“Live you? or are you aught
That man may question?”
Banquo, Macbeth, I.iii
There are times when I write for myself, and show nothing to no one. What is not seen cannot be spoilt by ignorant tongues, ja? Sometimes, as when I write here, I am conscious of an audience, a strange faceless group of people that ebbs and flows like an unruly tide. The stats counter has been fairly lively in the past few months; I find it strange that even spambots should view what I have written. I thank you, though. “Tis nice to be remembered.
My brain has been gently marinating in Shakespeare for some time, so the flowery prose writes itself at this point. I am so very tired, but life is dreary lately and I need to remember myself daily. Various spiritual paths speak of finding one’s center, or a reasonable facsimile thereof. This is the inner self, which is an island of calm that lies inside the human hurricane of thoughts and feelings and assorted glandular activity. Not an easy place to visit for most of us, beset as we are by the stresses and strains of modern life.
Mine, I think, is a library. Perhaps a library with a garden attached. Perhaps a garden with a library inside of it! Perhaps it has books immune to mold and insects, cuneiform tablets (which I can magically read) sharing space in beds of herbs, scrolls of powerful phrases resting in gigantic honeycombs within enormous trees. Perhaps we all need a peaceful inner cubby to rest in when the outside world refuses to hold us.
It is a bizarre reality of life that I care little for money and yet I must think of it all the time. I have had to make still more difficult choices in a long line of them, still more sacrifices of comfort and leisure and time to feed the hungry bills that cluster around me like unwanted children. And now there is a gnawing at my heart, an intermittent chewing that pains me more by the day. I thought some pains were beyond me; I do not enjoy being wrong.
I spend my days surrounded by young men and women who make me feel old. Doors open in my mind without my consent, and for this I am not always thankful. I have become the old lady in the chair who can only see the present through the lens of past voices, faces, hands. Words fall over themselves in my throat, jumbling into mush as they pass my lips. Perhaps when I decide that there is nothing left to lose, when I am ready to move on, I will write the words I long to say. I will give advice and love and knowledge. Perhaps, indeed, I will send butterflies forth and they will land on willing faces.
Someday. But today, I abide.
1). Fantastic Four reboot: Fuck reboots. I liked the first Star Trek reboot well enough but I can’t say that my life would be incomplete without it. (The second one, well let’s just say that Bobbo Orci deserves to get hemorrhoids and never sit comfortably again, ok?) The Dark Knight trilogy was worthwhile, if you want to classify that as a reboot. (Yes, even TDKR.) Other than that, reboots are quick sources of cash that are quickly forgotten. Remember the new Total Recall? Robocop? No, you don’t, and you don’t want to, either. FF is going on the “forgotten” pile with the others. There’s nothing wrong with the source material, but but good source material doesn’t guarantee anything. And now there’s a lot of pressure to have this franchise make money, so there will probably be a shitload of old, tired movie tropes crammed in with some hip, happening “now” references that will be completely irrelevant by the time the movie actually premieres. (Wow, they cast a black guy! Racism is ended forever, let’s celebrate by watching this tripe!)
I wouldn’t mind being wrong. If the teaser trailer is simply edited to look generic and the movie is exactly the opposite, we’ll be fine.
2). Ghostbusters reboot: Like I say, fuck reboots. Egon was my first love and nobody will ever be good enough to replace him, ok? However, the people bitching about an all-female cast need to step the fuck back. “I support women’s rights, but…” “I’m all for feminism, but…” “It just isn’t right.” You’re being sexist. Yes, you are. Give me one good definite reason why the Ghostbusters couldn’t be women. The Ghostbusters were not the most masculine men. Peter was originally doing it just to get chicks, IIRC, but Ray and Egon were huge fucking dorks. They weren’t bros in the slightest; most of the really good parts could be gender-flipped with no one the wiser. Now if the new movie is full of period jokes and yapping about shoes, then of course it’s going to suck. But that’s because of shitty writing and stereotyping, not because women aren’t funny or whatever bullshit excuse people want to spout.
3). Black Panther movie:
4). A certain TV show that dictated my Friday nights for years on end that might might maybe be coming back with aliens and monsters and Mah-mah-Mulder: Look, we all mourned the show and the trainwreck it became. We said the prayers, sent the flowers, and watched the truly mediocre attempts at moviemaking. Let sleeping corpses lie. Please. Just this once. There’s no way this is going to go well.
5). Age of Ultron: Just release the movie already! Though it seems like the spoilers are fairly well wrapped, all things considered. Even the “normal people” are excited about it, and we still don’t know for sure what the Vision looks like or what the deal is with Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. I am now willing to bet money that the Hulk vs. Iron Man fight is a teeny part of the movie. I’m guessing that they finished the effects on that bit first (it does show off nicely) so they can pad out the trailers with car smashing. Folks do love the car smashing.
And that ends today’s catharsis. I do have some posts of substance in the ol’ draft pile, but becoming a scientist is haaard and I need time to study atoms, so you wait. Go read a book or something.
Adieu, inexplicably growing amount of viewers!
Have some flash fiction, duckies. You may have seen this before if you know me on the Book of Faces.
