(I wrote this during the student protests in April)
Side A: bulldog days
It was time for the preview, the carnival, the sales pitch for those still blessed with the simplicity of choice. The entire bay was aglow with fairy lights, and soft choral music hummed in every corner. You were told to polish each grain of sand until it shone like a speck of gold, a potential pearl, until your hands wore raw ribbons of ruby red.
They dumped confetti onto the shoreline, covered the garbage with glitter and framed the stench on the dogwood trees. The Smilers came out of their shadowed nooks in the trees, teeth gleaming white, palms dry as chalk as they shook each and every hand. Their enamel made you remember, enabled that past so often repressed, when you were also small and scurried and told yourself this white powder in the air was sugar and not salt.
It did not take long for you to develop a resting bitch face standing next to them. You needed it, to prove to the others like you that you were not like them, the newcomers, so fresh-faced and eager and whose hands unknowingly stained the scenery, meticulously laid out, with pitch, just as your hands stained your work ruby red.
Continue reading “Yale Sucks”
print “hello world”
“Why’s it taking so long?”
“It’s one of those older K-models, you have to modify the program’s code manually and there’s a lot of bugs. Remote control’s still a backdoor solution with this guy.”
“Why don’t you just get a new one? They sell them by the dozen in most supermarkets.”
“I don’t know, I’m so used to doing it this way now. It kind of weirds me out that I can just type in the time and everything else just magically happens, you know? I like it this way; I know exactly what is happening and why.”
“It all looks Greek to me.”
“I’m using Arabic numerals.”
Continue reading “The Gendered Automaton”
It feels strange, writing this story twice. But this is a story worth immortalizing on paper, even after many years have gone by and the memories grow hazier by the day. An older, incomplete draft sits next to my penholder. The writing is premature and childish, the culmination of many hours daydreaming and not much coherence. The actual story is just as tangled and confusing and hazy; as with most things that actually happened, there are too many coincidences and extraneous factors to coalesce neatly. Realize now that the words I write weave my reality into a fiction that never was. But then, my life has a bad habit of bleeding into stories, and vice versa.
I will start as I started thirty years ago: There exists a secret land ruled by a king and queen. Each day, the king will rise and open his eyes and mouth, and from his face light pours into the valley. He travels through his kingdom bringing light, which lingers like honey in a land that yawns and breathes to a much slower rhythm than our own. At night, the queen lets down her long black hair and brushes inky darkness into the sky.
Continue reading “The Thankless Task (of changing how a story ends)”