Archive for October, 2010

Home

Posted: October 31, 2010 by zacharyandgillian in October 2010

“Welcome”

V had known him since the first time they picked up musical instruments together.  He had never really gotten any better, and in the end, they both let go of the art.  But the friendship played on and on.

Imagine a warm place.

She had worked with V, lived with him, did business with him and used him.  She was straightforward and crude and confident… and blaringly delicate.  Her rough exterior never fooled him.  Not for a moment.  He had never found it easier to love someone for who they were, without expectation.

The colours are inviting.

He was larger than life in his head – though meek in form and behavior, V’s brother’s mind was always in bigger places.  When he laughed in the crowd it was always unsure.  Tentative.  Longing for belonging.  But always, there was a confidence in there, and he lived for the moments when he would feel comfortable bringing it out.  Then, always, they were happy.

The smells are familiar.

He defined comfort.  His very presence reminded V of how the words “friends” and “family” were interchangeable – not labels but promises.  Even the complicated things – so many complicated things – were simple.

“Home”

She knew him.  She trusted V implicitly.  She never trusted anyone, but she hesitantly held out her hand with poise and grace (two things she swore she had little of), and offered a friendship that he treasured jealously.  They both knew Misery.  They both loved each other’s company far more.

The sound is a soft embrace.

He would never forget her kiss, in a dream he had.  Like snowflakes on his cheek, it defined them forever.

It tastes of subtle sunshine.

He made love to V’s mind, if such a thing could be said.  It wasn’t, lest the wife might get jealous.  But two minds never more eagerly connected.  Two men of mental means, wine and women were merely subjects to facilitate their fetish for the intellectual.  When they met, bottoms of glasses and tops of hours were sacrificed nonchalantly.  The end of days would be asked to wait a moment, that they two might just finish their point.

This place is for you.

I’ve known them all for as long as I’ve known myself.  Some of them share my blood.  Some of them married it.  And some of them offered their own.  Each and every one of them makes me whole.  My soul is the sum of their parts.  They are always welcome there.

“Friends.”

Photo:  Gillian Berger
Writing:  Zachary Webster

The Annual Party

Posted: October 31, 2010 by zacharyandgillian in October 2010
Tags: , ,

“CANNONBAAAAAAAAAL!!!”

Splash!  And a chorus of cheers.

It was the 54th annual Meet-and-Greet of the Gwobbles United-We-Soar Association and, as always, it was stupendous occasion.  Gwobbles of all shapes and sizes showed up.  The boardroom Gwobs, the baby gwibbles, and of course, the commuting Gwobbles always showed up.  They never missed a party.  Even the Gwobbles from the kitchen counter suburbs (who were notoriously snobby) made it out for this.  That’s because Gwobbles United was an institution.  The who’s who of hobnobbery and the what’s what of bamboozling united in outright flustery at the annual party.

The coffee shop Gwobbles usually hosted.  They always knew where all fresh liquid was.  Nothing like a new cup. 

It was an art, and this was the occasion where the modern Gwobbles taught the up and comings.  The old-timers would sit back and relax on a cracker, reminiscing about their prime glob-wobbling times.  Career Gwobs would swap stories and talk about where all the good action was – west side or east side tracks, inter- or intra-national flight turbulence.  And, of course, the white-picket-fence’s all got together and complained about the state of cleanup.  All in all, everyone looked forward to it.

Sure, the occasional Gwockle showed up, but that was inevitable at a gathering like this.  “Only the good parties have total spill-sports,” old Grandpa Gwobble would say.  He was famous at these things.  He was one of the oldest that hadn’t yet dried to a stain, and he attended every year.  He’d seen all sorts of trouble-makers and jealous knock-overs come and go.   He’d also seen some serious changes in the Gwobble industry.  Sealed lids, water-bottle caps, and about 7 different makes of cup holders.  Hell, he remembered a time when coffee shops didn’t have drive-throughs.  These kids today had it easy.

But that was okay – they deserved it.

