Two Shorts at The Keys

I had a couple of ideas today, so I decided to make writing exercises out of them and managed to scribble something down tonight while I was at the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff listening to two excellent bands, Wrongs and The Keys.  Potentially it was ignorant, if not a little rude, to write my way through both performances, but when the muse is on your tit, you gotta nurse it I reckon.

So firstly related to this head-cold I’m yet to shake and latterly based on a conversation I had with a person about a thing, please find two short doodles that are as yet unworked.  As always I welcome thoughts, comments… even opinions.  Thanks  for reading.

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Anosmic 

It was one of those things she was lucky to come back from and she knew it; they wouldn’t let her forget.  Eight days in ICU in a small, ill-equipped hospital, where her Mother was told every day “if she makes it through the night…”  and she’d snapped slowly out of it and had sprung gradually back to being alive.

She was thankful every day in overt and expressive ways and almost as if her life had been extended and gifted back to her she felt that she must now measure every experience through the prism of perspective.  No matter what aggrieved or annoyed her, she had to bear it with the demeanour of one who knows she’s lucky to be alive.

So when eventually she sat, then stood, then walked, her infant achievements were applauded and lauded as they had been the first time and she could hardly complain that she may never taste nor smell again.

She bargained with powers beyond her being that they could have her olfactory sense if she could somehow taste again.  But three times a day she was reminded that this would not be the case and her only consolation became that she might then lose weight.

She was forced to pass foreign and unsatisfying textures into her gullet by means of a mouth which tired of chewing what it could no longer taste.  And as she chewed her thoughts would mull the absence of flavour until the most familiar of sensations felt alien.  Foods would break-down and tiny hard fragments would lodge or swill until they felt as indigestible shards and she would be forced to spit.  She’d have to find yet blander foods, more ignorable, to automate and push down.

She had sampled the phases of grief.  In denial she ate nothing but flaming spice and infamous curry and gathered crowds as she munched on the hottest of dishes and won prizes for it.  The pleasure was shortlived and after cycling through the stages she eventually settled on acceptance, of the smoothest pureed food a person could survive on.  Anaemic soups of the slimiest vegetables, which wouldn’t turn to grit (like potato did, bastard potato), lots of squash and carrots and water and after, mashed fruit she didn’t need to masticate, for energy and natural yoghurt and some days just tea as it’s all she could bear and never anything so coarse as a biscuit or a vulgar hunk of meat she’d have to chew and each day she rose and gave her thanks for life and being alive but acceded that in an elemental way it didn’t feel very much like living.

First Impression

It’s an initial, instinctual reaction, like fight or flight, but instead it’s just hate.  It’s immediate; it’s unavoidable.

Yet it’s not, because it may be quick, but it is calculated.  It has time to appraise the situation and the relationships between distinct objects and the tone of their interactions and the resulting hatred may be immediate… but immediate is nothing for a human and aeons for a brain.

As quickly as she can see a person and identify them as human and decode that they are not an aggressor and infer that they are not themselves in danger and realise they are not suitable for mating, then assess their dress and mediate their manner and translate their communication – whether vocalisation and/or bodily manifestation – just as quickly, she can decide unequivocally that she hates them.  This person that she owns only a second’s-worth of data about (one megabit?  eight?) she knows beyond all refutable doubt that they are stupid or wrong or inferior or weak or pathetic or disdainful in myriad other ways.

Even in the second second, where she berates herself for such instantaneous qualification and feels remorse and shame so attempts to reevaluate more fairly and if she can’t think anything nice then she should think nothing at all and merely approach them with enlightened love, she finds she can give them no more good grace than to admit that perhaps she is wrong and maybe she judged too soon, but that she will have to reconcile herself to never knowing.  Instead she moves on.  To indefinite amount of evaluating transactions with humans she has no wish to know.

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