Eternal (Acc. Rejection Infernal) (Work in Progress)

I swim away from the shore. Glancing back, everything seems smaller in the distance. Waves wash over my face, taking me in like family. I swear I see myself on the shore. The waters pull me further. Overhead, clouds move faster, leaving months and years in their wake. With the shore now gone, the waters move from warm to cold to warm to cold to warm to cold to warm to cold to warm.

The same shore approaches on my horizon. The same self awaits my return. Gathering courage, I switch direction. I can hear the depths laughing. Clouds move faster in reverse, time refuses to turn, I continue on ahead. No destination in mind. Not even Pontellier could have dreamed of swimming this far.

These waters are beginning to feel lonely. I would do anything to see a shore, I would do anything to see my old self. The clouds slow in the sky and the waves settle. Everything becoming nothing becoming everything. I grow still.

Slowly, the waters spin and descend. Pulled downward, I reach up for clouds that are no longer there. Flames reach for me below. I stare up into a starless night. The waters release their hold on me. This is it.

I awake on the shore. In the distance, I see someone swimming away. Who are they? I return home, alone, sitting at my desk. I feel as if everything and nothing has changed. It is only a matter of time before…

 

On the beach

Neon pink bikini top with whitish blue striped bottoms. She speaks in an English accent, calling to her mother that she wants to feel the water. Her hips invite those willing as they sway from side to side with each step. Her dirty blonde hair and her posture of confidence leave him longing to stand by her side. He always had been drawn to the “I do not need anyone” type; one of those idiots who preferred to want rather than to have. She feels his gaze and butterflies stir within her. She can only picture what he looks like. She imagines him tall, strong, and fearless. He does not have to imagine, he has never wanted anything so much in his life. She bends over and runs her hand through the waves touching the shore. It is too much for him. A smile that he cannot see forms on her face. She turns and walks back, her face contorting into an ugly squint. As she approaches, he notices her sun-scorched red face. As she approaches, she notices his fat bulging gut. His eyes move down her body, seeing an awful bruise on her knee and an unattractive mole on her arm. His balding head reveals a forty-year-old man and she feels her butterflies turning into nausea. Their visions of each other shatter and are blown into the wind. They both sit outside each other’s view, staring out toward the ocean, imagining something greater.

 

Flight: Experimental Writing

Take-Off

                “Thank you for choosing Jet Blue. We hope you enjoy your flight and please remain seated until the seatbelt light, located overhead, is turned off. We will be arriving at Logan International Airport in two hours and thirty minutes. Enjoy the rest of our flight.”

Mid-Flight

His Seat

Exhausted, he shuts the plane’s plastic window covering, concealing a world that he has had enough of. Sleeping passengers snore while others remain awake by no choice of their own. Anyone with any sense has their headphones in, if only he had remembered his. Stewardesses work their ways up and down the aisle, squeezing between passengers that have the plane at full capacity.

To his right is a leopard-print mess. Leopard-print headrest holds the neck of a woman cloaked in a leopard-print blanket covering a leopard-print sweater. Well, the sweater is maroon but we are trying to preserve an intriguing repetitive structure, here. Her nails are painted an eye-catching neon blue that, for him, is overlooked by her more discerning attribute of brown skin. She is of Barbadian descent (from his perspective she is definitely ethnic, though cannot make out what she is given her quirky British accent, which really throws him off.) and cannot stop using the “Hey Google” command on her phone. She irritates him greatly and he feels his attention pulling elsewhere.

He switches his attention to the screen situated on the back of the seat in front of him, currently showing the latest B-movie to have hit the cultural wasteland. He attempts to switch to the cable channels, but results in a message popping up on the screen that says “The television is out of coverage and the WiFi is down.” This hardly matters, with no headphones he would have had to turn on the subtitles and there is nothing he detests more than reading. An advertisement on the screen appears advertising for snapchat collaboration with JetBlue. The words mean nothing to him as he shoves a piece of gum in his mouth.

An Overheard Conversation

“He was cheating on me and it really sucked, I mean he said it to my face. So it’s not like…”

“I feel you, I came out of my relationship more negative than when I started. I never spended on myself and I only ever spoiled him.”

“I would ask him for something, and it wouldn’t even be a big deal, probably would cost like fifteen dollars and then he would go out and buy something way more expensive than I even asked for. I mean he could be sweet, but that’s not even what I asked for. And he still go outs and has sex with my best friend…”

“From now on I am going to close off everyone. I just want to be by myself until I see something in someone else that I really want.”