 “Whoa!  Awesome HEIGHT!”
“Nice!”
“So COOL!”
“Gramps did you see that one?”

 They were so eager to please.  That was important.  A Gwobble that cared about its character was always an asset to the community.  That’s why he always made a point to stay off to the side of the main celebration and watch the young ones play.  They were the future.  “Sure did son,” he’d reply, soaking into his cracker a bit.  “Remember to stick the landing though.  Why, one time when I was your age…” 

“Ya ya Gramps.  Hold on, we’re going for another wobble.”
“Let’s go!”
“I’m totally practicing for a glasses landing.”
“Oh – those are tough!”
“I know, but I think I can do it one day.”
“I think you can do it.”
“Me too.”
“Okay, my turn this time.” 

“SWAAAAAAAAAAAN DIIIIIIVE!!”

Photo: Gillian Berger
Writing: Zachary Webster

The Fan

Posted: October 31, 2010 by zacharyandgillian in October 2010
Tags: , , , ,

Let me tell you something, kid.   Privately, I’m rooting for man.

In clinging plumes, smoke was always his friend.

Honestly.

So, in subtle seduction, was honesty.

Here’s the thing – man’s a bad animal.  I’m not going to try saying otherwise.  No wool over your eyes.  We kill, and by the false gods, that’s about as nice as we get.  We maim, torture, scar and scold.  We find new ways to peel flesh from bone, and heart from soul.  We invent civilized ways to scream at the top of our lungs.  Sticks and stones were far too primitive for us, so we invented medicine and psychology.  Now we can destroy minds and elongate bodies; maximizing anguish.  We increase efficiency of slavery through economics, and increase its equity through free enterprise.  Nothing says suffering like our successes.

Liquor let languish the point.

Which says nothing of the wars we wage between the bed sheets.

Laughter was sentence punctuation.

Fucking has always been my favorite part about mankind.  I always envision two bodies entwined in a sweaty ecstasy – mindlessly pursuing a pleasure beyond any drug to be had with an exponential fervor.  Curves and rhythms, motions and moans, all moving faster and faster, again and again, towards orgasmic explosion in quivering prayer.

In servitude or selfishness, sex is divine.  People will tell you that life is written in biology, or psychology.  The sterile will tell you that it’s about business.  But everything there is to learn about mankind is in sex.  Our very nature.

Can you believe that the primitives called the act intimate?  How false an idol.

Polite smiles call an end to preamble.

Imagine two teams.  I don’t imagine you watch football, but you cannot possibly ignore this competition.  This is a game that has been played since the beginning of time and the devil’s sitting in the stands.

Repetition was the lover’s thrust.

Imagine two teams.  On one, there is a far-reaching, jealous, immortal being with a perfect victory record.  Never in the history of this game has he ever lost, nor does he intend to.  He hates the very idea of losing.

His skills are vast and he’s afforded all the head starts his experience can grant him.  And he has worlds of experience.  Let me tell you.  All possible ones.

And in the right corner, team number two, is Man.

The stands are filled with the angry, upset, bored, eye-rolling observers.  They’ve watched the champion of the competition slaughter every challenge before him with startling efficacy.  Nothing stands against existence eternal, and that makes a rather uninteresting show.  They’d love to root for the underdog, but one can only root for a loser until they start to resent them.

I don’t know how many times you’ve felt that the whole world was against you, but when you’re outnumbered, outgunned and unsupported, things seem pretty bleak.  This is exactly how the game started.

Lamplight was a dim fashion.

I’ll tell you how the first 12 rounds went for Man: terribly.

Shadows made for antique shades.

Most people think I’m talking about God by now.  They think I’m alluding to Him as the Champion, especially when I mention the devil in the stands.  But I’m not.  And between you and me, kid, I’d laugh at the thought if what it revealed wasn’t so disturbing.  We’re better than that, and when people make that assumption, I always feel like I’ve watched a professional basketball player miss an easy layup.

