Friday, September 11, 2009

A Short Story to the tune of Otis Redding, coffee by side, dusk in the skyline (with planes flying in-and-out overhead.)

"Dear God, what is that?" Dr. Donald Drummond exclaimed. His assistant peered at it through the binoculars.

"It appears to be a goat, sir. A mountain goat, Capra aegagrus hircus to be precise, sir."

Dr. Drummond appeared crestfallen, or at least as crestfallen as one can appear when his or her face is mostly obscured by a thick, wool-lined collar of a coat. "You don't suppose its our Yeti playing mind tricks on you? They might be such tricky fellows, you know."

"I don't believe so, sir," the assistant replied in a deadpan.

"Oh... well, It's rather cold out here, isn't it?" Dr. Drummond said quickly, peering up at the sky.

"It usually is in the mountains, sir. The elevation, you know. Warm air. Cools as it rises and all that. Sir."

"I'm not a damned army general, so stop calling me 'sir,' will you?" Dr. Drummond snapped. Then he forgot why he was there for a moment, and amused himself by watching the puffs of breath spurt forth from his chilled lips, and as he did so he wished for a hot drink in front of the fireplace; and over the edge of the fire would hang a lovely picture of he and a Yeti, and perhaps there would be a disappointed goat in the background.

"Of course, sir," replied the assistant. Dr. Drummond didn't mind the slip, and the assistant knew that. "Sir? The animal appears to be headed in our direction. Should we retreat? It might not approve of our encroachment of it's territory."

"What if this mountain goat of yours was actually a Shape-Shifting Yeti? Wouldn't that make for a brilliant discovery? I can see the headlines now, by God! 'Yeti Revealed: Biological Evidence Proves Genetic Mapping Like that of the Chameleon.' ...No, that doesn't have the correct ring to it. Ah well, best to leave it up to the journalists. They know what they're doing." Dr. Drummond chucked to himself, then took out a handkerchief and blew his nose loudly.

"I don't think the goat liked that much, sir. He appears to be angry."

"And well he should, for he doesn't have a silken handkerchief to blow his Yeti nose with! Do you think I should offer him mine?"

"But you've just used it, sir," said the assistant. And indeed, it was not the first time Dr. Drummond had blown his prominent and red nose with said handkerchief.

"I do believe there is a clean one in the pack. Fetch it out, will you?"

"I don't think there will be time for that, Sir. The goat appears to be charging!"

"And well he should! I daresay he's in want of our food stuffs. Vegetation is rather spare in these parts, as you can see. The high and rocky crags are not the best growing locations, nor is the tundra environment-- and of course the snow puts a bit of a cramp on the sprouting of greenery as well." Dr. Drummond said this to his assistant's back, as the assistant had already began running in the opposite direction of the goat. "See here! Where are you going, boy?" Dr. Drummond challenged. He did so with his back to the animal, so of course he did not see the goat charging, but perhaps it was better that he was got in the backside rather than the front. The force of the goat threw him forwards, face-first, into a thin layer of fresh cold snow, and he blacked out much to his own disappointment.

When Dr. Drummond came to moments later, however, the shaggy white beast was rooting through his coat pockets-- and, much to Dr. Drummond's delight-- had found the pipe tobacco hidden there. The goat commenced to eat it.

"And you may have it, good sir Yeti in disguise," Dr. Drummond remarked happily, but quietly, as not to scare the animal off. "Whatever you want, sir, you may take!"

The goat lost interest in the Doctor's coat then, and began to chew on the Doctor's pack straps on the backpack that had been catapulted three feet to the right. Dr. Drummond, with much effort, managed to roll himself upright so that he may better observe.

As the pack was not the one which held the foodstuff, the shaggy goat soon lost interest in it and started to wander off, a bit erratically as a matter of fact because of the tobacco it had ingested.

"No, Dear Beast! Do come back, and reveal your true form to me!" Dr. Drummond lamented, but the goat paid no attention to him and instead disappeared behind a large crap a little off in the distance.

"Are you all right, sir?" The assistant asked timidly, emerging from behind the rock he'd managed to secure himself behind. Dr. Drummond whirled around.

"You! Where have you been when I needed you?"

The assistant was quiet for a moment, and then he held up his camera. "I managed some wonderful shots-- one just as he butted you, and another while he was searching your pockets. Quite an experience, wasn't it, sir?" The assistant timidly half-grinned while searching The Doctor's face for emotion.

