Sunday, November 21, 2010

Six Words

That'll do my son
That'll do.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hello World...?

Imagine how a baby feels when its first born. When all its senses, cushioned for nine months in the warmth of the mother's womb, the only sounds the beat of her heart and the gentle mumur's drifting in from outside. No light, no taste, no smells. And then, birth;

The harsh glares of an operating room, the sterilized smells of the tools and beds, the beeps and flashes of the various machines, the taste of blood and the chill of the air...

All at once.

So it is for each stage of life, being born anew, from a different womb into a different theatre, sometimes with surgeons all a-clamor, sometimes with barely a soul around.

And with it, new rules, new feelings, new thoughts, new horomones, new processes, new information, new journeys and new mountains to climb...

I think know now why a baby cries.


Blessed I am, for the friends I've made,
Blessed I am, for the parents I have
Blessed I am, for this body and mind;

Alas Lord, my soul is Weak,
And yet...
Blessed I am;

But why?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Background Noise

In the darkness of the room, Jean fingered a tiny remote.

He had been careful, so careful with his project. Months and months of preperation, hundreds of dollars in equipment, survillence, bribes to make sure that no information was leaked out, that no one took offense at his work.

The city wasn't large, and thankfully, not that developed. Not enough for the latest in anti-bugging technology, or sweeping tools.

Around him loomed the chromed metal frames of half a dozen instruments. Black wires snaked from each of them, connecting the essential bits of hardware and software together. Above his house sat a massive satellite dish, one he had installed just under an hour ago. It would take a while for the privacy agents to notice. Until then, he would enjoy the fruits of his labor.

He pressed the remote.

Control panels lit up, blinking like stars in the clear night sky. The whirling of a thousand processors and their respective cooling units filled the room, but thankfully, was unable to penetrate the soundproof padding of the massive headphones he wore around his head. The dish hummed and beeped, as the first of the many, many signals came it.

Patter. Patter.

It was the sound of rain.

Somewhere in the city, a storm had formed.

This was joined in by the rustling of leaves in the park, the tap tap of footsteps down the tiled office floors, the whisper of sheets in a clothes maker's shop, the gurgling of coffee at the cafe next door...

The cries of babies in the hospital wards. The sweeping of brooms down the dusty allyways. The screeching of cars, the honking of a band, the slamming of classroom doors and the thunk-thud of falling cans.

They all joined together, melded together, the computers calculating and adjusting, blending the noises and melodies of the city into a single, perfect symphony.

In the background, the chatter rose. Voices of office workers, of artists in their homes, of students in their canteen, of sweepers down the streets. Of shoppers at the mall, of sportsmen in their gyms...all of the chatter rose and fell, their meaning and exact words lost and screened as the formed one crowd, the heartbeat of civilization.

Months of work. Months spent placing those tiny recievers on every broom. On the odd door, office corner, water-cooler, toilet. On plates and tyres, on flowers even. Just for this.

This was the music of the city. Of people, of their creations, of the things they did. Yet no one paid attention, trapped in their tiny bubbles of music, pumped into their ears from an even tinier music player.

Jean sighed a sigh of contentment, and heard it echoed back to him a hundredfold, mixed with the sighs of a hundred people. And then he smiled, listening to the symphony of the world.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Not Much

As an average person, my life and call
is said to be well, not much at all

Not much the pleasure of one's first kiss
Not much small moments of simple bliss
Not much the regret of saying goodbye
Not much a mother's tears
Or a father's sigh.

Not much the goals, big or small
Not much the struggle to achieve them all
Not much the stress in moments of strife
Not much the friends you make through life

Not much the nerves on a wedding day
Not much the secrets we never say
Not much the shouting and bills not paid
Not much the sickness or words last said

An average person, from rise to fall
a life well lived- not much at all

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Hunter's Recruit

I began my journey by writing how it all began:

Uncle Lee had these magic forms which he passed to me; neither were yellow or green, mostly red and white. The moment I touched them I knew what fate had in store for me. Within weeks I was transported into this strange place, filled with many poo- companies. Some were dying, some were still full, while others seemed to be small, but deep with possibilities.

