while, and the piano's this melancholy soundtrack to her smile, and that white dress she's wearing, you haven't seen her for a while. But you know that she's watching : she's laughing, she's turning, she's holding her tonic like a cross, the room's suddenly spinning.
She walks up and asks how you are so you can smell her perfume; you can see her lying naked in your arms. And so there's a change in your emotions, and all of these memories come rushing like feral waves to your mind : of the curl of your bodies like two perfect circles entwined ,and you feel hopeless, and homeless and lost in the haze of the wine. And she leaves with someone you don't know, but she makes sure you saw her. She looks right at you and bolts as she walks out the door. Your blood boiling, your stomach in ropes, and when your friends say, "What is it? You look like you've seen a ghost."
And you walk under the streetlights, and you're too drunk to notice that everyone is staring at you. You just don't care what you look like, the world is falling around you. You just have to see her. You just have to see her. You just have to see her. You just have to see her. You just have to see her.
And you know that she'll break you in two. 

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Un fantasma tra noi.

The woman was raging fire, a deluge from on high sent by the gods themselves. She was the blaze that consumed forests, that drove men to madness, that sent soldiers hurtling down the battlements of well-guarded keeps, and that plunged priests into such longing and desire that, prostrated before the cross, they'd curse and denounce the lord.
She was a snake, wrapped sevenfold in in temptation, a lush garden of desires in her veiled sex, her heaving bosoms seemingly ransacked from the very heavens. She was fire, she was the devil, she was the rage of God, the sword that cuts night into day, the ax that cleaves the seasons accordingly.
At least, this was how she felt. As she stood regarding herself in the mirror, in her skimpy, skinny Daisy Dukes, she knew that tonight all kinds of hell would be raised for her. She liked this. She smiles at herself, and the reflection, the one with the little devil on her shoulder said, 'Go get'em, tiger'.
And so she did.

You're the links that you move. You shine from the light that you shed.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Flames to dust, lovers to friends. Why do all good things come to an end?

And even though they were in the same physical space, even though they sat but a foot or two apart from each other in the same bed, it was as if they were, in all actuality, worlds away from each other. There was a great sadness between them, they sensed it, and for some reason this sadness that kept them apart seemed to be stronger than love. Even if they wanted to say something, whatever they came up with died stillborn in their mouths. It was important that something be said, but a knot around their throats was choking them. So they sat on opposite ends of the bed, backs to each other. He thought only of the many bad things he'd done, and how much those actions had poisoned this person he so loved. He blamed himself, mostly. It was his weakness, his lack of character if you want to call it that, that brought upon these blunders, that led him down the path of temptation. He figured if things remained hidden, then all this would never come to pass. But truth has a way, quite like bad blood : it will always out.
It was hard enough admitting to those past misdeeds; he had regretted them a number of times before, but never moreso than now. Moreover, he could not put into words how ashamed he felt. It didn't feel right, he thought, that this cross he carried could so easily be explained. And even though he tried hard to form mere words into a coherent phrase, he'd often just stand looking at her, opening his mouth as if to speak, shutting it again, opening it once more, then finally giving up. 'What?', she'd often ask. 'Nothin'.', he'd reply.
But that had been long ago, really. What surprised her - and maybe even vexed her - was how fresh she had allowed the feelings to remain inside her. Was she not capable of putting things behind her? Was she not in control of herself? She thought she was, she really did. And then she realized that, pretty much just like everyone else, she is human, only human, after all, and that made her indeed a slave to emotional outbursts. Back turned to this man she thinks she loves, or loved, but she's not yet sure, she ponders all this. It is beginning to dawn on her that indeed, this is becoming too much to take, it's hard to bear, it's like wanting to scream all the time, and not being able to. Maybe if she hit him, or stabbed him, or hurt him in return she'd feel better. But she knew she wouldn't, not really. Likely never would.
He got up from the bed, and moved closer to her. He hesitated for a bit, it felt like she was going to do something, and then felt more at ease and said, : 'Hey. I'm, huh, I'm gonna go now. I'll understand if you never talk to me again. God alone knows that even I don't want much to do with myself nowadays. But I gotta tell you this. I will always love you, from the bottom of my heart. Only right now, right now it's not the best for any of us if I just stay and hope for the best. Clearly, you need something that I can't offer you anymore. You need something that you will only get with me leaving. But it'll come. And soon, this thing between us, this ghost that never wanes? Well, darling, just like me, it'll only be a bad memory.'

