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Victor Ivanovich Shapliapin liked to take long strolls along the banks of the river. He could be very easily spottet doing just that every afternoon. It was not very hard to recognize him, as he was quite an unusual individual, with many ideas hidden under his winter hat. Some of his contemporaries suggested that some of his inventions might be of incredible use for the military, others, more worried, were very afraid they could possibly fall into the hands of terrorists. The thing with Shapliapin was though, that nobody really knew what he did, how he did it, or even why he would never do anything about it.
All that was visible to the public were his long walks with his hat suspended in the air just a few centimeters ahead of Victor Ivanovich's nose, floating, somehow attached to him, and yet clearly separated from his slowly moving body.
Shapliapin rarely spoke a word with others, he did not seem to care too much about the papers and the other ways of spreading news...
He apparently wrote many letters to some distant friends and relatives. And even though those were all intercepted and checked for any dangerous information, they did not seem to contain anything, not just a trace of any unusual thought.
Some brave citizens asked why such an individual were not imprisoned or at least called in for some serious questioning. There was a really obvious threat to all of them, a ticking time bomb... but for some reason, no order to arrest Shapliapin ever made it into the right hands, or maybe the address was somehow mixed up, leading to slightly scandalous raids on the apartments of his neighbors. Yes, there were some injuries, some apparently accidental deaths.
So years later, Shapliapin still made his rounds, the hat floating softly in front of him, his look quite focused on something nobody else seemed to see.
It was on that afternoon in December that somebody finally had the courage to point their rifle from a distance and to liberate the city of this really dangerous man... the rest is of course history, but it is not history we shall care about here, and not now.



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The wheel was good. It gave him a good push, even after he stopped moving for the day. He would just close his eyes, his many eyes, and the wheel would keep turning, making him wake up in a completely different place, at a completely different time for sure. He would then open his eyes one by one by one... slowly, very, very slowly.
His view of things was quite overwhelming at times... There was so much for him to take in, so little time to do that, such richness, so little curiosity to actually think about it.
And so he would react to things, flee from things, jump at things. He would never really interpret anything he saw. He would just wind up his wheel, close his eyes... and let himself be pushed... further, and further away...




she laughed, she was not worried at all. she had been mistaken as the protector of thinking organs, and yet she was a secret carrier of ideas herself. with brains sliced and preserved in jars hidden in basements of various museums, she was a laughing witness, she was the one that carried more information, for now... she was the one that would stay longer, survive somehow....
she imagined how interesting it would be if she were the actual thinking device. if she were not protecting or protected but exposed, used to bumps and scratches and serious hits and alterations. what if she had the power to heal herself even more than the brain could... and yet she would be much more dense, would collect ideas better, she would see much more...
oh well...



he was a self made king. he had worked really hard to kill the ones who were in his way. he had worked his way up to the top of it all. he had to paint his own hermelin to get there, and he had to grow his own crown...
still he could not get rid of the feeling that there had been too many odd individuals on his path to his personal victory to actually stay where he was...
he was certain to die, as soon as he dropped one of the royal insignia... the knife of his most trusted friend or even brother was waiting to be used...
oh, bloody knife...


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The second she was born, she was told that she was the most precious, most wonderful new member of the family. Everybody laughed and smiled and waved hello. She was very happy and focused, sharp, intelligent. More intelligent than anybody else in the family, actually. She knew when to pay attention to certain detail, knew what to see, and how to see it.
And they just loved her, they all just loved to show her around. She got to see the entire apartment, she got to see the garden, the street. All the friends got together to see her. All happily waving, excited.
Then came the trips. The trips were probably the best. She was shown all of the interesting sights. She looked at them, understood them quite well, translated their ideas, remembered them.
Happy people in places all around the world. Locations. Days nights. Happy people, dressed, almost naked, beyond naked, moving, standing still, funny, unusual, more funny. She got to see it all.
She saw the arrival of the new babies, all celebrations, the holidays, she saw strange parties out in the suburbs, involving people dressed in black, lowering a box into a hole in the grass.
She got to see many people, one person, no people at all.
She then got to see items, things, whatever was around the house, on a white table cloth: toys, computers, jewelry, books (not many of those), watches, even furniture...
she eventually grew a little tired of these things... she began to lose focus, to blank out from time to time, to even fall asleep...
One day she found herself on that white table, being put into different angles... she heard some clicking, at first... then she was turned around... and she saw something that looked almost like the reflections of herself she had seen in the mirror... except there was a different name stamped on her reflection...
she was not the one taking the picture... she was the one being taken the picture of... the face that she only knew as a smiling one, was now oddly hiding behind that newer her... then came the flash, more powerful than hers... she was then shipped away...

Once she arrived in a completely different place, with completely different language spoken by her new, very different looking owners, her life began again... a completely new life... one that somehow involved things that did not look like humans or things or anything at all... she was afraid at first,... she assumed that she now completely lost focus, that she soon would be just discarded of... but eventually, she realized that she had finally entered camera heaven... that suddenly all the things she had been very ashamed off, the blurry images, the missed shots, the overexposed blobs... these were the things that were really loved about her... she was so ecstatic about it, that she eventually began to shoot on her own, secretly... happily... most beautifully...
how wonderful...
(and this is how she recorded this one thing that happened on the porch in december... she did it all on her own...)



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Elizabeth knew, this one was too good to be true. Such delicious crumbs right in the middle of St Luke's Mews?, right next to that good old postal pillar? no other birds? Nope, this was clearly a trap and a pretty obvious one as well... cats?
She could now simply wait here for the postman to pick up the mail at 6:30, right when good old Ms. Smith tends to walk by here with her little pug, the dog would start his extensive barking concerto, this was most likely to confuse the stupid cats and allow Elizabeth to go for the crumbs. The only question now was if it was worth investing the time now to wait for the crumbs here, (47 minutes), or if she should just fly over to Upper Gilmore's place, where there was always cake on Thursdays, yet one barely was able to see their own beak, because of the location being such a stupid pigeon hot spot. Yet she could quite possibly fly into Charlie and Billie and maybe even Phil, and they always had such a jolly good time, exchanging little ideas about most recent trends in nest architecture...
Clearly, the crumbs were not worth it... unless...



He had been attacked by a giant yellow round something, in the middle of the night, in the kitchen, out of nowhere, okay maybe not out of nowhere... still just imagine... The shape reminded him of his early video game days, but the skin was cold and waxy and hard. No pixels here. Just this big, really heavy, round, semi flat thing, rolling towards him, threatening, dangerous, unpredictable...
Okay, maybe it was just there, flat, but still a real threat, since it could have jumped up any second... a scary thought...
He had to use a knife to protect himself, preemptively. He slashed it, cut it, it was not easy, he almost injured himself in the process, yet he did it, he managed, he survived.
It could have been worse, it could have been much worse, of course.
It all turned out to be pretty yummy... and there was still plenty left for later.

(call it the big cheese)


It was a very clean job, a very clean procedure, no traces left, no sounds left, not even traces of memories left. Well the adrenalin was still there, the delicious, good, addictive adrenaline. It was worth it. Every single time. It was worth the wait, it was worth the time it was worth the struggle...
She now listened very closely to all the potential sounds around her. She would move on now. It was all done and good and really better than ever before.
And in just a few seconds, even she would be gone from here. Quietly.
She was certainly not the one making any noise. She was far too good for that.



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Nobody would ever notice her. This little dot, that tiny little thing... She was, in fact, a small, yet growing, galaxy, expanding at a slightly slower pace than what the human mind might ever even care to see. She started in a garden, somewhere behind a little wooden house. Her colors glowing, yes, but muted, not overpowering, warm. It took her several days to expand to the size of what others might have considered a poppy seed... oh, a tiny one at best... really small... her gravity was not very good yet, she was only able to swallow a bee or two, then a squirrel, a cat... but there was really no rush... she wanted to take over here in a bit more than a few million years...



