scruta

Either you are sorting it out, or you are full of it.

Friday, April 30, 2010

False Start #42

Look at you traveler. Look at your eyes in the mirror. See how the pupils are flashing black before you.

Could you reckon their meaning? Could you see into their nothingness dividing nothing into nothing? Darkness into darkness? Depth into depth?

Do you even want to?

posted by ferret at 12:38 am  

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spirit Animal

[Badger and Ferret are walking in silence. Badger suddenly breaks it:]

Badger

Name an animal that you like.

Ferret

What? Why?

Badger

Just do it. It’s a psychology game.

Ferret

Okay. Umm… a penguin.

Badger

Why a penguin?

Ferret

I don’t know. You just said, pick an animal.

Badger

No. You’ve got to have a reason with it, too.

Ferret

Okay. A penguin because it perseveres through long, harsh winters.

Badger

Okay. Pick two more. You need three.

Ferret

Okay. A bear because it’s strong and commanding.

[Badger laughs.]

Ferret

Why are you laughing?

Badger

Nevermind. You’ll see when we’re done. Pick one more.

Ferret

Okay. The last one is a ferret because it’s relatively clever and it can investigate and get into places where most other animals can’t go.

Badger

Heh. Okay.

Ferret

So what does it mean?

Badger

The first animal is supposed to be how you see yourself. The second animal is how others see you. And the third animal is what you actually are.

Ferret

So I see myself as a persevering ball of arctic butter. People think I’m a courageous bear. But I’m actually a clever rodent.

Badger

Precisely.

posted by ferret at 2:18 am  

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New Words: Mandala and Sough

Mandala

Sough

posted by ferret at 3:17 am  

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Li and Zhou: The Club Gets Closed Down

[It's morning. Li is typing at his desk. Zhou arrives, looking very disheveled and somewhat distraught.]

Li

Good morning, Zhou.

Zhou

Good morning.

Li

Did you get the newest previews for Shanghai lately?

Zhou

[glances at his desk]

Yeah, they’re here.

Li

We’ve got to be extra careful. What with the Expo and all…

Zhou

Yeah. We’ve got to be careful.

[They work in silence for a moment, their backs to each other. Li speaks:]

Li

Everything okay?

Zhou

I’m fine. Just fine.

Li

You aren’t still sad about having to give Roy back for the Expo?

Zhou

No. I’m not.

Li

Oh, were you out late for some reason last night?

Zhou

I was up late. I got in a fight with my son.

Li

Oh. I’m sorry. Look, I didn’t mean to pry. It’s really none of my business.

Zhou

No. It’s okay. He was just playing his guitar too much, and we had an argument. I didn’t sleep well because of it.

Li

Oh.

Zhou

The place where he plays his guitar got shut down. For the Expo, I guess. It’s happening all over Shanghai. It’s not surprising it’s happened here, too. Makes sense. We need unity at this time, and they would just get in the way, right?

Li

Right.

[They sit in silence for a moment, fidgeting with their papers, although neither of them is really working. Zhou starts again:]

Zhou

My son was so angry he just kept playing his guitar even when I told him to stop. He was just angry, and I was just angry. We started yelling, and he left the house. I couldn’t sleep until he came back…

Li

How late was he out?

Zhou

It was late. Almost morning.

Li

Oh.

Zhou

The worst part was that I couldn’t stay mad at him.

Li

Well, he’s your son.

Zhou

No, that wasn’t it. It’s because part of me understood.

posted by ferret at 11:58 pm  

Friday, April 23, 2010

I might regret this…

A lot of people try to comment on my blog in an effort to inform the world about vicodin, viagra and naked women. There’s also a bunch of folks who continually leave comments in Russian. Their comments are always written something like this:

Wow! Interesting article! Viagra vicodin online pharmacy vicodin.

Or something like this:

asdfwefioadlkjwei naked girls girls a;lsdifjlaij XXX sex machine l;aksjdfw

They usually have links attached as well. I’ve received thousands of these types of comments. I delete them all.

Yesterday I received one that sounded kind of like a poem, and I feel compelled to post it:

what is better cialis or viagra
took two viagra at once
viagra come in liquid form
will vicadin [sic] and viagra mix

I have the image of a drunken, wastrel playboy sitting on the edge of a hotel-room bed, uttering these words to himself. Three naked women are asleep on the bed behind him, locked together in a strange embrace from which he has just emerged – arms and legs and hands and feet all interlocked in a web of what was once lust and longing, but is now just an attempt to be comfortable and warm.

The playboy stands up suddenly, walks over to the mirror and inspects his naked body. He teases the hair on the slight paunch near his bellybutton. He recites his poem to himself again, as if it were some kind of incantation made to raise his spirit to new heights. He stumbles around the hotel-room looking for a pill box of vicodin. When he finds what he thinks is the pill box, he opens it and swallows a tablet quickly without water. He totters over to the thermostat by the bed and studies it for a minute trying to discern how it works through his stupor. When has succeeded in turning up the heat in the room several degrees, his eyes roll back in his head, and he falls to the floor. He passes out with a giant hard on after taking viagra which he thought was vicodin.

posted by ferret at 7:26 pm  

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Li and Zhou: China Remembers

[Li and Zhou have just gotten off work. They wait for the bus.]