Come take me down to your heart of gold, and I will hear your song.
Cover me up in your fantasy world, where I can do you no harm.
And hold me now close to you, fear the thoughts I am sending.
Hold me now close again, this dream is almost ending.

Come take me down to your victory waltz, and I will break your heart.
Gaze once again at the promise we made, that I have torn all apart.
And hold me now close to you, as though we're still pretending.
Hold me now close again, this dream is almost ending.

Friday, 19 March 2010

When we made love you used to cry; You said 'I'll love you like the stars above, I'll love you 'till I die'.

The girl wept uncontrollably, and the man next to her, in her bed had no idea why. I mean, he had not a single clue why this was happening. It had just been sex, that's all. And it wasn't like it had been bad; he knew it had been good, at least for him, and he thought that she'd enjoyed it. And now... now she's crying. Truth be told, he had been patient, and bided his time. He liked the girl quite a lot, and he was more than willing to go into a relationship, a proper one, with her.
The problem wasn't the sex. No, not at all. She had liked it, to an extent, but it felt wrong. And she was certain that he would not, could possibly not, understand how she was feeling right now, and she knew that this feeling, well, it might never go away, not entirely.
The thing of it was that it wasn't feeling right. She liked the guy, a little bit, fooled around with him, and decided that he was worthy. But when they lay together... that's where it started going wrong. See, what happened is that his body didn't fit into hers. His presence, his invasion of her, it was almost too much to bear. It felt like something alien was inside her, in her, and after a while... well, after a while the tears started.
And he was tender; he asked if he'd hurt her, or done something wrong. She replied in tears. He sat down on the bed, by the foot of the bed, and hung his head in sorrow. He wondered what the hell just happened, and if there was anything he could do to make things right.
In the silence of the night, all that was heard was the gentle sobbing of the girl. He tried to lay next to her, but it was as if she was somewhere else.
It finally dawned, and he dressed himself with his clothes that were carelessly thrown to the floor. Inside, he'd given up trying to understand. As he made his way out of the room, he turned his head and stared at the girl. She looked right at him, with vacant eyes. He could tell that something was missing inside her.
He chanced, 'How are we? Where does this leave us?', and the girl just shook her head, sadly.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

I'll be there as soon as I can, but I'm busy mending broken pieces of the life I had before.

