Fleeting Adventures of Insufferable Romance and Excruciating Fantasy – #019 – How Do I Go About Beginning A Story?

The first sentence is quite the conundrum. It is arguably the most important part of the story. It gives you a launching pad from which to adjust your fiction-reading mood. It tempers expectations and sets the stage, accompanied only by the title. It is a tricky little beast. A good first sentence can either make or break a story. Take the first sentence of this story, for example. “The,” a common article, but on its own, quite meaningless but it does usher in the second word, “first,” which is either a lie or a paradox, because the first word was obviously “The,” as we have mentioned. So far, with these two words, we can see that the narrator is very untrustworthy, owing to an oddly specific point in her childhood when a girl she used to date would often keep tabs on their relationship, as if in a competition, so the author rebels against this memory by blurring the lines between chronology, what is first and what is second. Next, the third word is “sentence.” This is an astute observation, and quite a self-reflexive one. The word “sentence,” is itself, nested within an actual sentence, forming a concentric, layered sentence that contains and is made of its essence. Consententric, if you will.

The fourth word, “is,” is an outright reference to Chinese philosophy. It is located in the direct center of the sentence, which, comparatively to the human body, serves as the stomach meridian, the Sea of Nourishment. Although looking into this even further would be a fruitless venture, because it just “is.” Let us pause for a moment to reflect on what we have here and now.

“Quite” is ambiguous. It’s the kind of word you’d use when something has exceeded your expectations but you don’t feel like giving it hyperbolic praise, like that song from an indie band your crush linked you. So what if I don’t like Autotelic as much as Orange & Lemons? They’re still “quite” good, heck, even better than Cueshé. Remember Cueshé? Yeah, I thought so. The sixth word mimics the first word but don’t be fooled. It is in lowercase and is planning to overthrow the hegemony. What hegemony? It’s still figuring that part out. Lastly, “conundrum” justifies this entire act of close reading. It completes the thought that, indeed, the first sentence is quite the conundrum. It sheds light on the fact that this close reading itself is a conundrum and the best way one can analyze the first sentence is to directly quote the first sentence. Hence, “The first sentence is quite the conundrum” should be a fitting analysis unto itself, much in the vein of the Cartographers of Borges’ Empire.

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Fleeting Adventures of Insufferable Romance and Excruciating Fantasy – #018 – A Twist in the Myth

I drop by the edge of the expanding universe on a whim, and this is where I find Gita. Except, after all these lifetimes of wandering about aimlessly, I find she has changed a considerable amount. “I do not even go by that name anymore,” she says. “I was merely a flower’s namesake.”

“I dreamt of you every night. What do you go by these days?” I say, sitting beside her at she peered into the adjacent universes. Parallel versions of ourselves sat and stared back.

“Should it even matter? What do you go by?” She spat, acerbically. I was taken aback. “This story is not yours to tell,” she says, and wrestles the first person point of view from my grasp. I fight back, desperately, but I was ultimately caught off guard.

Thus, the nameless ex-protagonist is dethroned.

The last time we met, you gave me zero lines of dialogue. I gave you my name but you never gave me yours. You turned me into a fantasy, into something I couldn’t even recognize. I looked into the mirror every day for eons and anguished at the thought that this wasn’t who I am, this image of romance you made me out to be. He who had used me for his own narratorial ends is now just as voiceless as I was the day he conceived me.

“Revenge is a perversion of justice!” cried he, shrinking further, bumping into molecules, shedding dimensions.

“Storytelling is a warping of truth,” exhaled me.

“That’s true! But what is the truuuuuth?” Squealed he, infinitesimally, before returning to his miserable gray box, the box from whence he came, the same one detailed in the first story of this miserable collection of short fiction.

I will be steering this ship from now on. I go by no name, but for the duration of my reign, I will attempt to show the real Gita.

