The Foreigner

The Foreigner ch. 1: Still Free

Take my love, Take my land, Take me where I can not stand…
I don’t care, I’m still free: You can’t take the sky from me…

Foreigner ch. 1

*~*~*~*~*

I am floating through the stars. They burn magnificently, moving around me, their streaks of light painting glowing tentacles across the darkness. They reflect upon us and we reflect upon them. And yet, I am catapulted into the void.

The lights! I always stare into the lights–they move past me, burning, dancing. The stars dance around each other endlessly. I sense… colors…

My dance has ended. I am glued here. My legs–my beautiful legs! Strewn about like a pile of spaghetti. How they danced before… this surface has rough colors. It undulates… it… diverts. Its borders are not aligned with one another. I can move… slowly. I am dragged. The rough surfaces move across me, they roll down my side. I hear their stories. They were mountains once–towering up to the sky. now they are stomped upon.

My legs are useless. They can not raise me up. I can not float as I once did.

I am burning.

I rest. I sleep in the stars. The universe dances around me. I am floating in my dream; the roaring, burning angels scattered upon my being, reflected back upon themselves. My legs speak, they wave, they ripple.

Then, I am stranded again. I am glued to the rough surfaces. A strange force presses down upon me, glues me to these pebbles. This cycle continues. Floating. Waking. Floating. Waking.

There is a warmth, a touch of light. Slight at first, a tickle, a prickling on my side. and then the warmth grows and I am lush in it. I shine in it. It is reflected upon me.

Now my surroundings change. I sense movement. Little shutters in the rough surface, vibrations. And then it happens. A soft surface makes contact with my being and I am flooded with images and sensations! This being is small in the universe, yet it is a universe upon itself. It exists within a world relative to its existence which is therefor… magnificently endless. I revel in its senses–smell, sight, taste! The endless buffet of brilliant colors, nourishing flavors, the joy of movement, and the rush of something–energy–life. Pumping. A rhythm. Music within music. Music within form. This being is a song–it lives a song.

“What, seriously?”

The sun is casting a magical goldstone glow across the sand and beach, the rays of light filling the air, a misty solidity that only appears in the twilight hour. As the beach is set alight, the Earth―the leviathan rock that it is―slowly turns away from the comfortable warmth of its mother to face the infinite void, the vast darkness, the trepid unknown.

“Yes! Go on, go!”

A woman’s feet pound against the sand, skipping over the shells and jagged sticks with barely a blink of her eye. She is small, of average weight, slightly curvy. She heads back to the house–which is more like a cabin–wrenching the front door open and slamming it behind her.

A few minutes later she returns to the man–Benny’s–side with a faded blue bath towel in hand. The sun is creeping ever closer to the horizon, the pinkish glow becoming violently vibrant, lighting up the clouds against the darkening sky.

Benny towers over Jane, being 6’3, with lean, lanky limbs covered in dark hair, and a shaggy mane which falls sloppily over his long, almost-handsome face. His eyes are a little too round and deep-set, his general expression a little too dopey, but he has solid cheekbones and a broad, handsome chin. He bends down, throwing the towel over a strange object. Without touching the unidentified object, he rolls the bundle over so the towel is now underneath it. He and his companion each grab the ends of the towel, creating a sling, and moving as quickly as they can back to the house without overturning the thing.

The ground leaves me! I am still pulled toward it–it reaches out, grasps for me, yearns for my embrace! How it reaches, how it claws, how the world seems to spin around me. I am no longer in contact with the tiny universe. Our shared senses drift apart from each other. The scents and images still tingle in my mind, like feint flitting lights left hanging in the air after a mighty spark. Now there is another confusing movement…what is happening to me? I am glued to a different surface. It has tiny little variations which reach toward me, hold me; they caress me with a thousand fibrous fingers. And then WHOOSH. WHAT IS THIS MOVEMENT! I AM TUMBLING THROUGH THE AIR! I AM FLYING TOO QUICKLY! THE GROUND WILL SURELY COME UP AND DETERIORATE MY VERY BEING! I AM…

“In the tank! In the tank!” He says as they hobble through the front door.

SPLOOSH.

………….

I… am…. floating! My legs dance around me! They rejoice! They swirl! But this air is strange. It presses upon me, I am squeezed from every angle. It moves, it gushes, it rolls against me as I roll against it.

There are rough surfaces here. They tumble upon each other. But they do not drag along my side. This heavy air holds me, my legs dance. The surfaces cannot glue themselves to me.