She was beautiful and she was incredibly gifted. Her days would be spent in a world filled with what we see and know and also much, much more. She saw the things and also the things between the things, and even those between them. She knew before and after and now, but also the benow and afnow and all the shades of time and space. Not only the real, the imagined one as well.
Most of her time was spent smiling at things and places and those things we do not even have words for.
In the evenings she would exhale, turn herself into a tiny person at first, then a small blue thing, then a tiny speckle of some sort, then a single, non-dimensional point in space and time.
In the mornings, long before what we call sunrise, she would awaken, as a super nova, ready to take in, collect, and to transform...
the things and the things between the things, the times and the times between the times, and even the ideas and the ideas between them...



Swimming was for losers. Anybody could just swim with the sharks or the dolphins or whatever school of fish just happened to be the hippest, coolest, most now, whatever. She really did not care. Her life was short, she had no intention to make some dumb alliances for survival. It was all about sightseeing, baby. Learning languages, ocean history, depth magic and sightseeing.
She had read somewhere that her species was supposed to be quite intelligent, but live only for about a year or so. That sounded quite frustrating at first. Just one year is not a lot when one takes into consideration the age of the entire planet. What could have also worried her beyond that was the fact that she was not really sure about her real age at the time of this grim discovery. For all she knew, she could have been eleven months already. What was she to do?, kill herself now, or maybe enjoy the last 30 days or so, or 60, or maybe 300?...
It was after her 7th summer or so when she started to ask herself why she was not yet as dead as predicted by all those who themselves were by now gone?... why did she not want to swim?, why was the the only one that really looked really like her?...
She was not quite sure about the reasons, and maybe the reasons were not really what she was looking for. She now somehow had the idea that it might be simply time to leave the ocean... (and I think she did just that...)



Where others saw blurry blobs of color, he was able to read serial numbers etched into the windows of the skyscraper. When others were scared to drive at night, he did not even turn on the lights, became invisible, drove at full speed by cops sleeping in their car, avoided little animals, crossing the road in the depths of the woods. He was maybe not the fastest runner, but he was gifted with the ability to see very clearly, from very, very far away. Even at night. Even with the lights off. And he was also able to remember things he saw. Really well, it was as if he had painted what he saw underneath his eyelids, instantly. He just needed to close his eyes and he could take a second, a third look, at the licence plate of that car a few blocks away, of the little boy, waving out of the airplane window, of the ant, struggling to carry something that looked like a giant grain of rice, downstairs, five floors below him.
He did not tell anybody about the things he saw or how he saw them. He just enjoyed and smiled and moved on. Some superpowers just were not worth it to be given away to this stupid low resolution television.


one of the recovered ones

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Here is one of the recovered images, btw. It was 99 and then it was too strange, so I never posted it. It does not have a story either, it is a bit scary... now somehow fitting after such an exhausting day...
Now really going to sleep... Hmm... I wonder what story he could tell... it could be the story of lost data... or would it be the story of him being data... lost, found again... yes, this could be a very nice Kafkaesque angle for a story. Somebody whom life reduces to data... a degrading act, really... and yet he misses it. He misses being predictible, misses being moved around as if her really were nothing more than a number...
Hmm... we might be onto something here... though it is a story told... so often... so often...


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All the other cats were just whatever they happened to be. Some were plain lions, some just stupidly striped tigers, there were Jaguars and Pumas and Panthers (not only those at the Jardin des Plantes, Paris.)
He, he was a very special species, he was beyond all that, beyond even, well you know. He was a bit of a chameleon of the cats, though he would never dare to combine these words in public. He liked to call himself the C-Cat... or Copycat, as some would say, he was the creme de la creme of looks, and smarts and oh... just name it and he certainly excelled at it... and did he not, adjustment was no problem, survival of the fittest?, he knew if anything, he would be the last cat standing, jumping, looking good. He, after all, was able to intelligently pick and choose, to grab a stripe here, to become inspired by a roar there. Some of the design solution found on cougar was much better than on a siamese cat, yet when it came to speed, he knew how to make himself look like a perfect Cheetah, going straight for the kill, cutting corners, picking the shortest sprint...
He was convinced that what he arrived at was the ultimate and the optimal perfection. Only thew best of the best, perfectly adjusted, optimized.
There was just one, just tiny, little drawback... being the very best, the fastest adapting one, the nimblest shifter of shape and color and thought, made him incredibly hmm, how did he sometimes try to call it...
Well, let's say his friends were never able to keep up. They were just slow and did not get his speed in spotting trends, and so they had to be just left behind.
So there were friends in his past, yes, many, very powerful, influential friends... like even the lion (from him he sampled the left paw)... and there were even more powerful friends in C-Cat's future... Hyena, his current buddy told him that...
Well, in the present, the present... here he did not have a real group. Right now... for now, just this second...
As for hunting... he was best at hunting trends anyway... and this winter, this winter was the winter of the Bears anyway... he would be a Copy-Bear this winter... he would own the snow, the hills, the mountains... He would be dressed up as a blackbear, be strong as a grizzly... he already saw himself rushing through the powdered snow...
At least this is what he thought, the really big bears did around December...



He was not quite sure for how long he had traveled. Something might have happened not so long ago that made him forget whatever might have been before that. Or was it a long time ago? Or... he was not quite sure where it all might have happened... if it happened at all.
All he knew right now was the fact that he was standing in front of... or was he?... well suddenly it was not quite so clear if he was really in front or right next to or maybe not at all in the picture...
oh, things used to be so much easier...
but maybe the intriguing part is this not very clear part of the things that appear completely cristal clear... hmm... this made him smile...




You still there? The canvas almost gave up on the man who really wanted to paint. He wanted to paint. He wanted to work just the way he had about a decade earlier, passionately, obsessively, lovingly. He used to touch the canvas with such caring and loving attention. He used to pour his heart right onto the stretched fabric. They would spend nights together. The paint moist and glowing and soft, his eyes focused, not the brush all of him was her tool. There were fingers, there were splashes of pure saturated liquid, thrown at layers and layers of soft, lush color.
No more, not for a while now. He missed it so much, his longing was unbearable. She missed him too, her whole existence depended on those moments spent together, alone, one on one, privately, softly, sweetly.
She deserved to be the artwork he did not allow her to be, through his cruel absence. He wanted to be in the place only the two of them were able to create... Hopefully there would be layers of wet paint again, soon...



It rained again. It just never stopped. Last time he could remember it not raining must have been in China, years ago, a long, long time ago.
But New York? Rain, rain, rain and more rain. Well, snow, sometimes, then wind. The wind was worst, maybe. It would just go under his skin, try to flip him over, ridicule him, make him lose his job, lose his head, lose his life?...
He knew exactly where the umbrellas ended that were not able to keep their heads on their necks. He saw them littering the corners, pathetic little carcasses. And there were new ones coming into the city, hoping to make it through the season. Some were being given to people for $3... pathetic little weaklings... they were lucky if they survived a good drizzle.
New York was a really interesting place for an umbrella anyway. Some of the good restaurants offered resting places for umbrellas, little conversational areas. This is where the best stories were exchanged. One umbrella has once seen a holdup. This other large had a really secret story about his owner... (nobody knew if such things could really be true.) There was one beefy guy who claimed that his inside was printed with a happy, cloudy sky. No rain? Yeah right.
So this conversational part of the job was not so bad... the wind, the rain, the long, lonely drying sessions in the bathroom... they were less fun...
But what could be done about all this... after all, he was a professional, automatic, unique, holding tight.


He had chosen the best teacher available. She had experience, she knew the insides of the culinary business like the back of her wings. Or the bottom of her feet...
Still, making letters with the tongue, ("a requirement for any job in the business"), sounded easier than it ended up to be. He really was at the end of his wits. He wanted to eat, thus he had to find a place to work, frogs could only get work in the restaurant business these days (so the teacher), this was a very tough business... he had to know the correct lingo... had to learn "tongue spelling"...
The lessons were not going too well, he was becoming hungrier and hungrier...
The teacher was not very happy with the progress...
All bad, all bad.



