three paragraphs
Favourite things (500 x 22)
Jun 1, 2016

Sometimes, I get overwhelmed by how much beauty there is in the world. From microscopic, highly geometric creatures, to almost full sapience of our pets, from a plant that can’t tell you when it’s thirsty, to trees too big to hug and, impossible to capture with our eyes nor minds, mountains of incredible magnitude. In that moment I want to breathe it all in. I want to tilt the painting and drink its paint, till it fills me, and never let go, for a moment, then let go.

But also how much beauty there is in humanity and in our ability to be kind, particularly. How, sometimes, we can go miles out of our way just to help someone we might not even know, without expecting anything in return. Expecting, in fact, nothing in return, and at times not even that. Or, suddenly, succumbing to that subtle impulse and tossing the homeless person a coin on passing them the hundredth time. And when it comes to the people we are closest with – our capacity at ingenuity of finding ever new ways to surprise them.

It can be big, like remembering something said late at night, long time ago, to then materialize it one day. Or it can be tiny, like giving a heartfelt smile to a stranger you meet on your path in the morning. And, at times, it can be something you experience and at first think nothing of it at all. Like plain chatting, or sitting on a bench. But as time passes you look back, and you look back fondly.

Sometimes, I get overwhelmed, and it catches me by surprise. The emotions press hard, I lose my breath, my eyes well up, the view goes misty and I laugh and wipe my tears away, but they don’t stop. And I laugh and think – this is absurd, so absurd – and am afraid to drown in those emotions a little, but I allow them to take me, a little.

From displays of impossible solidarity, to heartbreaking passages in text and elsewhere, from considerate strangers to being one, from videos about prime numbers to brown paper packages tied up with strings – that’s what makes me human – my favourite things.

For real (500 x 21)
May 31, 2016

It all started with the cookie you picked up from the street. You can’t remember exactly why did you pick it up, as eating off the street is not something you had ever done previously, but that cookie looked just exactly like something you should pick up from the street and eat and so one moment you were looking at it and the next you were eating it.

It tasted so good that you forgot how you had acquired the cookie, and then it came back to you and you thought to yourself wait a minute what am I doing, but the taste overcame your mind and you just ate it slowly, enjoying every crumb and even licked your fingers in the end.

Next thing you know, you see coming your way this celebrity you have totally admired for so long, and you think to yourself, oh my god is that really them and it is. As you realize that you are staring at them, your face turns into this weird shocked afraid excited not knowing what to do next expression and the only thing you can think of is “skaerdipaer” so you say it out loud and you have no idea what it means.

Whoa, you look like fun, they say to you, I’m going to this party do you want to join me. And you think to yourself hell yeah and you say it out loud at the same time, the filter between your brain and your mouth gone entirely, words tumbling out of your face. You tell them how awesome they are, how exactly awesome they are, you describe their awesomeness and, somehow, you are saying and feeling that very thing that they have been wanting to achieve with their art, it’s like hundred percent home run bull’s eye kind of impossible thing how well it matches, and they get shaken up out of their usual selves as they say it feels like you are seeing it all, it’s incredible, they say, and you feel that they like you a lot, it’s like electricity and clicking and ticking a tick-tock clicking crazy match.

Then this helicopter lands on the street right in front of you and someone big steps out of it. You know they are big but you are not sure what they are up to but there are like bodyguards and whatnot. And the celebrity goes like hey, do you know this guy it’s my friend the president and they introduce you to the president and you say hey and whatever and something about politics, you can’t really control what’s coming out of your mouth you think politics and politics come out of it, something about policies and some bold ideas and they turn to the celebrity and go like oh wow, I like this person and the celebrity goes like, yeah crazy right me too I can’t believe I know this person for just like 10 minutes feels like I know them forever and the president says you are going to the party and you with the celebrity are like yeah, and you say something that was just at the top of your mind, something funny and they start laughing and laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh and then the president says oooh my you are killing me, come on you two it will be faster if we take my helicopter. And you take the helicopter but there isn’t enough place so some bodyguards get to walk instead.