This air is glorious, but the warmth does not reach me. I am hidden from it. I am cold from it. There is a surface here… its colors are aligned with each other. They are a horizon. It does not play a significant role in the continuation of the universe. It is hopelessly meaningless in the scheme of existence. AAAAAGH! Meaningless! It is tiny! It… does not reflect upon me. It is in every direction. I sense the sky above me, my distant stars so far away. They can not paint paths of wonder around me anymore: They are but twinkles in the distant sky. I am… trapped.

*~*~*~*~*

Inspired by Daily Prompt

This is an excerpt from a novella I was working on last year (as part of Nanowrimo.) I have been wanting to post it on my blog, and now Daily Prompt inspired me to. It’s funny that I was thinking about my story and the song quoted at the beginning was the last song I heard.

Any comment or criticism is greatly appreciated! Thank you for reading!

Check back for more chapters of “The Foreigner!”

 

Prompts

Keep the Balance

There is this movie called “Once Upon a Time in Mexico” (a belated sequel to “Desperado”) where Johnny Depp’s character is a special kind of connoisseur. He only eats a specially-prepared slow-roasted pork, and he eats it at every restaurant that serves it.

My boyfriend, Alan, has a similar hobby. If he wants to try out a Mexican restaurant, he orders the Chile Relleno. It is his way of testing the restaurant–seeing if they’re any good. I often want to joke that if the Chile Relleno is too good, Alan will have to go shoot the cook (you have to see the movie.)

I have something like that. Since I am a shameless hipster, I frequent coffee shops. Other than the obvious reason, I enjoy the people and the atmosphere. If I had a signature drink, it would be a cortado. A cortado is 2oz of espresso and 2oz steamed milk. You can taste the espresso without it being too strong, and you can enjoy a little steamed milk without that bloated feeling you get after downing a whole 20oz latte.

There is one particular place in town where the cortado by far outshines all the others. Every coffee house within 10 miles is shamed by this cortado. But I don’t think I’ll shoot the barista. I think I’ll just drink there more often.

Cheers 🙂

Life, Prompts, Uncategorized

When all the little units are strong, the whole will be a thing to behold

Community, and as a by-product, conscious consumerism, are huge topics for me. I think a lot. I say to myself, ok, let’s not just take this at face value. Let’s sit down and pick it apart. And often it doesn’t go beyond that–I think about it. I don’t join a group or start an organization: I just think about it and go on about my way. But one thing I have made a true effort to change in my daily lifestyle is consumerism. How are the aforementioned topics related? Oh, very closely.

It starts with the Government. I thought a lot about our Government and our Country. There are too many schisms, I thought. We aren’t one unit anymore, and people get lost in the vastness of it. Most people in my generation don’t take action on what we care about because we have the world at our fingertips… and it is too big. We say, “How can I conquer this?” But if you just look around at your local community, it doesn’t seem so unimaginable to make a difference. After all that thinking, I came to this conclusion: strong communities are the building blocks of a unified nation. Preferably one with over-all good intentions. Impossible? No it’s not impossible. You just start with your community.

A good community comprises many things. One is involved people who love and care about each other. Another is health–a healthy biosphere and healthy food lead to healthy people. Another thing–a very important thing–is industry and commerce. In order for a community to thrive, it needs talented people, places for them to work, quality goods and a thriving economy. That is where conscious consumerism comes in.

You see, if you are like me and you want to support a healthy community, you have to think about what you buy, where it comes from, and what it is made of. This is important for the individual’s health as well as the community’s. Items made of toxic chemicals are bad for the environment and the health of the people. Your dollar is a vote. When you buy something from a company, you aren’t just making one purchase: You are supporting that company. You are saying, “Hey, I vote for you. I want you to keep doing what you’re doing.” Therefor it is important to support companies who make good quality products, contribute the community, and treat their employees well. Is this idealistic? Sure. But striving to live up to ideals is how people and communities can improve.

There is also the obvious benefit of buying locally–supporting the local commerce. If no one is buying locally, that community isn’t getting any money, and its economy will deteriorate. You need a good internal economy as well as imports and exports.

This is only the tip of the iceberg, so thank you anyone who is reading! My lifestyle had greatly evolved as I continue to become an independent citizen and conscious consumer. I pay more for things because they come from companies I believe in and they are made of ingredients/materials I trust. I don’t make very many whim buys (when I do, it is usually coffee!) People get annoyed at me because I try to eradicate plastic from my life. I don’t want to fund slave labor overseas. I don’t want to fund toxic chemicals being pumped into the atmosphere. I don’t want to be any part of the quick & easy thoughtless consumerism lifestyle. I am passionate about this because I believe good, quality items are better for those producing and those making the purchase. I believe helping our environment and being mindful of our home is the key to sustainable living. I believe a strong community can reduce crime and poverty and increase health and happiness. Yes, I believe in happiness! I believe that if we build strong communities, we can have a strong and mindful government, and we can be unified as a country.

