Monday, June 7, 2010

Story from the Archives.

I was recently going through a bunch of my writing materials and rearranging them throughout my room/desk/shelves/closets/life. One of the key pieces in all that I write is a ginormous black, spiral notebook. It is unmarked, undecorated, very much unlike all of my other notebooks. Nothing's glued to it and there are no words written on the front. It is the 5 subject kind, with pockets galour. And in it is...everything. Notes. Drawings. Random musings. Outlines. Character sketches. Stories. Stuff I printed off the Internet. Articles I hack out of new papers. Sticky notes. Quotes. Research. More musings.

Quite literally, when it comes to my writing, everything besides the actual manuscripts.

Today, on a tea break in between novel manuscript edits (*those happen when I am sick of staring at my computer screen and the words I have written on it and decide I need some hot, caffeine-filled liquid. Today's choice: Pomegranate infused black tea, no sugar, just a bit of milk*), I was flipping through that notebook and came across a pencil-written, short story which I apparently (according to the date in the right hand corner of the first page) wrote last May in my cabin in Vermont (also according to the first page). I very vaguely recall writing it... The title I gave it was "The House of Windows."

It's ...really weird. Not my normal writing style, not even my normal genre. And 'holy intentional sentence fragments, Batman!' I think Strunk and White and all the middle school grammar teachers of the world would faint if they read it.  I have to confess, I love choppy, short, fragmenty sentence structures (has anyone noticed?). Not all the time, but I'm not ever really against it. In the right amount, at the right time, I find short sentences- even fragments- to be very exciting. For the most part I try and control this, otherwise no one would ever want to read anything I've written, but...looks like on May 24th, 2009 my control slipped.

Not sure what prompted my writing of this, or what was going on in my head, but I have a foggy memory of that being a weekend on which I was reading some Ray Bradbury (I love him, but boy, does he write odd stuff)... that generally brings the inner (...just barely...) weirdness out of me.

So take a looksy. Don't know what will become of this story (especially as I am still not sure of where it even came FROM). Just thought I'd share.

Transparent is what it was. Clear before the entire world of onlookers who daily passed by. It was a house like no one had seen and they all thought that they saw right through it.

Smack-dab on the corner, where one lonely road met one slightly more homey, sat the house. Unlike every other house in the little town, just south of where populations were more than two digits, this house was different.

“Downright unnatural. Unearthly.” speculates a little blue-haired lady on her rocker, atop her paint-chipping porch. “It just showed up one day. Us folks went to bed and when we woke up, there sat that monster, glinting in the rising sun. Definitely unnatural. I don’t like the looks of it, so I try and not look.”

“I try and steer clear of it” says a man whose eyes are on the ground and thumbs are tucked in the pockets of his dirty-kneed dungarees. “Ain’t right. First I thought it was a…greenhouse of sorts, you know, with all that glass like that. But no plants livin’ in there, no plants whatsoever.”

Yes, the house was far from a place to cultivate greenery. It was the house of windows. All windows.

Every square inch of the transparent house on the corner was made of windows. Windows of every type. Boxed-paned windows, framed out in white; big, modern windows with extra thick and perfect glass; peep-hold sized windows; grands ones that looked like they belonged in a cathedral, and one large bay window to the left of the swinging glass pane that was the door. It was as though someone had raided a salvage yard and pieced together the house in effect.

No one could explain it, and nobody dared ask at the door. No one even came within a hundred feet of it. They’d just sit their on their porches, scratching their graying heads, unable to think of a reason why the odd folks inside would have wanted to build it.

“It gives our town a bad name…” mumbles a man, too busy to talk as he swings a hoe between rows of dirt.

“Who would want to live in a glass box?” says a fine little lady, snapping the ends off of an apron full of green beans, on her front door step. “Everyone can just look into their business. It is like they live in a fancy department store window or somethin’. Do folks do that these days? If so, we want nothing of it. Let them keep their business to themselves. That’s the decent way of living life.”

But apparently the folks in the house of windows were okay with leaving their “business” for the others to see.

“Enigmatic is what it is.” says a gentleman latching tight his barn door, and giving the lock an extra tug. “Don’t know why it is they chose to live that way, but I am not gunna be the one to find out.”

Enigmatic indeed, living in a box of pieced together window panes, transparent before everyone, surrounded by walls, of sorts, but walls clear enough to be seen through, if someone wanted to be brave enough to look.

But no one really wants to get close enough to look. Nobody wants to dare to get close enough to find out what it is all about. Too unearthly. Much too out of the ordinary. People of the town like their houses, with walls no one can see through. Sure, they like to share their business, just as much as the next person, as that is what small towns do, but only when and how they want to.

So they leave them be. They let the enigma of that house go untouched. They leave the riddle unsolved. People like enigmas, though mostly they just like to make up their own answers when they can’t seem to solve them. It is always easier that way.

No one really wants to know what it would truly be like to get to know those people who live in the house of windows. Gettin’ to know is just funny like that, most times. It takes too much vulnerability. And vulnerability, like a glass window pane, always has two sides.
**ps: this is today's second post. Check out the first one, also writing related.**


ElwoodK_Rank佳玲 said...

教育無他,愛與榜樣而已 ............................................................

Amie said...

Hi Pirate Jacky,

I found your blog from your mom. You are a WOW writer, you sound so much older than 19!

And I think we have the same glasses, the ones in your picture that has the caption about your sense of humor. :)


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