Li

What did you think of all the black and white newspapers yesterday?

Zhou

They were nice. It was appropriate.

Li

Did you watch the fundraiser?

Zhou

Yeah.

Li

What is it?

Zhou

What?

Li

You look strange.

Zhou

No, it’s just you know that they canceled all public entertainment last night, right?

Li

Yeah. So?

Zhou

Well, my son was supposed to play in his rock band last night. And he didn’t get to play.

Li

Well, that’s good, right? You hate the fact he plays music in a band.

Zhou

I do. It’s a waste of time. I mean, if he wants to play at home, that’s okay.

Li

Okay, so what’s the problem?

Zhou

Well, he was playing at home last night.

Li

I don’t understand.

Zhou

I hate it when he plays at home.

Li

But you just said it was okay.

Zhou

It is okay. Just as long as I’m not there.

Li

Oh. Okay.

Zhou

Anyway, I watched the fundraiser, but he kept making a racket.

Li

So, did you tell him to stop?

Zhou

No, I know he likes to do it, and as long as it’s not too loud I don’t bother him. But it got me thinking…

Li

Really?

Zhou

Yeah. I wished he could have gone out to the bar and played his music so I could be left alone with my wife. And I’m sad for the people of Qinghai, but sometimes I think that maybe it’d be better if we could all mourn in our own way. I mean, you know… like they could open up the bars, but still have the fundraiser, etc. But the people who don’t want to do it, don’t have to. It doesn’t mean that they aren’t mourning in some way, does it?

Li

Are we really having this conversation, Zhou?

Zhou

No. No, we’re not.

posted by ferret at 11:40 pm  

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

False Start #41

I am possessed by my dreams, my passions.

If you would ask me how I am different from most people, I would say it is this.

But these others…these others… what is it then when they look at me like a madman?

How do they see me? A foaming, fidgeting madman? Babbling at street light shadows? Lost in dayglow rantings? Chasing the sounds of ringing strings? Hanging on the breath of just-spoken words? Consuming all thoughts of the future, of progeny, of safety for that demon burning inside of me?

Are they devoid of passion? Or are they afraid to let their passions consume them?

I don’t know. To me, they are madmen as well.

posted by ferret at 2:02 am  

Monday, April 19, 2010

New Words: Bloviate and Purdah

Bloviate

Purdah

posted by ferret at 3:16 pm  

Saturday, April 17, 2010

No Shame

[Ferret is on his way to a show with Goose to go see a show by a hip-hop has-been. As they walk up to the club, they see Two Drunken Laowai and Two Bums standing face to face making far too much noise. Their rantings become clearer as Ferret and Goose get closer:]

Drunken Laowai #1

Fuck off!

Bum #1

Fa-cof-fa!

Bum #2

Fa-cof-a! Fa-cof-fa!

Drunken Laowai #2

[gesturing rudely away]

No! Fuck off! Don’t you understand? Fuck off!

Drunken Laowai #1

Fuck off!

Bum #1 and Bum #2

[in unison]

Fu-cof-fa!

[The two pairs square off, screaming "Fuck off" back and forth, obtaining a cadence as if the Two Drunken Laowai were teaching the Two Bums a class in English pronunciation. The Two Drunken Laowai become more frustrated, while the Two Bums become more and more exhilarated. Ferret and Goose walk by, chuckling, and commenting soon after:]

Ferret

Those guys just don’t understand.

Goose

What d’you mean?

Ferret

I mean, it doesn’t matter what you say to those bums. They have no shame. It’s all a game to them. You could tell them to “Fuck off” in perfect Chinese, but they’ll still just laugh at you and ask you for money. That’s the point. You have no choice but to pretend that they don’t exist.

Goose

Yeah. Those drunken dudes kind’ve look like idiots.

Ferret

That’s the funniest part. The bums’ revenge so to speak, by getting a rise out of those guys, the whole thing becomes a joke on them. It makes it look like those drunken laowai have no shame, either. Screaming “Fuck Off” over and over on a street corner in the middle of the night.

posted by ferret at 3:20 pm  

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Books

[Ferret is at LOgO, a somewhat disreputable, but established bar, frequented predominantly by Shanghai's expat hipsters. It's rave night (yes, apparently such things do still exist). Black lights, glow sticks, and loud techno music with 15 minute build-ups abound. Ferret's shaking it on the dance floor with Monkey and some other friends. They are covered with neon face paint, and they take turns grinning at each other so they can show off their green teeth in the black-lights. Ferret has been dancing with his backpack on for a while, and it's starting to become a nuisance.]

Ferret

I think I should take my backpack off.

Monkey

Of course! Why didn’t you do it before?

Ferret

I didn’t want it to be stolen.

Monkey

What’s in it?

Ferret

Books.

Monkey

Nobody wants to steal books, Ferret. Just go.

[Ferret considers this for a moment, then nods his head in assent. He makes his way off the dance floor to drop his backpack by their coats, wondering if he's the only person in the world who considers books worth stealing...]

posted by ferret at 6:18 pm  
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