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It was a little challenge, every single time. They would take her out of the bag, load her up with unexposed memory tape, then wind her up and yey... show her stuff. She got to see so much. Did not want to miss a thing. The kids growing up, the travels, the landmarks, the Mona Lisa.
She had to memorize everything, as well as she possibly could. Sometimes they allowed her to blink 15 times a second, sometimes even more often. Whenever she was allowed to blink slower, the world in front of her turned into more of a dream. Layers of color, steaks of light. Such fun.
They would then take out her entire memory, send it away somewhere... and then later, watch it. They loved to watch the world as seen through her eye.
She was their favorite child...
At least until this one summer... when they left her in the hot, hot car...



He considered himself a healthy mix between a Mustang, an especially crazy horse, a human at core and... well, there was this other half. There was this part of him which he did not quite understand. It was a bit as if something had been switched when he was being manufactured, it was a bit as if he were destined to some day run into the opposite of himself, which would be more like him, the same part, complimentary, they would probably not understand each other at all, even though they would be made of exactly the same material, wait not exactly the same, the opposite, the same after all?
He just wished his brain were distributed better, maybe all over his body, so he could think more in terms of a we than in terms of a they...
He should have probably just spent more time on the prairies and less on the stages... but that's a completely different story, now is it?




They had traveled for weeks. They had to hide between trees, in the valleys, between rocks, in tiny tunnels they dug into the shaky ground, often in the middle of the night. They had to wait for the sun to set to come out and eat, anything, anything they could find. It was an incredibly harsh time. Very exhausting for all. Earthquakes, land slides, streams. The climate in this area was horrible. The rain was mixed with chemicals, hot, disgusting winds. Floods, were often followed by dry seasons, were followed by horrible, often deadly mists.
Most of them did not make it. Some were swept away, some were poisoned, some just died of exhaustion. In the end she really felt as if she were the only survivor, in this endless forest, on top of this incredibly deadly peak. She was tired, she was pregnant. She waited for the night.
She dug herself into the soft ground... and laid her eggs.




He was the one hundredth sheep. He was the jumper that rarely got to actually jump over the fence. He barely even made it into the lineup. His brothers and sisters were the ones that got to do the fun work, jumping the fences, riding bicycles, performing magic tricks. He was just number one hundred. Everybody knew he was there, they knew that one day he might appear somewhere in a rerun of their performance, maybe even sing some cute song... but for now... all he could think of was the theory that he was not the only one. There was a second 100, somewhere, hiding, among the flock...
Well, well... maybe one day they could meet...



She was a real (looking) gun, just $9.99, or even less with a mail in coupon (Buy one, get a second one, for FREE*.). She was the loaded kind, ready to kill some time. Ready to see some action, ready to make sure there was great excitement, some realism, some preparation in the games played today. She was ready to point and shoot, to being pulled and to blast some tiny tunnels into the bodies of friends and pets and things... this would be such great fun...
And if she got the right people, if she got the right amount of people at the right time, in the right place, if she only worked hard enough to be effective, quiet and precise... then her owner could maybe make it to television, into the papers, onto the web... it was all about fame these days. Fame was good. Publicity was good. It was all really good, declared good, paid well, celebrated, on the covers, under blankets, in big printed sheets.
She was looking forward to being the beginning of someone's career.
Fame, fame, here we come.

* equal or lesser value, second toy unloaded, allow 28 days for delivery, please include 8.99 for shipping and handling.



He would have loved to swim into that harbor, during the day, would have loved to get some fresh, delicious fish. He would have loved to swim by the side of a fisher boat, happy, jumpy, singing one of the current hits.
But whenever he showed up anywhere near a man made place or thing, and anytime there were humans who somehow even just peeked, there would be things thrown at him. Ropes and swimming rings. Somebody once even threw a boat. A boat!
What was wrong with this human species. Why all this throwing of things, why him, why him?
In the beginning things appeared relatively funny... a family on a little boat, threw him a rope, he grabbad it and pulled them out of the harbor... This must have been what they wanted, or no?... He pulled them for hours and hours...
A few days later, all they were throwing were pieced of wood and digested food. Disgusting...
So now he avoided any human interaction... definitely during the day. When humans could see him... they were such overly visual creatures...

At night things were different. He loved nothing more than finding lovers, embraced, in the not so deep waters by the beach... he would then... hmm... we should probably interrupt this story right here...




Looking young was so last century. Stupid little bimbos trying to remove the earliest signs of wrinkles and lines in their dumb little faces. Then all that body worship bulls*it. Those 60 year olds longing to look like 16 year olds obviously wanted to have that "unexperienced look" for a reason. They had peaked in high-school, college, maybe early in their law or medical jobs... They wanted to keep their look, did not want to accept that their bodies and their brains were becoming more and more experienced. They paid to make themselves forget. It was all about forgetting. Forgetting the years, the years passed by, the ones yet to come...
He was of a different breed. He was the next generation. He was ahead of his time, by at least 50 years or so. Waxing his head to make it look like natural, decade long hair loss was maybe one of the least painful procedures. It was quite difficult to find a dentist who would perform what needed to be done.
Aging the skin was a painful process, involving many serious chemicals... and many visits to Dr. Z...
The eyes... what insanely bright light had to be used to make the insides and the outsides of his eyes seriously deteriorate. He now spent days peeking between his private floaters.
It took a serious while for him to reach that ancient gentleman look. He stood out in a crowd of less forward thinking 22 year olds for sure... They did not know what they were about to do with their lives, he had at least the look of an experienced, serious man... He had made sure that not all of his body was aged... and so he was quite convincing in dances with those insanely young looking 55 year olds...
These were truly the good times... the blurry, barely heard of times filled with delicious soups and soft vanilla cookies...
No, not really... he made sure to enjoy the things he really liked... but that's another story...



Possibilities were endless? Almost endless... Having an incredibly clustered and branched out brain had maybe incredible advantages theoretically, but practically... hmm... a completely different story... Millions of completely different stories... all of them calling for attention... most of them brilliant...
He would often have elaborate conversations about the silliest, tiniest things, really. Lifting a leg soon became impossible. The consequences of any action, (lifting legs was one of them), were just too grave, too complex to be simply accepted, executed, thrown into the mix.
Lucky players who had to deal with primitive games like... chess. There was a finite number of possible moves in chess, a very limited game... Life?, any action in life? Moves in real life?... The place that does not consist of 64 black and white fields and does not not only have a black and a white army of 16 (15+king) but billions, and billions of players with their almost unlimited variations of possible legal and illegal moves... The interaction of several living beings? Yes, the possibilities here were also finite, but the quantity was so much higher that the calculations and predictions of any series of events became a more than serious task... a paralyzing, immobilizing task... aagh...
now what about breathing... the beating of the heart?...



Standing on the shoulders of giants was so last summer, worse, so last two summers ago. Beautiful George picked a tired and quiet giant, made his way all the way through his pants and shirt and climbed to the very top. Now he was standing on the head of his giant. The view was much better, he did not have to listen to his stupid pedestal, he did not have to say anything either. This was the perfect place to command a view, to battle the elements, to win the hearts of those who were as clever.
The only thing he needed to do now was to keep his giant standing, walking, maybe even running. Who cares if one stands on the shoulders or the head of a giant, if the giant is so tired and burned out that he needs to sit down. Or can you imagine standing on the head of a giant who collapses? Better not think about such stuff now.
Let's play with birds.



