Friday, July 31, 2009


If you take me apart, you’ll find out how I work. I say, the how is not as important as the why. All these functions are based on a lie.

And taking me apart, can you really put me back? I break a leg or lose an eye, do you just pop these back? Say I fracture my skull, and you’ll use what? Duct tape to cover the cracks? No, my wheels don’t turn this way or that. My wheels, they follow an invisible track.

You say you’re figuring out the why. There are after all, some truths in a lie. These truths, they just need exposure to the light. I say the time has come for these lies to die.

Nuts and bolts form a neat pile, as one lie after another face the light. And as parts come undone, I ask, “Are you my lie?” In your mind’s eye, you shake your head, still stuck on the why.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Blind Man’s Bluff

Coffee bw by ~aetherix on deviantART

A/N: Companion piece to Blindsided.
Warnings: No beta means all mistakes are mine and mine alone. 
Disclaimer: I own nothing except my sanity, which isn’t much considering said sanity is often in question.

And because he is unquestionably brilliant, there are some things he just knows.

He knows that the number of phonemes in human speech can range from 11 to 67; knows in fact, that to convert graphite into diamond, a temperature of 3000 Celsius and pressure of 100,000 atm is needed; knows still that 95800^4 + 217519^4 + 414560^4 = 422481^4. There are—for sure—many things he already knows, knew, and will know in his lifetime. But one thing he isn’t quite sure of is the way this woman—sitting beside him in this otherwise nondescript café—feels about him.

And so he dares to ask. “You like me?” Simple, direct, and leaving no room for confusion. Her look, which he surmises as upset disguised as shock, tells him that his question is yet again taken as a statement. There are occasions where he’ll exert the effort to correct this error but this moment isn’t one of them.

“Yes.” One word and it’s his turn to be shocked. Of course he doesn’t show it, an odd byproduct of regulating his emotions, his own brand of self-preservation.

“I see.” He says, not because he really sees it, but more to assure himself that he has heard her right.

Something (he’s not sure if it’s his “I see” or something else) creases her brows. Then it hits him: She thinks this is a problem, maybe even regrets saying yes even now. Desperate to be proven wrong, he asks “It shouldn’t be a problem, should it?”

“Sorry, what?”

Now that is unexpected. He supposes that she hasn’t been listening to him, lost in an internal dialogue he often wishes he can be privy to. There is something about her that draws him so—her non-linear way of thinking, her tendency to fib her way out of situations – even potentially dangerous ones, her spontaneity – never thinking things through. All these served to heighten his fascination with her.


It is starting to bother him that she is purposely drawing out this conversation. It may have been his fault for not sealing the deal right then and there. But maybe, patience does have its merits, merits that don’t exhibit themselves until cups of coffee have been consumed. Against his better judgment, he finds himself repeating what needs to be said, “I asked if we should consider this thing a problem.”

From her, he gets furtive looks sent his way, done in between sips of her chai latte. She’s hesitating; evident by the way her mouth is forming the words, like her words are caught somewhere between her heart and her throat. For all its strangeness, he still finds the whole thing fascinating.

“Why should it be a problem?”

Aaah, he notes, the Socratic Method. He knows this, remembers her telling him how she has obsessed over this dialectical method. But then again, given her current state of discomfort, he is quite sure she hasn’t been employing said method consciously. Consciously or not, though, he decides to give Mr. Socrates a run for his money.

“Because we’re friends?”

Even to his ears, that sounds stupid. He’s a man and therefore will not hesitate messing up a friendship if it can lead to a possible romance. It sounds callous, he knows, but he’s not apologizing for the way he is made.

“That doesn’t change because I like you.”

“And why should it not?” He asks himself. Friendship is all well and good but he is convinced their being more is a thousand times better. Her commitment to their “friendship” is, if not disappointing, quite insulting to his investments in this relationship.

“What would you have me do?” He poses the question as a challenge. Virtue or not, he has no more patience to spare.

“I want us to remain friends, I think.”

He’s not sure why she’s unsure. He gives her an opening so she can dictate the way this conversation is supposed to go, but she doesn’t take it. He feels frustrated that it is up to him to move things along.

“You’re not sure?” He asks because asking seems to be the order of the day (or night) for them.

