Tag Archives: surrealist ave

Scene

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-Do you ever get the feeling people are looking at you?

-Sometimes, why?

-Well I think people look at me a lot.

-I mean, that’s possible I guess.  Whenever that happens to me I just assume they’re having trouble determining my gender.

-I don’t think there’s any question you’re a guy.  Do you think that’s why people look at me?

-No, you’re certainly not a guy.   I didn’t mean it like that.

-How did you mean it then?

-That’s just my perspective.

-Oh.  So you really think people think you’re a girl.

-Yeah, most of the time anyway.   Maybe I’m projecting though and I want them to think I’m a girl.

-Why would you want that?

-I assume the alternative would be that they’re looking at me because I’m grotesque or have some deformity that is imperceivable to me.  Why do you think people look at you?

-I guess I think they can read my thoughts.

-Does that concern you?

-What?  That I think people can read my thoughts or that my thoughts are being read?

-Umm… either I guess.

-Well it obviously concerns me or I wouldn’t have brought it up.  At least I know you can’t read my thoughts or you wouldn’t have asked that question, or maybe you can and you’re just humoring me.

-Is this like a phobia?

-I think it’s closer to paranoid schizophrenia actually, but my thoughts are usually pretty well-ordered, so I’m not so concerned that I’m going to have a panic attack or anything.

-How can thoughts be well-ordered?

-Just like you’d clean and organize a room, you can clean and organize your thoughts.  Everything in their right place.  Thoughts at the fore should be present and concise, thoughts behind calculated and clear,and so on down the line.  Wow.  I’m sorry, I sound like my mother.

-Does your mother think people can read her thoughts too?

-No, but she’s very religious and believes thinking something is as bad as doing it, so by keeping thoughts in order it’s easier to prevent undesirable ones.

-Very Orwellian, and no, I can’t read your thoughts.  If I could what would I be seeing?

-A brightly lit tea room; white china, wicker chairs, green grass visible through a screened in porch.

-Is that where you grew up?

-No, I lived in a beat up rancher near a rural suburb.  I’ve never been someplace like the tea room, but it’s easy to focus on.  You do know of course that you’re a pretty big guy right?  I mean I can’t imagine anyone thinking you’re female.

-So what’s in the rooms connected to the tea room?

-Just crucifixes and bibles stacked floor to ceiling.  Are you avoiding your gender doubt?

-No.  Are you avoiding telling me what’s going on a few thought layers down?

-No.  Why don’t you just look yourself.

-I just see the normal stuff; you know medieval torture devices, then a strip of sand bordering a sea of lava with magma spouts funneling into low jet black clouds; a hooded figure dumping cauldrons full of dolphin pups into the lava.  Are you the hooded figure?

-No, that’s an intern.  I’m supervising from the lighthouse at the end of the beach.

-The one with the red light?

-Did you notice any others?


Something else

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A few days had passed with no word from his parents.  It was supposed to be a simple skiing trip.  He assumed that they were simply out of cell phone range, because anything else would require some measure of action, the nature of which would not be unlike carrying the burden of Atlas.  His sister shared his relative ambivalence regarding parent status; she stated what he would not, which was, “They don’t go out of their way to check on us, so why would we check on them?”  He was quite relieved at his sibling’s validation, so much so that he didn’t give it another thought until the police called several weeks later.

His father was the adventurous type and had taken his mother rock climbing instead of skiing.  They had become stranded on a ledge and based on journal entries had lost their minds and jumped into the gorge below.  He was hoping for a more interesting story; something like, “Your father was found to have developed a bear/shark hybrid and it escaped its cage and consumed your parents.  We need the keys to your father’s lab immediately to contain this biological threat.”  His sister concurred with how unremarkably their parents had perished and jokingly offered to help him with any bear/shark experiments he might be working on.

He tends to roll his sleeves.  A long time ago he realized that his arms were a bit longer than average.  Even so, he generally lets one roll down and doesn’t bother correcting it until it becomes an impairment.  As to what an unbuttoned sleeve could impair is debatable, however he generally allows this asymmetry to occur in times of pleasant dishevelry, and as tasks arise, the act of correcting his shirt mnemonically triggers his work persona.

Most days he was fairly confident of who he was, but about once a month he considered the idea that his head and neck had at one point been replaced with those of someone else.  He was still him, but something less or more as well.  There wasn’t any good explanation for his imagined transplantation so he simply counted it, along with some other nonsense, as a minor victory against insanity.