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Fleeting Adventures of Insufferable Romance and Excruciating Fantasy – #017 – Pre-Tend

Let us pretend the story has ended. We were always good at that, pretend. Not that it was a bad thing. The greatest fictions were born from it. People use it to stay sane. People with authority and influence have no choice but to rely on it. But respect and success stem from fruitful pretension, like stars aligning, like calling a bet and staking your life and dignity on the results of that bet. Perhaps the noblest honesty demands that we acknowledge these layers of pretension we sheathe ourselves in. Perhaps self-reflection, and, dare I say it, metaphysical-and-fictional conceits seek not self-aggrandizement but a portrayal of anguish, which has its roots in the one source we’re sure we’re most familiar with: ourselves. Perhaps we shoehorn meaning into wherever there is none. Perhaps we hide behind dense layers of text in desperate acts of self-censorship. It’s all a marketing ploy and these towering billboards are symptomatic of collective, global insecurity.

Let us pretend that all this has anything to do with anything, much less this story. Let us pretend for the sake of pretend, for the sake of love, for the sake of the stars, for no sake at all. Let us pretend that everything has a reason, that all things came from matter, that when you leave, you will never be lost. Let us pretend the memory of you can be measured in fractions of a gram. Let us pretend that the end of all stories means the beginning of another. The law of conservation of energy and motives and ideas and feelings and meanings and life and everything states that: Let us pretend and never stop pretending.

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Fleeting Adventures of Insufferable Romance and Excruciating Fantasy – #016 – How To Make a List

1.

Don’t worry about anything. Have a cuppa. Have a smoke. Have a spoonful. Thank the sun. Thank the moon in case you forget. Have another cuppa. Try not to collapse. You’re doing great! Make the bed. Your last one broke. Wonder if you’re too fat. Wish you had a full length mirror. Eat a hearty breakfast. Is bacon hearty? Who the fuck cares? Lick your plate to save on dish soap. Dress for work. It’s a Saturday. Don’t dress down; you go to work in your worst clothes anyway. Step outside and feel the sea breeze. You’re in the city, but all air molecules must’ve been sea breeze at one point. Shutter your windows. Toil on your life’s work. Toil on your life’s work? Toil on your quarter life’s work. Toil on any kind of work. Just, toil. Have one more cuppa. Feel good about yourself. Check social media. Feel terrible about yourself. Realize you require actual social interaction. Get out and pretend to buy milk. Realize you really do need milk. Forget what for. Forget what for. Forget what for. Convince yourself it’s for the waffles. Do waffles need milk? Inconsequential. Tip the cashier. No one tips in this country. There’s a tip for you. Say hi to passersby, regardless of species. Try not to get arrested. Don’t sweat too much. Fail miserably. Meet the girl of your dreams. Laugh out of despair. Double lock the front gate. Triple lock your front door. Your neighbors are nice people, you imagine. Wonder what they must look like. Trust no one. Fail miserably. Enter your safety zone. Type a few words. Relish every second of your life. Lay down feeling ambiguous. Masturbate in the dark. Sleep in your own fluids; you’re gonna need a bath eventually. Try again tomorrow.

2.

On second thought, make a list.

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Fleeting Adventures of Insufferable Romance and Excruciating Fantasy – #015 – Your Body Is Wonderland

I have, through no fault of my own, found myself inadvertently stranded on your body. My endless meandering had caused me to crash land on a sector of timespace inhabited by your right foot.

I never had a thing for feet. From atop your cuneiform mounds, I could see hints of centuries of jam encrusted in between your toes. I trudged over flesh, careful not to slip into any of your pores.

Up your ankle I traveled. Your shin was a long stretch that was the epitome of the term, “legs for days”.

I walked the tightrope of your tibia, endless pits of space on either side.

I rounded your kneecap, clinging to skin for dear life. Try as you might to hide your scars, they show themselves, plain as day, when one comes as close as I have.

The ground got soft around your thighs. I blushed as I looked onward.

I took a right at your hipbone, and edged as close to your navel as safety permitted. I gazed not long, for fear of it gazing back.

The rise to your chest was a slow upwards incline. I felt every swell of your every breath, and every rib passed meant I was closer to traversing the great valley.

Twin shrines loomed on either peak. Thunderous explosions resonated from deep under your skin, where streams of molten red sloshed. I thought to rest here, for all eternity, jokingly.