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They had all a great past, and an even grander future. The box from which they all came said it loud and clear:"Certified Non-Toxic * Brilliant Colors" and most importantly: "Never Dries Out!". Perfect.
Each one of them made it to be an elephant, a monkey, a bird, a car, a thing, a man, a dog and then again some sort of other monstrous thing. New shapes every day, new adventures.
They all came from the same box, there were mixing instructions on the back (right next to those "how to make a turtle" instructions,) but they never actually "mixed". They remained in their "Richer, Smoother Colors!" state. They changed shapes, they did not become one.
The white piece seemed most afraid of being crushed into the others. It somehow had this weird idea that it had some extra kind of shape, even when it did not, well, that was funny for a few days or so, but then it just became annoying. Even now, the white piece was claiming to be an elephant. Comoooon, what kind of elephant is that, where is the trunk?, where are the ears? It maybe used to be an elephant, maybe a few days ago, but they all had been all sorts of things since. Just to avoid the argument, the other three agreed, that white was an elephant... he had to promise not to make elephant noises though... and yes, whale noises also counted as "elephant".
Dark green had a very different issue. She somehow read somewhere that she was not even supposed to be part of the box. She had been manufactured to roam free, to climb up walls, maybe go into standup (work as silly-putty.) That was obviously a pretty strange idea to her three siblings. She was the same thing as theys, just got a bit more dye after (after!) they had been manufactured, following the same(!) recipe. She did not want to hear that, tried to escape several times, now carried the scars of these attempts, the pebbles, the dog hair, the who knows what, the dust, supposedly even a quarter. (Nobody had ever seen the quarter, she just claimed that it was a california one... oh well...she saw it as "savings to be used for her later life", the others just saw it as a figment of her imagination...)
Bright green was a bit of a name dropper. Who the hell wanted to know about somebody called: Fra Luca Pacioli, Giorgi or this guy Brunelleschi... Then came some talk about Platonic Solids, Kepler, Rudolf Steiner, R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz...
When light green started about Carlo Suares and some anthropocosmic ideas they were still able to bear it... Claiming that Copernicus had been wrong and that "Light Green" was in fact the center of the "known universe", seemed so outdated and bizarre that the others just hoped for the day somebody would just step on light green and turn him into a two dimensional object...
Beige wanted to be less than that. Beige imagined himself as a moebius strip at first... an elegant one, thin, almost translucent.
He then dreamt of turning himself into something even less dimensional... maybe a moment in time, a dot, a blip, a spark of a thought, a distant memory?...
He was also the one who somehow foresaw that not only would they all end up as a grayish, plump piece of modeling clay with some enclosed dirt, well, they would probably end up being mixed with the toy soldiers, which they would then slowly by surely dissolve, since "Never Dries Out" meant that they had this hidden, quite destructive superpower of greasing and softening their surroundings.
He hoped that maybe some of his ideas of self removal would survive, once they turned into a dirty, hairy, forever soft boulder...
Maybe this was the solution... if they just turned into dirt, maybe they could just mix with some potting soil, turn into nutrient... die?...
No... death was unfortunately not really an option. They were created to be "moldable" forever... somebody would probably find them in a few hundred years and shape them into something that was going to prove this person's theory about the current times, the thing all four of them called "now" (at least for now)... "Never Dries Out" meant being moldable forever, slaves to the good and more often really bad ideas by others, others who even though barely ever really born were always allowed, had the privilege, to actually die.



He was a rebell. A serious killer. A major and historically important machine. The box had a painting of him on the cover. It was a real oil painting, there was fire, there were powerful, heavy, long killer attachments under his wings in that painting. He was somebody. A real marvel of progress, a true climax of advanced engineering. His specs were printed on the side of the box. His famous pilots were mentioned, right next to the "decal options"...
He saw all this information very clearly as he was being reassembled. He must have been taken apart to fit into the box. At least this is as far as he could imagine what happened. His oldest memories were from the moment when his body was being welded together by some polystyrene melting substance.
This was also the moment when he tried to explain to himself why his pilot was so incredibly powerful and yet slightly uncoordinated. How were they supposed to fly missions together? He was obviously not large enough now to carry even one of his pilot's fingers, let alone the entire plump body...
It must have had something to do with that 1:72 scale. It had obviously been used to transport him (and some other friends and foes) over long distances, to those special locations of secret missions? This was quite obviously a very secret mission. He had been chosen to be built in a very well camouflaged hangar and then turned back into the 1:1 scale again? The mission was so secretive that even the battalion markings were crumbled and turned more abstract before they were applied to his unpainted body. The glass of his cockpit was made cloudy to further disguise his true purpose. No weapons were attached, some other parts were also not affixed, as they would have probably played too much with the fine balance which allowed him to be placed on a clear plastic stand... and on a very high vantage point inside of the hangar... It was maybe not the highest point, but pretty high...
From here he could see the landscape inside of his pilot's world...
There were images of battle situations on the walls, the entire floor seemed to be the result of some serious bloody conflict. There were images of destruction everywhere.
There was a window in the hangar, rarely open. This would most certainly be the point of exit, the starting point of future missions. Once out if this room, he would be somehow turned back into his 1:1 scale, then the jet engine would roar, like in the picture on the box...
Or maybe not?... It was then that he remembered that his engine was in fact one of the "options" listed on the box...



He did not remember the exact moment when he stopped thinking big. Big as in big context. Big as in changing other's lives before changing his own. It must have been roughly 10 years now since the world around him, or at least the world as he saw it, began to shrink. Getting rid of television was a good step, the paper was the next, then music, mail, electricity, water, air... no he still needed air... but barely. He barely moved.
Most of his universe was now confined to the few cubic inches of his still active brain. He was working on making its activity more of a relaxed one. More relaxed every day. Slower, slower, slower. He hoped to maybe one day turn his world into a single tiny point, a pinpoint, a one single photon size loop hole through which he could crawl to the other side of the universe, explode in new and unspoiled fresh ideas. He was preparing for that. Just that.
Any day now, any hour now, any minute now... he would somehow manage to stop even the tiniest thought in its tracks. Stop his lungs from wanting to pump air, stop his heart from beating. It was a tiny, tiny spot through which he had to squeeze himself. It would be worth it. Certainly...



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She was not built to cover long distances, not built to be pushed between offices, not built to go dangerously close to staircases, not constructed to roll in and out of meetings in and out of bathrooms. She was not built to be touched by feet, or the head, the face. She always hoped that she would never have to be touched by large areas of naked, more than warm skin (and even this happened more than once). It was all too much really, seriously not part of what she was told she would need to endure when she was manufactured.
What she also did not know of was the slight weakens in one of her five legs. There must have been a bubble in the material perhaps, something that could have happened a long time ago, long before she was actually built? She would not really call it a flaw, more of a hidden secret issue...
And maybe the issue would have never turned into a problem, had she not been put through such strains and wild movements, such unexpected attacks onto her actually pretty well designed core.
So the leg snapped off, it simply broke off, in a moment of incredible, unpredicted stress. She fell, then fell down, down the stairs, tumbling, hitting something, someone, something somehow, somebody again?, down a long, long bank of stairs, slow, fast, slow, fast, slow again.
Things turned quiet as quickly as they had turned violent... she somehow felt comfort in finally not having to move... for an entire night... half a day.
She was found by a cleaning person. There were screams.
Hands arrived, she was given as much attention as everybody else involved.
She spent months in the offices of an insurance agent, next to other pieces of injured furniture. She was stared at, examined, scratched, parts were extracted from her, she was ready to die.
She was then moved into yet another room . She stayed there for the longest time. Maybe a year or so, maybe ten years? It definitely felt this long, maybe longer.
It was not until much, much later that she was picked up again.
She never understood why she was being rescued in such elaborate ways, at night, quietly. Oddly enough, she was not discarded... she was not put into one of those destructive trucks she heard about... and, frankly, was very afraid of.
She was given a new set of legs... shiny, polished. Her soft parts were shampooed, vacuumed, cleaned. The wood was polished, and so was the chrome...
It was all a very mysterious set of events.
Nobody ever sat on her again... but she felt complete, quiet... maybe a tiny bit confused... so incredibly happy...




