Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Gritz Game: From ‘F’ to ‘A’

One cloudless spring day in Stratum V an interesting thing happened.
  At recess on the fields of Academie Cloches a surly young Gass-Boy crumpled up his maths test (of which he failed). He tossed the ball of paper to young Stoddard, who, in turn, threw it to young Dom. The friend backed away, taunting, “Come an’ get it,” as he took off running. They began pursuit and a few others joined in on the chase.
  What was developing was a common Seppo game basically known as “Keep Away,” or more commonly (and not-so-correctly) known as “Monkey in the Middle” or “Smear the Queer.” The boy with the paper wad threw it in the air and another caught it and all changed their direction towards him.
  From afar, grumpy lunchlady Mrs. Junck squinted at the mass of young boys tearing across the field. Twenty, thirty, forty young men were swarming after whoever held the ball of paper.
  This became known as the “Gritz Game,” named after a sitcom misnomer heard at the time. Competition, camaraderie, the pursuit of a vision, persistence — all worthy virtues — were learned that day under mere blue skies and green grass.
  Life lessons, one could argue.
  And, as ‘life lessons’ implies lifelong importance, every young man learning those assets of character earned an ‘A’ that afternoon, even if poor old Gass-Boy got an ‘F’ on a measly exam.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Heritageville Oratorio

• Canzoni di Altezze
• Septuor de Februarius
• Die Abstrakte Tänzeln
• É Meglee Palamtha
• Están Perdidos en Parque Paronella
• Avulsió Asperativo
• Vento Guidare i Rivoli Attraverso il Parabrezza
• Sadalmelik und Sadalsuud
• Api All'interno del Divano
• Serata di Stronzio

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Wankening

Young Glen Aludo had an impression to make.
  To get in the good graces of his masters at “The Aitch” social club, ditching his old friends wasn’t enough. And though the TR6 his daddy had given him did raise some envious eyebrows, it was clear that drastic measures were needed to establish himself in the eyes of his new peers.
  It was decided.
  By Jove, it was only Stratum XIV, and weaponised irony was not yet in vogue, but a radical tonsorial approach must be the winning coup de grace: A sapphic haircut on an ostensibly straight male for the purposes of impressing other ostensibly straight males must be the triumphant concept, right? Let it fly.
  And so Glen smugly strolled through campus with new khakis and a fresh new sweater (complete with de rigueur political pin), but what he was most proud of was his new ‘do.’
  Old Techno Aliyah Bernal — one not to mince words — took one look and shook her head.
  “Looks very Helvetican.”
  Her geography might have been slightly off, but the sentiment was unmistakable — The Wankening was now complete.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Time Displacement Side Effects II: The Ache of SLAKE

In the timeline where (where/when) the APF’s HORLOGE project is extant, the physiological effects of time displacement are well documented and properly dealt with on a medical basis.
  The problems that arise from repeated time compression and dilation are of a psychological nature.
  Context Prep, Contingent Provisionals and Multi-Continuum Conditionals are psychological buttresses drilled into every chrononaut candidate, but issues still tend to creep up in a less tangible nature. Metaphysical? Quasi-religious? Existential? Difficult to qualify outside of first person agents such as SLAKE.
  The Shaking-Up of Could-Be’s, Never-Were’s, What-If’s, and What-Should-Never-Be’s in one’s mind does take a toll.
  Faux Nostalgia (that which is misperceived — not a pejorative), Future Nostalgia (?), that which could/couldn’t, would/wouldn’t, did/didn’t, will/won’t, ad nauseum, led to actual nausea.
  It eventually manifested as an arid wistfulness, a gulf of doubt and longing hunger — for what is there, what is perceived, what is ultimately: a scenario — potentialised, romanticised, actualised?

  HORLOGE technicians are currently researching solutions to this troubling side effect.

Time Displacement Side Effects I: Discrete Visual Echoes

A slight numbness was the first sign. A tingling scalp... some gooseflesh, perhaps. Soon enough, he would hear a crack in the sky and notice visual noise amplifying across the spectrum.
  SLAKE was undergoing another temporal shift.
  He had not energised his personal Time Displacement Beacon — this was being done from afar by the APF’s HORLOGE team locking onto his subcutaneous transponder to bring him back to Point of Origin.
  SLAKE’s last visual before Transition was that of a woman’s face staring him straight in the eyes. Outside of the Kilowatt Klub in Heritageville (Stratum XXVI), the neon had cast down upon the two in the waning night. The time displacement effect was disorienting him. The sight of the woman changed in his eyes. It became like watching her on a movie screen. And then it was like watching himself watching her on a movie screen. Meta... and Meta, Once Removed.
  And then he was gone.

  SLAKE appeared on the platform back at the HORLOGE lab and collapsed. Team members rushed up to him (not overly concerned, for this was a normal part of the experience) and took him directly to Briefing.
  “Glad you’re back,” Director Gutts said with a reassuring hand on the shoulder.
  “By the way,” he added sheepishly, “Subsequently in that timeline, she became a pilot. We knew you were becoming somewhat attached. We had to bring you back.”
  “At least I finally got to speak with her,” the chrononaut shrugged.

  One month later (current time) the woman’s face again appeared before SLAKE — but this was no side effect. There she was, on the television, a face in the crowd at a concert in the round. A beaming smile, head and shoulders teetering to the music. The sense of joy was palpable to SLAKE.
  “Godspeed, and blue skies ahead.”

Friday, April 08, 2016

The Man Who Lost Virginia

• “Lovely Shipmate”
• “The Lolly Was the Sign”
• “On the Footpath”
• “The Kind Sesh”

• “Audience of Faust”
• “Red Wig, Black Wig”
• “Empty Conversation”
• “The Man Who Lost Virginia”

“The Man Who Lost Virginia”

What a beaut / And how she shone
Hazel eyes under blonde moonlight
You gave your all / And your all she liked
Soft sighs of a Tivoli night

Her arm / Your waist
A walk to Café Diém
Your arm / Her waist
Seizing days you see them

You lost that state of mind
and lost that state of mine
That man — that man, he lost Virginia

That romp / And sway
Gasps upon the burning floor
Release... / Decay...
Ennui creeping through the door

You fret / Worries hang
About bringing home the bacon, you
Toil on / Blind to see
There’s no one home to bring it to

You lost that state of mind
and lost that state of mine
That man — that man, he lost Virginia