My modelling career ended as soon as it began.
The fault in my stars made me a Gemini. Not only was the sun in this sign on the day of my birth, at the minute of my birth the earth watched as Gemini rose on the horizon. Expanding outwards through the solar system, three of the other nine astrological planets also stand in my first house.
I was destined for duality from the start.
In its most basic ailment, this often manifests itself in my having clearly delineated inner and outer selves, one known only to myself while the world witnesses the other. But as my particular brand of fate would have it, it doesn’t end there.
Some things we can’t choose–our skin color, our parents, our aptitude for eyesight and how soon we need glasses, or perhaps how soon we lose our hair, or perhaps how long it takes us to remember what we were doing before we completely forget it. But some things we can choose–what we consume, how we spend our time, what we study.
This isn’t a list about choices. This is a list about all those things chosen for me–things that maybe I would’ve done differently had I the foresight to know better, the insight into my own destiny as the world shaped it for me.
It’s Flash Fiction Friday #2 and already I’ve run into a wall of writer’s block. Sure, I’ve written a few new pieces since last week, but none of them quite feel ready for posting, and after a couple rainy days, I just don’t have the inspiration on my own to move forward.
What’s a writer to do? Google.
I want to write more. Short stories especially. But a long story takes a long time to write–so do short stories, but brevity makes the challenge more approachable–and the alliteration? Why, that’s wonderful.
A couple week’s ago, the Daily Post challenged bloggers to attempt flash fiction, and when I came across it this week, I decided I should get back into it–I’d attempted the art form years ago, but gave it up in favor of verbose, flowery prose.
It’s hard for me to be laconic.
So at least for the summer (until I’ve got my series up-and-running), I’m challenging myself to post a short short story every Friday–just so I can call it Flash Fiction Fridays! Well, that’s not the only reason, of course, but it’s certainly exciting!
It won’t be easy, and I’m looking forward to all the comments and critiques I can get to help refine my skills and improve every week. Luckily for me, I already had a piece on hand that I wrote this semester for my poetry class: the challenge? Write a shocking story in prose.
Check it out here.
When I left my room at four in the morning to leave for Alaska, I expected a lot of things: It would be cold, maybe I’d see snow, I’d get to learn about a new culture, work in a school, and maybe see some whales or the aurora borealis. And except for the last two, I did all of these things–but one thing I didn’t expect to learn about was names.
Names mean a lot to me: As a writer, a character’s name (or lack thereof) can be the most defining element to a story. As a leader, learning the names of my fellow students is not only a great way to attract new members, but also to establish a genuine sense of community in our group. And as a gay man in a world where marriage equality seems inevitable only a few short years after it seemed impossible, I’ll someday have to choose my name, his name, or a strained attempt at something in between.
But as I learned in Alaska, the power of names doesn’t end there.
In the absence of time, Einstein postulated in a quote I recall only in spirit, everything would happen at once. It was in this turbulent void of happening that I found myself moments ago speaking with a good friend, telling him I just don’t care.
I’ve reached that point, I told him, where I’m overwhelmed and just can’t care anymore. My entire emotional response system has shut down. It happens from time to time. I’ll rest, get things back in order, and start to care again–but that will come tomorrow or the day after, and I’m not looking forward right now, not today.
But are we surprised? Aren’t we all gazing back today?
I want to be in love someday. I want to be weak in the knees, come undone at the seams. The world should tremble beneath us, the skies fall as starlight pours around us. I want to be married under the open sky as birds sing and rainbows break amongst the clouds and cling to the last daylight as Anar sails into the west.
Except none of this could ever happen, and for many still it can’t happen, and it won’t happen if not for the forthcoming words of the nine judges deciding now in silence our shared fate.
Imagine two cooks deep in the kitchen, working so closely it’s like they’re cooking hand-in-hand. Now shut yours eyes for a second and think about all the moments that come to mind.
For me, it’s a lot of time in front of the TV. Food Network is a favorite of my family’s, and we often spend our time watching shows like Chopped and Food Network Star together–and we’d probably cook together, if our kitchen could hold us. At the moment, it can’t.
Think deeper. Think back to the moments growing up when the kitchen was alive with the heartbeat of working hands and the warmth of the oven overflowing. What do you see? What aromas fill your lungs?