Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Idea Box


A/N: Dear writer friends, I come bearing gifts. Most of you know that I treat my fics like my progeny. Now, since I don't have time to flesh these out, I'm putting these babies up for adoption. I'm counting on the goodness of your hearts, so please don't let my children go to plot bunny cemetery.
Warnings: Tense inconsistencies, these prompts are unbetaed after all. Fluff and angst ahead (flangst?), recurring theme: relationship prism, prompts for other subjects to follow.
Disclaimer: I own everything, until the adoption papers are signed. Please credit if you decide to raise one of my plot bunnies. Thank you.

It was refreshing being with someone bereft of an emotional core. It suited her just fine, reveling in the worthlessness of peeling layer after layer of a personality that would prove absent. She considered this her reward. A fucking boon after all the years she wasted on morally gray people. This was peace, at least a version of peace she was comfortable with. She was—without meaning to—happy in the cocoon of her illusionary reality.

I was not expecting the when-did-you-know question. Not from you, whose confidence wouldn’t, no shouldn’t necessitate the need to ask. I wondered what triggered this fit of insecurity. Boredom? Weather pattern changes? Entropic forces? Perhaps I’d never know. And while the unexpectedness of the situation did unsettle me, it nevertheless gave me a chance to quibble.

Sorry isn’t enough. Not when it feels like a rock in his gut, shifting his balance. Sorry shouldn’t feel like a knife, mutilating his flesh, leaving scars. It is unacceptable, this apology tainted by crocodile tears. But what his all-consuming fury doesn’t allow him to see is how her apology—lacking in remorse as it is—betrays the plain sincerity of someone caught knee-deep in sin.

They get a chance. God help her, they get a chance. And if that means a lifetime of hurting each other or three minutes of ecstasy, she will still take it. Aware of how beautiful and bruising this opportunity is, she grabs onto it because it allows them to be together; takes it because the moment is perfect in itself, finds herself needing it because for once, it’s not him and her against the world.

What did me in were not his hands but the blades of his fingers. He got me good before I could violate him. And it was a shame really, when on principle, it was always me who did the violating. Even now, I could feel the ghost of his digits running over my spine; felt it over the rush of obscenities rattling in my head, tasted it in the shivers that racked his body, mindlessly entangled with mine.

You go to him and it doesn’t matter if all the time you’re fighting the urge to do so. Because you need to fix this and you need to fix him; can’t help it because managing the brokenness injects you with a sense of purpose. You go to him, armed with nothing but a sketchy idea of what’s right and wrong, knows that if things don’t repair themselves, you’d rather have him completely broken than half-fixed but alone.

Sometimes he wears too-tight pants and you’re worried he’s doing damage to his, well, his man business. You tell him this, and he acts offended, jokes that that’s all you want him for. You smile and tell him yes and after that you don’t say anything else. You don’t tell him how much you like his collection of plaid shirts, his fug hats, and even his scary neck beard. You keep it a secret that you’re fascinated by his left-handedness, his formidable vocabulary, and his nerd-centric humor. You stay silent because he’ll think you’re all sorts of weird, when in fact, all you really are, is that and maybe something more.

Their first fight, it was him who raised his voice and her who stormed off. She couldn’t even remember what the fight was about, just that it had set the precedent for the rows they were to have for months and months to come. There were times when she couldn’t even think of a day when they didn’t fight. She’d be so exhausted, barely remembering her role in this relationship, which was to accept verbal abuse and then storm the hell off. She would kill him someday, she had told him this too many times before. But she hadn’t counted on him leaving first.

She tells her friends the slow burn version while he boasts of the first time they met and had “relations.” Of course, he doesn’t call it that but she forces him to, threatening the withdrawal of all forms of “relations” until he sanitizes his story. In return, she tries to make him more macho, tries to convince her friends that he’s got muscles despite his lanky frame. Her friends make a show of agreeing with her, never letting on that his friends have already spilled the story of how they met and what they did that night.

She thought you were gay and you couldn’t decide if that was just funny or fifty shades of fucked-up. In the end you settled on funny, because it was easier than being all defensive and indignant. Besides, she was sleeping over and the last thing you wanted her to be that night was jittery or self-conscious. Later, when you were all huddled up, watching Chocolat— for crying out loud—you would tone the gay down (if that’s what it was) while you plied her with more wine. In the middle of her awwing and sighing over Roux’s guitar playing, you would lean over and kiss her.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009



I don’t have all the answers and even with the 7-year age difference, I don’t think you should look to me for illumination. What I can do, however, is tell you things that I know to be true. Right now, you’re confused because there’s the plan. Or should I say, “The Plan,” which entails you finishing college and being a doctor. A solid plan, if I do say so myself, but it should have occurred to at least one of us to make provisions for the after, or even for the in-between. Of course, now that I think about it, the seeds of doubt have been planted long before this decision impasse. This may actually be the one instance where the usefulness of crying over spilled milk isn’t debatable.

Believe me, it surprised me too. It surprises me still. Becoming a writer is as much of a fluke as winning the lotto. Maybe not as financially rewarding, but the enrichment is just as comparable. Of the financial rewards, I can only hope that you still find the idea of pauperdom romantic, because love of the craft alone won’t be enough to sustain you. I do trust that your idealism will carry you through moments of doubt that are headed your way. I’m actually counting on it to make my job easier.

