Friday, May 26, 2006

the prediction

Throughout high school I will stay similar to who I am today but college will create a transformation and I will become extremely confident and also get happily married; then when I return for high school reunions I will be gorgeous and charismatic and everyone will ogle me and feel sorry that they had never dated me while they still had the chance, and I will kiss them all (or at least the ones that were my friends) chastely on the mouth and point out my husband that I will have dragged along and they will force smiles and go home and think about the past. The ones that are single and dated profusely back then will feel quite jealous of me and in the meantime I will be unselfconsciously sleeping in a big double bed snuggled up to my husband. We will be considering planning a baby, although we'll both know that we'll not be ready for one, but we will bring it up occasionally and think of names for it. We will find the name Isaac rather nice.

Friday, May 12, 2006


Ywain plants himself assuredly on the raft and gleefully lets the salty air rush into his face, bite into his skin.

Monday, May 08, 2006

I wrote this a little over three months ago and sent it into a contest; it did not win

We wanted to be in a book, and there was the added motivation of payment. It was a problem. "Let's look for an author outside, then," we said and left home with high hopes.

We combed the county without success. Any authors were sitting unshaven at their desks and shook their heads at us without really looking. "We've got enough ideas already," they said with sighs. "Too many, in fact. There isn't enough ink in the world for our ideas!" The few who weren't swamped were desperate, and didn't look like the sort for us. If ideas avoided them, perhaps they weren't worthy.

We thought about splitting up to search but decided not to. We would get too lonely without each other. We were going to search systematically, but were suddenly overcome by apathy. We sat instead in comfortable chairs and smoked cigars for nearly a month. We got fairly tipsy sometimes in those weeks. We liked to drink whiskey through crazy straws and could get through a dozen glasses a day when we tried.

After that period of relaxation, though, we got a telegram that reminded us we had to work. The telegram said that we were, after all, getting paid by word, and that no authors had yet accepted us. It said that if we were to continue our rest we would run out of fuel (money, that is) in four point five weeks-- and that was approximate. We looked at each other, stubbed out cigars worriedly, licked our lips and told each other it was, perhaps, time to look for authors again.

So we strapped on our hard hats, put on appealing ties and cowboy boots, and braided our hair. Then we trekked north. We liked cold environments.

The first author we tried looked at us skeptically and picked out Nancy. "I like her," he said. We looked at him distastefully and noted that his breath was alcoholic and that his moustache was untended. "It's all of us or none," we stated with finality. He gave us a penetrating stare and waved his hand in a dismissive manner. "In that case," he said, "you can all leave."

We left, grumbling and insulting his heritage. We said a man who stank of cheap beer with filthy facial hair was absolutely not our type, that he would not do us justice, not at all. No way! We looked at our maps studiously and picked out a spot only a few miles away, to the east. The locals looked discreetly away as we shoved through them with our flamboyant outfits. When we tried this author's house, though, she gave us a harassed look and said that she absolutely could not handle us right now. She was, she claimed, six months pregnant. We knew when we were beat, and bowed out as gracefully as we could. The next author around lived a river away, so we took a ferry and chatted casually with the other occupants-- those who acknowledged us, that is. None of them wrote, although we met a poet. But her characters were mostly flowers, dewdrops and jilted lovers, none of which we were too adept at playing. And she couldn't handle a crowd.

We left the ferry and wound our way to the author's house. His door was open and we walked in and up the stairs. He was in bed. We thought about infiltrating his dreams, but decided no one took those seriously anymore. We raided his refrigerator and explored his house. He clearly lived alone, which was good: he was certainly serious about writing if he didn't have functional relationships.

The author got up with mussed hair to fix himself a cup of coffee, and we greeted him cordially. His eyebrows shot up and he said, "I haven't seen a motley group like this in quite a while."

"We live to serve," we said and asked him to consider us. As he made the coffee, and as he sat on a stack of magazines and drank it, he looked at us with pensive eyes. As he placed the mug in the sink without making further effort to wash it, his mouth was twisted in deep thought.

"You know, I think I have a plot which would fit perfectly with you all," he said. "I'd better start drawing the plans."

"Just start writing," we suggested-- we were paid by word, after all-- but he was adamant. Still, we didn't mind too much. Our living was more or less guaranteed and this man seemed quite capable. We were fairly happy then.