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At Night, Sometimes, I Go to the Ocean

A story about internal and external spaces.

Four Places

Trying a new thing where i include the script. Tell me what you think.

Four Places:

1. A yellow place is 4pm, sun dripping over the floorboards, bees singing low. A yellow place is a dripping, evening place. A yellow place seeps warmly through the walls. A yellow place is the clutch of honey and the slingback murmuring of bees in the long shadows, the graceful dust, the sigh of leaves stretching out on the branch. A yellow place is warm laundry and warm cups. It is dry salt and sweet pollen on the skin, and no school until Tuesday. It is a sneezy broom and a sleepy tumble. A yellow place is where we saw the cougar that time. Her coat was rich with the lovesongs of plants and her ears twitched back at us as she ran. A yellow place has nowhere else to be. It is water tickling flat stones and lazy local traffic. It is feldspar and jasper, mica and shale, greying timbers and an affronted toad, seven bats under a wall clock yawning and kvetching until you turn off the light. 24 is yellow with all the expanse of hours it fills. A yellow place is the center of nowhere, and it fills you top to bottom.

2. A red place is impatient. A red place forgets you as soon as you leave, or translates you into a reflection in its surface. A red place will not wait, and neither will you, neither will the dream of you running over carmine, neither will the lights that streak from sky to ground. A red place wants you restlessly. A red place pours and runnels. No one stays in a red place for long. They all start out with one leg in a fireplace and another on the gravel shoulder, another on linoleum and one in the sink, the thing they don’t tell you about a red place is that it’s not a place. The red event comes to you when you’re riding the bus to work. It comes when you forget yourself. On leaving, you forget it, just like it’s forgotten you. you curl up under the piano for a nap. You hide in the curtains and stay up way past your bedtime. When it’s red, you weren’t alone, but now, looking back, you are, you are, you are, a red place is populated by shadows. All the bar stools are taken by things you regret doing. You can’t catch the bartender’s eye. He’s on his own path, and now, wait you haven’t made my drink! he slides away through the rust and the cherries on his own furn of fortune, one that doesn’t involve your tequila sunrise. You might as well step behind the bar yourself, ain’t no one else going to do it. Polish the bar and the oxblood leather, make someone else wait for their drink. A red moment when you’re 15 and know with certainty that love, fame, life lies before you, waiting only for you to stumble over it in your path. A red moment slides over your skin like fitted satin, and burns, and burns, propelling you forward, ash piling behind you. A red moment is a memory on your tongue. A red moment is bunched in your deltoids. A red moment fizzes inside you and subsides, sixty times a minute, and chases its ripples through your riverways. A red moment is always watching, and always closing its eyes.

3. A blue time is a little sticky. It is not cold, but it leaves your skin feeling wet. A down-tempo bass plays glissandos and someone is smoking a foreign cigarette. You don’t see anyone around, but you hear the clinking of many settings of cutlery, You hear many murmured conversations, which might be the HVAC system. Your shoes are old and your feet ache, but they’re not so worn you can justify replacing them. Your suit is polyester and everyone knows it. You have the vague feeling that you left your wallet. A blue place has an eye in the ceiling. It looks at you, but it never sees you, not the real you, just some disappointing and losery version of you that it expected you’d be, or maybe you are, maybe the act of being looked at as disappointing and losery makes you that way. A chrysanthemum in a glass vase spirals out on the table. The vase rattles against the table when you drop your arm.

A blue place remembers when it was different. It used to be different, yes, this all used to be changed, it was a full meal for something you could afford, it was certainty and romance, it was the promise of a red moment, and now, here you are, a tumbler of salt and an empty bowl, this song you used to love, and the whole place empty on a Friday night.
You can go, though. The secret of a blue place is that the whole thing is made of doors. The whole place is a foyer, a front step, and all you have to do is turn the knob. You don’t have to stay here. There’s no law saying you have to sit in this lousy joint and watch the vase rattle. You can just stand up, put your coat on, and walk out, into the slender light and drifting rain, and the wind against your face is clean, and blue, and open.

4. A green place won’t keep still. It is growing and fading and moving along. It is opening and falling to the floor. It is rustling with something’s passage. It is shaping itself to fit a new doorway. It is pushing out of someplace into someplace else. A green place is never just one place. It’s a different place for each pair of eyes passing through. It’s drifting on eddies. It’s shining through the leaves. A green place is roaring and leaping and climbing upwards. It moves toward its end. It bursts open and starts fresh. A green place is crowded with life. In a green place, the only where to sit is on someone else. A green place is loud with voices. Pollen falls over everything. Wings ripple it and feet jostle it. Something dropped is lost in the leaves. The path twists. A green place is trickling, fluttering, spinning out of view. A green place reaches outward and pulls itself along. You let yourself fall back into the tangles and look up, and you see so many different greens in flashes and corners, so many green places, into any of which you could pass to watch the new greens spilling outward from that new center, exuberant and fleeting, whirling up and out of sight. Chimes ring when the wind blows.

A green place is breathing, expanding, shivering to become its future. A green place is becoming. A green place will never keep still, and neither will you, breathing, expanding down the corridors of your own future. A green place rises from its own quiet bed. A green place feeds and is fed, feeds and is food. It climbs toward the light and burns to ash and feeds on that ash and climbs up, it climbs and falls and climbs.

Ways to Break; Ways to Believe

A story about here, and there, and ways things might break, and the things we might believe.

Talk With Transformer

A collaboration with the neural network Talk To Transformer by Adam King.

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It is a place I'm glad to know.

Selections from a Soundtrack

Feeling good, rust riders, cyber jockeys.

The Witch’s Island

Excerpts from a a guided tour

36 Gardens

Gardens of many sizes and qualities.

The Brothers on the Landing

This one's kind of spooky, but has a lot of commentary from the Guffin.

I Used to Follow The Lights to the Edge of the City