Somewhere in the city, a man is lying in his bed, doing nothing for no apparent reason. The active principle that should fuel his soul is somewhat at an ebb, and the mere knowledge of this galls him. Let's call him, this man, let's call him 'I.'
Get up. Walk. Move. Do something. And so he did, just as these very thoughts percolated through the recesses of his mind. Let's get physical, let's go places, see faces, hear voices and everything else. And so he did.
And as he walked through these streets, these streets he know so well, streets he's known since he was a small child, he feels justified. It's like the city is finally welcoming him back after a lengthy absence, and now, just like a whore, she spreads herself for him. But he is a tender lover, this man. For he knows where to go, he knows all the little tricks, he knows where he can find pleasure and give it in return. The city knows this, and leads him on.
By now he must have walked miles and miles, but there are so many more left to go. And on he walks.
Hours and hours pass, and on the shade of a tree in a park by the river, he rests for a while. The shade protects him  from the searing sun, and invites just a little bit of drowsiness. He sleeps, beneath the tree, for a little while.
After a time, his eyes open, and as he looks to the sky, he senses the onset of evening. His stomach rumbles in protest, and he decides to make his way somewhere, but not home, not yet. A meal will do him wonders, and he knows just what he wants to get.
He walks some more, but not long thereafter his muscles tell him that it would be wiser if he were to find an alternate means of transportation.
I. looks for the nearest bus stop, and a few minutes later he's making his way downtown. Downtown, where all the action should be, should there be any kind of action in this place. But in this light, and in this evening? It's just what he needs.
It's not really a long trip, and his feet guide him to where he wants to go. Uphill he goes, and past all the fashion stores with impossible slim people, past the trendy cafes and restaurants, past the slightly - and the disturbingly early - drunks, and onwards to the narrow streets that will soon be packed with people. But not yet. For now, it's still a bit on the empty side, but that only serves his purposes better. He was listening to music on his mp3 player, new musics, the kind of music that can be safely ignored, the sort of music to which you still have no attachment to, and in a very good way, it distracted him.
So much so that completely by accident he bumped into a couple of people that were coming his way, and just as he was about to apologize, he realizes into whom he had just bumped into.
'Oh. It's you', he said, with a little, little smile. The girl smiled back, and said, 'Yep. It's me.'
A second of protracted silence went by before she spoke again. 'Yeah, and this is. This is J. He's my.. huh.. boyfriend'.
OK, he thought. Bound to happen sooner or later. 'Hi', he said, 'I am I.'
J. broke into a wide smile, and said 'Oh? So you're I., huh? Heard a lot about you.'
'Yes, I am I., and all you've heard about me? Everything is true, I'm said to say.'
'Well... huh...', J. stammered, but before he said anything else, silence cut in once more. I. said, 'Yeah, it's been great, but I really gotta go.' He looked at the girl, and said, 'I am really happy for you, I really am.'
He squeezed her hand tight, swallowed hard, and turned to leave.
As he waved goodbye, he saw her looking back in regret, he thought. Anxiety and a bout of sadness propelled him onward.
In his depths, deep down, he really was happy. She had moved on, and that, in a sense, made him feel more at ease. It was all that mattered, really - her happiness.
He had finally reached his destination, and sat down awaiting for his deserved meal to be served. He ordered a bottle of wine, and drank it eagerly.
That night he went home with her on his mind. As he got in his bed, he felt his mind racing. The wine probably didn't help it, and he knew that he'd have the dreams again tonight. But that's ok, he's had them for years now.
Only tonight... tonight they'll be even more vivid, and he knew that tomorrow when he woke up, the certainty of his love would drive him to tears.

Monday, 15 March 2010

A subtle kiss that no-one sees.

To be lost. To be waiting and wanting to be found. To feel adrift in the ebb and tide of life, and to aimlessly wander through streets that, though they may be packed with other souls, still feel deserted nonetheless.
All this was a feeling they had inside : it had crept into their core, nestled there, and refused to let go. A feeling they shared, even though years kept them apart, even though life had taken them down wholly different and divergent paths in the past. And so they endured, with this feeling and all, through what could only be described as a vast solitude of age.
So it came to pass that one day, and years hence from the moment they last saw each other, they would wake up one morning feeling as if the greatest weight in the world had been slightly eased from off of their shoulders. Oh, it was still there, but something - somehow - made it that much easier to bear, at least for a while.
The girl had bought a new dress some weeks ago, but had never worn it. She told herself that she was saving it for a special occasion, but now, and as she held it in her hands after having taken it out from the wardrobe, that reason sounded more and more like something sort of childish. No, it was time she finally wore the red dress. It was time she felt good again. Not just 'ok' good, but 'good' good. It was worth it, and tonight is the night. There's this party she's been invited to, and she's going to wear the dress tonight.
Somewhere in the city, a man is looking at himself in the mirror and wondering whether to shave or not. To be fair, he just doesn't terribly feel like it, but he hasn't shaved in a few weeks now, and it's starting to itch bad.
He shaves, cuts himself below the lower lip, curses, and then drowns his face in cold water to staunch the bleeding for a bit. He then thinks to himself that he shouldn't have shaved after all, but that was too late now, anyway.
His day has been pretty much uneventful : he had woken up early-ish, went for a jog, then showered. Only this, and nothing more. The shaving had come at a later time : he was reading in bed, when his phone rang, and plans were made to go out, for a few drinks, maybe even to a party.
He was up for the drinks, but not so much for the party. As all people are wont to, he'd grown weary of them, and now limited his social outings to special occasions.
But tonight.... yeah. Maybe tonight. He had a good feeling.