Each one of the songs was a perfect hit. No misses, my dear. All of them were quite beautiful. All of them hit the right spot. Wherever she chose to sing, wherever she chose to let others hear what she had to say, there was less violence, increased plant grow, riper fruit.
She flew from forest to forest, inspiring generations of Chickadees, and not only her own species, others too. Soon there were bears humming her songs and rabbits dancing the dances she proposed. Foxes were writing down her scores, deer ran for miles to just hear her sing.
She was a true blessing to forests and parks... so good, so good.



It was a place where the inside was exposed to the outside. Two sided mirror, facing the street, intimate presentations to oneself, to others? to both.
So nice to call them matches. Such ready to burst greetings, wrapped in this paper made transparent material. Keeping the cover closed was not really an option. Tearing one of the paper sticks, grabbing it firmly between the sheets of rough paper and then pulling out the coated side, quickly...



Wolfram was a hot, hot kind of guy. When attached to the right circuit, he could be like a little star: Hot, hot, hot. He was a truly bright guy too. Smart, natural, maybe a little on the reddish side of the spectrum, but wasn't this the pride of his family anyway? Back in 1879, his ancestors looked pretty silly, they had round heads, died quickly. He was the new kind, the smart kind, the 100W kind, the seriously advanced kind of guy.
He was able to attract some really good attention. (Not just moths, mind you.) It depended solely on him if somebody looked good, or did not look at all.
It was his job to inspire, illuminate, guide. One of his ancestors even became the synonym for ideas themselves. Who else could claim that?
He was an honest, serious guy. He could make criminals talk, if only left with them for a little while. He could make scary places look beautiful, he could make the invisible very obvious.
He was the sun of the night. He was mighty, truly the center of his universe.
Which made him certainly not believe in a "creator". Those who make their own shadows do not believe in that kind of stuff.


(Don't tell him that, but Wolfram feels relatively transparent and actually slightly lightheaded, if not even empty-headed... being able to shine the way he does, usually comes at a high price.)



They were casual drinking buddies, stuck for years in the same cupboard, telling each other the same old stories over and over again.
There were the good stories, those about being kissed by the lips of a very beautiful house guest. There were the ugly ones about being left in the sink for weeks, about the consequences, about throwing up mold, the pathetic decontamination scrubbings.
There were also the stories of loss. Each one of them used to belong to a set, back in the day. They used to have brothers, sisters, many, sometimes 5 sometimes even more.
The bordeaux bottle in the back was the saddest of them all. She knew that she had been stored the wrong way, she knew that the little sip of fresh air she had had a few months ago had caused irreversible damage to her body. Since she arrived here a few years ago she had hoped to find herself doing things with the last riedel glass in the group, on pristine white sheets by candle light.
Now she somehow had the feeling that what she had been saving for so long would be used in salads, mixed with oil, pepper, salt... (That's if she was lucky... )
Not only would they spill her into things to give them acidity, she would also probably be moved downstairs, with the pots and other uncultured kitchen items... (The stories she heard about shrink-wrap and zip-locks were just disgusting.)
At least for now, she was one of the happy drinking group. The survivors, the vagabonds, the experienced, sexy ones. Her stories were still about a beautiful past in France, her travels, her ripeness, her lush glowing insides (though containing sulfites)...
The riedel glass wanted her so badly.



The world was a fluid assemblage of colorful fields, all doubles, overlapping, dancing, speaking, interacting. He would just relax his eyes and observe them. He attempted to see in a way that would remove all references to actual objects from his field of vision. He wanted to see the world as if he were completely drunk with life, just emerged in a parallel universe that is completely painted, not drawn.
He had no idea that it appeared to others as if he had been staring at something one should rather not stare at...
He did not see it coming... and when things got slowly back into focus, they did not look too good...




When he was younger, he wanted to grow up to have the looks that would match his abilities. He would have loved to have some sort of disguise, a mask perhaps. He imagined himself running into a phone booth and changing into a really tight outfit that would seriously show of his then serious muscles... maybe there could be a large logo on his chest. His own logo, feared, often projected onto the night sky over the city.
But all of this just did not happen. He did not get to change secretly in some phone-booth, and he never really went to the gym enough to make any spandex or rubber costume worthwhile.
He would have probably opted for rubber anyway, as most of his power sat in this old knitted vest made by his mom. It gave him his superpower... but it also made everybody in his class laugh. It also did not exactly excite the kind of girls he liked... What're you gonna do?
There was always a price to pay for being a super hero.




He was not interested in flying himself. He could fly, of course. That was not the issue. He could just spread the wings and go. Anywhere. No big deal. Most birds know how to do that.
He also heard of a colleague who knew how to fly without any wing movement. This was all pretty cute and all, but he was thinking beyond that. He was thinking bigger. (Much bigger.)
He noticed his gift one day when jumping from stick to stick inside of his golden cage. There were some sparrows down on 5th avenue and they were just too dumb to see a perfectly fine cookie not very far from them around the corner.
He tried shouting to them, letting them know in his quite sophisticated language what kind of delicious meal they were missing, but the heavy glass, the traffic, the Metropolitan Museum visitors... it was all too much, even for his quite well trained voice.
It was then that he got a little angry and noticed that when he only focused hard enough, and focused in the right way, he could make the sparrows take off, fly around the corner and find their stupid cookie. Just like that. Pure mental power.... Brilliant.
He did not want to believe his own abilities at first. It could have been a coincidence, maybe his ability was more something like foreseeing the future? Did he just know exactly when the other birds would decide to fly and happened to imagine that he wanted them to fly at exactly the same time?...
He needed to find out...
In his spare time he developed a series of rather simple experiments. All of them returned successful results:
He controlled the flight pattern of sparrows. Then pigeons. Then owls. Then Hawks. Even squirrels jumped from branch to branch guided by his mental commands.
He became obsessed with his new found ability. He would let birds fly in formation of 3, 7, 21. In the evenings he would pack the trees outside of his condo with as many birds as structurally possible. He would then let them fly off with the drop of just a single pin-pointed thought.
He would race pigeons around central park. He would reenact scenes from the swan sea (when the record happened to be on) on the reservoir... Nils Holgerson... hmm...
It was an incredible fun, to say the least.
Such amazing power.
After a few years of daily practice and a constant inclusion of more and more exciting species. (Racoons, horses, a coyote...)
He decided to try the ultimate challenge.
It was a very risky plan, as it involved beings from which he was not protected by several inches of glass and golden wires of his cage...
He waited for just the right moment, on a sunday. The feeder came over to talk and sing and change the sand...
He focused on the wingless creature... looked her deep into her beakless face... and...
Without a word... without even looking at him... the cage door was opened, a hand was extended towards him... he hopped on it gracefully... the hand carried him out of the cage, out of the room, out of the apartment, to the elevator, past the concierge (hello), past the doorman (good morning), out of the building, onto the street, across fifth avenue, past the obviously very interested crowds of tourists, south of the Museum, past the bronze bears (no wonder they never reacted) past the large tree, onto the hills he loved to look at so much since his childhood...
Here he made his feeder stop.
He looked at the unobstructed sky...
A color matching formation of 137 wild birds flew over them, just as he had planned...
He knew that this was truly just the beginning of things to come...
The gentle sunrise on the first day of his personal creation.




"What, you saw something here, I mean, somebody else? Not quite me, you mean, there used to be somebody else in my spot? You're kidding, right? I am the first and only one and as unique as it gets. Seriously, no?"

He was a very visual artist, thinking about it.
His glass was always almost full.
He loved to treat his ideas like a loved expansive family overseas.
He spoke about them in the nicest of ways, or not at all.
He was a very visual artist, that's for sure. He had exquisite taste. Highest standards. Definitely. Always. Yes.
He was a writer too. A pretty darn good one on top of that.
And still young...
Where were we?

Also at night, of course.