The president looks at you and asks do you want a billion I have one here that I won in the lottery today that you can have, all of it and he gives you the suitcase that you open up and in it there is more money that you have ever seen even in movies and everything. You pinch yourself and then you ask to be slapped but it’s not a dream it’s not a dream it’s for real for real oh god this really is for real and you smile, it’s not a dream and you have tons of money and you say smart things and everyone loves you.

Bit of a tangle but all legit (500 x 20)
May 29, 2016

Driving a potato down the main jam, the bagel was talking on the fudge to his husband the beach ball. He had a paperclip in his mouth that he chewed on nervously. Together with beachball they had three kids – a brick (12), a burnt-out comet (17,000,201) and a piece of string (square root of Pi), the latter, unbeknownst to the bagel and itself, being his grandfather, as it will fall through a thaw in time in two years where it will bump into his own grand-grandmother – a piece of floss and together they will start a time paradox family. It’s bit of a tangle but all legit.

The work was seven hundred nineteen-story buildings away from home and the potato was rolling on the jam at one third potato spins a minute. It would go sideways when bagel would connect to the honey in a few ninteen-story buildings, where it would drop to one eighth potato spins a minute. There was a prospect to implement the much faster cheese grater connections circa last friday but that yet had would has to be saw.

He had been promoted to chief lion tamer back at the peanut butter massage parlour. The promotion came with more responsibility, more work and a smaller salary and that was good news because that allowed bagel to significantly save on commute by staying at work the whole time.

Beach ball finished their fudge conversation with the classic “I wish you a merry christmas” to which the bagel replied with “Banking holiday greetings” and hung up. He then sliced the ham radio just a notch shriekier—a lovely 1947 Bordeaux was flowing out of it—and looked outside of the potato to take in the slowly rolling view around him. Sky, earth, sky, earth, piece of chewing gum, a scruffy cat, sky, earth, cat, cat, sky, earth, sky earth, some cereal, so peaceful.

He scratched the glazing between his brand new and yet unscratched plastic eyes that had come with the promotion. He would give them to his alphabetically oldest son, the brick, once he gets home, he thought, and finished the paperclip.

What is this I'm drinking, anyway (500 x 19)
May 28, 2016

“And what are you up to today?”

“Oh, I thought I’d look into dialogue.”

“You mean like a real discussion?”

“Yeah, something in the lines. But the other person wouldn’t be my dog, voiced in a squeaky voice, that would give me a coughing fit in the end.”

“Ah yes, those are the best.”

“Like, I’m so hungry, where is my food, human?”


“Plus, I always end up mixing up which one was the dog and which one was me, and people are looking, and then we both go silent. Well, both of me, which is I but I speak for both, so… yes.”

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The first and only rule of the club (500 x 18)
May 27, 2016

Results over perfection was the slogan of Fingerpainting United and there was no shortage of results. Producing drab concoctions of questionable value, the club members spent their days crafting pasta necklaces, spoon mobiles, plastic fork wind catchers, and highly expressive whimsical paintings using whichever part of their body chose to be naked at the moment, but most often it was either their fingers or their elbows. The list did not stop there, of course – there were so many things missing in the world – phone, tablet, laptop and server covers, animal jackets, bow ties and tiny top hats, calendars, pen sleeves, six inch rusty organic railway bookends, organic wristbands and friendship bracelets – it was endless and so was the need to craft organisers for such lists.

The consensus was that they were onto something and that everyone was having jolly good time and the club grew at a rapid pace as there was no shortage of mediocrity in the world. Soon, the club celebrated its hundredth member and, shortly thereafter, the one thousandth. They moved their meetings from basements to hangars and the arts supplies for the meetings were brought in on trucks. With everyone finally creating art, the movement was compared to that of the fifteenth century renaissance where smart men but not so many women had done very much the same but they didn’t have pasta or plastic forks so they had to do many things just in their heads.

Moving to flea markets was a commercial success. The fingerpainters were met with wildfiresque excitement, the knick knacks selling for exorbitant prices as most of the club members still had “real” jobs they hoped to abandon once their art took off. There was a decent amount of time going into the craft and thus it was essential it was also priced appropriately to avoid putting other artists just like them out of the market.

