I hesitate, though you wouldn't know it to hear me. At my first real job, I was told that they were reluctant to take me on in the kitchen because I was known as the most chatty of the counter workers. They knew I could cook, but they were(more) afraid I wasn't focussed. I promised to work hard, and they brought me back. I would stand almost silent for my whole shift, and my boss noted that when I wasn't talking I looked like the saddest person in the world.
When I am not talking, I am thinking about what not to say. When I am speaking, I am articulating what my accumulated silence has grown.
I read an article today about the Quaker tradition of meeting in silence, speaking only if one's words "improve on the silence." I am moved by this notion, and also stymied by it. My own talk and silence sometimes feel like cycles of Tourettes and Parkinsons. I hear other women feel anxiety and anguish. I want to improve on the silence, but I do not wish to be silenced.
I write very fast. I rarely edit my words. I have written emails thousands of words long in an hour. I mean everything by it, but the ease with which these things comes out seems to diminish them. When one is a natural, there might be no purpose to their actions. When one tries very hard to work against her nature, she has accomplished through discipline. But as readers, we do not know the way the words came together, cannot hear the hesitation or watch the backspace eating text.
Wishing to have a point, I end my sentence with a hesitation, hoping it strikes the reader as an admission of my effort.(less)
The Is and the Isn't both are. What isn't is the lack of the Is and the Isn't.
For every love, a hatred exists. For every life, a death comes. For every idea, its opposite is, in some capacity,(more) somewhere out there.
That's why the idea of opposites is absurd: of course it exists because neither could without the other.
But that border between the Is and the Isn't...
That's what terrifies, that is what lies outside the imagination and grips tightly, suffocating from within until every speck of being is spent.
How do you define what something is? By what it is not.
How do you define what something isn't? By what it is.
Being robbed of that power, that definition, forces us to look at that limbic non-existence that is ever present, forces us to confront our fear and reclaim that power as we attempt to define that Maybe.
"Monogamy's unnatural... trickel down religious rituals that make no sense with our genetic hardwiring," I said. We've all said shit like this but I was basically rationalizing a causal-fuck-buddy thingy into staying just that. I didn't want to feel obligated to text back within a certain time frame to(more) avoid wall-of-text-wrath, unless I felt like it. I only wanted to break her bed frame when I felt like it and I sure as fuck wasn't taking her to dinners with cloth napkins and white table cloths.
Julie's eyes didn't flinch. As DA her face was like Kevlar you could never get past her bullet proof facade. She wouldn't even argue it with me. She was smarter than me and was organizing a flow chart in her head. She'd go radio silent for a few days, go on some dates with guys who were tall with hair, and see if I'd get rattled. "Some day you're going to have to let go of your mistrust and whatever you left with Richelle in LA.," Julie said evenly. She was looking at my hand in hers. She could have been reading my palm she said her mother did that to get through college. We decided to talk more tomorrow.
In the shower that night my drain backed up. Which was weird because I little to no hair depending on my laziness. Small catfish poked his head out of the drain and just looked at me. The fish swam around my ankles and nibbled on my toes before heading back to the drain. "I've had way too many mushroom in the last 2 decades," I thought aloud.
The next day Julie met me for lunch at In and Out. "You're a water sign right?" I nodded. "You're unnaturally out of water, you need water-to-find-love.(less)
The moment I saw him, I knew something was off. He just oozed trouble; from the slightly crooked smile, the smoldering gray eyes and the irresistible dimple on his left cheek. The moment he locked eyes with me I knew he wasn't of this... world.
(more) Everyone took in a deep breath when he stepped in. I could've sworn some girls were fanning themselves. I had to admit grudgingly that he was breathtaking. However, there was something about him I couldn't put my finger on.
Suddenly, his eyes raked the whole room and landed on mine. I stiffened and quickly looked to the ground, suddenly finding interest in the marble tiles. I downed my vodka quickly. Where was Shannon? We were supposed to leave fifteen minutes ago.
I could feel everyone's attention on him, the mysterious stranger. But at the same time, I could feel his attention on me. The only one in the room probably not admiring him.