Dr. Drummond calmed himself and dusted the snow off of his coat. "I suppose it was," the Doctor replied, while attempting to dignify his attire. "Oh look! Perhaps that is our Yeti, instead?" Doctor Drummond then asked, pointing over the assistant's shoulder.

The assistant turned to look, and then sighed. "Sir, are you aware that the Yeti is rumored to live in the Himalayan Mountains and not here in Canada? I do believe its only another mountain goat."

Thursday, June 4, 2009

In this world where fairytales no longer exist, it is my charge to create for myself the most miraculous happily-ever-after.

Midnight found me all alone on the front porch yesterday, smoking a cigarette and reading in my red Winter coat and pajama pants. I don't know why--but for whatever reason--my head was full of thoughts of the far-away future. And yet, in retrospect I see that it was really fear of thinking of the past that was the catalyst for these thoughts.

The stars and moon were out last night; even a few fireflies had come to bob about in the garden darkness to keep me company in my loneliness. I can still hear the porch boards squeak faintly with each soft movement that I made; they were old and had know worry like mine before; they sympathized.

The passage that I had just read in my novel resonated sharply in my brain.

"You got something eating at you! Something gnawing at your guts! Something so bitter is simmers in your eyes and grits your teeth together! I know your kind. You ruin everyone who touches your life and God help the next person who loves you enough to be ruined!"

Many, many thoughts coursed through my head as the result of this passage.

The thoughts continued until my cigarette needed to be put out. It was then that I regained my focus upon reality.

Reality, however, only lead to a new and entertaining thought-stream: why was the difficulty of my life to determine how I--a cock-eyed optimist who was impatient for success--  to best handle, in any given moment, a profusion of random and often conflicting thoughts? Where was the harmony and delicate balance that I was constantly looking for in life?

Then I started to get angry. Would it always be like this? Would my thoughts never be synthesised into a rounded whole for me? Would perpetual inconsistency and indecision be the result of my constant need of mental simulation and entertainment?  Damn my habit of wavering from one idea to the next!

It was then that I realized that finding harmony in a world full of ebb and flow, tensions and strains, was never to be an easy task for me.  While sitting on my porch last night, pondering why I couldn't live a life full of relaxed and easy decisions, why day-to-day living conflicts and discomforts me, and why my logic intrinsically fails to guide me, I realized something important about myself.  It was then that I realized that I didn't want harmony. It was then that, by some divine revelation, I came to understand that the only true state of non-conflict is inertia. And I knew I didn't want that.

I then smiled to myself and reveled in all the chaos that my life had produced up until this point.

Unexpectedly, my thoughts  were interrupted by a late night dog-walker pacing his way down the street.

It was then that some enigmatic, invisible cloak dropped down to warp me from my beguiled state back into the cool, aloof, sanguine poise that is my norm. And then, before ascending the stairs and going to bed, I laughed aloud at all the chaos that was to come in my life. And I knew all would be as it was suppose to be.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Your Everyday Assortment Herein

^Ha! A superficial but noteworthy contemplation: I fancy myself clever with anagrams.

Onto much more pressing matters (procrastinating for Communication Ethics). As such, I feel that a free write is in order:

I sit by the computer, a string of Italian vignettes in my hand, my purse by my side, my hair a mess, an old black jacket thrown over a hidden hoodie, ill-fitting jeans stretched on too-tall legs (splayed forward in an appropriately nonchalant manner.)

What a mess I must seem to the students walking by with books in their arms, the reference librarians in the afterglow of a day's hard work, and the custodial staff with their hurried demeanor and disgruntled faces.

The scene seems, to me, to be straight from a painting.

I feel an unexplained emptiness--best described as a strange lulling tugging at the corners of my heart (assuming my heart has more than one corner), and I am left with a feeling that can only be described as a sensation of feeling both hot and cold simultaneously.

A stale taste of idleness sits impatiently in my mouth, and I am once again reminded that I am on the outside looking in. Perhaps it is the droning of the vacuum cleaner that puts me in reverie, or perhaps it is the little boy, no younger than four, no older than eight, who sits beside me, twiddling his thumbs in anticipation of Monday night television and Spaghetti -O's.

These days I find the hours bleeding into days with a slow and congealing drip. And my tears, they blend quickly into watercolor. And they often make me wonder where my glass slipper has gone.

Not to be contradictory-- for I’m still a romantic... albeit a tragic, bruised one.