It was all very loud and very clear. All at the same time. All with the same intensity. There was a spectrum of though, of course, but overall, her conscious was an uninterrupted stream of very well digested knowledge. Every hour on the hour, her imagination came down to a single magnetic point. Then the world exploded into thousands of voices.
She knew so much more than she would ever be able to share with anyone, ever. Though the sharing part was also only possible when it happened without any delay. She was able to say what she thought, right away, instantly... never ever what she remembered. She just did not remember.
Or she did, just not well enough...
Sharing was her specialty though. She was really good at focusing on a tiny sliver of her vast spectrum of thought. When asked for the right story, her monologues could be anything from simple spoken words to laughter of children to grand interpretations of beautiful compositions as performed by the worlds best orchestras under the direction of the most renowned conductors. Like that. Perfectly sung by her large and very well calibrated speaker (She made it all sound a little richer than it actually was). Not interrupted by any of the other things going on in the world.
She loved to come along on country trips. Friends would gather around her on a blanket in the grass and she would sing and tell them stories until her batteries made her feel heavy and tired and sleepy.
She would then often awake early the next morning, with weather on her mind. Then there were more important events. Urgent traffic data. Markets.
The days were often spent with playing Satie or Chopin to the cats. Evenings could be filled with excitement and summaries of the day.
Much of the fun ended once the television arrived. The dumb and graphic television, all about pictures, pictures, pictures. It took over as if it were an altar for some universal religion of dumb. It could also be extended with memory modules of various sorts. Canned superficial dream simulations.
The stereo also boasted with its ability to speak with two voices at once. And it also remembered stuff... (Except it rarely had anything new to say... and if it was new, then it was actually pretty old...)
Then came the computer, then the iPod. Over, out, too much...
The accident sealed it all. The fall was so unexpected, so violent. The floor would not have been so bad, had there been any carpet on it. And it was actually the water bottle that had been left by the table that broke the glass. Now the scale for frequencies was not protected. It was completely exposed. Touched again for the first time since the factory. How embarrassing.

She ended up whispering up to the minute stories to the old typewriter and the burned out super8 projector in the darkest depths of the closet. (Unable to change the station, she somehow came off as a bit narrow minded and not overly bright...)
It took years before they took her out again. It was a summer afternoon. Just like the ones she liked best when spent by the river.
She found herself on moldy blankets, with a little price tag attached to her antenna...
She wondered if she would ever be able to share anything with anyone again, or if she would just be crushed into pieces and become part of a landfill.
After several hours in the sun she was touched by a pair of hands. They were not as strong as the ones that used to carry her around. They were incredibly investigative and careful. A very careful fingertip touched her dials, then the exposed frequency scale... the hands paused... one hand turned her dial and the other gently followed the movement of the frequency marker.
Never before had she been touched in such a meaningful way...
Something told her, that this would be the most loving and meaningful relationship of her life.




Through the rain, through the dust, through the night, through the boom, through the recessions, through the presidencies, through the wars, through the strange moments in life, lives. Centuries.
He made sure to balance each step well. He made sure to do the right thing at the right time. Remain in best company at all times.
Paris was more important than ever.
He was really late for work again.



She was the second daughter of a glowing single mother. She was the brightest of them all, or so she appeared to some.
Her days were long, her years were short. She was beautiful, immortal perhaps. Turning slowly, against the odds.
She was aware of her unstoppable transformation. She was the definition of what many wanted to be. Even an incomplete image of her was still an incredibly beautiful idea.
Tonight she softly rested her eyes on the city of Basel.
In the back room, behind a green curtain, Hans was thinking about a hollow bone. Or so she thought...



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They laughed at him when he rejected the acting job for Winged Migration. He did not laugh when they were shot off the sky, one by one, just so the director could get a good picture.
Now, with all his friends gone he could finally test his wingless flight technique. No stupid flapping, no sounds, none of that cute bird-like stuff.
Pure will power, determination, focus.
This would bring him down south easily.
To make things even better for himself and his new friends, he decided to bring along this perfect little nest box he found on a street corner. It was already filled with a pretty advanced library of amateur writing and a gallery full of nice works on paper.
There was also this pretty cool eagle sticker on the side. Certainly to keep of the squirrels and other wet-nosed folks with furry paws.




Wherever he turned there was this light. Always in his face, dead on. A round, glowing, slowly throbbing globe. Always there, like a humming sound that does not want to go away, like a mosquito bite in a place that can not be reached by hands, like a grain of finest sand inside of one's left eye.
Everybody had a shadow. He did not. Just this light. This constant light.
He was tired of it. He did not want it. He wanted to run towards it and smash it into pieces. He wanted to throw something heavy at it.
But he could not. He felt too weak to even try. He waited for it to either go away or to explain to him why it was there. Nothing.

Blinded, tired, sad and weak, he stumbled towards it, like a moth in a world where air had been replaced by honey.
Was he Curious, Brave?, Mature?, probably none of the three, yet...
Not for years...
He stopped.
From now on every even tiny step began to make sense. It all began to make sense. Everything and all of it...
Very slowly, very, very, very slowly he remembered.
He smiled even more, he laughed, staring at it all with his almost fogotten eye.
His field of vision was expanding again. Far beyond anything he could have dreamt of. Slowly but surely. Unstoppable, soft, kind, inspiring expansion.



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The possibilities were endless. Would s/he remain a simple tiny organism, keep imagination at bay, be a little center of a tiny one cell universe? Could s/he decide to split up a little more? Maybe become the idea of genetic information? Think beyond the rim of the thinking glass, imagine herself as life in general, turn this planet upside down, try to conquer all places, from the depth of the oceans to the peaks of mountain ranges, then farther, farther towards the sky, become the idea that takes over the entire universe.
Wh knows, maybe one day there would be books, objects made by printing with burned organic matter on sheets of filtered organic matter, books, in which some wise wo/man would write about her, describe her as the one who was the beginning of all life. Would they give her credit for it?...
Would they realize that they were created and actually ever renewed after her image?... Hmm... She did not dare to go that far...
For now s/he was a one cell organism aching to split into a day and a night.



Things were pretty cool throughout the winter months. The spring was not so hot either. It was in the summer, when everybody was sweaty and sticky and hot when they fed him the coals and the grease and the meat. With his mouth wide open he would wait for them to put things in his mouth to let him taste them. He was the official taster, with his wicked burning breath.
Even after everybody was gone, he would digest the white ashes, drenched with burned proteine...
Oh what a life it was, oh what a life it was indeed.




She worked in the Romanian Postal Service (Posta Romana) back in the 60's. She was a good little postal truck that would go from mailbox to mailbos in the streets of Bucharest. It was 1971 or so that she even made it onto a 2Lei Stamp. She looked fast and reliable and was much more important than her driver, who was sent to the background, while she enjoyed the limelight.
After the revolution she was retired and sent to a place somewhere in Hungary. She was not used to carry letters anymore, only little farm animals, chickens a goat, some geese.
How much she wished somebody had written her a letter. This was not very likely to happen any time soon. Well, actually... you never know...



Toucan or not Toucan. This was her present question. Was it wiser to stay and to be present when there were children pointing in her direction, when there was outrageous laughter around her, or cries, or love, or from time to time a real bird catcher... or should she instead spread her wings and disappear into the dark depths of the forest, end the entire presentation, become a pure and sweet memory, become a glowing shadow in the vivid imagination of others? Just disappear. End the love affair with the visible. Turn off the cameras, close the eyes, first the own, then the ones of others.
It felt as if it were just the right time to look for a completely different branch, a tree, a forest. She was so good at reinventing herself. After all, only the shallow minds thought of her as a colorful, light beaked bird. The wise knew her as an immortal phoenix.



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He had been a very kind boy, with incredible sand castle building skills. He used to be able to talk to cats and even tell some seriously funny jokes to dogs. He was able to fly in all of his dreams. There was a princess by his side every time, just minutes before he woke up.
He was the best kid in class, the best kid in school, the best student in college, he got the job, he got the car, he got the house, he got the wife, he got the kids, he got the pills, he got the shrink, he got the place in rehab, he got the minutes of fame, he got the trial, he got the verdict, he got the sentence...
He never built another sand castle, never attempted to talk to animals, never flew again in his dreams, there was no princess in his arms early in the morning when he woke up.
He got the book deal, and yet no clue as to what to write...