“I’m not sure.” This she says with a self-deprecating grin, something he finds charming despite the disastrous turn of events their non-date has progressed to.

“I see.” And this time he really does see it. See that cases like this warrant a more explicit course of action.

She says, “That makes one of us.”

Decided, he makes do with a line so cheesy, it makes the hairs on his head turn prematurely gray. “Maybe it’s better if I show you.”

Before she can react, he grabs her and gives her a kiss. He starts off slow, not wanting to scare her. Feeling her eyes close, he explores and maps the contours of her lips. And as she begins to return the kiss, he hears his breath hitch.

“This shouldn’t be a problem,” he whispers into her lips.

“I see,” she says.

At that moment he realizes, there is one more thing he now knows: that it takes just one kiss to right an ocean of wrongs; that despite an evening unnecessarily filled with cups of cooling coffee, this is where they’ll start building their tower of hope.


Friday, July 24, 2009


A cup of coffee by =shhilja on deviantART

A/N: This is for Drei, because I understand whatever he needs to do and wherever he needs to be.
Warnings: This was originally intended to feature generic characters in a somewhat realistic plot, which was a good way to excuse my weak characterization and my telling-not-showing-disease. Anyway, I just needed to let this plot bunny play, so I could go on my merry way.

(Thanks to my beta Shirls, who understands why I can’t flesh out this story now but lets me publish it anyway.)


An easy silence, this was not. No, this was awkward wrapped in discomfort and liberally sprinkled with embarrassment. He called me out. On my shit. He called me out on my shit and for some reason I couldn’t BS my way out of it. Oh irony of ironies.

“You like me.” was all that he said. Not “You like me,” punctuated by eyebrow wiggles and elbow jabs. Not “You like me,” complete with finger pointing and tongue clucking. Just “You like me,” matter of fact, without hesitation and zero hint of smugness.

I considered several options. Obviously, lying was out and so was denial. Then I thought, why not a joke? But I couldn’t call on the goddesses of comedy for some reason. And then it occurred to me. Maybe I was the joke and everybody’s in on it. Well, damn. I bet this guy had been planning this for a week. Double damn. By this time, I could sense he was waiting for an answer so I forced myself to focus. When that proved futile, I cursed my nonlinear way of thinking. Well, hell! Thinking things through had never been my strongest point. I said screw it, this was a lose-lose situation, anyway.

“Yes,” I said. Or maybe it was a whisper, I couldn’t tell.

“I see.”

And that’s all I was gonna get. The man was a veritable fount of non-answers and his “I see” had the unexpected effect of shutting me up. Great, I muttered to myself, another silence.

“It shouldn’t be a problem, should it?”

Wait, did he just ask me…What? I shook my head and took a sip of my now-cooled chai latte. Of course he didn’t. That would be stupid, as it already was a problem. But maybe he was talking about something else, something I failed to realize because I was too busy being freaked out by his…declaration? Observation? Accusation? If it was the last one, clearly I had a lot more freaking out to do.

“Sorry, what?”

“I asked if we should consider this thing a problem.”

“Oh,” was all that I managed to say. And really, what could I say? “Next question please” hardly seemed appropriate and neither was “Thank you for sparing me the outright rejection.” No way in hell would I ever subject myself to that kind of humiliation. But God help me, I was mouthing the words before any sense of self-preservation could stop me.

“Why should it be a problem?”

“Because we’re friends,” was his swift reply.

And that it seemed answered everything. At least to him I was sure it made perfect sense. Meanwhile, I was thinking “Why couldn’t this man give a straight answer?” Weird bastard. But then again, that was one of the reasons I liked him—the fact that he was unreadable, slightly unhinged, and unquestionably brilliant. Really, I had no right to complain.

“That doesn’t change because I like you.” Not the answer I wanted to give, but it would do until I had the chance to process my emotions.

“What would you have me do?” At this, I snapped to attention. The answer to his question was obvious, wasn’t it?

“Errr,” I hesitated, “I want us to remain friends, I think.”

“You’re not sure?”

“I’m not sure.” I figured since we were way past the making sense phase; there was no harm in being purposely vague.

“I see.” There. Two words and we were forced into another stalemate.

