Saturday, January 17, 2009

Let them taste the bitter lost mistake of you

When you hear people talk about the magic of making love -- feeling as though through sex two people become one -- they're not talking about that at all. What people mean to say is that at some point in their myriad lives between playing pretend and the present moment, they misplaced their sense of self. Each of us has, at some point, realized the same. It's hard to remember exactly when that crucial piece of you dropped out of sight, but you remember the first time you felt the hollow. You wake up one morning, or you look around your room. Whatever you're doing, it hits you suddenly that something is gone and for all the world, you can't imagine what. It's the equivalent of looking up one day and realizing the sky is red. But more than that, the sky has always been red and somehow you just never saw it before. The entire world has changed, and it hasn't.

That's when the search begins, but you don't know where to look. There's that old picture of you and your best friend from last summer, the one you don't talk to anymore for reasons neither of you can explain to anyone else. In the picture you're smiling -- a real smile -- one you haven't seen on your own face for ages. You find yourself staring in the mirror, expectant. The smile doesn't come.

What do you do, when that happens? When the world has shifted and only you know? Turns out the answer is pretty simple. You do the same thing you've always done, the same way you've always done it. And then there's Him. He's not God, but He feels that important because when He looks at you, and your stomach buzzes like an electric shock, you smile a real smile. How could any girl do anything but chase that feeling?

You come to understand that only someone else can show you who you are. There's always that one precious moment in the midst of the act of love when you find yourself -- as if by taking off your clothes and putting on desire, your true self is realized, but only when someone else is there to find it. After sex, when you lay beside the body that's been in yours, you feel lost again. The seconds trickle past and as each one goes, a little piece of you goes too. Sex is the lie we tell to make ourselves feel less alone. It's the only time we can let ourselves feel that way without wanting to die.

We fall asleep hours after he does, because afterwards he is just a man, and look at the moon. It's a reflection of something brighter, just like us.

-Robyn Lefkowitz

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Play dead, dear -- it's your only hope of pulling through

I realized I was staring at his neck, waiting to see a pulse. The thought made me want to giggle, but I held it down. I didn't think Azzy would find it amusing. I got up instead, very carefully since my muscles were still protesting deeply the abuse I'd put them through earlier that night, and moved a few steps away before stretching. It still seemed... rude, somehow, to make such human gestures too close to him. My muscles moved more smoothly than I expected them to. By all rights I should've been extremely stiff from fighting the wind and fleeing the storm that seemed to come up out of nowhere, but I wasn't.

I turned around to look at Azzy and found him already watching me, which isn't in and of itself unusual. He watched me quite frequently on a daily -- well, nightly -- basis, but somehow this watching felt more intense. He hadn't just been watching me because I was there to watch. He'd been watching something about me which is unusual because vampies aren't really into specifics. They take things as a whole. Something about the whole me had been different enough to make him take notice.

"What?" I asked stupidly. I couldn't think of anything else to say and the silence stretched thin. "What?" I asked again, more sharply.

"You are not in any discomfort," he said. It wasn't a question.

"No," I answered. "Should I be?"

"I am not an expert on humans, but it seems to me that yes, after the storm and your awkward rest, you should be in considerable discomfort." He stood up then, that impossibly fluid way of rising. Stood up really isn't the right term. He didn't push off the floor, or move his limbs around to gain momentum. He just went from being on the floor to being upright. Maybe the laws of physics don't govern vampires the same way they govern humans. Vampires do move through other worlds. Why should the laws of our world be absolute?

Some sorcerers get like that after the first century or so. It's less pronounced in them, of course, but they just sort of don't fit in the world properly anymore. You know when the cartoons try to mix computer graphics with animation? It's like that. They're almost the same, but they just don't quite go together. Vampires are like trying to mesh 3-D computer graphics with a black and white silent film. Everything about it is just fundamentally wrong, but it was starting to be a wrongness I could predict. I didn't think about what that would mean when I went back to the silent film.