It was too loud, and had too many people. So many... where did they all come from? He was pretty sure he knew not half of one third of the people here, but they were all very nice, they all said hello, shook his head, and pecked him on his cheek. But that's ok, it's how things go, and better to let them happen, than to question them and make an already potentially embarrassing situation even more so.
Of course, he'd seen her there. He fought his instincts, and decided to stay. He wasn't entirely sure if she had seen him or not, but it didn't look like she did.

And she was a having a good time! The music was good - albeit a tad on the loud side - , there were nice people there, the food was decent enough, and she just danced with her eyes closed. She was, in a way, in a world of her own, just how she liked it. The dress clung to her body as tightly as a lover does, and made her feel warm on the inside. She felt that all eyes were on her, as she danced. Some were, but she didn't notice them. As the music wound down to a softer beat, she moved away from the empty space in which she danced, and went to get something to drink. And then, then she saw him.

He had turned her back to the room, while he fixed something to drink. She said 'Hello' in that voice he knew so well, but hadn't heard in so many years, and he didn't know if he ought to feel happy or despondent. He helloed back, and looked at her. She smiled, and said nothing. Nothing needed be said, after all. There were no words. No voices could speak what their hearts were saying to each other. All the years suddenly seemed to melt away, all that came before no longer mattered. What was important was this, what was important was now.
He stared ahead, fighting back the tears. He gave up after a while, wiped his eyes, and put his hands on the table where the drinks sat in absolute stillness. She drew closer, and put her left hand on top of his right hand, holding it tight.
She broke the silence, and said 'Everything will be alright. Everything will be alright.'

Friday, 12 March 2010

So far from shores I'd left behind, still far from shores I've yet to reach.

I first saw it a couple of nights ago, and I naturally thought that it was just my mind playing tricks on me, at first.
But then, I should know better by now, shouldn't I?
There is a presence in my room.
I first became aware of it as I lay on my bed, and the dim blue light that the mains charger that is plugged to my laptop was enough to cast a shadow on the ceiling. From the opposite to where I lay, I noticed that the shadow lengthened itself across from where I looked at it, and ever so slowly, slid across the ceiling and stopped dead in front of me, on top of me.
I looked at it, and it stared back at me. I know not what it is, I don't even know if that block of sheer darkness above can be considered pure black, or rather just the absence of any light whatsoever. Or maybe even the darkness that exists before light finally comes.
It remains still. It has no eyes, but I can feel them upon me. No mouth, but I can hear it whispering.
Tired, I fell asleep, caring not for whatever eldritch creature kept me company.
Yesterday, when I went to bed end turned off the light, it took only a few minutes for it to appear once more.
Maybe it's not there. Maybe it's all in my mind. Maybe only I see it, and that is to be my everlasting curse. Maybe.
Whatever it is, it exists in a space out of time and out of mind and the voice beckons me ever closer.
I'm not sure whether I like it or not - the primal part of me is scared out of my wits, but another side of the multifaceted diamond that is my psyche feels attracted to it.
If I find there tonight, I shall ask something of it. If it has a voice, then it's possible that it is sentient. If it is, then I have but one question.
Who watches over me?

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

She said she loved me, but she had somewhere to go.

He woke up in the middle of the night, after a few hours of drifting between slumber and wakefulness. It was very early in the morning, close to four, maybe, and his hand ran over his body only to feel a that a thin film of sweat covered it. The man opened his eyes, sighed audibly, and crossed his room almost in its entirety in a few steps. He reached a washing basin, cracked and yellowed with age, turned the tap that freed sweet, cold water and sunk his face in it. After a length of time he looked up. A forlorn, hackneyed mirror presented him with the reflection of someone that looked so much like himself, but so much older, so... tired. Spent.
He inspected the face that stood staring at him, and he thought, 'how did this happen? It was only yesterday that I felt so young...'
And he sighed again.
Looking at the mirror once more, he realized how haggard he looked : his cheekbones were protuberant, a sure sign that he wasn't eating as often as he ought to. His beard was frayed, and sported now only a few patches of a dark colour, which might have once been black, but no longer.
He walked slowly back to his bed, and sat down. He looked to the walls, and saw a number of things he once held dear : photos of loved ones, long gone but never forgotten, and books. He went to pick up a book, any book, a random one would have done, but as his hand reaches for the shelf, he finds it empty of anything.
Ah, one of those. A vision. The ghost of things past. He managed a smile, and turned his back slowly to what wasn't there anymore. His eyes surveyed his room. To call it spartan would have been a compliment. Nothing but a chair at one corner of the dimly lit cubicle kept company to the creaking bed and the basin. A few pieces of threadbare clothing lay strewn on the floor.
A surge of weariness overcame him, and he slept.

