Reading the signs

“Are you breaking up with me?”

“Yes”

“But why?”

“You’ve read Foucault. There is nothing I could tell you that would be news to you”

“I do not understand”

“That’s the point. You’ve written about it at extended length and in considerable detail, yet you still end up acting the way you do. It’s as if the theory is all there, but you lack all will to actually use it”

“But”

“No buts. The circumstances allowing for such speech acts have long passed. I just wanted you to know, and why. I hope your next article turns out well”

Muscle memory

“It’s like riding a bike”

“In that you never really forget how to do it, and can pick it up years and years later?”

“Yes. But that’s only part of the story. See, your body remembers riding bikes, but it also remembers doing it with a different set of muscles than you have now. So you act on your memories and assume things that are not there, and end up doing things you’d rather not do”

“Huh. I guess I never thought about it that way”

“No worries. Let’s take it easy this first time, to get up to speed”

Damning praise

All her life, she had been praised for her principles and her strong sense of right and wrong. More often than not, she was held forward as an example to emulate, a role model to follow. It happened more often than she was comfortable with, but being herself, she never let it show.

The praise is not false, mind. It is quite on the money, in fact. But it rings true for the wrong reasons.

Thing is, she is not guided by principles or strong commitments. She is driven by a brutal and relentless neuroticism, and is literally unable to act any other way. Given time, this tendency will burn her out, but until then, she will be the one to shine the brightest.

An important event

It was a dark and semi-windy night, perfect for a nice leisurely stroll through the empty burbscape. Those who had been out on the town had already turned in, but it was too early yet for the secret traffic of early morn to have emerged. Thus, she was the only one out and about at this temperate hour

Except

There was another presence

Unhurriedly, she crouched and reached out her hand, waiting for the cat to approach. It did, slowly, tentatively, then meowed and headbuffed her leg. A few short moments of scratching later, it meowed again and meandered off into the night

Crisis/opportunity

“Okay. We can sort this out. Blink once if it’s cat-related”

blink

“Blink twice if it’s cats, plural”

blink blink

“Blink thrice if it’s more than five cats”

blink blink blink

“Ye gods. So many cats!”

“What shall we do with all of them?”

“Well, you know…”

“Yes?”

“We could embrace the situation and keep them. All of them. Have all the cats”

“So many kittens”

“Yes”

“I like this plan”

“So many kittens”

“We’re gonna need a bigger bowl”

Keywords

She liked fan fiction, but never had time to read any. Life insisted on other things. Not having time to read was no reason not to enjoy it, and thus, she rebelled.

The rebellion consisted of speedreading. Or, rather, reading the tags and imagining what manner of stories might emerge from them. A good set of tags could keep her imagination going for hours, even as life demanded she be somewhere else, not reading. A good set of tags are worth more than a thousand words, she’d often say.

To be sure, of all of us, she is the one who has read the most stories.

Effective communication

The cat glared

It was an unmistakable glare. It said, plain as day, that no one would get past this spot, and that even thinking about attempting was foolishness beyond foolish. This was conveyed with such authority that it took on a truth of its own, beyond the merely physical. It was, all things considered, a metaphysical statement

It was ever so slightly undermined by the fact that people walked past all the time, both back and forth, with the only result that the glare shifted to the next person in line, but this was of little concern

The cat continued to glare, unperturbed