“I know, my grades are so bad right now I didn’t even tell my parents how bad I was doing this semester.”

“I feel bad for you and I feel bad for myself. I feel like I wasted my time. So like, also, there’s this guy who has been after me for a while. He’s nice enough. And the other day I was talking to him and he asked me to go to his formal. But like I said, he’s a real sweetheart you know, and I mean he gets good grades and everything, but I was like no I like the bad boys. Like sorry.”

“I can—“

“He’s in a frat and he’s the captain of the school’s rugby team and I mean I am coach for the girl’s rugby team so it’s not like we don’t have anything in common, and I don’t want to sound bad, but like dude it’s a formal…”

“I know…”

“And it’s not like I want to go with anyone else, but that does not change the fact that I don’t want to go with him.”

Three Rows Forward // Two Seats Right

A young kid is deeply fixated on a bald spot of the man’s head in front of him. His inner monologue reads: “If I ever have the misfortune to lose all my hair prematurely, please God, let me have the sense to just shave it all off. Better to wear my age proudly than to comb over in some attempt to cling onto a younger self that is long gone… But Rogaine has shown to be increasingly promising these days. I wonder why this man has not tried such products. Maybe he is a Rogaine-user and would be completely bald otherwise and the one glaring spot happens to be right outside his vision when he looks in the mirror. Is it my social responsibility to inform him of the bald spot? Would it be presumptuous to imagine this is the reason the bald spot remains? Dear God, please do not let me go bald.”

Somewhere Among the Crowd

“As I have been told many times, you cannot lock up the darkness.”

“Have you talked to anyone else about this?”

Two rows forward // One Seat Right

                A middle-aged writer is scribbling on a napkin he received when they were passing out beverages: “Last night I woke up standing in front of the mirror. This is not the first time this has happened. Aside from the blatant symbolism at play here, I have no patience for waking up in such a manner. Waking up to yourself is one of the most horrid sights in this world. You are face-to-face with the impending doom of death and your own mortality stares right into your eyes and burns itself into your soul. The paradox of your mind telling you that you must be dead, that this is an out of body experience, but the thought itself screaming at you that you must be alive. I am still unsure if this carries any real significance to anyone besides myself, but I believe it to be the case nonetheless.

Elsewhere

                “I’ll have a coffee with Splenda and cream and in a separate glass may I please have a cranberry juice.” As if that even needed to be stated, well actually the last guy before asked for an orange juice with diet coke in the same glass. What a world we live in.

His Seat

There is too much noise aboard these flights. He closes his eyes, wanting to be away from it all. However, we never do arrive and even after they make it to the airport, these people never leave. They always follow him and you have to wonder if the problem is them or himself.

And the Kitchen Sink…

“Do you think you are starting to become desensitized to these things?” The accordion opens the track and his words rest on the looping sound. Living off borrowed time the clock tick faster. Quite a large mess has been made; must find time to clean it as soon as I can. The car is disgusting and she looks no better and it is all a shame. What did she just say? “Do you think you are starting to become desensitized to these things? Words fly out my mouth hit the windshield slide down the glass fall into the air vent drip into the engine and converse with each other about how difficult it is to feel much of anything these days. The engine is rather speechless and merely shrugs, asking if it can bum a cigarette. Wow, I feel alive! She does not care to listen to what I said and she leans her head against the car’s window and her shining blonde window presses onto the glass and I can swear the glass is melting in those golden locks. I should probably say something. I mean anything would be better than nothing, I mean for God’s sake her hair is melting into the glass, or vice versa, (it is pitch black outside [similar to the eternal darkness of the studio set behind Charlie Rose and his guest], save for the stars which look so damn stunning tonight [not that she looks any better in the moonlight, though, as one may have hoped], and I do not want to ruin the mood so I better keep my lips sealed before I create more of a mess than there already is [if that truly is possible].) perhaps I will just keep mute on the entire subject of the glass-hair-melt phenomenon. The parking lot is empty. “Do you think you are starting to become desensitized to these things?” I wish this song would just end already, it bored me from the second it crawled out of the speaker. Politics, now that’s a thought. Mitch McConnel takes a large bite out of John McCain’s neck and if someone could just spare some federal funds to provide the old veteran with a napkin to stop the bleeding… I’d rather not discuss political views, thank you very much. She’s staring at me, clearly waiting for me to respond to whatever nonsense she sent my way. I lean over to kiss her and I receive a quick punch to my abdomen. Jesus Christ that hurts, but what doesn’t nowadays. I think the children should be kept from the adults. “Don’t you feel anything anymore?” I laugh, not an appropriate chuckle, I fucking let out a strong belly laugh and I am delivered a firm slap against my cheek. “I think it is time you took me home.” Sure thing, I drive off. “Don’t you think you are starting to become desensitized to these things?” Had better roll up what’s left while I can, taking everything…