He dreamt. He dreamt of a future, a future so distant that the mere thought of it was mind-blowing. For some reason, he alone had survived all of mankind, and his impossibly older self roamed the cosmos on an asteroid, improbably called 'December'. Strange, though, was the fact that he knew that somehow this was destined to happen. The misanthrope he dreamt of certainly seemed to share his fatigue, and... huh. He could have sworn that the older man of his dream suddenly had started to look more intently at something, and when he tried to focus through his eyes, he swore he could see his now-self looking at his dream-self and being seen in turn by himself through the eyes of the dream.
Outside something happened, and the cosmic vagrant suddenly got up from his seat on the throne of long dead nothingness. He hears music... so familiar, but what is it? Old man rover stretches his arms, like christ on a cross, and just before the tidal waves of cosmic energy reduce him to cinder, he says something that only the one who was dreaming of him could possibly understand.

And he woke up. It wasn't much after he went back to bed, but he couldn't lay in bed any longer. His back ached something fierce, and so he made his way out of the room, and on to a dirty communal bathroom. The hot water brought some blood to his cheeks, and that made him feel oddly alive. The man proceeded with the rest of his morning affairs, and shortly thereafter he got out of the building, and out to a brand new day.
Of course, the days were always easy for him. Well. Easier at least. He'd do any number of things : by now he'd walked the streets of the city so many times that he proverbially knew them like the back of his hands. Sometime he'd walk into libraries and do nothing but look at books, hundreds and hundreds of them. Had he owned them at some time? Maybe even read them?
He did, during the day, whatever was necessary. Ofttimes he'd join those of his age in the park, and play cards, or checkers or chess. Whatever occupied his mind and time. He had little left of the former, and something inside told him that he would have plenty more of the former than he'd ever wish for. But the days were easier to cope with, at any rate, and just like any other day, this one ended like so many before. He stopped at the supermarket, checked his pockets for money, and saw that he could still afford some fruit. Some vegetables, even. Maybe.
In the kitchen he cooked a haphazard combination of leftovers and his shopping, ate it in silence, washed the dishes, went back to the room, and lay on the bed staring at the ceiling.
It was night.
Ah, night. The nights were always the hardest. For at night, it always came back to him. At night he always remembered.
And the thoughts swirled around inside his head, struggled with each other, but they all came flooding back. He so, so wanted to be able to just sleep, and drift into blissful forgetfulness... But alas. That is not how things go for him, now, are they?
So he embraced these thoughts, let them wash over him, let them carry him back to a time in the past. He says nothing. He wallows into this remembrance in a sacred, unspoken, unending way.
The voices, the faces, the cries and the sighs, the tears and the laughter : they all parade before him, and as they do, a solitary trickle streams down his eyes. Why fight it? It's always the same, every night. And somehow, he does feel that he's grown somewhat accustomed to it... To be sure, nothing in this provides him with any kind of closure, but at least this way... this way he can still see her face, and hear her voice, though it breaks his heart every single time.
He knows what happens next, he knows what will happen every night until he finally dies. A sort of smile crosses his lips when he remembers the dream he had the prior night. The old, old man repeated the same thing he has been saying every night for lo these many years.
He's just waiting for sleep and the wretched tiredness to claim him now. It's almost time, and when sleep comes... well, perchance to dream, then.
Eyes closed, and with a great, big heaving lament of grief and yearning, the man sighs ' Oh, Silvia...'

And then he sleeps.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Movie Review : Alice in Wonderland 3D

'Twas Brillig when I decided to go and see this movie yesterday. I must confess to feeling like a slithy tove must feel when they gyre and gimble in the wabe. Nay, I would rather say mimsy, just like the borogoves, just before the mome raths outgrabe!