If there were one thing that I could be doing right now at this very instant, it would be painting. I would find an easel and paint freckled shirts, and would set my materials down in an exceptionally gorgeous scene and reproduce it for years to come so that people could see things the way that I see them. It would serve to allow people to feel what I feel, and the only problem that I would run into would be that there is not enough time to paint my whole world.

...The lulling in my chest has not yet subsided. When I feel this feeling, I write. It helps me to understand last semester’s impasse with myself. I am not wrong, I simply am. That’s my motto. I know that whatever happens in life will happen for a reason, and the beauty is not knowing. Although not knowing what to expect certainly makes it all the more difficult to muster resources to aid my courage.

It occurs to me that as one gets older, the scope of one’s portraits narrow to nothing more than a pitiful existence one has etched out from shattered dreams.

This thought has been playing in my head like a broken record recently. Not only that, but imagine now that the very calling God has placed on you is to do nothing more than ignite a spark in someone so that the ability to make dreams into a reality is not outside of that one person's scope anymore. An interesting concept; to exist to inspire.

As I get older, I don’t view myself as wiser simple because I’ve let go of my childish dreams. Rather, I see myself traveling on this road called life, having not stopped to smell the roses, instead settling for mediocrity though I was destined to be a roadside vendor. As a result, my spirit is restless, and no form of mental trickery can convince me of my satisfaction. Lately I’ve been feeling that there is so little time…

At the very least, this semester has taught me who I am. I am Elaine. I am a poet, an artist, a danger, a pillar, a friend, and a lover. I am a teacher, a student, an observer, a little girl, a business woman, and a dreamer. My soul is unbreakable. I’m no longer turned off by the behavior of others- I think only to myself in terms of dissatisfaction. Forgiveness is superlative ingredient in my recipe for virtue. I have considered this fact: If you spot it, you’ve got it. I no longer focus on the deficits of other people, but rather, I look to where I am falling short. This is how I best serve myself-- how else am I to have a clue to the success or failure of my future? The Bible comforts me these days and reinforces my newfound logic. Case and point (in relation to my former assertion), the words of Psalms 118:8: “[It is] better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.”

I have begun to piece my independence back together one stitch at a time. Once this tapestry is completed, I will take care of my other unfinished business.

Because I can do this.

... I'm feeling that a poem is in order--to wrap up this much-delayed blog post:

Bloom Where You Are Planted

By: E

I am dancing in the
dandelions, and I am late for class.


But sometimes, dandelions are more
important than learning about
language acquisition, the indirect
style of French, and the subtleties of
O'Connor. And I know this.

I pluck one (a dandelion, I mean), and
close my eyes so tightly that I see
a thousand tiny suns behind my
eyelids, and it is so beautiful
I almost forget to blow the petals
and make my wish.


And then I blow so hard that every single
seedling flies off, haloed by the sun,
tilting the windmills of my psyche,
carrying my dream to its destination.

It is then that I hope that they all live and grow
to be beautiful, one for each of all the other little girls
who will wish upon them, and love and dance with them.

I am dancing in the dandelions,
and I am late for class.


I am not even dressed, and my eyes are puffy
and sore, and it probably makes them
smaller than they already are, but I don't
even stop to think about that.

There are so
many dandelions and so many wishes
to be made, but not for me.
For I am late for class.


And so I leave plenty enough dandelions
for other people to wish on
and love
and dance in.

And I dance away from the
dandelions. And I am
late for class.


Ah, that was a refreshing free write. Helped me to clear some thoughts out. I apologize, readers, for my delay in posting. Things have been busy lately. And now, Cinderella must leave at midnight (or 5pm in this case) before her riches are returned to rags.

Take care, my friends, and do not let today's clouds shield you from tomorrow's world.

Monday, January 26, 2009

"I ain't going home because it is raining on my tiramasu. There ain't no friggin' way." ---Fabio, Top Chef New York Contestant

Journal Entry, 3:30pm, Monday, January 26th, 2009

Did you know that there's a nerve in the arm that runs posterior to the humerus and behind the media epicondyle? It comes from the lower part of the brachial plexus and, when hit, emits a slight pain and tingling all at once. Approximately two hours post-hit, a contusion appears when blood vessels under the area of impact are damaged. Trapped blood from the vessels then congeal near the skin's surface, causing the tissues underneath the contusion to appear blue, black, or purple in color.

