December 30, 2010

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:12 am by Iain

A man lay, broken, in the middle of a street.

A woman, perhaps the man’s companion , perhaps his assailant, or perhaps just a ghost, sat crouched over him, lost in thought. Time passed.

At last, the woman lowered her head, listened, then straightened. She gripped the man’s arm and, with great effort, drug the heavy body to the curb. She propped the man up on the bottom half of no parking sign.The thin metal edge dug painfully into his spine.

“I didn’t have a choice, you know. None of us do.”

The woman’s words echoed in the deserted street. Soulless cast-iron buildings loomed gigantically over the man’s body, nodding appreciatively at the man’s imminent end.

“It’s just the way it is,” the woman continued. “We’re all a part of it, even if we don’t want to be. And you doomed us all.”

The woman looked to the man, as if expecting some sort of response, but all the man could do was wheeze. His ribs were broken. A punctured lung began its measured collapse.

“We made it so far. We’ve gone through so much. Damn it! We’ve worked too hard to have it end this way!”

The woman turned her head angrily and spat, as if by spitting she could rid herself of the humanity that had prevented her from saying earlier what she was now about to say.

“…But there’s no other way.”

The woman raised the gun, slowly, with purpose. The man wheezed something imperceptible between his breaths. The monstrous buildings around him crept forward, expectant. For a moment the woman’s contemplative mood returned, flickered, and then fled. Its passage mirrored that of the man’s life.

In time, the woman would look down and sigh. All of this, for one inadvertent little slip. It all seemed so trivial. But she was right. She didn’t have a choice. There was no other way.

With a practiced grace, the woman brought the gun up and held it pointed at her head. Calmly, coldly, she announced, to no one in particular,

“I just lost The Game.”

The street echoed once more.

December 23, 2010

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:23 pm by Iain

Five Things About Myself that I Think Are Pretty Okay Considering the Circumstances:

1. The only way for me to learn is to be wrong. About everything. Consistently.

2. I try to find difference, but mainly see similarity.

3. I write to express myself. When I speak I never feel like my words have meaning or the potential to be fully understood.

4. I can spend hours by myself outside and never get bored.

5. I focus too hard on individual things and not enough on those in front of me.

December 22, 2010

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:37 am by Iain

I found our ad a year ago, while listening to music online. Through the wonders of the social network I showed it to you. You didn’t see the point.

I wonder, now that we’ve worked through so much, what you would think if I showed you our ad once more?

I wonder if you’d see the same things that I see. The beauty not seen before. How mercilessly our ad airs our barren future. The knowledge that there’s nothing we can do.

I wonder how long we’d be able to talk about it. If we could share a knowing laugh.

I wonder. Ying, would you act the way that you used to, before we both changed? Or has our friendship become history, for this faux-historian to claim?

December 21, 2010

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:26 am by Iain

The sun hangs much lower in the skies of Minnesota. It also snows about a month earlier, and about three feet heavier, than I’m used to.

Very few of the people here seem to be any more in touch with winter than any of the people I knew in Iowa. Like Iowa, the majority of people here only appreciate winter when it’s performing the red-and-white part of “The Holidays.” Once December passes, winter becomes this monstrous demonic entity, devouring January and February whole, gnawing on the choicest parts of March, and only leaving the absolute dregs of April for us to enjoy. You would think that living in Minnesota would tincture its inhabitants’ opinions with a bit more latitudinal understanding toward the feelings of oft misunderstood old man winter.  You would be wrong.

I’m living with a roommate right now, but because our schedules are so contrary most of the time it feels like I’m living by myself. This is both good and bad. Good in the respect that this has given me an absurd amount of time to vomit my prodigious wanderlust all along the trails of outer Minneapolis. Bad in the respect that, as in the opening chapter of Great House, I have started, “preferring the deliberate meaningfulness of fiction to unaccounted-for reality, preferring a shapeless freedom to the robust work of yoking my thoughts to the logic and flow of another’s.”

Ali thinks that I’ve become a recluse. I’m confident that this is part of a process. A process that I haven’t quite figured out yet, but a process all the same. I suppose that Ali feels the same way, just that the process is me becoming a recluse. She’s probably right but…nah.

Even if I might be a recluse, it’s nice to be able to read again. I’ve read 10 books since the beginning of November and none of them have been histories. Mostly recent fiction, although two were nonfiction memoirs. After reading all of these amazing books, it makes me sad that my first real introduction to modern literature was Dave Eggers.

My favorite authors so far:

Kiran Desai,  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Junot Diaz, Chris Klaus.