We explored the strange worlds, looked upon the halls of old, and spoke the Pledgeful Words. With that, our fate was sealed, and we were brought before by the great Lion Officer to the new company, where he roared life into the recruits gathered there. And from the trucks and loading bays erupted a multitude of equipment and field packs, enough for everyone.

And between the recruits he divided them into platoons, and each platoon he divided into sections. And some of the recruits he appointed as ICs, that they may govern over the other recruits.

Many days later the recruits were taken upon to the sacred garden, where a mighty apple was presented to them. Powerful was this apple, and only with the right words and training could one possess it so, for the guardians of the garden were vigilant in their watching, and nary an unsqueezed apple would bring doom upon the entire platoon. Tempting it was, to sleep or simply steal the apple, but the recruits knew their Officer would not be pleased, and bore it weight all the way back to their company, rightfully and honorably.

And the recruits took back the apples and buried them in their lockers, to keep them safe from the prying hands of the sergeants. And though the recruits did return amidst a shower of fireworks and red packets, they knew that in four days they would return once more to the company. And though the apple was returned to the garden, in the times to come they would pick it up and march through the jungles with them.

And the leaves of the apple, which were green like the greenest grass, splotched with pixels of black and brown, were worn by the recruits both forward and back, that they may journey to each adventure in the days ahead.

Still in my possession do I have a green card, and the leaves of the apple tree made into a shirt. Today I return to Orien to chronicle my adventures there once more.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I would say that by nature I am a proud man, in that I am often too proud to lie.

It is very difficult for me to say something I do not mean. False praise for example.

It is disgusting to praise someone and then demand they do the same to you. Disgusting, and pathetic.

Yes I am a proud person in this regard. My opinions of people, my respect for people. I will respect those I want to respect, and praise those I want to praise. And if you or anyone tries making me write or say what my heart and mind do not mean then God forgive me for what I shall say or do to you.

Pride is a great sin, but in this regard I would say it is a sin only in the face of sin. For the humble would never ask to be lauded in attention. Perhaps there might be a fall I am not aware of for this notion, but if there is it is one I would gladly learn from.

You, and sometimes the censor inside me can control my actions, disguise my words or restrict my impulses.

But my opinions shall forever remain mine and mine alone. Beyond all mortal power. For only God may change the hearts of man. And you, my friend, are most definitely not He.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Head in the Clouds

Elaynor Green stood silently before the massive canvas, staring at its clean, white surface as if by doing so the images in his mind could be projected onto the wall. Three more minutes before he could access the Cloud. Until then, there was nothing, nothing comparable at least, that he could do.

It was such an obvious innovation he was surprised they had not thought of it sooner. The average human uses less than ten percent of his brainpower each day. This number fluctuates constantly throughout the day, depending on what the said person is doing. Extrapolating the results of an experiment using calculus took much more brain power than lets say, having lunch. And since every brain was connected directly to the internet these days…well, the rest was obvious.

Two more minutes.

The Cloud allowed those who needed just that little bit more mental processing power to access it. It optimized thinking. It made it efficient. Of course, there were problems at first, ethical issues, teething troubles- Hacking, order of priority, waste data clogging up the neruo-streams…things like that. Powerful controls were put into place, a set of very, very strict laws established and a rationing system created. Your average gardener certainly did not need access to five hundred gigabytes of neuro-space every hour, did he?

As an artist he was allowed a much higher amount of Cloud Access, though this fluctuated depending on who he was working for and what they wanted him to paint. Creativity was the most data-heavy of the many types of thought processes. Which was why he had accepted this offer in the first place: it was a political piece. Propaganda.

One more minute.

The current mayor had decided, using (quite literally) the minds of fifty-three different sociologists and psychologists from around the world, that the current “anti-cloud” sentiments that certain writers and activists were championing could be curbed through precise application of various propaganda tools. In his case, it was a depiction of the power, potential and beauty the Cloud could offer. To excite the minds of the populace, to capture their imagination!

Well, the amount imagination was allocated to them at least.

Thirty more seconds…

If he was successful, the anti-cloud activists would lose public support, and hence, processing power. Less processing power meant less dangerous speeches and words.