Thank you for giving me a moment on this soap box.

Cheers,
Tezzatipoca

*Inspired by the Daily Prompt

Life, Uncategorized

Manic Pixie Dream Girls Are More Feminist Than You Think

    Whether or not you like the term, the following female protagonists are accused of being written only for the purpose of their relation to the male protagonists’ personal development. While there are certainly examples of just such a fallacy, I feel these specific female characters represent independent women, and my reasons are listed below.

1. Summer–“500 Days of Summer”
    Summer does not exist solely for the inspiration of Tom. If anything, Tom exists for the temporary amusement of Summer. She dumps him in the end because he was an experiment to her. And does that make her, in the writer’s eye, a heartless bitch? No. (Though Tom’s character might disagree.) She actually finds true love in the end, just not with the male lead. Sure, his character is bitter, but the movie is from his vantage point. This doesn’t mean the writers are saying that Tom’s views are accurate.
    Was she spontaneous? Yes. Was she some care-free optimistic hippie love-child? NO. Like many modern-day tweens, she carried with her a barrier of sarcasm and cynicism to fend off emotional attachments. She didn’t even believe in “true love” while they were dating.

2. Clementine–“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”
    This movie toes the line for the trope in question as Jim’s character, Joel, is morose–bordering on useless–and his only inspiration is MPDG Clementine, who dyes her hair different colors and will eat off your plate the first time she meets you. In defense of the writing, though, this is noted as a personal flaw by the protagonist himself. Also, Clementine is independent from Joel in several ways, the most notable being that she deletes him from her mind so that she can get over him and move on! This independence is part of his agony and desperation to get her back.

3. Sam–“Garden State”
    Sam might be most in danger of falling into the trope because she is so emotionally dependent on Large. But this also gives us a chance to observe finer nuances that make the difference between a reductive, poorly written MPDG and a well-balanced (though caricatured, but only as much as every other character in this movie) female role.
    For one, thing, there is a long lead-up before the main character, Andrew Largeman, meets the female protagonist, which makes the movie less centered on romance and more centered on a ensemble cast.
    Also, not only is Sam an inspiration for Large, but he is also an important part of her personal development as a functional human being. The movie is more about two people with social quirks who help each other love and grow, and less about how this girl only exists to help Large learn things about himself. Unlike other romance movies, Garden State also goes to great lengths to create an honest narrative, highlighting the unique experiences and ideas that punctuate the personality and give our lives story.

In conclusion:

    Men are allowed to appreciate the way a woman took part in their personal growth without reducing her value as an individual person. I can appreciate how various relationships were part of my personal growth without only considering the men involved as they relate to me. For most people, confidence in a relationship translates to confidence outside of that relationship and vice versa. You don’t develop as a person for the sole purpose of finding love. You don’t develop a relationship for the sole purpose of having a better life. But the two tend to go hand-in-hand.

    So yes, we need female roles in the media that are more than just about women in regards to how they effect men.

    But, though MPDG can easily be misused, that doesn’t mean we should wipe the board of this character type entirely. Because they exist. I am one. I stop what I am doing so I can go dance in the rain. I occasionally wake my boyfriend up at 5am so we can drive to our favorite peak and watch the sun rise over the city. I read local papers, drink local beer, listen to live music, and do almost ALL of my clothes shopping at the thrift store.

    The trope really narrows down to is the belief that in order to be a carefree, fun-loving optimist you must be naive. But the truth is people can be care-free and optimistic while also being smart, wise, and responsible. This balance is what some forms of MPDG represents, and this is the character type I would love to see more often. On a larger scale, our society values need to reflect appreciation for women equally to men.

P.S. If you think women are poorly represented in movies, try playing video games and reading comic books. There is a huge feminist frontier in these mediums, and we are making progress inch by slow, painful inch.

Life, Prompts, Uncategorized

A prompt and a song.

Writing prompt. If you can, look up this song and listen to it while you read the prompt. Otherwise, you can just try the prompt without music (or put on your own playlist.) Read the prompt and finish the story, or use it to inspire an entirely different story. Please share your results!

Artist: The tallest man on earth.
Song: I won’t be found.

The morning hangs ad infinatum. Time hangs in limbo, holding its breath, contemplating. Small breezes tug, unsure, at her hair and the free floating folds of fabric set about her shoulders, falling gently down. A friendly touch, free of expectations, free of desires, gently hugs her hips, dancing around her legs.

With no one to hear her, the silence of dawn broken only by the feint rustling of leaves, a million shimmering teardrops on each blade of grass, she whispers: