choose your own adventure

Feedback time. I'll give you some bits of somethings, and you say which bit you want to hear more from:

Bit Number One

As a general rule, the Smiggleworths are regular people. Not a one of them wears a wristwatch as a subconsciously inherited rule. A Smiggleworth stomach is a better timepiece than what the Swiss used to produce. At three evenly divided intervals, precisely the same intervals, each Smiggleworth stomach  grumbles unhappily. Likewise, sleepiness seems to run contagiously and regularly. A typical Wednesday night: the Smiggleworths are all reading their favorite books, and little Juniper Smiggleworth is beggining to nod off at precisely 9:30 PM. Now see the yawns quickly traveling across the room. Each one is placing his bookmark---be it a piece of pant, dental floss, or pressed flower--in its place, and they're tiptoeing off to bed.
The only downside to their marvelously coordinated internal clocks is that the Smiggleworth household has 9 occupants and one bathroom. So, unbeknownst to them, at precisely the same time: 7am, 12pm, 5pm, and 9 the Smiggleworths and their tortured bladders all line up outside the bathroom to take their turn.

Do you want to know more about them? Do you want to know what happens to them? It might be dark and lonesome. It may be outta this world. I may be, well, just another story we may as well have read fifty times.

Bit Number Two

I grab the doorknob--a snippet from my dream last night pops into my head--I hate that. I pull on the knob and the door peels back like a sheet of rubber. I shudder. That's disgusting, wood is not supposed to behave like rubber. What is the world coming to? 

What even is this nonsense? Do you want to know?

 Bit Number Three

There once was an unfortunate man with the last name 'Winner.' Or rather I should say: There once was a man with the unforuntate last name 'Winner.' But I don't know which statement is more true because a man is so adhered to his name that the two can't seem to do anything really apart; the one is always getting ascribed to the other. 
This unfortunate Mr. Winner married the unfortunate Liza Hamm, who really didn't like being a Hamm and thought the new name a great improvement. But she was unfortunately wrong, as she never would have been driven to such cruelty against her son, as she was, the day he was born.  

"Unfortunate" is repeated a lot in this one...but it may not be an unfortunate story at all. It may be a tale of triumph and great happiness!   ?  

The End of the World

The world has come to an end—at least as far as I am concerned. —I say "as far as I am concerned" because the subject to which I refer is "humanity" and I seem to be the only existing specimen. Today, I am Humanity.

I have seen not a dieing human soul in eleven years. Neither have I seen a living one.

I sit now on a stool at the kitchen counter of some random house in a suburb of what was once known as Chicago when there was a need in the world to call places by names. I don't suppose I need to call it "Chicago" for my own benefit. Humanity has moved beyond the need for proper nouns. But I'd like to hear, just once, someone say my name.

God, this place is void! All places are void! I find some comfort in little things, like beds-still-made I can crawl into and pretend was made for me, and, for some strange, great reason, trees give me comfort, are my haven and rest.

But most things now are merely reminders of what I lost, I think I lost—I sometimes wonder if not the world before was the dream and not this—that I have awakened from a prenatal subconscious into a world that is as much about me as is the world inside my mind—that the world I see began when my mind awoke—that the dream I had about "others," filling the world, driving the world, controlling the world, merely means to express a subconscious conviction that I, Humanity, am all there is to the story worth mentioning. I must be the main character. Right?

Certain things remind me more soberly of my loss (if it is a loss), my dream (if it is a dream): odd things like gardens that have forgotten that they need people in order to thrive. I know its silly. Shouldn't I rejoice that they live? But I don't think I would bear it worse if the gardens could not survive. It would mean that we mattered.

I have spoken to no one but the murmurs of the wind through vacant cities. I have seen no one but the phantoms plating billboards on I-69.

I sit—I'm shaking again—in a house in a suburb full of the absence of people. And I wonder to what end I am living. Am I still looking for "others"? Could I handle the existence of another "I," another ego, in this world? A world, once all your own, can it be shared? This would, I expect, sound like nonsense to someone who knows nothing but "others."

But, I look outside at the dark traffic lights and the wild gardens and the still swingsets and I... I so want to be held!

I can't get out of my mind a sentence I suppose I said as a child, or if not, then a sentence from my subconscious dream, or if not, then a sentence that has been imprinted upon the human racial memory clinging yet to secrets in my blood, for I can scarcely imagine what a child's lips would be like had they not once pursed to form these words—and I cannot shake the words. They are my source of greatest sorrow and soberest sanity. They haunt me deeply and touch me deeply. And I can hope—oh! can I hope?—that I may one day know the meaning: "Will you stay with me until I fall asleep?"


Pop Song Sonnet

This post deserves an explanation. The challenge this week was to write an 80s pop song----in the format of a Shakespearan or Spencerian Sonnet.

Stay True to Your Fool

I've got your number and I've got your song
I'll sing it out until you hit the wall
oh every single second you were wrong
and every single lie was ten feet tall

[robots dancing]

But if you try to break my heart I'll call
and break you in a thousand pieces too
so rip my heart and watch the tear drops fall
and pray that there's some tape lyin' next to you

[skinned chickens flying]

so if you want the maddness see it through
just love yourself enough to be so cruel
I'm hanging up the line and towel too
cause baby I've found out that you're a fool

Just try to run and try to hide your heart
but baby this ain't it, it's just the start.

Pop Song Sonnet

Synthesizers, trumpets, keyboards, drums
Bring life to Blondie's rhythmic overture.
Keren, can you finish this?