He moved a little closer to me, still watching. His eyes had taken on that honey-gold color again and I felt his hand reach for me. I didn't exactly see it coming, but I knew it was moving, and I -- well, I don't know what I did, but I felt it coming and when it got close I wasn't where it was reaching for. It took a second for me to process this, but when I did I felt my world shift a little. I had avoided a vampire. I couldn't have, but I had. You don't avoid vampires. You don't feel vampires coming. You don't feel them at all.

I looked at Azzy numbly and swallowed. "I can't have done that," I said.

"No," he replied, "An ordinary human cannot do what you have done." It might've just been the shock but I'd swear at that moment he was worried about me. Maybe he was. Do vampires worry about their friends? Do vampires have friends? I felt an irrational desire to affirm I was still myself and looked around for a reflective surface. I doubted he'd have mirrors arranged artistically about the place, but the fireplace was made of marble and it reflected enough for me to see in.

I still looked like myself. I was still too pale, and my hair was still tawny, and I still had slanted eyes that made me look a little scary. I stretched out a hand to touch my reflection and then I saw it. I didn't move like me. I moved more like Azzy. More like a vampire. What the hell was happening to me? I could handle little changes, like knowing when he was in the room, or when he was moving. I could handle being used to vampire physics and making allowances for it. I could even handle picking up some of his otherworldlyness, like sensing things in people I shouldn't know, but moving like a vampire meant way more than any of that. It meant...

-Robyn Lefkowitz

This is a snippet from a piece I started writing quite some time ago, only to encounter a similarly written book and abandon it. I still rather like the writing style. Hopefully anyone who still reads this does as well.

As always, comments are screened so until I publish them they won't appear.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

So many lives are on the breeze

So... I kind of forgot I had this blog until the marvelous Paige reminded me. Glad I have alerts set up on my comments.

In a surprising twist on what I was sure would be disappointment, Iron Man turned out to actually be a funny movie. I saw a lot of myself in this version of Tony Stark and the special effects were amazing. They blended almost seamlessly with the live action components and at times I actually forgot I was looking at CG. Very impressive. It gets two thumbs up from me.

I don't have much to post right now so I'll include part of an old, abandoned story. The female character is named Jazz, and I'll give a prize if anyone can guess who the male character is. Here's your hint: think archetypal trickster. I won't give the prize for just any trickster either. It has to be the right one. Good luck.

As she cast her gaze up to the moon the moon cast its gaze upon her. A thrill of awareness passed between them, and in the silent language of women they spoke to one another.

I am full of secrets, she said to the moon.

I am also full of secrets, the moon answered. Have we come this way before?

Yes, and you will come this way again. Jazz closed her eyes and raised her arms, feeling the moonlight on her soul. Moon, do you ever tell them?

The moon was silent a long while, then replied, My secrets are vast and deep, child. I would not remember where to begin the telling. Your secrets are also vast and deep. They are too wide for your mouth to speak and so we speak them with our souls, shining on the world. Will you come this way again?

I don't know, Jazz sighed happily. I am always changing.

I am also always changing, said the moon. And then it was done, their moment of commune broken.

Jazz looked down, remembering the world again.

"The moon is a fickle friend, you know."

Jazz turned toward the voice, toward the boy on the corner. He was leaning against the wall under the streetlamp, his tophat tipped low over his face, shadowing it. His fingers were tucked in his pockets, but not the thumbs so his arms hung limp and heavy from his shoulders.

"She's always changing, you see," he said, pushing off and walking casually closer. The smirk on his face was wicked looking. "You can't trust that she'll remember you tomorrow."

Jazz just smiled her little smile and arched an eyebrow. Closer she could see he was skinny, with lightly tanned skin and golden hair that made her think of Robert Smith. It stuck out in all directions from under the edge of the hat like the tangle of hemp around his throat.

"I, on the other hand, never forget a face." He gave her a mock bow and looked up under the brim of his hat. She noticed his eyes were yellow.

"And who might you be?" she asked, the smile threatening to crack into a grin.

