2013-04-25 : 1 note
- “Death came by today while you were out,” the very old man said.
His old lady dropped the tray she was carrying, and covered her mouth with her left hand.
- “Oh my— and what did it say?” the old woman asked his husband, but he limited himself to just smile back at her. “But, but… what’s going to happen? what are we gonna do now?”
The old man took his old lady’s hand. “Come with me,” he said. He sat on the front porch of their old house, and shaking and crying, the old lady sat next to him. They both sat there, and he embraced her and said “it’s okay now”. She smiled back, shed her last tear, and finally stopped shaking. Staring at the horizon, they waited for the sun to disappear from the dawning sky into the night. It would be the last time.
“If you were to explain loneliness to a hive-minded species, how would you do it?” the scientist asked the man. The man buttoned his shirt as to seem less disastrous and more official, but his lazy pijama pants made it impossible. “I don’t know if I can answer this right now,” the man said, “I haven’t talked with anybody in two months.” “Oh no, they know— that’s why they chose you in the first place.” “Would you read again your introduction, please?” “If you need so.”
“As the official human representative of the [name reserved] race from the planet [name reserved], I hereby proceed to interview the subject [number reserved] on the study of human behaviour for the advancement of relationships between Earth and [planet name reserved].”
“Is that okay with you? Now, again, if you were to explain being lonely to a hive-minded species— as in, you know, they all share the same conciousness but inhabit different bodies— what would you say?” The man had just recently been woken up by the visit of the scientist, the broken window in the middle of the night, the eerie glowing figures standing outside in the patio, and he still wasn’t able to connect two thoughts together. He considered he should have felt shocked by the sudden knowledge of living intelligent beings outside the planet, but he felt oddly relaxed and even curious about the whole situation.
- “Okay, let’s me see. Um, do they know hunger?” the man asked.
The scientist left the bedroom and went into the patio. After a five or six minutes he came back.
- “No, they don’t really feel hunger, since they don’t eat or anything like that— they do absorb nutrients from the atmosphere, but anyway— I explained to them how the human digestive system works, and even though they’re fascinated by it, they don’t really ‘get it’.”
- “Can I speak directly to them?”
- “No idea. They don’t necessarily speak, per se. It’s more like— how can I explain it?”
The scientist holded a piece of paper and wrote ‘2 + 2’.
- “What number am I thinking of?”
- “4,” answered the man.
- “Okay, now—” the scientist wrote then ‘some dogs are’. “How would you finish that sentence?”
- “I don’t know,” the man said, “brown?”
- “All right. Final example.” The scientist then wrote ‘roses are red’.
- “Violets are blue?” said the man, without even being prompted.
- “That’s it! That’s how they communicate. It’s just this instantaneous, ‘pops in your mind’ kind of thing. Not like telepathic— not like they speak into your mind or anything, but you just kind of know, you see?”
The scientist touched the man’s shoulder and indicated to him the group of eerie glowing figures in the patio, grimly lit under the night sky. The man walked up to them. Somehow he felt they were laughing. How would hive-minded beings tell themselves a joke, anyway?
The man took a random ball that casually was laying there in the patio. He gave it to one of the eerie glowing things. “Throw it back at me,” the man told it, and the eerie glowing figure complied. Then he threw it back. This went back and forth for a while, the glowing figures shining brightly all of a sudden. Then he took it and tossed it away behind some bushes. “Now that ball is gone,” declared the man. But they want the ball back, somehow he concluded. “No— you see, you can’t have the ball, I won’t give it to you. And even though you’d like to keep throwing that ball at me and back, there’s no ball here anymore.” He stared at them, and felt that the eerie glowing creatures were a bit confused, randomly getting bright and back to dark again. One of them went behind a shrub and brought the ball again, but when it came back the lonely man had already walked away into the street, disappearing into a corner.
The glowing things kept somehow staring at the distance for a long while. Then they suddenly started to shine as bright as ever, and the scientist smiled. When they left, they took the ball with them.