Since the beginning of time, we’ve been weighed down.  The gods have thrown us in irons.  The world has demanded that we conform.  Give up.

But you know, it’s never quite been successful.  The bleaker it looks, the darker we grow.  The more it wraps us in chains, the more we threaten it.  The weight is heavy, but our hands carry it more menacingly than ever.  No matter what the world throws at us, we’ve always turned it into a weapon.

There has been no round that went well for man.  There never will be.

Dawn hides behind cover of the horizon.

Hellova thing, that.

So, too, did it hide his point.

Photo:  Gillian Berger
Writing: Zachary Webster

Little Letters

Posted: October 31, 2010 by zacharyandgillian in October 2010
Tags: , , ,

They were the lowercase letters of his life.

The sun rose with them, subtle as the morning breeze.  When the light was clearest, the leaves were brightest and the silence was loudest, they were they the boldest.  He would close his eyes and let them into the playground of his heart with a contented smile.  (They danced about, as if attached to a little string.)

Pandora opened a little pack,
She opened it and the world unwrapped.

When the day grew older and the mid-afternoon traffic sweltered, he heard them as a distant hum softly behind his thoughts.  Often, he thought it was just the buzz of the halogen light.  Nothing more.  He would look out the glass of his 5th floor office building and see all the cars move in and out.  Stopping at the lights.  Moving around one another from lane to lane.  Like little ants.  The sun found nothing to reflect in among the dingy city streets.  It was always grey there.

She watched and sighed with no lament,
Her sufficient harm, a mild content.

The night sky offered a strange embrace.  The world was two-faced.  Still the little letters guided him home, through the maze of streets that looked so different after sundown.  He always marveled that they were still there, putting the right foot in front of the other.  He was unfaithful to them always, favoring the moon’s sadistic alternatives with a masochistic musing.  But in the end, they were always there.  Always faithful.  He only slept with them.

And when I asked how that could be,
She scooped them up and delivered me.

Photo:  Gillian Berger
Writing: Zachary Webster

Droplets

Posted: October 31, 2010 by zacharyandgillian in October 2010
Tags: , , , , ,

They reminded him of every photograph that he’d never see again.

Little water droplets sat on top of the green leaves.  They puckered there softly, sucking into themselves into tiny round balls.  It reminded him of what eyes felt like before they were going to cry.  Just as the tears were welling up.  If nature did that, it would look like these drops.

She would have taken a picture of this.  She took pictures of nature all the time.

He chuckled to himself half-heartedly as the thought occurred to him: she probably would have put it into a sepia tone.  He never liked when she did that; it never fit with subject matter that she shot.  She should stick to making the colours vibrant or dull, cold or warm.  But not old.  Nature is eternal, but it’s never old.

But that’s just what he thought, and she never asked for criticism.  He’d tell her when he liked a picture, and what he liked about it.  He always made a point to.  It was important.

He would have told her that he liked how the raindrops were the focus of the picture, how they worked with the rest of the colours.  He would have joked that he wasn’t quite sure whether they were rain or dew.

He wished he hadn’t let himself get so sucked in to her world.  A year ago, he barely knew she existed.  Now, he saw her photographs every time he went out for a walk.

Prior to their relationship, he didn’t care much for pictures of nature.  Pictures were meant to capture the moments in people.  The moments that people were too afraid to express on their own, or too wrapped up in themselves to notice at the time.  Nature was always naked.  Always better in the moment.  It didn’t need a photographer.

Looking at the green leaves, feeling the chill that hung in the air, he wishedhe didn’t feel so naked.  How had he become so vulnerable?  He knew that what they had wouldn’t last, and he certainly knew that it had to end awkwardly.  And yet, even with that knowledge, he could not steel himself against how she had moved him.

That, was the cost of caring.  And he’d pay it again.  Again and again.  But he never liked having to.

He wished he could see her photographs again.

Finally, one of the drops gave way, rolling slowly into another, and another; dripping off the leaf.

Photo:  Gillian Berger
Writing: Zachary Webster