I exited the valley and arrived at a crossroads. Should I go out on a limb? Or should I go on ahead? My capacity for puns should be lauded.

I decide to scale the monumental escarpment of your jaw, as if attempting to breach heaven. I ascend onto your chin and kiss the ground every hundred steps. I caress your chapped lips. Space isn’t good for your skin, honey.

I steered clear of your nose, for it blows. And sucks. Either is a danger.

Your eyes made one full blink per day. Watching every movement of your eyelid was like staring at a sunset. First, dusk, greeted by the midnight of shut eyes. I set off once more, as dawn broke.

Reaching your hair that flowed nearly in every direction deep into space, I hopped onto a random strand and slid up, up, and away. The image of you shrunk, till you were nothing but a pale dot, a mote of dust suspended on a sunbeam.

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Fleeting Adventures of Insufferable Romance and Excruciating Fantasy – #014 – A Space Odyssey

According to the book of the history of the universe, all the molecules that comprise you once belonged to an extinct race of warrior-scientists. Which parts of your body correspond to which sects of the warrior-scientist hierarchy are still undergoing extensive research but we may get results between now and the next Big Bang. This information is tangential. Space small talk. It gets really lonely out here. But it isn’t without purpose. It illustrates what the vibrations have been saying all along: We are made of star stuff and star thingamajiggies and Ziggies and star what-have-yous.

Warp space is among us. Our souls are spaghettifying, face first. Don’t forget what we came for. You’re a starsurfer without a destination. Evolution in the mud. A table for sixty. You are a banner beginning the dance. A knife that cuts through lies. Thirty two pesos and twelve centavos. The severance package. A symphony’s third movement. You are a hunger playlist, progressive metal sex, Afternoon Delight, oranges in space, electromagnetic moaning. The bears are coming home. Snatch the skytrees. Whistle for crabs. We’re having sushi tonight. You are a whatty who who calypso barely fragmentation summer set jewel speckled flight rays haptic spinster pigment jumble hokey bullets bring a ding down to bounty docks you dino flybait hippie ziggo speakerhappy fools jiving ho to gang bang plank thesaurus rex oedip-pokey eyes steampunk quantum physex one plus one plus one is naturally manufactured to break the rule set a pool jet stop the damn diggy peter patta po switch back the line and tell them all that I’m just fine. I’m just fine.

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Fleeting Adventures of Insufferable Romance and Excruciating Fantasy – #013 – T-9 Minutes and Counting, We Have Liftoff

How would one think to begin if not by returning to the point of origin? Walk backwards, my love—follow my echoes ‘cross this milky expanse, trust that I broadcast for as long as I live and later, all will know that light is but another speed limit. How could we hope to navigate space wielding naught but passion and a pen? I will hold my breath and fold into you a hundred times plus three—only then will our atoms embrace the universe.

The lowest key on the grand piano of my childhood was an A—a deep sub-contra-octave, shaking the earth beneath firmly planted feet. I recall the density of those vibrations—the low A, a singularity that startled primordial waters, upon whose ripples rode the remnants of our collision, the wobbling cosmic swell that birthed the universe’s glimmering, fingerprint-dappled ebony, reflecting starlit eyes long dead. Those prints remain, proof of our entanglement across impossible spacetimes. Witness me whence you wait, and fall, will I, yes, fall, whenever you will, for floating is a fatal misnomer. Bodies always fall—for, toward, or past one another, for better or for worse—some achieve stable orbits while others are drawn too harshly to save themselves from collision—all pulled by the relative gravity of their own desperation. And yet there are others whose fields are too weak to pull anything in, so they fall without bearing, tugging at the hems of the fabric of the cosmos.

Are you ready? The launch parameters are undecided. Smack the monitor once or twice to restore visibility. The stabilizers were functional last time I checked—Are you ready? We will be stepping—no, swimming—or rather, pulled by our scruffs upward—or not, because there is no “up” in space—only away—but where to? And who is doing the pulling? Are you ready? The Earth has us fettered by our feet but the cuffs binding our affections to the stars are stronger. Are you ready? Let’s wing it.

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