"Hello there, beautiful." A deep, velvety voice said. Why did he have to be a complete package? I could feel a chill run down my spine; what was happening to me? "Hello," I croaked, not daring to look at him in the eyes.
"You are new around here, yes?" He asked with a tinge of accent. Around me, I could hear the girls sigh. "If dat's okay vith you, I'll do the honors of showving you around," He purred and grabbed my arm.
I finally got the courage to look directly at his flawless face. His gray eyes looked otherworldly and unnatural. Almost... predatory. My instincts were screaming at me to run. He gave me a slow smile, and that's when I saw it. His razor sharp fangs protruding out of his gums. He wasn't human.
It sticks and coats in an unsatisfying way, sliding over skin like cheap glue that hasn't solidified yet. Escape is dreamed of but never achieve as you search for a trace of air that allows breath to poor out. Then the haze settles as things become more and more(more) unclear while you become more desperate for relief. It's suffocating. You attempt to seek comfort with your companions or at least shed some of the psychological discomfort building up inside. But you're rejected. "It's natural," they say. "What can you do?" they say. Nothing. At least, nothing found in naturally in the wild life. So you opt for unnatural means, like going inside a house with a functioning high powered air conditioner because humidity freaking sucks. (less)
Movies are, I think we can agree, by and large unnatural. Nobody in the real world reacts to situations in their lives normal lives as one does in a movie. Except, when they do.
I remember that late Autumn afternoon spent alone in that wholly too large house.(more) The window open half way, wafting a sweet smell of chill air, off set by the slight but pungent tang of wood smoke. It over took my weak and fragile form, made so by the sickness of my mind. It wrapped around my still, prone form as I stared, frozen in time.
Time went on outside, as it does but here in my cocoon of sadness, my music on an endless loop that folded in on itself like an M.C. Escher painting, I was timeless.
Or perhaps I was stuck. Sticking like a needle on a record. Maybe I too was on a consistent loop then, unnaturally folding in on myself, over and over.
If I didn't know it was scientifically impossible, I would swear I was not even breathing. The lilting hum of guitar strings cut through my soul just as they cut through the hear and the reverberations traveled into my ear and made music. My eyes took in the beautiful desperation of sunset over the beautiful houses of a small town filled with broken dreams and homes and I in my despair felt everything and nothing at once.
I felt nothing against my skin, no taste in my mouth, none of the now ever present discomfort that comes from growing older.
For one beautiful, fragile afternoon I sat in silence, unobserved and except for the part of me that was observing, I ceased to be.(less)
Sara had sworn that she had seen the woman's eyeballs boil, her hair flaring in brilliant orange and yellow and then falling to ash. hot fingers licking at her skin then bones, her entire body in a pillar of flame. And Saraswathi had done it all. With her fingers.(more) With her wrists. Thumb and forefinger met, wrists trembled. That's how they had all gone, one by one.
And she had enjoyed it.
The images flashed before her as the two boys took her down in celebration of their victory over the people of Lightning City. Carlo made lightning with his own finger-snaps. Where was the Demigod of Metal now? Nowhere near the Demigoddess of Fire, who was smashed between two gorgeous men with their own appetites for destruction. Carlo still regretted the kills he made. He didn't know the truth, about what these aliens had done to them, turned them into - how they had made them unnatural.
He - all of them - hadn't learned what they'd made to be. So they hadn't embraced it. But Saraswathi had. She hated herself for it, but she had.
Henry moved himself toward one of Saraswathi's openings while Daisuke moved toward the other, the American boy's mouth on her breasts while the Japanese boy kissed up her neck. It was intoxicating, just as watching her jailers blaze into the brightest colors, colors that would fade to dark red or black searing marks on their skins, killing them slowly, excruciatingly, had been intoxicating. She thought of their demises fondly as the first of the boys entered her.
Were the flames of sexual lust so different from bloodlust? No.
It was unnatural. It was fucked-up. It was wrong.
But it was oh so right.