“That makes one of us,” I blurted out of frustration. This was going nowhere. Not when the problem refused to resolve itself over cups of cooling coffee. Not when this was the exact opposite of how I played this scenario in my head. Not when rejection was gaining favor by the second, compared to this limbo of uncertainty he had relegated me to.

“Maybe it’s better if I show you.”

Before I could register my shock, his hand shot out to drag me closer to his side. Briefly a moment had passed before I felt the press of cool lips against mine. It was curious, this kiss. Very different from the tongue sex I assumed he was accustomed to. This was an experiment, a research where eyes weren’t supposed to meet and breaths were expected to hitch.

“This shouldn’t be a problem,” he whispered into my lips.

And because it was what the situation warranted, my last words that evening were “I see.”


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Victimized by people who failed upward

Managers breakfast by ~Deynekaa on deviantART

Warnings: The people described in this rant will never be part of my “friends” list, at least not here (facebook, multiply, and blogger). But I do have “friends” here (refer to first parenthetical phrase), who may alert the authorities. *resisting the urge to put quotes on authorities* So this is me saying you have to have balls carved out of f*cking granite if you do snitch on me. Let’s just say, I know someone who’s never lost a knife fight. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Disclaimer: Standard disclaimers apply.

We have micromanagers to thank for making it impossible to catalogue the acts of douchebaggery committed in an office. There’s simply not enough hours in a day to accomplish all that. If Satan ever needs to recruit agents to bring on the apocalypse, he can do worse than these corporate psychopaths.

On the other hand, we have to give them props for their relentless pursuit of evil. As morally reprehensible as their acts often are, we at least are given endless opportunities to be a hero where we can. The crusade against the disempowering of workers is something every employee should take to heart.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Nomine Drabbles

A/N: A drabble is basically a ficlet, exactly 100 words in length.
Warnings: Don't like, don't read. If you do read, know that reviews are like crack to writers.
Disclaimer: I own everything, well not everything in the free world, but I own these words like I own the Bruce Lee poster that's tacked on my wall.


An alias I find myself using more often than I care to remember, Linda does quite well in satisfying my innate need to be absurd. Linda makes the Marks, the Johns and the occasional Anne more bearable; their companies not needing to be more than what I am prepared to accept. There is a certain kindness to Linda that my Mel is incapable of displaying—more forgiving and more tolerant of the illogic of being human than I can ever be. For the useful, useless and everything in between, Linda serves my purposes to degrees that I’m afraid to admit.


Born of tiredness and irreverence, Melody usually makes an appearance in customer service forms, usually of the food establishment variety. The name goes well with the phony address and number I have invented just for these delicious moments. Pizza Hut—or is it just The Hut now?—has the unfortunate honor of being the repeated victim of Melody’s readiness to lie. Ditto for Starbucks and Seattle’s Best. It is this acceptance of my dishonesty that allows her to exist as a favored appellation. Melody, while inviting ridicule for its disconnect to Melissa ergo Mel, will always be useful to myself.


More a stage name than a pseudonym, Sammi performs for the deviant audience. Created to exemplify Descartes’ Error, I use her when the actress in me needs to be let out. Although Sammi is familiar with the concept of shame, she is hopelessly inept at employing restraint. And while I appreciate her popularity among freaks and geeks (I have weirdness down to a science, after all), it is rare that Sammi successfully breaks out of the imaginary world I have consigned her to. When she crosses over to my reality, however, I have no vivid recollection of these alcohol-inspired escapes.


Stuck with this name for 27 years, I have no particular fondness for Melissa. Melissa is reserved for people who don’t know me well enough. People who, in my opinion, have a greater chance of violating my personal space because they fail to acknowledge Mel as my sobriquet of choice. Melissa serves no other purpose than to be attractive on personal documents: birth certificate, passport, résumé and the like. Melissa’s official uses, though appreciated will never explain why it’s a stranger to my Mel and stranger still to my friends.

A rose by any other name…

I’ m no rose.


“Mel, is it?” he stops me before I can grab myself a plate.

“Who’s asking?” I barely hide my irritation as I allow people to take over my place at the buffet line.

He grins. Not a good sign for me. “Three years ago, your name was Sammi.”

