Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Joy, and Nothing to Talk about but a Can

I have had more than one person say that they like to look at my blog daily, and are disappointed when I don’t have anything posted. I like to post things, but the problem is I edit myself a lot. That is to say, I try to avoid whiny, negative posts, and there are times that if I wrote every day I would be afraid that many of them would be just that.

But then, maybe it’s a discipline thing. Mykyl says to look for joy in every day. Maybe a daily post where I force myself not to be whiny will improve my overall outlook on life. Maybe these blog posts are the secret to everlasting, blissful happiness, with birds and butterflies flitting about me all the time and flowers growing under my feet where ever I walk.

You may say unlikely, but having never tried it, I can’t be sure of that. Give it a try, and let the ducks fall where they may.

That being said, I still don’t have a lot to say, so I’ve decided to include a clip of an unfinished brain fart--an incomplete story I started with only the concept of garbage in mind. It will likely never be finished, but I liked the beginning, so here goes.


The Can

It had never been in complete darkness: not quite. The yellow glow of a street lamp, over a hundred yards away and partially shaded by a tree, caused a barely perceptible glimmer on the slightly rusted metal.

It was not lonely. It could only be described as such by writers and poets, anthropomorphizing beyond the animal into the non-living. It was an inanimate object: a soda can, carelessly discarded more than a week earlier. It was simply a collection of iron and aluminum molecules, held together in unspectacular structures, no more capable of thought or feeling than all but an infinitesimally small number of molecules in the universe.

As the sun rose, its glimmer increased. While it had been a relatively dry night, there was still a small amount of moisture that had formed on the can’s surface. It sparkled in the black and white tones of early twilight. It could now be seen well enough to perceive that it lay in a slight depression in the ground. Despite the sun’s rise, it was still very nearly invisible.

It was just visible enough, however, for the Child to spot it. It was just interesting enough, however, for the Child to alter her path by more than fifty feet to approach it more closely.

The Child seemed young: far too young to be out alone this early in the morning. Still, the Child did not exhibit any of the many tendencies that children her perceived age might exhibit. The Child’s eyes were sharp and intelligent. She moved smoothly, with a grace more befitting of a mature matriarch than the five-year-old that she appeared to be. She moved surely, without wandering, without skipping in playful innocence.

Despite the can’s lack of remarkable features, the Child gazed on it in fascination; as if the can were the most wondrous of objects that the Child had ever before seen. She knelt to pick it up. Above the ground, the can picked up much more light. The few drops of dew that had rested upon it dripped down its sides, dampening the Child’s fingers. It was slightly dented, and it was covered by grass clippings, tossed from an automatic lawnmower that had passed near it a few days before.

With a smile, the Child placed the can into the plastic grocery bag that she wore like a backpack over her shoulders. It made a metallic clank when it fell upon one of its brethren.

The Child quickly surveyed the landscape of the park again. She could see the silhouette of a distant female jogger, but no other telltale sparkles caught her eye. She did not expect any--this can was an unusual find. The park was in a good neighborhood. The surrounding populous were not generally the littering types.

They were, however, wealthy, lazy, and wasteful enough to throw away the metallic, ten-cent objects that were the Child’s primary interest. Therefore, the trashcans of the park were usually far better hunting grounds. There were always cans to be found somewhere--metallic manna from heaven. The cans meant money. The money meant food. The food meant another day of survival.

Another day of survival meant another day of continued research.

The Child could generally do quite well on fifteen or so cans per day. On days with a when she found more than this, she saved the excess money so that she would not have to spend as much time searching for them. The less time searching, the more time studying. And studying was the most important thing of all.

However, as rare a find as the can was, it was, in the vernacular of the local populous, just extra gravy. The Child already had enough cans for two days worth of food, and, while she would continue to collect when the opportunity arose, she would not need to make it her obsession.

She could occupy her time with far more useful things.

The jogger was no longer in sight, and the sun appeared over the tops of the homes on the east end of the neighborhood. She wondered briefly where she should go next. She felt tempted to return to the shopping mall, partially because she liked it there and partially because she didn't stand out quite so much. But she reluctantly dismissed the idea as selfish. She had already gotten all the useful data that there was to get from the mall. She decided instead to go to the casinos in the city. It would take several hours for her to walk there, and she would stand out much more conspicuously. What's more, once she got there she knew that she would not be allowed to enter any of the casinos proper. What she would have to do instead was observe from the outside all the people who came and went. She would have to keep moving around, and stay near other couples or families so that observers would just assume that she belonged to them. If she were lucky, she might find a way to be detained by the casino security and gain access to the inside. If she were luckier still, she might find a way to escape for several minutes to wander the floors and observe the gamblers at work. It would be a highly risky venture, but one with major pays offs if she could pull it off successfully. She immediately made her decision and began walking in the proper direction.


That’s it. It clearly has the makings of a science fiction story. I wrote some other paragraphs, but nothing really wowed me, so nothing else came of it.


Princess Ivory said...

Wonderful! Keep writing it!

Anonymous said...

Yes! Keep it up!

And it's okay to whine a little now and then - I guess I've been doing my share of it the last couple of days. :)

FD Spark said...

I always love what you write.
I sneak over and peak even though maybe I shouldn't....
Are you concerned if mentioned unpleasant things your readers might not want to keep returning?
Those who truly like and enjoy what you write would return even if you wrote entire page describing all the terms for Feces. I know I would.

Alphonsus said...

I do worry that mentioning unpleasant things might upset my friends, but this is not the primary reason why I don't write them down. I worry more about perpetuating my mood...reinforcing in myself the negative feelings, therefore making me feel worse. I don't want to give my negative feelings validity; however justified they are. Dwelling on the negativity is ultimately not helpful.

And I will seriously consider beginning another short story focusing on poop, if that's what my fan base is calling for.