Elaynor didn’t really care. The chance to use virtually unlimited brainpower to create anything…anything he wanted…that alone was worth the risk. He imagined himself dancing through the sky, his mind soaring high and above, expanding across the heavens, capturing just a brief glimpse of perfection...


At last, he was fre-

Outside the museum, in the gardens filled with trees, a lone gardener stood sweeping the leaves. He thought not of beauty or splendor, nor of ethics or words. Indeed, all he could think about was the sweep-sweep motion of his hands and the color of leaves in fall.

Sunday, January 31, 2010


"I've tried everything,” sighed the man, leaning back in his plump, blue armchair in exhaustion. Tired, brown eyes stared out from under a mop of disheveled black hair, gazing blank space as if trying to focus on a point in it which did not exist. His clothes were also a mess, one end of his shirt un-tucked while the other was stained with coffee. Both his socks matched, whether by chance or some actual remnant of orderliness. The two left boots, one brown and the other black however, suggested otherwise.

“I can’t sleep. I can’t eat. My stomach feels like ten thousand camels spontaneously decided to take a piss in it. Reading gives me a headache. Music hurts my teeth. Even sitting down to well…relax makes my body dance in seven different directions. I’ve gone to three doctors, four psychologists, a medium, a priest and a gynecologist. Yes, I know they’re for women only. That’s how bad it is.”

The other man simply regarded him with an odd expression, a cross between bemusement and utter exhaustion. The former because it was his current state of mind. The latter because it was his common state of health.

“And your…er, symptoms?” he ventured, making sweeping motions in the air with his pen.

The sick patient closed his eyes and spoke, as if performing some internal bodily scan;

“My head feels like it is about to explode. I cannot sit still. My sleep is filled with dreams that burn like hot flashes in the middle of the night, enough that I cannot rest. It’s like trying to breathe underwater. Incidentally, that’s how my lungs feel like. And my hands ache. I…they want to grab something…anything and…and…I don’t dare think what they want to do. Doing anything…relaxing…just living, feels like a bloody waste of time! I- I…”



“Yes. Ah. An expression of understanding and realization. I believe I have a cure. Here’s your prescription.”

The other man got up and exited the room. The patient, alone in the small, quiet office, picked up the piece of paper he had left behind.

It was blank.

He stared at it in confusion, trying to make sense of it all. Some sort of puzzle? Was he supposed to see something in the paper? Maybe this was a psychological test…or cure even. He didn’t know. He couldn’t know. The sick man placed the paper on the desk and stared at its white, empty surface in despair.

Images swam before his eyes.


He could feel it again! A relapse! The same burning sensation, the same anxiety, pressure, focus of thought! His hands twitched. His stomach lurched. All around his body parts of him felt both weak and strong at the same time. The desire welled up in him, a passion he could not control. It needed release. It needed an outlet. His gaze swiveled around the room, looking for a means to an end-

The pencil gleamed on the doctor’s desk, like a comet on a moonless sky.

The frenzy that took hold of him was frightening to behold. He grasped the pencil with all the strength and desperation of a starving man on a pair of worn but edible boots. The tip blazed across the paper like the fire blazing across his mind, the two arcs matching each other streak for streak, flame for flame as the man whirled and spun the innocent piece of wood across the table. It scored across the white, tainting the purity of the sheet with its dark, black marks. His wrists and arms hurt with the strain, yet the blade remained miraculously unbroken, faithfully serving its purpose like a hunting dog chasing down its master’s slaves.

For what seemed to be eternity, the only sounds were that of the pencil tearing across the surface of the paper, and the man’s deep, ragged pants.

When the other man came back in, the sick one was lying back in his armchair, a small smile on his face. He was fast asleep.

He picked up the prescription. Written across it were sketches and diagrams, notes and symbols whose meaning he could not comprehend. Not at this moment, at least. Designs, plot points, twists, conflicts, a beginning and an end.

The other man sighed. All those ideas, crammed into one head. Years and years they must have waited. How many times had he shoved aside a thought to tackle a matter at hand? For people like him, it must have been too much. Men can fast but even the most devout had to eat sometime.

