Thursday, February 10, 2011

My dear what long arms you have, all the better to...

I was considering the other day the dissolution of relationships and the hazards with which they are fraught. This is the essence of what came out:

Unknowingly he had never touched her when he spoke. She had wanted him to, inside at times she had begged him to. And maybe that's what had finally committed the shipwreck to cold, lost depths; they were both afraid to bridge the distance between, not for the other's sake but afraid of what it would do to them. Too many arguments lost power in a gently gripped neck, in a shared breath; nothing betrays worse than a lover's skin...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I know the lyrics to elevator music...

This is an idea I've been playing around with in order to incorporate into the monstrosity I'm creating. Every relationship dissolves at some point due to some form of dishonesty, usually personal but often between the two parties. This makes me think about how incredibly romantic and novel the idea that two people are one is, not two halves of a whole but really one entity.

It is not the same to be honest as it is to be truthful. To be an honest person is to act in accordance with your heart and head, to have a consistency of action. To be truthful is to never lie. An honest person makes no excuses for their actions, takes ownership for who they are, and is ‘true’ to what they hope to be. This conflicts at times with truthfulness. In ideal circumstances an honest person would not need to lie, but situations at times put this into contention: 

Hypothetical: You are a native of New York City, but currently reside in Portland. You are taking your Polish Catholic great aunt Betty to church with your father on Christmas. A few years back you relinquished your belief in Catholicism (for whatever reason). Now your father indicates that you should go with Betty and take Communion as it would please her greatly, she doesn’t know of your change (they’re your beliefs afterall). 

An honest person who prioritizes family, either as an ideal or their father in particular, would acquiesce to the request (not to say it would be easy). An individual prioritizing truth would decline (also not to say it would be easy). A person asserting that their highest value is family but that they would not take communion is misguided; they either are guilty of hubris, see themselves as the most important member of their family, or actually value truth over family (in which case they’re ignorant of themselves or a dirty dirty liar). There is an assumption that really valuing family means possessing and exercising your capacity to love them; we’re essentially substantially indebted to our parents if they so happen to raise us without being too damaged, love would almost dictate such a small concession to them in this scenario. 

The problem I have with truthfulness and what it truly means comes subsequently:

There is an issue that I believe comes from our perception of others. You can speak honest words to someone, even say the exact truth, precisely what you mean to say, and they might believe something else. At a certain level, or at least understanding, you become aware of how other people hear your words; there is a distinct difference between your words and what people actually think you have said. More simply, it is the reverse of knowing what someone is trying to say when they're not quite spitting it out. So is it up to the individual to speak in a way that will get one to understand? Is there some responsibility to show truth even though the words would be muddled in achieving that end? The flaw stems I think from the lack of precision in how we are taught to speak, and by extending that reasoning forward a bit, how we think; language after all is thought. So if I understand what you will believe I have said, I contend that it is up to me to make sure you comprehend fully what I mean when I speak things of import. I believe fully if one understands what another will hear and comprehend, within their ability it is up to them to make sure the other fully comprehends; otherwise a lie has been performed. And that, a most vicious type of lie; you push another to lie to themselves.

Many will contend you are not at fault for what other people believe; this is fucking bullshit. You are the god of this evil. You have created it. You have set it into the world and you damn well know what it will do. In these situations they are simply catalyst for evil.

Reason is a sword, and this double-razoredged weapon doesn't cut its brandisher. And, that is essentially its flaw. You have to be willing to impale yourself on it or you run the risk of being one of the worst kinds of monsters. A type of monster that will never see itself as flawed, as wrong, one that always makes the right decision; if a situation arises in which their righteousness is put to test another’s argument and that person for that matter are dispassionately hacked to pieces. These people have truly lost a degree of empathy that matters, they have put their own worth too far above other people. Believing yourself to be fallible, having some degree of uncertainty in your actions keeps you, well, human. I guess I would argue that an element of perfection is the belief in self-imperfection, paradoxical I know, but perfection in humanity is something unattainable, it cannot be touched only approached.

Green is the new Red

I have completed a collection of chapters that shows our, for lack of a better word, quasi-hero's most morally ambiguous experiences. It is contained within a series of days with the hokey working base title of "Nine Nights in November". It is essentially two chapters segmented by a brief respite in the future depicting a somewhat different approach at social interaction. This is a segment of one of the more 'lost' events that occurs along the way.

Her Eyes were glassed over as she pulled him by the hand past the sliding mirror doors into the elevator. These same Eyes that had pulled him from the table of friends and his thoughts hours earlier. Somewhere amidst the haze he was dimly aware that his date was elsewhere and he ought to check on her. This thought was lost under another wave of drunken desire as she grabbed a bit of his shirt half to steady herself half to pull him closer. Only the presence of another couple stymied the clamoring need. This pause in escalation brought errant thoughts.

Caleb wondered if Gwen was her real name, or some nightly adopted moniker. Whether walking into church for the wedding was an anomaly for her like recently it was to him. Dogs or cats? Pop or rock? Would she slip out silently in the morning like he would to her? Was her liking his tie the same crafted compliment about the earrings were? Why all these questions didn’t matter to him right now…

…And just before the elevator chirped, double doors unfolding the fluorescent bathed night to them, another thought surfaced: I need to get out of here. This isn’t right. I don’t… Regret drowned underneath, a small pleading hand pulled him out of the elevator—to a space that had become all too familiar. They went without a word. She pushed him forcibly against the door; backing slowly with a crooked grin she started to shed her dress, flitting towards the beds melding with the darkness of the room. A bracing hand on the wall, Caleb bewilderingly grasped for thoughts of probity that should have been ever present. He searched for a way out his head but knew he was too far below the surface. Caleb fought his own perverseness.

All care fell downward alongside the pale green garments now upon the floor.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

One place you cannot Lie

Writing this week has purposely been dark; this was on the semi brighter and gives a partial view of what much of this work deals with.

I knew her skin better than my own. The first hint always shook down my spine. Heavenly heavily sweet on top but underneath a kind of resonating earthiness, like crushed leaves and warm summer and the spray of crashing waves on the beach all rolled into one. It was exhilarating and inebriating. That little scar along her temple from being a klutzy kid, the mark just below her elbow from scratching a scrap too long. The way her hair waved lightly near her neck, how it’d spread out along the sheets as we slept. The way her brow would crinkle when she focused, how she’d always arch her back a bit when touched. I’d forget that I was. Her half crooked smile when pulled close, tilting her head towards me instead of asking what or why. There was only us. It was some kind of hauntingly beautiful dance we did that wasn’t between us. Both of us, both at the same time, dancing the same dance, dancing within. That is what I won’t forget, what I can’t forget.