“i’m one of the ten state-allowed deactivators.” She stopped sipping her coffee for a second. He continued. “It’s a job, you know? I studied medicine, and expected to just be another regular doctor, attending people and shit, but then— the opportunity came, they pay me good money, so, yeah, I thought about it for a second and said ‘why not?’ So, yeah, I’m one of those guys.” She took a napkin and cleaned her mouth. “So,” she started, “you murder people for a living.” “Oh, no, it’s not like that. I’m not a murderer or anything. They just call me, like, on my cellphone— this cellphone right here. Like, someone’s really sick, they’re in a lot of pain, you know? They know there’s no other choice left, so I come in and I— well, I pull the plug, so to speak.”
From then on, the evening went just as normal. After the café, they walked and talked the streets of the city. They saw all the people in love around them, while they declared things about themselves, life, loneliness, existence, but ultimately, as the chatter stopped and the silence came in, everything went back to the subject of death.
“It must be hard.” She said, while staring at the river from the side of the bridge. “Excuse me?” “It must be really hard to do that.” He stood up behind her, talking behind her shoulder. “I don’t know. Sometimes?” “Is this what you wanted from life?” He looked at his own shoes, then saw an ambulance on the other side of the street. He touched her shoulder, and she turned back. “Look, it’s just a job. Am I happy with it? I don’t know. I just do it. Some people do their stuff, other people do other stuff— I…”
His cellphone played Ottis Redding. “Shit. Okay, I’m very sorry. I should have told you before, I was going to tell you. Shit. Okay. I’ve gotta go downtown. They called from the hospital. Can I call you—”
“Can I go?”
It started raining. They took a cab right around the corner. In complete silence, the car drived across the city, ghosts and shapes moving in between the blobs of light and the wind outside the window. She stared back to the obscure faces and the movement of the rain. He held his hands in his legs, absent. They both heard the raindrops falling, the sound of the wiper moving across the window, the tic tac sound from the dashboard of the car. For the whole ride they didn’t say one word.
They arrived into the hospital. He waved hello to the nurse at the desk. She smiled back knowingly. She followed him into the elevator. They arrived at the lobby of the intensive care unit. “Just wait here,” he indicated to her with a subtle movement of his left hand. He went behind the big doors, a doctor shook his hand, and he disappeared inside the corridor.
She sat there waiting.
An hour later, Noah Hellman came out of the door with a bunch of papers in his hand. “It’s done.” He signed a form at the hospital’s desk, and they both left the hospital, still in complete silence. The rain had stopped. They crossed the street and walked into a park, leaving the hospital behind, moving between the trees, distant. They sat on a bench, staring at the floor. His hand touched her hand for a moment, but then he held back and away.
Then she grabbed his hand.
2012-11-08 : 2 notes
This is the story of a man that was ever so stupidly miserable. He worked for absurdly long hours in a place that made no sense, doing the most useless function, as he felt each minute to be worse than the previous one. It was desire the thing that was killing him, commanding him to try to reach for things so far away from his $1.50 life into self-delusions of relevance, significance.
He wore expensiveness and bravado as an attire he wasn’t able to afford or pull off. He wished so much that people would confuse him for somebody, anybody. So far away from his cave man ancestors, he was sacrifice-substance-over-style personified; a human fish tank; a fake, plastic Edward Hopper poster in a dentist’s office lobby; a courtesy laugh for a laugh joke of a man.
Sorry, there’s no story. Just midnight ramblings, absurd complaints, and a somewhat confusing feeling that we may not be as different to this man as we’d like to be.
2012-05-15 : 2 notes
You did not look behind the colours, the shades, the expression of contempt. Content with the superficial beauty of your skin, slowly turning into a carcass from your insides, starving, drowning, disappearing in the mirror, a dead person staring back. Wake up or either fall asleep forever, victim of your scar-less self-mutilation ritual loop will never end. Pain will be a constant variable, a reminder of mortality, viciously devouring you from the inside, depression parasite in your entrails, biting, scratching. Take your eyes out. Your will to live will become a perilous step-by-step technical suicide of fate and hopeful blind hopelessness revisited, tormented, damaged, nightmarish, disturbed. Time will become almost infinite in front of your eyes, every small twitch will last a century of torture. You’ll be dying.
2012-05-04 : 1 note
- “The wine stinks, the crew stinks, you stink, everything stinks!” said famed actor and director turned bit player Werner Russell, sitting in a table in a small fake set made for a commercial in the middle of a warehouse. Everything around him was kitsch design theory on fifties living room decor, from the horrid wallpaper to the cheap fruit laying around everywhere.