Next came the pop-up shops (also wildly successful) and then fingerpainters hopped onto teleshopping and, finally, an exclusive deal was signed with a major landfill operator, cutting out the middle men and women and connecting the artist directly to the ultimate consumer.

The feature film documenting the movement won 12 oscars, 18 baftas and a bucket of grammys, all masterfully crafted of pasta.

In good hands (500 x 17)
May 26, 2016

Intrigue was overpowering Alice’s feeling of guilt for what she was about to do. It’s not every day that you find a memory card on the street and there was no better person than her to find potentially very private data.

She popped the card into her laptop and waited for the computer to recognize the media. While waiting, she inspected her beautiful straight blond hair in the reflection. After twenty seconds of nothingness she checked if she had pushed the card in all the way, and she had, so she took it out and looked at it carefully. She wasn’t really sure what she was looking for, maybe cracks or something, but there were none, so she breathed on the card, then rubbed it against her hot pink t-shirt and thought that maybe she shouldn’t have done that with a card picked up from the street, but it was too late and she popped it back into the card slot. This time it worked and the file browser opened and showed the card to have a single video file in it. A wave of goosebumps ran through her body from the excitement and, after a shaky exhale, she opened the file.

Choppy sound and visual artefacts filled her screen but then the image stabilised. It looked like one of those festivals she had seen on the TV, with lots of people, saturated colours and loud music. The camera moved ahead in the crowd, keeping focus on somebody in front, a guy, she guessed. Then the camera turned around to face the operator and Alice saw that it was a girl about her age with gorgeous long dark strong hair and dark brown eyes. The girl winked at the camera flirtily and then said something looking ahead, to that same person, Alice guessed. Hearing the words Alice’s mood instantly fell flat and she groaned in a freshly acquired anger. The girl had unmistakably spoken korean and, while she could tell most asian languages apart by how they sounded, Alice did not know any korean. There was no way she was going to show this to anyone and so there was just one course of action remaining. Pouting, she punched in “korean lessons” in the search engine and started to go through the list of results.

Seeing is believing (500 x 16)
May 25, 2016

Spence wakes up. It’s a perfectly normal, perfectly perfect day. He quickly brushes his teeth, drinks a glass of water, and changes into his daytime clothes. He pats himself down for keys, wallet and phone, and pulls the door shut behind him. Walking down the street he looks up today’s location in the phone – it’s his lucky day as he has been assigned to the town square across from the Church of Cthulhu. Like an unwanted horse, Spence stands for living, and across from the church is one of the best spots, as there will be many people walking by. People that haven’t seen him yet, and some that have seen him many times. In the long run it did not matter.

He gets to his designated spot in the town square, turns around towards the church across, puts down his donation box, and fixates his gaze on a lamp post at first but then moves to glance beyond to no place in particular. He slows down his internal clock and the time speeds up. His gaze covers all of square, in fast forward the shadows of the houses growing and then turning and shrinking again, people moving past, too fast to discern a run from a walk, the sound of the coins falling into the box, slow at first, then faster as it gets later, till it rings like a slot machine giving birth to a jackpot, then slower again, the warmness of the sun going from the morning’s cool to middays intensely warm and then turning red towards the evening, when he resumes his internal clock, picks up his box full of coin, and heads home.

Like an unwanted horse who has been standing all day without much effort, Spence feels a little dusty. He fills the bath and rolls into it with his clothes on. The warmth feels good. He eats sprats while in bath and has a glass of apple juice with it. After soaking for a while, he rolls out, his cheeks red, Spence is ready for bed.

He gets up next morning. It’s a perfectly normal, perfectly perfect day. He quickly brushes his teeth in his wet clothes, drinks a glass of champagne, and walks out of the apartment. He pulls the door shut, leaving keys, wallet, and his phone inside.

He gets to his spot in the town square, turns around towards the church of Cthulhu across, and fixates his gaze on a lamp post at first but then nowhere in particular. The people passing by speed up as they meet his wild grin and the inspecting stare that seems to not look anywhere and everywhere at the same time. The coin keeps coming anyway, just piles at his feet as there is no box. What makes me tick, Spence thinks, what makes them tick. Not looking at anyone particular he sees them all, and in each one of them he sees a bit of himself, and in himself he sees a bit of everyone.