"No one of consequence, my lady, but if you'd like a name you can call me Shilah." When he stood she noticed he was taller than her. "Who might you be, Miss Talks-to-the-Moon?" She went to speak but he raised a hand, "Wait, wait -- I know your name. It's Shadi."

Again she arched a brow, "Shadi, huh? What does it mean?" She tossed the piecey blonde hair out of her face to get a better look at him.

"It means older sister. Your medicine is older than mine, you know," he said matter-of-factly.

She laughed in her harsh way. "I see. I think I can guess what Shilah means then. Little brother?" He smiled in confirmation. "Okay, then, Little Brother. Would you like to go walking with me? It's a night for moving." She lifted her arms and spun around, hopping a few steps down the street.

"Sorry, Shadi, not tonight. Another time," he told her, tipping his tophat a little farther down.

"Your loss, then, Shilah." Jazz spun around and kicked in a puddle to send droplets flying his way. Only he wasn't on the street anymore and she hadn't heard him go. "Shilah?" She looked around a minute then shrugged it off. She looked up again at the moon, but it was passing behind a cloud, and didn't see her.

"Looks like it's just me, then," she told herself, and started off down the road. She wasn't lonely there in the dark. She was incapable of being lonely, because she'd never been anything but alone. Not really. Not in any way that matters. Overhead powerlines criss-crossed the stars leaving black highways between them. She thought of space freighters hurtling past at the speed of sound in the void and then of great beings instead, hurtling past at the speed of ages.

What do you dream about, I wonder, she asked the void. As expected, she did not get an answer, but she suddenly felt keenly her proportion to the universe. Conversely, rather than feeling miniscule, she felt immense. She was a planet, spinning lazily in orbit watching her moons flit past. She was a star, burning in an effort to stave off the darkness. She was an ant, bearing the crushing weight of a leaf toward the hive. The night always evoked peace in her and she felt herself again as connected to the living, beating heart of the world.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

See the strange girl talking to her shadow

When Paige requests an update, an update she shall receive. I suppose I handled his absence as well as I could have done. I was very listless for a few days, but I didn't sink into depression or waste away. There was only one truly bad day, and I got past it. I don't know that I've found any good method of coping with loneliness, but I've discovered I can still turn myself off enough to float through my days.

As for his homecoming, that would require a far more graphic post than I feel all two of you who read this blog would want. XD

I've also decided that someday I'm just going to throw together a book of all the useless bits of things I write down. The scenes that don't get stories, or the stories that don't go beyond basic ideas, or the random snippets I write down in a fit of emotion. I'm going to throw them all together in a book, and I'm not going to edit them, or fit them together, or separate them except by chapter. Then I'm going to publish it, because I feel like some of my best writing goes into those tiny fits of inspiration and it never pans out because it wasn't more then a tiny fit.

I'm also back to my obsession with fairy tales, but I'm not sure what I want to do with them. Part of me wants short stories, part of me wants novels so who knows at this point. I've also felt the urge to revisit a world I created a long-time ago and never fleshed out on paper. I'm not sure I will, though.

Who knows?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Say hello before you say goodbye

My husband is going away for about six days. He leaves Sunday and I'm depressed already thinking about it. It's rather ridiculous if you look at it objectively since we maintained a long-distance relationship for almost a year and a half, but this will be the first time either of us has been away for more than a day or so since I picked up my life and moved here.

I don't know what I'm going to do with myself. I'll go to work, sleep, and then what? For most of my free hours, I'm with him and now I'll have a week of just me, the dog, and the cat, neither of whom, despite their best efforts will be able to joke with me and make my long day at work seem funny rather than soul-crushing. I know I sound codependent, and maybe I am, but he isn't just my husband, he's my best friend. There aren't people physically nearby with whom I'm at all close. I have one friend, and we're very casual. She isn't the kind of person I can call up on a whim and ask to go shopping at Walmart with me because I need to buy cat litter.