- “Cut!” shouted the director. “Mr. Russell, while I respect you for your old work, I think you have to remember that I am the director, and that I take the decisions here. I think I know—”
- “Director, eh?” interrupted Russell, considerably drunk. “What do you know about filmmaking? You have been just sitting there, asking that monkey idiot to put the camera in somewhere, shouting a couple of barely meaningful directions with your stupid mouth, your belly filled with coffee and half-assed bullshit, thinking you’re doing a good job when you’re not. Is that the way you do this, sir? What do you know about filmmaking, you blithering bastard?”
- “I’ve had it! I’m leaving!” shouted the director, while raising his arms and storming out of the set.
The crew stood awkwardly there while Russell took the napkin out of his shirt and served himself another glass of cheap wine. Eventually the microphone guy slowly began lowering the handle, leaving it there and walking out too. Somebody turned the warehouse lights off, and then, after everybody else left, there was just Werner and the writer looking into empty spaces.
- “I loved your film,” finally said the writer. “The American. Great movie. Very inspiring.”
- “Shut up.” responded Russell. “What’s your name?”
- “Gregory, sir.”
- “Well, Gregory, first, I want you to know that you’re as foolish as that other asshole, that petty director. But second, and more importantly, I think you did a great job turning that cheap idea into something with dignity. You made a good job with that dialogue, but you shouldn’t be working here on this kind of mundane idiocy. Risk yourself a bit, do something with your talent that is not selling cheap wine bottles, and remember to never let those idiots interfere with your ideas— they ruin everyone and everything they do, like they ruined me and my films. Maybe one day you’ll stop being a dunce, and who knows, maybe you’ll get to do a great thing. Now, I want to drink and I don’t want to see your silly bespectacled goose face while I do it, alright?”
- “Yes, sir.”
Gregory left the warehouse and closed the door behind him. In the middle of the darkness, Russell served himself another cup of wine while tiredly sitting on his chair, defeated.
2012-03-19 : 1 note
A suicidal man and a filmmaker are standing atop a skyscraper.
- “Excuse me,” says the suicidal man, “what are you doing?”
- “Oh, me?” says the filmmaker. “No, I’m just risking myself a little bit.”
- “What, why? Who are you?”
- “Oh, no, I’m just a man of cinema. Please, do ignore me.”
- “Wait, no. Are you trying to stop me?”
- “No, no, please, just keep doing what you do and proceed to commit suicide as you planned.”
- “How do you know I’m gonna kill myself?”
- “Well, you’re standing in this rooftop, 54 floors over the ground, barely grasping to this wall here so, I reckon, you are trying to… well.”
- “But you’re also standing on top of this building, 54 stories over the ground. And you’re barely grasping to this wall too, so, are you trying to kill yourself?”
- “Oh no, I already told you! I’m a filmmaker. I’m here for the thrill, for the inspiration, for the human spectacle.”
- “Okay, but why you had to come here— of all of the ledges in this building, to mine?”
- “Because, you see, you’re my protagonist.”
The suicidal man stared at the other fellow in silence, his eyes wide open. He stumbled a little bit, but reached back to the wall.
- “Seriously?” said the suicidal man.
- “Oh, yes, indeed, my fellow sir,” continued the filmmaker. “I’ve seen your struggle, all this years. How you lost everything you loved, and fell into this river of despair that became the reason why you’re here today, miserable and downtrodden. For you see, this, your story, is the tale of a man, a human, a hero, and you must atone— you must rise!”
- “You mean, all these years, my life has inspired you to tell this story? My story? Wow, man, I don’t know what to say! But, hey, maybe you’re right! Maybe I am the hero of this tale, and I shouldn’t give up! No! Not like this! Yes! You’ve came here to save me! This is my new chance! I must atone! I must rise! Yes!”
The filmmaker reached for the now hopeful man’s hand to bring him back into safety, but the other man’s foot slipped, and so he was now dangling to his death.
- “Help me!” said the dangling man.
- “Oh, I’m sorry sir,” said the filmmaker, smirking, “but I suddenly realized that this story would be better the tale of a grandious, self-sacrificing martyr than another boring, melodramatic tale of redemption. But don’t worry, my friend, for I promess it will be my masterpiece!”
And so the filmmaker dropped the man’s hand.