He tucked the piece of paper into the man’s shirt pocket, then opened up a Notepad on his computer’s screen. A few typed lines, a notation or two...there. Safely preserved.

You had to let them out in moderation. Small thoughts, one at a time. It didn’t matter how and where you did it. But sooner or later, you had to let them out.

The other man sighed and looked over at the sleeping patient, a gaze that was both knowing and sympathetic, that showed a level of understanding achievable only by those who had walked the same path through hell together;

“Inspiration’s a bitch eh?”

Perhaps someday, they'll find a cure.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I sit in front of the monitor watching the screen. Behind it various streams of wires and rubber snake around the table, forming bushes and foliage akin to that of a forest. The room is dark, all curtains and windows closed, the door barred shut with a lock and an old musty chair.

Inside the monitor I stand before a boardroom filled with men in smart, black business suits, striped ties ironed neatly upon their well-starched vests. A small projector shows a series of elaborately colored slides, each covered in archaic numbers and symbols, charts and diagrams. The men are nodding, some are smiling, while I dribble on, apparently more nerves and delight at their approval than actual confidence.


The screen fizzes and the readjusts. Wires hum with redirected power, stolen from the mains and the ‘faulty’ lamp-post across the street. With a few clicks and switches an image appears, stabilizes, fills with color and…there! It appears to be a park, one with many, many flowers and trees, each lush with life. A lake, with ducks or swans and a few odd reeds sticking along the side…

Adjust…zoom…there I am! The wide-brimmed sun hat and old grey shirt makes it difficult to differentiate me from the background, but I recognize that chin and stubble anywhere! The portable vacuum pack looks heavy, and for all the thriving of the plants around, there sure were a lot of dead leaves.

How depressing. Next.

Another jump. Readjust…focus…scanning, searching and…there!

A beautiful gallery greets me, paintings of nature and people, of lakes and sky and trees. Once more I wear the wide-brimmed hat, though the shirt is considerably newer and stained with paint, the vacuum nowhere in sight. A grin adorns my face as visitors flock into the queue, gasping at the vivid use of colors, at the soft palettes and powerful brush strokes. Better, much better;

Nex- oh…

A young girl is sitting on a bed with her child, both characters smiling happily despite the filthy state of their home. The gray walls are covered in cracks and cockroaches that skitter in and out of the fading wallpaper. A knock sounds on the termite eaten door, and in enters a familiar face. Weary, tired, wearing the same suit and tie as the man two jumps ago, but much less well-cared for. Yet there are laughter lines that weren’t there before, and though strands of gray dot his hair his eyes are filled with joy and warmth.

My eyes.

I remember how she had smiled back then, back when neither of us was aware of the consequences of our actions. We had been seeing each other for years. Known each other for even longer, long before we knew the meaning of the word ‘romance’. It seemed so natural that day. So…right.

And so the choice had been made and the consequences had been brought forth for us to face. And I-

I made my second choice.


I flick through the channels, jumping from life to life, from moment to moment, through every possibility and every trouser leg of time. If we never had met. If nothing had happened that very first time. If it had been someone else, not her…if I had focused on my work more…if I had not missed that bus…

Next! Next!

The machine is a result of all these. Of combined regrets from possibilities that did not exist, of yearnings for things not yet occurred...some of the wires fade off into thin air, but that does not bother me. I didn’t want to make choices anymore, not without knowing the consequences, and so here I am, watching and waiting, thinking and evaluating.


The screen is blurry again but it is no fault of the equipment. My cheeks feel wet. She’s called me three times so far yet I dare not answer in event I trigger a path yet seen. The other paths comfort me, telling me of things I could do, of the potential that exists to be tapped. Yet though I know the consequence, I know not which choice to make. Which path to the businessman? To the scholar? To the unmarried merchant, artist, poet? Or to the happy spouse?



No matter how many possibilities I flick past the screen always comes back to this. As if the machine itself was reminding me. Punishing (?) me. Of the consequences of unseen consequences, of choosing not to choose.


The two embrace, and I feel a brief pang of regret before flicking the channel once more;