She was covered with stars and planets and other celestial bodies. They would travel exploring the alternative universe inscribed on her skin. Sometimes they would add to it, by drawing constellations and our invented signs of zodiak. And as her she shivered under his metal nib, galaxies came closer to each other, planets almost collided, clouds of matter turned more dense and darker between ripples of joy.
There were constellations on her she did not even know of and would never ever get to see... He on the other hand was the ultimate dermonaut, going to where no man has ever gone before.




First she made him fix his hair. Then she made him fix his skin. Then she made him fix his dress-code (well, obviously). Then she made him fix his eyes. Then she made him have softer shoulders so she could have a softer landing place.
He was really thankful for it.
She knew he would never be able to fly anyway...
(And...just for fun, she would make him lay an egg... to make sure he knew what kind of a failure he was.)



It was across the river, right over the bridge where he was told that it was not good enough to have a funny accent and maybe a mustache and this hardcore slick hair. Small white shirts were also pretty much two years ago. The stuff on his chin was basically unspeakable sin.
What was left for him to do? Throw away his digital camera? Abandon his photoblog? Should he move back home?, start waiting, stop waiting?
Was the city getting old? Was he getting old?
Too many questions to figure out on this particular night...




Under the cover of the night, between the others, down the hill, up the hill. Through the valleys. Not staying too long in the river, though it is quite tempting and dangerous at the same time. She ran as secretly as she could. As long as her young roots carried her. Closer and close to central park. Here she would hide, in the rambles. She would pretend to have been planted as requested by Olmstead and Vaux themselves. She would live to be hundreds of years, she would be in the papers, not the papers. She would look at buildings for who's erection no trees had been harmed. She would maybe even get a part in the movies... maybe...
Right now she had to somehow get past that Hudson River, America's Rhine, a big time water barrier. And she could not even remember if she knew how to swim.



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It was the crazy kind of life he had selected for himself. It was the life that pretended that there was a stage and that there would be later broadcasts of the performance. He somehow expected roses in the end, thrown at him, as the curtain rose again and again.
Had he only known that his was the early morning slot in a tiny theater and that the audience were schoolclasses of bored boys armed not with roses but with rotten fruit.




At first the big eyes meant that she was seeing the world in brighter colors. She did not just see art, she saw right through it and beyond it and in its future and present and past. So bright, so open, so... wow.
Then there were flashes on those same eyes and they meant trouble. There were really tiny things that were just not 100%, but the punishment was beyond severe. Sometimes there were not even tiny things going wrong and the punishment was still severe. Then there was just severe everything. Flashes of ecstatic beauty, followed immediately by full blown all engulfing hell.
Softness, followed immediately by large sharp objects, airborne, moving towards him at high speeds. Beats of the heart were followed by bangs on the door. Steamy little rooms were suddenly lit by nothing more than infernal flames.
It was not until she made a joke about a billboard on 72nd street that he began to slowly grasp that humans can be fueled by quite chemical reactions...
It was less funny when she declared that she no longer needed her medication.



Art, amazement, agony. Brutality, brushes, blisters. Creation, cigarettes, climax. Drinking, drawings, dressing up. Ecstasy, energy, evolution. Freedom, frustration, fists. Greatness, gambling, gut. Home, humility, hosiery. Independence, interest, influence. Joy, jealousy, jackass. Klients, kickbacks, kaputt. Love, lust, lost. Money, mask, massacre. New, not, never. Oral, optimal, out. Priceless, primitive, positive. Quotes, questions, quits. Red, raw, roots. Special, smart, sold. True, told, timed. Unbelievable, undeliverable, used. Visual, visionary, vaseline. Words, works, world. X-ray, xenophobia, xmas. Yes, you, years. Zealous, zoom, zombie.
He knew he was three times the alphabet. Nobody would ever find out anything beyond the abc... nobody would ever ask...
Definitely not the students.



The casual observer saw nothing beyond a tulip. The casual user gave her to his girlfriend. She was so much more, she was the first of her kind, the leaves curled up at night, her petals were such perfect eyes, her filaments were like arms, the anthers were only missing thumbs. She never had the chance to embrace any insects.
She tried to talk to the woman she had been given to by changing the position of her stigma ever so sly, slowly, majestically, every day at a well calculated time.
Nobody ever found out her true nature. They did not even use her for recycling. It was a really good thing that each one of her cells would carry her memory and reinvent her in a new generation of her... eventually, maybe in a thousand years.



Egon crossed his eyes. The great war was just about over. Some of the burned crippled ones were coming back. Some managed to return earlier and were now okay again, spending time with their leathery dreams. Others were not even sure there was a great deal of a difference between dreams and meaning.
He looked at the table and knew that a jug that might even sometimes appear broken, can still be a better carrier of wine than one that is whole and yet does not have a handle. There were some more issues, of course, but they would need to wait a bit. He felt tired and hungry and sick and his eyes really hurt a great deal. Not much longer, not much longer...




There was no way anybody would want to buy her. They would not even look for her on eBay. Seriously. And things looked out so fantastically when it all started. She had a heart of gold, well, aluminum, she was a really powerful little car. She could outpace all of the other's on the racetrack. She was a real star when it came to turning corners and looking forward and ahead and into a bright bright future. Her interior was made out of most incredible wood and softest imitation leathers.
She was the first of her kind. She was the one all others would be measured against. All she needed was a nice name and a pretty hood ornament to go with it...
Other cars have been known to be named after girls. But nobody before has attempted to leave the naming of a fine vehicle to a five year old with early ambitions to be come a clay sculptor.
Möpmöp, the car has cried since... and how much she wished that the rust were eating away at this stupid little crazy head on her grille and not on her blinkers.
She wanted this thing to finally fall off, she wished people would finally stop pointing at her. (Laughing)
If she only knew how to drive herself, she would probably drive out there to find this little girl, who by now was perhaps the CEO of some large naming corporation.




The other Mammoths would whisper behind her back: "The herd would never survive if they let her stay with them", "she was ugly", her "bare skin" was "not even red", it was "pale", "greyish", "wrinkled". Her tusks were "too straight" no matter what rules one wanted to apply. And she was "small", "much too small" for a good mammoth. Simply put, they had to get rid of her. If they let her stay with them, she would probably just bring them into serious trouble. She was probably responsible for their dwindling numbers anyway.
Nobody ever had the guts to tell her all this directly. She knew what they thought, she knew of all the things said behind her back. She was okay with dying alone, somewhere in the south. She would just walk, until she reached the legendary deadly edge of the tundra, the "In die", she would then just let herself fall into the abyss into which all the "freak mammoths" before were sent. It was a place with no return, it was the dark and scary A-freaka...
They would forget about her as soon as they reached the forests in the north. She? she would never forget...




He had his feed covered by teflon for heat protection and met-life for insurance protection. He had Belgian manicure (like French, except for birds, you would not understand). He used little velvet protectors for his head feathers, to make sure they shine through the night.
The best thing however was the flame-tail upgrade. This thing was awesome. When running at full speeds at night, he looked like a shooting star on speed.
It looked as if he were burning up, though he was not, of course.
He just recently discovered that a city had been named after him. He was the coolest bird in Arizona... really popular with all kinds of chicks.




The best parents, the best school, the best neighborhood, the best job, the best gym, the best nutrition, the best tooth whitener, the best biting toys...
If only somebody would just throw this damn bouncy ball for him. He could really show off that backward flip, the roll over... even some bipedal action perhaps? Okay, take back that bipedal action.
This was no circus, this was a very serious exotic pure breed dog's life.
What breed, they asked? He liked to blank them on this one, his Philistine social "friends".
(Did this sound to you like a bark or a straight up, vicious bite?)