Still editing

Behind the door lies a nightmare of torn canvas and splattered paint. Discarded depictions of half-finished women lie in mountainous piles, masking the entire floor beneath. Atop the creative excrement stands Maxwell Lekovic, clothes caked with acrylic and eyes tightly shut, before a fresh canvas. Deep into the artistic process, he appears to be dreaming.

His wakefulness, however, is exposed by the sharp darts of pupils underneath his heavy eyelids. Each corneal movement is punctuated by a short pause and a slight change in facial expression. Behind the facade of the room and deep within Max’s memory, stands the woman he is so desperately trying to capture. He moves from one feature to the next, taking her in the way one would try to inhale a deep breath. But when he opens his eyes, both he and her image lose focus. He must be alone.

Yet he is not. Outside the door, Andrew Chian paces back and forth, preparing himself to trespass into a world of beauty and deprivation. This is hardly his first visit, but Lekovic’s studio still induces him with deep unease. Regardless, it is of the utmost importance that Andrew retrieves Max in a timely fashion and also ensures that he comply with all the States’ demands. Time cannot afford to be wasted.

With a turn of the doorknob, the handle clicks into place. Suddenly, the pressure from the canvases pushed against the door is released and the door is thrust wide open. Consequent waves of paintings spill into the hallway and Andrew is nearly sent down a flight of stairs that, barring rare circumstances of incomprehensible luck, would not be climbed back up after descent. The whole event is either ignored or unnoticed by Max, whose concentration remains committed to constructing his perfect rendition.

Now distanced by a sea of failed portraits between the artist and himself, Andrew succumbs to temptation and begins to sift through Lekovic’s rejections. Though a departure from his task and a complete disregard for his orders, (nowhere was it entailed that he be allowed to shy away from the urgency expressed in his briefing for personal time to quench his artistic curiosity) it is hardly unexpected. Such lacks of constraint were quite characteristic of Andrew, and he excused himself citing the fact that he had always been an avid fan of Lekovic’s work and deserved something of a break given this hellish day.

Let it be noted that this admiration was restricted to Max’s artwork only and that he found his quirks, to put it modestly, less impressive. So less impressive, in fact, that upon being called to retrieve Lekovic, Andrew constantly reminded himself of the stakes at hand via an alert on his iPhone (displaying a message reading something along the lines of: “Do not get caught up in Lekovic’s nonsense. Make sure that he be at the courthouse by noon at the latest…”) scheduled to go off every ten minutes. Andrew was somewhere in the middle of this interval when he picked up another canvas to admire.

 

 

 

 

 

Even in its infancy the painting still evoked powerful emotion. Certain features were expertly detailed whereas others were barely outlined. Andrew moved his thumb over the painted woman’s dark-brown eyes. They were a moving shade of brown. Not moving in the emotional sense, nor as in looking around, but rather in a fluid appearance. They seemed filled with tears. Yet, there was none of the sadness to justify their presence anywhere else in the painting. It was quite an artistic achievement, but the piece was undermined by the hastily constructed jawline.

With each subsequent paintings, the same conclusion was revealed. The works’ greatest achievement would create such a drastic contrast with the works’ greatest failure that it was almost painful to look at.

Gates (4:02) (Really Unfinished)

Everything is in conflict. The empty chairs lining the walls remind those of their potential to be filled. The gray wall paint only accentuates the room’s dreary atmosphere. Yet, the gray paint’s merging with the windowed overcast sky brings a calming uniformity to the room. Even the company of chairs aid in preventing the isolation from becoming too unbearable. Each atmospheric effect is both undermined and supported by the same entity; it is hard to say how one would go about “fixing” the room.

Not to mention the dimensional inconsistencies. To divulge into the spatial nonsense that is the ever-changing distance between one and the walls as they walk about the room would be ill-advised. All one needs to understand is that the effect is truly dizzying.

Having given in to the room many visits ago, Adam sits in the Offices of Gates’ Projection Services for the Externalization of Intrapersonal Communications Inc. Located (strategically?) in the South End of Boston, the Offices are approximately ten minutes by car (maybe a half-hour walking distance) from the restaurant currently serving the rest of Adam’s family. All these years and nothing much has changed.