Now, enrichment. This, I think, is where things get tricky. For one thing, I’m not sure if there are even words that can help me word the spark of satisfaction that inflames me every time a story, poem, article, piece of text gets completed. Some of these will be readily dismissed by people (yourself included) as regurgitated crap, while the rest will be appreciated for their strength, message, and merit. Here is where I caution you to not treat every loss as a personal attack because writing is, if nothing, an exploration of the bittersweet and all its connotations. Rejection is part and parcel of the writing process, and out of all the insights I’m going to share with you, this is one nugget you should take note of.

Of your winnings—I can assure you, there will be winnings—I pray that you’ll give yourself permission to be happy. After all, these writings will be your saving grace. For every bout of insecurity that you’ll plague yourself with in the years to come, your winnings will be the only thing that can help you salvage what’s left of your self-esteem. I advise you to take every bit of bliss you can from your achievements, and to not forget gratitude. Acknowledge the people who take the time to read your stuff, even if said stuff can’t help but classify itself as regurgitated crap. These people will help you on your pursuit of purpose. They will help you sleep on nights when your parents’ disappointment over your chosen profession evinces; will help you survive the feelings of alienation that manifest whenever you compare yourself to your friends, established as they are in their chosen fields, raking in the money that will forever be absent in our line of work.

And lastly, please forgive me if I fail to condense seven years of experience into information that can help you make the right decision. Whether you choose to be a doctor or a writer is something that you’ll have to figure out for yourself. I trust that you’ll choose the one that makes you happy. If tomorrow I find myself still existing, I’ll know that romance has triumphed over practicality and that this letter has reached you in good condition.

Good luck.

One of your future selves,

Mel Prime

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Alphabet Soup

Pix credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/maxbraun/98688824/

On days when the universe is apologizing for my existence, I am learning the logistics of acceptance.

2,190 days of being bereft of your presence has done nothing to dampen my regard for your being.

To the world, I’m presenting nothing more than a caricature of myself. This is me carrying on.

Intentions, though honest by nature will never amount to anything for a woman, who dissembles for a living.

A gift and a curse, it is my belief that an eidetic memory will cease to be the latter when I turn eighty.

Fact: A mastery of rules is necessary before one can even think of flouting them.

If something’s gotta give, let it not be my faith in the Almighty.

There are things that are in perfect accord with my humanity, things that hardly require humility.

Parallel geodesics do intersect in the limit to infinity. Parallel lines—we may be—but let’s not forget hope.


This knack for alienating people is governed by the same evolutionary imperative that makes me give a crap about family and friends.

Though not my favorite sin, lust is one I am guilty of committing, enough to offset all my sins of omission.

A woman must not divulge all her secrets. The woman underneath my skin is still a mystery.

It isn’t nearness I crave. It’s the closing of this emotional distance that grows every day.

An organic relationship has no choice but to grow. I am strong enough to handle it.

Aren’t we all in one way or another, permutations of a poseur? I ask you to excuse this poseuse.

Quid pro quo is logical, except when it is confined by a zipper or some disturbing underpants.

There is a sieve you use to separate my reality from my rendering of it. It will be my redemption.

Without meaning to, surviving you has become part of the plan. To soldier on is my daily task.

Everything about me is strong enough on a theoretical level. This is why theories need to be proven.

Nothing irritates me more than armchair moralists spouting some form of utopian bullshit.

Every time you recognize the difference between vindication and absolution, a kitten goes to heaven.

Applying distrust to everything, I am following Galway Kinnell’s instructions to the letter. I’m waiting, for now.

Clearly, you have underestimated the power of xenophilia. Cultural appropriation is missing the mark.

Pine, languish, ache, yearn…not enough when I’m looking for the troponyms of yen.

Philosophical zombies: logical. David Chalmers is right up there with fug hat 2.0, Spock, and Jim Halpert.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Toast V1

Champagne by ~ongchewpeng on deviantART

I’ve known Grace and Mart for less than a decade, which according to the Toast-giving Manual is a requirement. Since the couple I’m toasting is a bit unconventional anyway, flouting said conventions seems to be in order.

Now, on to the good part. Grace and Mart. Mart and Grace. I’ve already mentioned the unconventional couple factor, but I’ve failed to emphasize that if you ever need lessons on doing it right, you need to look no further than these two.

Navigating a relationship has always been tricky; trickier if none of the parties involved are willing to compromise. It is a testament to Grace’s graciousness and Mart’s—let’s call it—Martness that everything works. Not perfectly, mind you, but still enough to make people believe in the possibility of a special someone, the potential of fate, and the steady comfort of love. That is the gift they have given to me, to everyone who knows them, and to each other.

And so I invite you all to raise your glasses, and toast the union of Grace and Mart. May each day you spend together be full of the small things that makes life wonderful. And may your Graciousness and Martness be perfected with every moment spent together.

To Mart and Grace…

Monday, August 3, 2009

If a tree falls in a forest

It’s not so much “I have no comment in the matter,” as “I’m afraid my rambling will be totally extraneous to the celebration of her life.” To better express my sadness for the nation’s loss, I’m staying my writing hand and embracing the silence. It’s up to people of sturdier moral fiber to validate the existence of a fallen tree – one of unquestionable, monumental greatness.