Warning bells drown the sounds of my growling stomach. “Sammi’s my sister. Is there anything else?” I level him with my patented stare.

He’s surprised, but he recovers quickly. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t know.” He hesitates before asking, “Mel, is that short for Melissa?”

“No, Melody,” I say before leaving him.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Mirror Mel

A/N: Companion piece to Mel, Too! Reviews are delicious.
Warnings: This needs beta love.
Disclaimer: Own everything, especially the arrangement of the words in this post. I do not, however, profit from any of this, which makes me sadder than you can possibly imagine. Oops, pix not mine (here be the link:

And so the baker dreamed, while another reality staked colonies in her subconscious. This reality supported a persona, a writer who knew how to bake but lacked the necessary follow-through. As a result, the cookies she baked were disgustingly mediocre, which she rationalized as insignificant, considering her focus should be on stories and not pastries.

But baking skills weren’t the only thing she lacked. It bled into other things. The absence of a tattoo on her left hip, the missing dog, the non-existent duplex, and the never-to-be-husband called Zach. These things filled her with an unexplainable longing that fueled her contempt for the world she lived in. It made her more susceptible to a blinding need to be liked. It made her mean her apologies. And it made her seek people who would always value her sense and conscience.

For reasons unknown to her, listening to a lot of Anti-Folk and Dream Pop always calmed her down. And it was through listening to The Last Time I Did Acid I Went Insane that she found herself creating a character, whose personality would be the polar opposite of her own. This character, she decided, would be a baker with a fondness for Martha Stewart. She briefly thought of replacing Martha Stewart with Julia Child, but immediately dismissed that idea as absurd.

She needed another character to flesh out the baker’s personality. She needed Zach. Zach, who was charming, good in bed and had a funny nickname like Captain Awesome or Commander Sexypants. Sexy Zach would provide levity to the baker’s take-no-shit attitude. And Zach would be the guy the baker’s dog hated.

With a few more details—naming the dog Spock and having the major characters plan a wedding—she finished her draft. Perhaps, she would add a baby to the mix, maybe a new house like a duplex with four bedrooms. Money issues, she mused, would be an element that needs to be injected to the story. For now though, she needed to rest. And as her eyes closed, her last thought would be of babies and bakeries.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Pickup Artist

Lesbian Angels stock 42 by *Tigg-stock on deviantART

You said the best part was when I told you your hotness was unbelievable. I remembered emphasizing that lie by telling you that I felt like an ice cube melting in the desert. You giggled even though you knew I was on my second drink. I realized now how you never stopped me while I was laying on the metaphors by comparing you to a bolt of lightning. I was slurring my words, stringing descriptions like illuminating, flashy, destructive, and dangerous. And yet you felt like I captured your essence; that I was different from the people you associated with. I just nodded my assent, because telling you that it was the fourth drink talking would alert you to the fact that I wasn’t even trying to warm up to a more original territory.

I thought about how you wanted to take me home that night. The desperation was evident enough in the plasticine quality of your skin. I remembered how fascinated I was by the way alcohol made your makeup even more grotesque under the lights. And I could almost recall you mentioning a boyfriend, if I wasn’t so distracted by the ample cleavage that stared at my face. I ordered another drink before I took you to my place, where we danced the mattress jig—might I add—none too gracefully.

Doing it with a girl was a first for you, you said. It wasn’t for me, but I would never tell you that, not sober, at least. I was thinking how to shut you up, but then you decided that moment to give me a kiss. I gave in – another lie that won over the decision to be kind. And as you drifted off to sleep, sighing, I thought about another guy, whose name would be the last thing on my lips.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Background Noise

Mapping the alien brain, or maybe just permanent residents in my head…

1. You call it a kiss. I call it osculation.
2. Did Schrödinger hate cats or was he really just a dog person?
3. Never underestimate the importance of a Zombie Apocalypse Contingency Plan.
4. Yes, phasers can be set to sexy.
5. Invasion of the Body Snatchers is autobiographical.
6. Everybody needs a brain wipe (n. a moist towelette for certain memory biases).
7. Chewbacca: tapped that.
8. DEFCON 1 = my baseline.
9. Anatomically correct has absolutely no meaning for me.
10. UNF is true for all dimensions.

Pix credit: