Sunday, February 25, 2018

Filling the Pages (flash fiction)


Once there was a young artist who suffered a terrible shyness. She spent her hours in blank pages filling the emptiness with lines and curves coaxed into graphite photos.

Lonely days inched into lonely years like growing links of a chain. Her isolation grew atop stacks of her unseen body of work. She glanced over unfinished landscapes. Portraits of forgotten strangers. City skylines only seen in books. Life explored from a room. She picked up a discarded page. It held eyes. They were small, round, and unfinished. She added a new line but immediately erased it. She then added a soft curve where a mouth might be, staring at it for a long moment. Then a touch of shading. Then another line. Then another. The outline of a face grew until a child’s bright face smiled up at her from the tip of her pencil. She covered her face to shield him from her falling tears.

A child. Her child.

Toys and games and gifts. The laughter of two heard through the voice of one. A procession of holidays and seasons spent with her boy. The days of fast, confident lines were gone. Her joints ached and twisted having become abstractions of their former shape. Some time ago she had fashioned an album of their favorite moments together. She looked through it on days when she could not grasp the pencil or hold her hand still. When this became most days, she did not recall. Their time together was coming to an end. Her and her boy. She was withering while he still sprang over puddles and stomped in mud. He still rushed to show her a new drawing of his own. He still hugged her tight when it was time to sleep. The weight of so many years alone were coming to an end.

She suddenly trembled. Her thin frame shook in the grip of a realization. So many years alone were coming to end for her, but they were about to start for him. Her little boy was inheriting her life. Worse. He’d forever be a child left alone. She wept. She wept for him and for her and at the pain they would share. What could she do? She imagined her boy trapped in the last image crafted by her ruined hands. She cringed and wept harder. What could be done? She gathered her album close. It felt small, like him. She reached out and plucked a page from a nearby stack and jammed it between her and the album. Then another. Then handfuls, frantically pulling them in tightly around the album until the bulk was almost too much to hold. She clutched the wrinkling pages close. She sat this way until her strength failed spilling the pages and the album around her. She looked at it all feeling its absence and the growing coolness on her chest. She reached out a trembling hand and pulled the album back to her. A shade warmth returned to her, but not enough. She opened the album. Her boy sat upon a tall, proud horse. His cowboy hat was too large forcing him to hold it above his eyes to wave at her. She smiled back turning the pages of his little life. What can I do?

Once there was a young artist who suffered a terrible shyness. She spent her years in blank pages filling the emptiness with a boy of lines and curves and shades. Her very last days and minutes, though, were spent on a portrait of a man with his family. He had a kind, but resolute face. Close to him stood his wife, straight and proud. The couple were flanked by two children who wore trouble in their grins. No one knew it, but they also had their grandmother’s eyes.  


Thursday, February 15, 2018

A Rocket, A Tesla, and Some Horse Poop Walk into a Bar

Stop me if you've heard this one. No, really. STOP ME if you've heard this one before because we just had a unique moment in human history and I didn't know if I should applaud, lament, drink, or do all three. Spoilers: I did all three.


Super Bowl LII closed on February 4th with the Philadelphia Eagles winning over the favored New England Patriots. It was a exciting game to watch and the halftime show's tribute to Prince nestled in Justin Timberlake's performance was great. It was the Eagles' first Bowl win so many fans went nuts. Literally. Just lost their minds.


My team won! Let's break shit! (1)




My team won! Let's eat shit! (2)

The overwhelming majority of fans did not break shit or eat shit, to be clear. So THANK YOU to all who partied hard without burning, breaking, or brawling. I love you all because your actions didn't require me to type "fan who ate horse poop in Philadelphia" in an internet image search for this piece. No one should have to type those words. Now, to be fair I don't think our Fecal Food Critic woke up that morning deciding today is the today I make my dream happen! I do hope he is okay, but I am still going to poke fun at him. Let this be a lesson, kids. Drunken decisions leave a bad taste in your mouth. The outcomes can really stink. You can make an ass out of yourself. You'll be the butt of many jokes. Too many? Sorry. I should have stopped at number two.

That was the 4th.

February 6th arrived to sees the launch of a new rocket designed by a private citizen's space company. Elon Musk's Falcon Heavy tore from the ground on its maiden flight at 3:45 in the afternoon. It was a test flight for a rocket powerful enough to potentially carry humans to the moon and Mars. And it carried a car. And cameras. And a prototype data storage disc made of quartz that can store information that of, "...will be readable 14 billion years and can hold 360 terabytes of data, or around 7,000 Blu-Ray discs." (3) Read the referenced article on the Arch Foundation which helped make this possible. Interesting stuff. Unfortunately, the math was a little off and Mars it will not go, but I think we can throw Spacex a mulligan on this one.

Image from Indian Express.com (4)


The car as seen from an on board webcam. I hope they gave Starman a towel. (5)

Looks fake, doesn't it? You're not alone if you thought so. Let me point you to the Hoax Trail. Lots of vids for you to digest while you question your life decisions and read the flame wars in the comment sections. Love you internet!




In this scant forty-eight-hour window we had: small riots over a large sporting event during which a single person became (albeit briefly) the unwashed face of an entire city followed by a day of rest and headaches and mouthwash before a privately held space exploration/delivery service company launched a quarter million dollar car into space as part of a test in the hopes of sending it into a Martian orbit. 

That's one of the best-ish example of humanity's range I've seen lately. It encapsulates so much about us because both the rocket and the riot are so human. That's our species in current year riding the bell curve roller coaster of human behavior. We're all a mix of awesome and asshole, daydreamer and delinquent because you can't have one without the other. That's us. 

And God help me I love it.

Be seeing you,

Sam




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1. https://www.thescore.com/nfl/news/1480419-watch-eagles-fans-storm-streets-wreck-philadelphia-after-super-bowl-win

2. http://www.thedailybuzzmag.com/eagles-fan-think-eating-horse-poop-is-cool/94589/

3. http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2018/02/a-car-wasnt-the-only-weird-thing-elon-musk-shot-into-space/

4. http://indianexpress.com/article/trending/trending-globally/elon-musk-plans-to-launch-a-car-tesla-roaster-to-mars-and-tweeple-lost-their-mind-4965098/

5.https://www.inverse.com/article/41015-spacex-starman-traveling-through-space-live-feed
 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

How Creativity Works


My answer for people who ask me where I get my ideas from -  

And lo! 
Above me I beheld a cascading cornucopia of common and cosmic concepts, a copulating convergence of concealed and conspicuous conclusions combining and combusting into...stuff.




 

Friday, February 2, 2018

'He said, She said' aka 'Coyote Argument, Mostly Chemical'

Local coyotes have a mostly chemical conversation over who owns a tuft of grass on my property. But by their standards, that is THEIR tuft of grass. I have no issues with this.