[And if you understand not a single word of all this gibberish, then read no more. Neither the movie nor this review will have been to your liking.]

And so the movie begins in earnest, showing us Alice as a small girl (presumably around the age she first went to Wonderland, in the Disney animated movie), and shortly thereafter we see her as a young woman, on her way to a social engagement of some sort, where another type of engagement (or the worst kept secret ever) waits for her. As soon as she gets there, she senses that something else is demanding her attention : all the while she is distant and aloof, looking for a certain movement from the corner of her eye, and to compound things, the proposal leaves her dazed, so much so that away she runs, and finds a rabbit wearing a waistcoat, grabbing on to a watch, claiming that he's late. After him she runs, and inevitably she falls down the rabbit-hole.
And this, this is when the movie becomes intrinsically Tim Burton. From the moment she arrives in Wonderland, we can feel that this is not a dream, not a vision... it is beautiful, but frightening and menacing as well.
To help her along the way, Tweedledee and Tweedledum and The Dormouse escort her to The Catterpillar, who casts even more doubt on whether or not she is who she says she is, and, more importantly, as to if she is the Alice they were expecting - and sorely needed.
After some deliberation, it is agreed that 'she isn't hardly Alice', and we see for the first time The Knave of Hearts, with his Army, and we are treated to the Jubjub Bird as well as he who must be shunned : the frumious Bandersnatch.
Alice eludes the pursuit, and meets the Mad Hatter, who, for some reason reminded me terribly of Groundskeeper Willie from The Simpsons, red hair and Scottish accent and all. The loony hatter is joined by the hectic March Hare and The Mouse, who try to keep Alice safe at all costs : alas, so that she may remain free, they are captured by the Knave of Hearts.
And how could I forget the scene -stealing Queen of Hearts Red Queen? Every single scene she's in is all the more amazing because of her sheer presence. [But the less said about the confusion between The Queen of Hearts and The Red Queen, the better...]
She naturally strives to make Alice her captive, but she is so blind to all the falsehoods that people her court, that even when Alice is right in front of her, she fails to recognize her. And so it is that Alice becomes faced with a choice : to be the Alice that Wonderland needs, or leave them to their doom.
Just like in every hero's journey, as Joseph Campbell so brilliantly described in his 'The hero with a thousand faces', Alice must meet first attain the legendary weapon that will give her the edge she needs in order to defeat her ultimate foe : The Jabberwock, all eyes of flame, jaws that bite and claws that catch! With The Vorpal Blade in hand, she is ready to slay him, and although we don't get the 'one-two! one-two! and through and through', she did leave it dead. But, alas, with its head she did not go galumphing back...
One last thing... obviously, Cheshire himself was the best part of the whole thing, though I can't help but feel that Nightcrawler from the X-Men did something really nasty to/with Garfield, and thus we have Cheshire... And whoever decided to cast Mr. Stephen Fry as Cheshire deserves an Oscar just for that.

Okay, so all this said.... what did I think of the movie? Nice story, sure, but so full of holes and inconsistencies that a child could see through it. Full of 'girl-power', of course. The voice acting was arguably better than the the other acting, itself. Johnny Depp can't make a bad character, or make a character bad, but his approach to the Mad Hatter was... huh... intriguing. It didn't really work well all the time, but when it did, it was something to behold. The Tweedles, Cheshire and The Red Queen were probably the best of the cast, and they certainly did get the best lines.
However... and bearing all this in mind... it's a freaking beautiful movie in glorious 3D that is worth the price of admission alone. It's enough to make you forget all that's glaringly wrong with it, and give you roughly two hours in Wonderland. It's far from perfect, but it's as close to taking us to Lewis Carroll's fabled land of wonders as we're likely to ever get.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

I could use a story...

When I was younger, I had a glow. I wanted to make believe, I wanted to grow. Years have gone quickly, and things have changed. We can stand up. We can stand up. Higher and higher, we're gonna take it down to the wire. We're gonna make it out of the fire. Higher and Higher!

If I didn't believe, and if I didn't believe it with all my heart, I would just give up. I can't, and I won't.
The things I do for love...