It's shaping up to be a long week, folks. I can read, I suppose, since I've taken to doing that more often than not these days when I'm awake and alone, but there won't be a break in it for human company. I have a feeling I'll be spending a lot of time asleep or at the gym.

My problem comes from the fact that by nature I am a loner. I don't generally like to be around people, personally speaking. Call me a snobby elitist, but I expect a certain measure of intelligence from people who want to keep my company and to be blunt most people don't hit the mark. Besides that, I have an abrasive personality in many ways. I'm usually honest, whether or not the intended appreciates that. I'm caustic, callous, and if you give me a reason to mock you, I will. There aren't very many people I'm compatible with, and the few people I have found who can stomach me and whom I can stomach are usually separated from me by vast distances.

My husband is one of those people and for the past year I haven't been separated from him hardly at all. We aren't clingy and our companionship isn't forced. We just enjoy each other's company above and beyond sex, or marriage, or duty. I've grown used to having him with me, and now I'll have to go back to my solitary ways, though only for a week, and I will be lonely for the first time in a very, very long time.

I haven't ever been lonely in the sense of missing companionship because until this past year I've never really had a companion. I've had casual friends whom I could handle in small doses, and a few in slightly larger doses, but they were always people I would pick up and put away at my whim, cruel as that may sound. I have never been attached to my family. I'm just really not suited to being a social creature. I'm too intolerant of too many things. It's just my nature, and I don't apologize for it. The only friend I have maintained for more than a few years moved away after only a year of being local and we have maintained our close friendship from a distance, so in her I never found a companion, only a confidante. If ever I have been lonely, it has been for lack of immediate diversion from myself, not for any one person. Any person would have done.

As my relationship with my husband progressed we were only together for four months before he left to join the Marines, and then the relationship was based on distance and scattered visits. Eventually I moved to Rhode Island and vested my interests in him and that has been this past year.

The conclusion all this rambling, maudlin exposition has been for is that I am feeling lonely for the first time in earnest and I don't know how to handle it, nor do I have company with which to mitigate it. I am a twenty year old dealing with issues most people discard in childhood.

Friday, February 29, 2008

I am realized -- I am changed

If I could choose a name it would be Arachne. I would be a weaver and live on highwires. I would see through my feet as much as my eyes. You would never notice me, tucked away safely from the danger of your loathing, and instead of a baby I would have thousands of children. I would wear my bones proudly rather than hide them away under disfiguring flesh. I would be beautiful. The lightest thread would hold me up. I would leave no footprints, only works of art, to show where I'd been.

~Robyn Lefkowitz

I found this gorgeous photoshop painting while browsing the web at work last night and thought I'd share it. The snippet is my own. Click on the image to see the full picture.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

There was no softness in this embrace. His arms around her body were firm and tense. She, the product of violence and rape from the start, was unable to be anything but brutal. He understood this. Her body was narrow and slim. Her curves were the subtle curves of the killing blade. Nails curled into flesh where she held him but he made no protest. His grip was bruising, crushing her against himself.

And yet within the violence there was tenderness. He was a solid, protective body. He was warm, and alive, and he would not release her. She was kept safe. She was so thin, so fragile, but real. She was the embodiment of truth for him. He could feel her bones under his fingers. Every part of her was open to him -- her pain, her torments which did not torment her. She had taken them in, accepted them; she used them like tools to shape herself. She was so very real.

That is not to say they trusted one another. There is no trust in anything feral. This was beyond trust. It required nothing be given. The tenderness was the recognition of another with the same lack. She was beyond the touch of humanity. He was unable to recognize it in himself. She was the purity of the madness in him he could not quite attain. In the contours of his soul he found the barest shreds of kindness and mercy -- her doing. He could never find them except by comparison to her. His dark mirror. How he envied her.

In the darkness, they parted. She would go, having seen into his soul and found the flaw there, shining like diamond. He would not stop her, having found that he could not drive that piece of himself away. They would come together again in some future moment, seeking the comfort only wild things can provide.

There were no words to mark the leaving.

~Robyn Lefkowitz