Day 13, the Awakening

Another morning-rise of a day comes, and the clocks ring and the watches tick and the sounds come back into the world. The world which is frozen; no birds sing its praise. The week reaches its arbitrary middle, but it is not arbitrary at all: before this day, two days have passed; after this day, two more will come.

The light has not yet come into this room, It can’t, it is not allowed. But the cold is here, it creeps in, uninvited, and stays until driven away. It came early last night, and now reigns. The elbows feel it. The hands and their fingers do not, yet, but it will come to them. The feet remain hidden, and that is important for the moment.

Soon, I shall have to venture into the world, and see its bitterness for myself. The hard, uncaring, merciless bitterness. I am not afraid of it, but I do not seek it. Not on this morning, or any morning. Maybe one day I shall wrap myself in it, and embrace it to be embraced in return, but it will not be on a morning.

The stream dries out. Maybe I should find another… Another stream from the same source? Ha! But it is not the source that is dry; it only pauses to take a breath. The source cannot dry out, though it may withhold its offerings for a time. To one and all, or just some. Such is its nature. A cursed thing, isn’t it? Who wouldn’t wish for a flow unending, unceasing, unbroken? And yet, as with all the wishes, one should be careful. Most careful, indeed. Caveats are always necessary, though pointlessly limited they seem when made. But at this moment, I wish for no interruptions. Nothing to stem the flow, ever.

It is not to be, though. Even now, my eyes unfocus, and my hand stops, becoming glazed with different desires. To sleep, to disconnect. To forget about the world, and the cold slowly reaching the hands (but not the feet, not yet), and bury myself back into the night’s warmth. I know it must end, but I wish to delay it nonetheless.

But it is not allowed. The words must pour out, for a time yet, and then the world will enter fully.

All words have their place. Knowing when and what that place is is the trick. To dismiss any for a prejudice or personal dislike is folly, for one robs oneself od the ability to express the full spectrum of meaning. Useless and undesirable a word may seem, but when its time comes, one will regret having dismissed it.

I could not possibly be hearing a mosquito. I could not possibly.

The Desolation of Jackson

Once a year or so, I go to the cinema to see a film just to remind myself why I don’t go to cinemas to see films. On this occasion, the pick was the two and a half hour CGI spectacle The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

Even before I saw the first part, it was obvious that, in order to make three very long films out of Tolkien’s thin children’s book, certain… liberties would have to be taken with the story. Then I saw the first part, and while I cringed at some of those liberties taken with it, such as the three trolls scene and the spectacular fight in Goblintown (which looked like a Monty Python sketch of the Fellowship’s stay in Moria from the LOTRO film, only stupid). But after seeing that film, I didn’t feel like I had wasted two and a half hours.

The second one, however… I’m not quite sure where to start. The Orcs chasing Thorin? Legolas (whose eyes will apparently change colour some time between the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings) chasing the Orcs? The socio-economic analysis of Laketown? The joining of the elf and the dwarf being added to the two ‘canon’ joinings of the races of elves and men? By the time Bilbo found the keyhole for the secret door into Erebor, I was already bored. But one more thing was to come. After a faithful reproduction of the kids’ story dialogue between Bilbo and Smaug, we were treated to the action sequence of the dwarves running around trying to… Drown in gold? Burn with molten gold? Do something to the dragon with liquid gold, anyway, I don’t think even the writers were sure what.

Has Peter Jackson managed to create the world’s most spectacular and extravagant piece of fan fiction? Yup. And it’s, like most fan fiction, bad. Another thing is also bad: I’ll have to go see the last film when it comes out. At least, the Battle of Five Armies might fill enough space so that no more love triangles need to be added, and that might make the film, well, not worth actively avoiding.

A note on technology here. I saw the film in 4DX. Which means I spent two and a half hours being shaken like a sack of potatoes in a very uncomfortable chair (it would’ve made sense if I was watching something from the first person perspective, but why did I have to feel every branch a dead spider hit on its way down from the top of the tree?) and having water and smells that only vaguely resembled something reminiscent of what the scene I was watching would smell like being sprayed at me through nozzles whose hiss was audible even over the loudest sound effects. The gentle waving of the seats with the movement of the camera and the blowing of the air conditioning in the sweeping open air scenes were nice, but for the next year’s visit to the cinema, 3D is as far as I’ll, technologically, be going.

A Year as a Dog Person

A year ago today, I returned home in the evening with a cardboard box and a Westie puppy in it. It followed an impulse decision, the worst kind if one wants to get a dog, I made earlier that day – I called some breeders, found one who had a recent litter and wasn’t too far away, and a 160 km drive later, I was back home as a dog owner.

I had never before had a dog. I had no idea what to do with one. I hadn’t even thought of a name for her – Pika was what I came up with during the drive back. I wasn’t materially prepared – she spent her first few nights sleeping in he cardboard box she came in, and eating the little food I got from the breeder. The first few walks were much fun, since I didn’t have a leash. But, equipment was bought and ordered, stuff was frantically researched on the Internet, and the puppy neither starved, nor got run over by a car, nor died of neglect.

A year later, I think I can call the dog experiment a success. I have a well-behaved doggie who doesn’t suffer from the small dog syndrome, who pees and poos where she’s supposed to, who doesn’t chew on things which aren’t supposed to be chewed on (too much), who is social and socialised, and in whose mind there is absolutely no doubt about my unreachably superiour status as the pack alpha.

I’ve learned some things about myself, too. It seems I’m more patient and tolerant than I thought – I am capable of finding a pile of dog poo in the middle of the floor without murdering the offending party, and I don’t fly into a rage when she does something wrong. This came as a bit of a surprise, as I thought it would be one of the biggest problems.

I also realised I should’ve gotten a cat. As nicely as I think my dog and our relationship have turned out, I’m, in the end, not a dog person. Dogs (well, mine, at least) are too needy. Too dependent. And I’m finding that a bit too much to deal with sometimes.


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