Immediately, I recognize the shape. I had watched the tiny glows of these reflective spheres for an eternity, just far enough away from time to watch the patterns etch deep neon lines into the empty space. In my being stirs an ancient affection, a nostalgia. I had been there before, and I would be there again. In a way, I suppose I am there now. Always there, always watching and waiting for the moment when the spheres had enough light.
There are many rules here, none of which you necessarily have to follow.
After all, you have free will. Or do you? Do you?
If you choose to break these rules, there will be consequences, and the consequences will be swift and severe.
Some of the rules will protect you. Most will not.
Most were made up on a whim to benefit those writing the rules.
But we all write the rules. Are you the one doing it? Are you? Are you?
And it’s back and forth and back and forth for a while and you fight and you love and you see
And eventually you’ll find yourself waking up next to a child who has stolen your face
And you will be wondering why you don’t feel more wise or confident or prepared
You’ll find yourself deciding deciding deciding
You are the decider. You are at the mercy of endless forces both seen and unseen
You’ll find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you’ll find yourself appropriating the work of others.
This is called plagiarism, but this is a misnomer.
There is nothing new under the sun, not even that phrase.
My confidence in you is my confidence in myself
Which I gained from something my mother told me,
She told me to look inside myself for the answers
Which she told me because of her confidence in herself to do the same
And it works, but sometimes I have the wrong answers, which is okay, it just makes things more interesting.
You are rubber melting in the sun
You are the afterthought of a thousand passersby
You are coming apart, but once you see
Once you really see that there’s no hope of putting yourself back together,
Then you can begin to put yourself back together.
Russell stood facing an aisle of tiny, nondescript cubes. All contained the compressed materials that were required to print various living room sets, and all were labeled with pretentious names. The Winter Warmth Collection came with a frosty silk couch, its soft curves hemmed in baby blue, a matching ottoman and recliner, plus two pillows in sewn in the baby blue of the hemming, and hemmed with the frosty white of the silk. Rustic Canyons came with the same items, all more square and much more brown and leathery.
There was Tinder Nights and Modern Casual and Arabian Dream and, as Russell stared, he was greeted with a seemingly unprovoked feeling of apathy. He searched this feeling for a provocation and produced the idea that maybe he felt that the choice, that all of the choices this store offered, were pointless. All of the options were the same. They all existed to lift the buyer further into their little corner of reality. The question was who did Russell Crenshaw want to be?
He felt a presence behind him and turned to acknowledge it. It was a woman, about twenty-six, auburn hair, eyes full of understanding, and a slightly turned-down mouth. Her face was one he thought he might know, but couldn’t place. She was standing uncomfortably close behind Russell, staring at the aisle with the same sort of blankness that Russell had been.
“Funny, isn’t it?” She didn’t break eye contact with the aisle.
“Well, it’s all so fake.”
Russell’s ears perked up a little. An old remnant of his ancestral animal past.
“Yeah,” he said, “It’s sort of all about status.”
“And it’s an illusion of choice. Like, we have these options, but they’re the only options we have. Can’t really go out and build a couch these days.”
“I guess you could break down the parts from multiple sets once they’re printed.”
“Yeah, you could. Why don’t more people do that?”
“Dunno. People get used to a system and they kind of just go with the flow, I guess.”
“We should do it.”
“We should buy a bunch of these together, print them all out, and then break them down into our own furniture.”
“I— Yeah, that— That sounds great,” Russell hadn’t been so immediately awestruck by a person like this in quite some time. He was smitten, and could react only as such.
“I don’t even know you, though. What’s your name?”
“Samantha,” and she flashed a perfect smile.
“I’m Russell,” he extended his hand.
“I— Oh, handshake,” she laughed and accepted the gesture, “Yeah, alright.”
Another big smile from her, and this made Russell smile, too. His mind had a tendency to jump the gun in these sort of situations and he knew that it did, but still, he couldn’t help but feel hopelessly optimistic about this woman.
“There’s just one thing,” she said, “Right now, I have to get home and take care of a few things. But I’ll give you my number, and you can check out my profile on myfreedreamgirls.com.”
Samantha got a pen out and grabbed Russell’s open palm. The hopeless optimism drained from Russell. She began to write a number, and Russell pulled his hand away.
“Not interested, sorry,” he forced the words out over the lump in his throat and turned to walk off.
“No,” she said, grabbing him by the shoulder, “Just let me give you my profile—”
“Not interested,” the words were getting more stern.
“Well, then let me tell you about our—”
“I’m not interested,” he kept walking.
“I think you’d really like—”
“Jesus,” he turned back to her again, fuming, “How the fuck do I— Not. Interested.”
Samantha stared with the same blankness as before.
Samantha smiled one last time, said, “Have a nice day, Russell,” nice and flat, and walked off. Russell buried his face in his hands and sighed.
What was that first thought that you had?
The one that’s brought you all of this
It’s a heavy kind of feeling
Knowing that it was you all along
What a clever game
Every time you try to grab onto the solution
Resting just below the surface of the glassy water
Every time you try to express
What you know is true
You end up sounding kind of like an asshole
The last act of the night
Is an unflinching declaration
Of the same name as the first
Stating what’s done
It’s been working hard for the time being
it gets a rest it gets a rest
Sky is turning blue now
it gets a rest it gets a rest
Assessment of the time that it takes
Yeah, I guess it was a good way to get a little more perspective.
It was the only thing that I could do
That then and there
Here and now and now and now
I’m trying not to be with myself
I’m trying to get away
But the other side of the court has ruled a duration longer than I can handle
I can handle a lot.Can I handle I can handle. a lot
I’m not even getting the most important thing. It was the same experience as a feeling. One that makes you think that you’re not going to get the brunt of her. Yeah, dude.They’ve just got a few times, and she had said something about how much sound it’s gonna take for her to be with me. I don’t know what you want. I don’t know what you think. I just want to be the first one to be with the whole of a world.
Presented itself as overwhelming for a second
But it is something that can be surpassed
It is solvable
All things are
It just takes time
But hell, it’s even downright fun at times
You at least have to admit that
Back up a little
There’s something and you know it
Every once in a while
It’s just that there was this great idea