I know this because I have to. Because at the end of the day, they say, self-knowledge will be all that really matters.

^What's all this fra-fra about?!

Let me explain.

This morning, at approximately 12:45pm in my Experimental Methods class, for the first time in a long while, I was really, truly scared. It was only for a moment, though. A quick, sharp moment when the needle pricks your finger and you realize what happened only during the passing seconds. But after the fear came a loneliness like the ones I used to feel, and after the loneliness came a helplessness and a hopelessness I did not care for.

I thought about what could have caused this fear. Life in general, perhaps? The vagueness of societal pleasantries? The emptiness of the frigid morning? The preventable deaths of millions at the hands of power? Maybe it was the loss of spacial serenity because of my biophysical yearning? Or maybe I slept wrong last night? Or was this the beginning of the infamous omnipresent feeling of 'losing in the end' that I had managed to sidetrack my entire life?

Boosh emotions!

Then I took a deep breath, and rational thought came to me.

...No. None of those reasons were it. I was feeling afraid of myself this afternoon, that's what it was. In those passing seconds, I was feeling afraid of myself, and I thought myself very much like Steinbeck's George.

The feeling- it was like I had the potential to betray someone. Something. Everyone. It was as if for those two seconds, to get what I want, I would give up my sense of ethics (and subsequently, well-being), to be what I had to be. To throw morality down the proverbial trash-disposal with its sister indulgences. To be the King on the Mountain of societal Darwinism.

Why did I have to feel this way?

Then, it hit me. Who cares how I felt. Its how I acted and thought upon that feeling that really matters. And at least I can acknowledge my feelings out loud, which is more than some people can say.

And then my mind started up in a whirlwind; and you came into my brain.

I was so pissed at myself for thinking of you. At some point, last week, I had managed to forget you in that way. But there you were- clear as day in my brain, after I had thought you were gone for good.

It was then that I couldn't help but ponder, once again, if I had done the right thing throughout this entire situation. Would karma and God reward me for my deep-thought actions, I asked myself? Will everyone turn out for the better because of my actions? Will she, you, and I be happy in the end?

To tell the truth, its really hard for me not having closure about things. I make it a point to maintain peace and harmony in my social spheres, and the fact that I'm no where near knowing the answer to how things will turn out frightens me.

I suppose this is a test placed before me to test the integrity of my patience and courage.

If you read this, you should stop reading right now. It will hurt you to know that I am feeling tremendous amount of pain about you. And not just the physical kind, but the kind that tears your soul in two and makes you want to vanish into your bedspread. I hope my self-doubt is atonement enough for the wrongs I have done to you.

If you'd talk with me, I'd tell you about how I've died once already. And I would tell you that I am sorry that I ever had the audacity to hurt you and myself. But that old self- she died, in case you weren't aware. I suppose that wouldn't make much sense to you, though. But it does to me, but only because I'm the one experiencing it.

I want you to know I've seen too much death (my own included) this year, and I'm ready to live again. As much as I might deny it, I let myself die last November. And although I'm allowing you to affect me now, I am vivified to experience the type of hurt that regenerates the soul.

Oh yes-you would be proud of me. Guess what I did? I called my father last night. He lives in Wisconsin now. Did you know that my mother died too, many times because of him, and she still can't answer me when I ask her how she genuinely feels about him now? She loves him for his passion, but hates him for his indifference. It's all so contradictory to me.

I've thought it through and I keep getting caught up in the semantics of it all. The purest beauty is, by classical definition, simple. And love is beautiful. But love certainly isn't simple. As a matter of fact, as I write this, I can't help but wonder if love is irony in itself; if, in fact, any of us who attempt to define what we feel as love actually know what we're talking about.

Did you know that there's a nerve in the arm that runs posterior to the humerus and behind the media epicondyle? It comes from the lower part of the brachial plexus and, when hit, emits a slight pain and tingling all at once. Approximately two-hours post-hit, a contusion appears when blood vessels under the area of impact are damaged. Trapped blood from the vessels then congeal near the skin's surface, causing the tissues underneath the contusion to appear blue, black, or purple in color.

Did you know that the bruises gradually disappear over a number of days without your needing to do anything? Just remember that however ugly and painful they are at the time, bruises will all disappear in a few days or a week.

The nerve is called the funnybone, even though there's nothing funny about it, but I call it something like love.

In which a shadowy freedom fighter known only as "E" uses intellectual terrorist tactics to fight against her totalitarian society.