It is October, a month which had always blasted Adam with waves of sentimentality. Through the yellow haze of fall days, Adam would feel his life slipping through his fingers. Fingers which, at the moment, were being devoured by a severe case of nail-biting addiction. Perhaps it was this longing for things not to change that always kept at the end of his nail. For his absence at the dinner table and presence in the offices were hardly unexpected. Yes, with Adam old habits died hard.

Infinite Playlist

Playlist

  1. If I Was a Folkstar by The Avalanches
  2. Worlds to Run (feat. Milo and Anderson .Paak) by Busdriver ¹
  3. Silhouette by Julia Holter
  4. Are You… Can You… Were You? (Felt) by Shabazz Palaces
  5. Medley: Summer Love / Set the Mood (Prelude) by Justin Timberlake
  6. Procrastination by Kenny Segal
  7. Shame by Young Fathers
  8. Existinct by THEESatisfaction
  9. Bookoo Bread Co by Scallops Hotel
  10. Oceania by Björk²
  11. Eh by Death Grips
  12. When It Rain by Danny Brown
  13. The Otherground Pizza Party (feat. Open Mike Eagle) by Milo
  14. Pink + White by Frank Ocean
  15. So Many Details by Toro y Moi
  16. Hard to Explain by The Strokes
  17. Fragments of Time (feat. Todd Edwards) by Daft Punk
  18. Stirring by Flying Lotus³

Footnotes

2.1 Empire Ants (feat. Little Dragon) by Gorillaz                                                                                     2.2 True Affection by Father John Misty

11.1 Human Sadness by Julian Casablancas+The Voidz

19.1 Till There Was You by The Beatles                                                                                                       19.2 Landslide by Fleetwood Mac                                                                                                                   19.3 More Fool Me by Genesis                                                                                                                         19.4 Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want by The Smiths                                               19.5 God Only Knows by The Beach Boys                                                                                                     19.6 Time: Donut of the Heart by J Dilla¹

Additional Footnotes

19.6.1 You Make Me Feel So Young by Frank Sinatra                                                                               19.6.2 A Song For You by Donny Hathaway                                                                                               19.6.3 In My Life by The Beatles                                                                                                                     19.6.4 Be Good (Lion’s Song) by Gregory Porter                                                                                       19.6.5 Return to 19

Occurrences: A Work In Progress

I had hit a wall while working on a project I had put nearly a year’s worth of effort into. I was too ambitious and was writing a story I did not yet have the ability to write. So, I began to write short stories to exercise my writing skills.
It was during this period that I discovered a new project that invigorated me with excitement. I referred to the project only as “Occurrences.” While I edit it, I plan to upload pieces onto the website.
To be clear, these are works in progress and should be regarded as such. I do hope that whoever reads some of the excerpts finds them as entertaining as I found them to be while writing them.
– Tyler

Anticipation Exhibition

Navigating a sea of spectators, she finds her audience appreciating her latest work. Yet, beneath their subdued admiration flows an undercurrent of incomprehension. The dramatic changes of expression and audible gasps that defined her last showcase are completely absent. Instead, blank faces and hushed murmurs ripple across the room; reminding her of a time when she almost gave up art altogether. Her head is swimming and her legs are beginning to give out. Chilling nausea pulls the faceless mother of the exhibition down as a betrayal materializes before her eyes.

Remember, appearances have a strong tendency to be deceiving at these events. Self-comfort: a sensible reaction, but not enough to deter the waves of uncertainty that drown her with hopelessness. Her mind reaches toward a distant memory of an earlier work. The one where everything had gone horribly at the premiere but went on to become both critically acclaimed and often regarded as her finest work. She waits for reassurance to embrace her in its arms.

Yet, she is left alone. With the stark realization that reassurance is going to be withholding, it becomes clear her only option is to let go. But accepting her limitations cannot cease the endless cycle of despair into hope and its return into despair. Her doubts necessitated a compensation with positivity–maybe they would see what she saw in the work soon enough. Yet, the consequent joy always begat the original doubt–how soon was soon enough? Looking out at her guests, drink shaking in her hand, she marvels at their inner ponderings. What were they thinking? What could have gone wrong?

Tears are forming at the corners of her eyes when salvation dawns on her through the form of a revelatory thought. What if a piece depicted the pains of irresolution in regards to showing people your art? The art piece itself being a product of its own presentation. To disparage her work would only reiterate its intention; effectively commenting on the piece before the viewers ever got the chance. Such a work had seemed out of reach until now.