If only (500 x 15)
May 24, 2016

The idea of flying pigs must have been so attractive to people because of the contrast it offered – the heavy set ungulate, better known for its food processing capabilities, carrying a set of white dove wings and, if one would to entertain the idea for a second longer, the proverbial storm as the consequences of such prospect play out and the airborne mammals observe the law of conservation of energy and, in this case specifically, matter.

However, the pigs did not possess the necessary musculature to get them off the floor and, god knows, we tried. No, the pigs were not the right choice for this specific mode, we might return to them when we get to levitation. However, for wing-based propulsion the ideal fit was an entirely different mammal, and the answer had been in front of our noses all these years. I am speaking of the dog.

We first introduced the wings to the lapdog variety. Pugs, chihuahuas and the hairy shih tzu’s were the first to get a pair. The anklebiters turned into nosebiters but it had no effect on their yappy nature. Next we gave wings to poodles, collies and german shepherds. Known for their heightened intellect, almost all of them started doing seasonal migration, leaving two weeks earlier than birds and grabbing all the good spots.

Finally, we gave wings to deerhounds, wolfhounds, and greyhounds. That didn’t do much as the lot just kept sleeping on the couches and demanding dash of yoghurt for every meal.

Zen as (500 x 14)
May 22, 2016

“This is your mind, tame it.” the shaolin monk said and hit the gong.

The filled up to the brim water bowls in front of the pupil throwed perfectly concentric circles in reverberation, the gong unwilling to stop, the water ripples reaching resonance, about to splash. The pupils gingerly grabbed their bowls, swinging them cleverly, intricately, softening the waves and containing the water within the bowl. The monk hit the gong again, the game strengthening, the pupil slowly failing one after the next. All but one that is. The one right in front of the monk sat unmoving, her bowl still in front of her, untouched, the water contained, throwing the concentric circles but not overflowing. The monk grabbed the soft mallets and started drumming on the gong, the waves adding up, folding, merging into slower, stronger waves, the water in the pupil’s bowl still contained. The monk built up the tempo, moving around the gong counterclockwise, creating large lateral movements within gongs micro vibrations, finally breaking the natural rhythm of the water in the bowl, the water starting to work against itself, chopping until it burst out of the bowl, splashing on the pupil and all around. Her bowl containing only one third of the water, the pupil remained still.

“And this my friends,” said the monk after muting the gong, his open palm pointing to the pupil in the front, “is being zen as fuck.”

Nonlinear (500 x 13)
May 20, 2016

I was sitting in the second wagon of the train going westwards from A to B at 60 miles per hour. Having been built before advancements in aerodynamics, the train was a twenty ton wind catcher, the raging storm shaking the wagons furiously. The weather report had warned about south-west winds blowing at times as strong as 45 mph.

I took a drag of the cigarette, the nicotine rushing into capillaries and giving the sought-for release as it hit the neurons. The distance between the two cities was 173 miles and we were already 2 hours into the trip. The moment the train would reach B, the probability of finding X would move from the realm of possibilities to that of full probabilistic entropy, a zero point million zeroes one.

I had been given 3 clues: first, there was one or more X, second, X wore a fedora and, third, it was red. While they might sound solid, only the first one was really usable, as everyone on the train, including children, women and myself, wore fedoras. Just the times we were living in. ‘But were they all red?’ you might wonder and I have a confession make: afflicted by a rare gene disorder, my whole life has been one long film noir – while I understood colour in theory, there were just two I could tell apart – black, and white, and the 73 shades in between. And my most solid clue, the first one, only told me that it was not all in my head.

The halo of B came over the horizon, city lights bouncing against the cloud ceiling, I did not have much time left. There was only one thing I could really do – change the equation.

I put my cigarette out and walked to the lever between the wagons. I pulled hard on the emergency brake and the whole train jerked forward as the high-pitched screech filled the wagons. The rotary motion of the wheels was replaced with groaning skidding, sparks of the grinding metal kicking high up.

Nobody’s going anywhere until we find X.