She was unnatural now. Couldn't her urges be?(less)
There's absolutely nothing healthy about this. There's nothing acceptable, or coherent, or /right/ about this. There's nothing to make this alright, nothing that can convince either of them that they're making the right decision, that this is going to work out in the end, that fate works in mysterious(more) ways, that it'll all blow over.
No, this isn't okay.
It isn't, and they know it, not because it's unnatural, but because it just /can't/ be. Even if they wanted it to be (and they don't, don't get them wrong), it couldn't be okay.
They can't afford to have distractions, not distractions like this.
They are unnatural. They are the very ink that make up the words of their dossiers. They are monsters in the night, the villains that parents warn their children about, the shadows in the dark that make grown men flinch.
So even if they wanted to, even if they thought (for the briefest second) that this would be okay--
(Could it be?)
(Not this, not now, not then, not in the future, not in the past, not ever.)
They nod, and pack up their bags, and silently bid farewells that will be repeated on various days of various weeks of various months in the following years. They will not see each other infrequently (a month between each sighting, if they're lucky).
They should not see one another at all.
(They are shadows in the night. They are invisible to the naked eye, but not to each other.)
(Never to one another.)
They will trade secrets through smiles and exchange life stories in the alleys where terror itself cowers.
They are unnatural. They are the fabric of the concept. They are nonsensical in a "made to fit" world.
"Well," Winry Rockbell said as she looked up. "Isn't THIS a surprise." She wiped her hands on a rag and straightened, eyeing her visitor warily.
General Mustang, oddly, did not look all that different from the last time she saw him, well over a decade prior. Of course(more) she had seen him in the newspapers and heard him on the radio, grandiose speeches and politics - and listened while the other automail techs who worked in the valley and hung out at the same bars on their downtime debated his policies drunkenly.
He had never bothered to contact her again once Edward and Alphonse disappeared off into the sunset, and she was okay with this. Winry crossed her arms and stared at him. "To what do I owe the pleasure, General?"
"I am glad to see that you have not forgotten me, Miss Rockbell," Mustang said, and Winry held up her left hand.
"Missus, thank you," she said airily.
"Congratulations are in order then, I see," Mustang murmured, rumbling in that tone of his that always used to set Edward off light dynamite. Winry pulled her other glove off and ignored the comment.
"Only about nine years tardy, but I suppose I'll take what I can get," she said. "What can I do for you, General? It doesn't appear that you're in need of my services."
"Me, personally? No." Mustang held himself stiff, formally. "I just thought I would prepare you, because I do have someone with me that needs your expertise."
Winry cocked an eyebrow in confusion, and Mustang stepped aside, revealing the strikingly familiar blond who was leaning, exhausted, against the door frame behind him. Winry stared at him and then sighed, running her hand up into her hair in resignation. "You have got to be KIDDING me."(less)
Even mother dearest told me there was a reason we had walls. Large, encompassing walls to separate us from them. Large, encompassing and so horribly suffocating. Keeping the sheep safe and healthy from the plague of the exterior world. It was plague of festering hatred and prejudice. We had our bubble, but the poor held the world.
Odd, how my compassion was borne out of hatred (maybe I was as strange as they all said).
I hated my mother and father. I loathed my siblings as much as I loathed the corsets and shoes I was squeezed into. And like any other teenager blinded by their youth into believing in invincibility, I snuck out.
But I didn't expect to see what I did. The plague was always something so vicious and real. As children we would speculate whether the infected had boils or sores. Someone would usually shout 'probably BOTH!' and we would all laugh. My expectations were to find myself thoroughly disgusted and entertained. After all the infected were only husks of real human beings. And yet I saw no zombies, or images of walking corpses.
I saw people starving, suffering. This plague they talked about had another name I never heard until then.
The unwanted child of privilege and indifference on the behalf of the wealthy. Left to fester with a nice dose of ignorance.
My complacency left a sour taste in my mouth, staining every word I spoke with lies and self-hatred. So I did what the guilt twisting my stomach told me.
I became 'strange'. I did the 'unnatural', the 'foolish'. I tried to make a difference.(less)