god damn, this tag is dead.. why aren't you all writing? here's a thing
When Christina commands me to kick down her door, I’ve got reservations. Reservations like: if, the moment my Nikes collide with this quad-paneled wooden door and the fibers do not altogether EXPLODE, Christina will gather that I am basically a chump. The door doesn’t intimidate me. Its construction, described how it would be in a catalogue, is--functional. There is a round, brass handle which you can actually* turn, complete with a mangled mouth resembling kitsch keyhole just two inches below. The material, solid; specifically, you can’t literally just physically step through to the other side, I mean, without meeting at least moderate resistance. And I do suspect the deadbolt has primarily been installed as a placebo. Reader, these are all easily observable facts,--even by a simpleton such as myself, one possessing lackluster knowledge in the arenas of frame-and-panel door fabrication. All easily observable facts that serve solely to out me as an FDA platinum-certified chump, if this door does anything less than disintegrate into a warm, splintery pulp when the soles of my fresh Nikes meet it. And right now I need to be brave for Christina, and totally not a chump, because tears have begun to form in her eyes that are like black whirlpools, and her mouth, with that stiff, pouty upper lip, has been murmuring nonsense/trembling uncontrollably from the very nano-moment we entered the building. The key opening her 250-square-foot studio apartment is locked inside. For the past two hours (or was it twice as much?), the two of us have been locked outside, standing around in the cold October drizzle; me tossing pebbles up at lit windows in the stories above us, her shouting hoarse for the occupants to let us in, to let us in, to please God let us in. After we had both stumbled back to Christina’s building on Broadway and East Jefferson, back from a blurred night at Foundation, one of those throbbing electronic dance pits she is so fond of,--certifiably hammered both of us, overdosed on strobe, deaf by bass; after getting lost downtown over an hour despite readily available, on-hand GPS,--after awkward, breathless discussions on just about everything and its nothingness, and more breathless discussions on how stupid lost we were, all before turning up the correct street by pure happenstance and ending up at her apartment complex; only after all this did Christina reach into her leather purse, the black one with the pewter Pyramid & Eye bolted to the front, pried-eyed informing me of another fun fact: that she had been locked outside of her apartment and absolutely, like, seriously better find a fucking way back inside. Her pet cat, Sydney, needed urgent feeding. It was two (relatively speaking) full hours before a neighbor came to the window, hearing Christina’s call, and hesitatingly gained us entry to the building. Currently, unit 202’s particle board door stares me in the face with a cyclops gaze. On impact, wooden shards likely will puncture and/or scuff the crispy white soles of my Nikes, a fact I am now acutely unable to disregard,--placing it rather high on my tiered list of reservations, reservations like: only a few short weeks have this Christina and I known each other. Actual times she and I have gone out together: two, including tonight. Not once have I seen the inside of her apartment. From what she tells me, the floorboards squeal and the walls are thin and most troublesome of all: a cockroach infestation of hella wholly hellacious magnitude, the type to make the Orkin man perspire. From what she tells me, the place is like, seriously a total dump, but, she’s paying trash prices, which is preferable to ‘vintage’ prices in Seattle. As we stood outside, waiting in the rain tonight, I watched Christina’s desperation hatch eggs of anxiety. At 2:56 a.m. her landlord and friends Sam/Ciana/Kristen were collectively still not picking up. The notion of offering Christina shelter for the night at my apartment, five blocks away on 7th and James, began to take larval form in my mind--though I squashed those ideas at once, thinking she might end up thinking I was the kind of guy, in this sort of scenario, who would offer her a place to crash and, invariably, end up trying to sleep with her (simultaneously abandoning Sydney the cat), on only just this girl and I’s second time spending actual time together,--time that had been thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless; intellectually, stimulating, arousing, moderately--but one night, you’re kicking down her door, and then boom, it’s holy matrimony, eloping to Italy. Reader, only a few short weeks have this Christina and I known each other,--naturally, I’ve got my reservations. Reservations about kicking down her door, when the girl’s mouth is gibbering prayer-mash a million miles a minute, and the hot tears are streaming down her face, mascara Exxon Valdez, and,--in just this past moment,--what sounded like a mad, chittering hiss has seethed at us from the inside of her apartment. A rattling, grease-fire hiss that electrifies the hairs on my forearms and puckers the coils of my brain. I ask Christina, ‘What’s in there?’ Christina responds, ‘--mother of God pray for us sinners now and at the hour--’ TSSSS-S-S-SSSS, from behind the door, and, from underneath,--seeping through the threshold: viscous, yellow puddles of pus,--marbled in blood, checkered with fur and bone chunk and twisted tendon. Christina gags, lifting up her four-inch heels as the miasmic goo reaches our feet, soaking the soles of my Nikes. ‘--blessed the fruit of thy womb Jesus Jesus Jesus--!’ TSSSS-S-S-SSSS. Christina stumbles back, crashing against neighboring unit 220’s door and sliding down, catatonically squatting in the horrid, mucousy substance. In alarm I turn to face unit 202’s particle board door,--my leg cocks back, molars grit grind--WHAM! A blast,--the lock erupts--the door flies back, smacking against the refrig. TSSSS-S-S-SSSS! I dash through the kitchen,--careen across the slick tile,--tumble into Christina’s bedroom,--and before me!--contorted about the half-digested remains of what appears to be a feline,--a chitinous, hound-sized cockroach fidgets its palps and hisses. Twitching, the roach skitters up a wall, twiddling the ribbed, wrist-sized black antenna towards me,--and now my Nikes have reservations of their own.
Aha, love it. Faster faster faster.
EDIT: I journal these days, no fiction sadly, but here's something I've been thinking about lately:
Two lovers, Beren and Luthien, separated at the fords of a river in the north of Doriath, perhaps in the forest of Neldoreth, for what think they the last time. Beren turns away, set for death and ruin, as Luthien watches helpless from the shadowy trees. But in the Lay comes what is decidedly an odd passage, in context: Beren as he wanders reflecting on the vim and vibrancy that surrounds him. The grass grows, the sky is clear, the wind whistles down from a high place through the shimmering willows. Though all to ruin fell the world, he says, Yet were its making good – for this. For this, and for Luthien. His suffering and travails were, are and will be worth the cost, though no happiness may lie in his future and precious little has appeared in his past. The dusk, the dawn, the earth, the sea, the stanza ends, That Luthien for a time should be. There is a deep, fundamental beauty to this thought, unquenchable by any evil or darkness, like the light shining from a phial in a web-ridden cave. These two lovers, briefly, have known love undimmed by sorrow or circumstance; to them, little else matters.
“Then again Ilúvatar arose, and the Ainur perceived that his countenance was stern; and he lifted up his right hand, and behold! a third theme grew amid the confusion, and it was unlike the others. For it seemed at first soft and sweet, a mere rippling of gentle sounds in delicate melodies; but it could not be quenched, and it took to itself power and profundity.”
Often the simplest expressions of beauty are the most unshakable.