Hunting Down the Gingerbread Man
“Let it go, Jed,” they say. “Quit chasin’ crumbs.” I can’t, though. Yeah, I know he’s supposed to be dead. I’m not buyin’ it. Foxes don’t eat gingerbread. They eat meat, just like the Gingerbread Man.
The story’s gone around a fair bit by now, but the way it’s told seems to leave out a few things. Like the part where the Gingerbread Man took a bite out of every animal he passed until he found somethin’ he liked. And the part where he liked my leg enough to eat up to the knee ‘fore I pried him off. They don’t want the kids to hear that; it’ll give ‘em nightmares. It gives me nightmares, that’s for sure.
Yeah, you think I’m nuts. Look here, the story goes that nobody could catch the Gingerbread Man, not a cow, nor a pig, nor even a horse. That sound right to you? Sure, Missus Begley’s pig and Sam Hardin’s cow were both too fat to run much, but that there horse was Patch Finster’s prize-winnin’ stallion Lucky. Damn good horse. Broke six speed records at the county fair. But Lucky couldn’t get a bite of the Gingerbread Man and you know why? Because it’s hard to chase a fleein’ sweet when you’ve only got three good legs. After some fresh bacon at Ellena Begley’s and beef at Sam Hardin’s, Mister Gingerbread Man took most of Lucky’s foreleg ‘fore he ran down the road to my place.
Thinkin’ about those bloody peppermint teeth gives me the shakes. What was Missus Begley thinkin’ when she baked the thing? She says the old man who sold her the decoratin’ candy didn’t say it was enchanted. She thinks he was one of the travelin’ wizards that folks talk about around the fire at night. You know, the kind that travel just to stir up trouble. He stirred up trouble all right.
Whenever I try to sleep I can feel tiny peppermint teeth gratin’ on my ankle bones, see those raisin eyes rollin’ in their doughy sockets. I can smell the minty fresh breath of a creature that shouldn’t even be breathin’. I can’t let it go. That gumdrop-buttoned bastard ate my leg, and now he’s gonna pay. I put out a bounty on him, even after they told me a fox ate him up. I know that walkin’ dessert is still out there. I know ‘cause I found his leg on the other side of the river. Never told anyone; after all, the cow, the pig, and poor old Lucky were all put down after the leg-eatin’ rampage. They won’t be lookin’ for revenge. But I am. And I’ve had some of it already. I keep that gingerbread leg in my cupboard. It’s stale now, but it still twitches some when I take it out. And it twitches a lot more when I nibble on that sweet, sweet icing. I sure hope he feels it, wherever he is.
One summer night, when you had gone I spread your letters upon the lawn. Sketches, notes, pictures and things made a pair of paper wings. I glued them tightly end to end, to help my aching heart to mend. I caught a briskly passing breeze And quickly rose above the trees. It’s winter now, and still I fly, a paper cloud in an ashen sky. Riding the wind, I’ve forgotten your name (I expect that you have done the same). I flutter, I sail, I sing, I soar; For you, my love, I bleed no more.
This is for W.B. Yeats’ wife, poor woman.
My dear, you know very well That he has never loved you. He has never even thought to pretend for you, has he? You’ve done that yourself. And the result? Two separate lives: He has politics and poetry and playwriting, And you have children and housework and Occasionally the spirits speak through you. Oh, you tell yourself that his work consumes him, that if you could become part of his Vision , He would allow you to be part of his life as well. It does not matter if the “spirits” come through you Or you merely pretend so. What does matter is that this “spirit-writing” is the only thing, aside from the children, that you share with him. And yet he still does not see you, does he? Because Maude’s idealized ghost has had her hand Clenched around the place in his heart marked “wife.” And she isn’t even his mistress; no, she had the good sense to move along. But his memories of her have crystallized into some half-loved, half-hated ghost. He won’t see anything beyond his Muse, his Betraying Helen. And where does that leave you, Georgie? He never wrote a poem about you, did he? I suppose he didn’t care to bestow Immortality on a mere wife.
So the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer is out now (leaked, “leaked,” who cares?) and I have opinions, dear ones, scattered opinions which I will commence to share. And I have learned to take screencaps! I know, thrilling stuff. If you aren’t interested in the Avengers movies, none of this will make any sense at all.
Where was I? Oh, yes. Allstate. Fuck Allstate.
Anyway, Tuesday I receive a call from Progressive. My car was totalled. The frame was bent and it was not worth the cost of fixing it. It was actually towed to Duncannon, so I didn’t even get to say goodbye. The Progressive dude was kind enough to clear out my personal effects, which he probably regretted when I screamed into his ear. It was just a damn dent. He explained, very kindly, that the car was hit in a way it was not designed to tolerate. I feel like I was probably taken for a ride but I have no way to fight it. At that point I wished I had been injured. If I were in a coma I wouldn’t have to worry about any of this.
Then, Wednesday. Through all of this I would like to point out that my mother has been incredibly depressed. She has spent most of the last month in bed and we have fought a bit over it. The furnace broke six weeks ago and it hasn’t been fixed yet because she keeps canceling the repair guy. So yeah. Context. Anyway, we tried to take the Jeep in on Wednesday night. I had a rental, so I followed her as she tried to drive to Mechanicsburg. The Jeep started right up, so it seemed doable. Towing from our driveway has always been extra-difficult, so we figured they could tow it from the side of the road if it broke on the way.