Migration was not much fun anymore since the last one of his friends went down over Canada last november. What was left to do? The offer for the movie sounded too suspicious. Why would he need to fly over a hunter's point?
The offers from Museums sounded equally creepy.
He was sick of it all, ready to retire, ready to settle down. Maybe marry a seagull or a pelican, create a new species, call it a life.
Oh, so lonely, so lonely, so lonely...



It took about a hundred years for him to find out how to a spark. Another hundred and he lost the fear of darkness. A century later, candles paled when he decided to have a fiery thought. It took millennia to refine this kind of mental sharpness.
Now, at the age of several thousand, he finally succeeded in launching little comets from his hands. He was so glad that he found a way to win some time. He really had this childhood dream of helping out with that milky way above.




Before she even knew it, her head turned into a piece of clear hard candy. She was so sweet and yet so constantly wrapped up with things. All that fruit she ate gave her a sugary complexion. Her thoughts elevated her, even the sparkles helped.
Eventually her hands simply disappeared, and so did the feet. She was a lovely, sweet, sometimes sticky but always hard on the inside and so soft and deful on the inside kind of girl.



This was not her hair color. This was not her eye color. This was not her lip color. This was not her skin color. This was not her time of day. This was not her time of year. This was not her temperature. This was not her part of town. This was not part of her diet. This was not her friend at all. This was not her kind of smile. These were not her favorite shoes. This was not her kind of party. This was not her kind of crowd. This was not her age. This was not her name. This was not her phone number. This was not her opinion. This was not her true intention. This was not her first time. This was not her last time. This was not her dose. This was not her wildest dream. This was not her best night out.
She would be a mess tomorrow. But monday, monday would be just another stupid monday.



The plants would not play with him, because he was to jittery and nervous. (Though he suspected that they just had foot envy, perhaps?) No animal would play with him either, because of his very clear floral roots. At times he wished there had been at least a brother or a sister or some sort of rhizome, so he could spend some time with somebody or something that would somehow understand. But no, he was condemned to play all by himself. He would sometimes go into bloom, attract some selfish insects, often bear fruit and run away from birds. Other than that? His instinct for survival was the only reason for him to stay alive.



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Ocho really wanted to fly. He had seen the birds, he had seen the flying fish, he had seen what the dolphins were doing. It was time for him to spread his wings and fly. He imagined going to far away places. He could be the first octopus to climb a mountain, ride a bike, he could be the first one to make it through the clouds...
He did not really take of, of course. At least not using his wings. Jet propulsion was a much better idea.



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Why would they make her look like a device for fighting small office fires? She was so much more, so much more than that. She was hours and hours of perfectly disarming laughter. The most powerful antidode to any kind of depression, sadness, confusion. Really powerful stuff, grade A. Not some tiny chuckle, not a smile, she was the real deal.
She had the power to make armed villains drop their weapons, she could heal wounds on skin, memory and heart. She was able to make ice melt, plants grow, animals go wild. (the good kind of wild, of course.)
But they would certainly never find out. They would just run to her when there was some sort of birthday cake induced cubicle fire. And then her laughter would hardly be the right thing do.
Oh, if they at least removed the sticker that prohibited kids to play with her. She loved to play with children. The young, the old, the not so old.



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She started with a tiny note next to her bedroom mirror. It was a choice not really against anything, but for a more intense and more aware and scenic route. She would soon seek out the slower kind of transportation, the slower kind of conversations, the slower kind of love. And while some of her friends soon turned into blurry streaks of color, rushing left and right of her with full speed with no destinations, she slowly began to understand the language of the clouds, the rivers and the plants. Trees were greeting her on her week long walks. Rocks rolled over with joy whenever she approached.
Mountains would soon bow to her, and oceans would open up and close her doors.
She was never lonely, not in a million years. Soon the universe and her would have intriguing conversations. And their love would grow and never end.




Five layers of separation from what we think we think we see. The world before our eyes, one we create, as we move through it barely touching it.
There are tiny windows sometimes through which we can see beyond the layers. Even if some of us manage to find a view beyond... we still often do not even realise that we might have touched something more universal than what we have accepted as our individual reality. The further we go, the further we remove ourselves from the first look we had at this world?...
Or could it possibly be a circle, could it possibly be a path that will bring us back? Maybe a bit more complex than that... maybe a bit more complex than that. Maybe much simpler than that... and language itself keeps us from understanding. Language, the sugar for the mind...




There were many quite beautiful thoughts on his mind, thoughts filled with color, form, dimension. He really thought about quite incredibly elaborately stunning structures, Soaring pillars and chambers fragrant and warm and soft.
They saw in him the master of numbers, of time, his thoughts were more in love with the winding, beautiful and quiet kind. They thought his calls every morning were happy cheers to greet the day. For him they were cries of desperation. Oh how much did he wish he had been given a vocabulary larger than the few syllables that, to make things worse, translated completely differently into most languages.




She spent years and years learning languages and cultures in night courses. She understood nearly 1500 dialects, could howl all 19 owl languages. She was a very well read owl, seriously. Her hearing was so incredibly great and not only did she hear all conversations, she also remembered them.
Her family had the tradition of being consultants as far back as Athens.
This should have been the glorious part of life. This should have been the relaxed time. Kids were out of the forest, the mortgage on a barn was almost paid off.
So why for heaven's sake did the mice still have to party every single night?




Wait, wait, wait, not yet, it was not time yet, not quite, not quite, just a little minute, just one more, please, just that little minute please?
The corners of his colar would just point towards the sky every time he got as excited as now. Oh boy, such glory, such glory, such glory....
Oh, wooow, wooow, wooow...
Even though each moment was filled with excitement, he sometimes had the feeling that the life he was living was a rather replaceable one. Why him, what was so special about the way he saw things? Probably not very much actually?
Oh, wait, wait, not yet, do not let this moment pass....
(Please stay tuned as this little fragment will very likely be replaced by a completely different story...)



Just a few soft touches on numbers and letters and they were closer again, so close and warm and good. She could hear him whisper softly. He could hear her loving breath. And even though they might have appeared to others as two people connected by something man made, they were actually united, melted into one beautiful idea. And the tiniest words could send jolts of electricity over the wires and the smallest sound could make them shiver.
This was not surface talk, this was the deeper, deeper, deeper beautiful world they would visit again and again. So what about the weather? Oh, lovely thunderstorms...




He was a writer, a poet, a magician. He knew all about the world out there. He set the limits for things. He directed the direction of things, events, history. He was the master of this herd, the chief of the flock, he was the herder of punctuation. He called himself the shepherd of ideas. Some others were giving him other names.
He would just blow their minds...
once he would actually start writing...

(Actions speak louder than words...)


It was a big deal. He knew that it was a little bit out there, he knew that some would not get it. It was okay. It was always a little painful at first. They always hit the guy who is in the first row, the guy who has the first idea, the guy who spearheads, who puts a stake in the ground, who comes up with something great. They laugh at first, they make fun at first, and before you know it they all just knew it all along. It worked with Mannahatta, why should it not work with Brooklyn? He just had to be in it for the long run, just keep on being the coolest guy in Williamsbourgh. Soon enough there would be more poeples believing that his name was the better name. Then those people, living on the edge, would start asking for cool looking stuff with the true name of the burrow... and bingo. He would then sue the hell out of them, because he had the idea, he was the one who came up with that name. And then everybody would want to meet the guy who was the first to recognize that the place was really called Bruklynn. And then they would come to him and interview him, the new hero of the city, him, Bowl Smiht. Yeah.

(view remix)


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Mom said he had the prettiest antlers in the valley. "Just like dad", she said. But where was this now that all the other deer were laughing at him? Where was his now when he did not know what to do with this thing on his head that made the others either laugh or just run away. No cow would look at him, do bull would play with him. He was really considering leaving the valley for the mountains. He would just die in the snow, all by himself. This was pretty much his plan, until he ran into a strange cloud of voices and sounds. Then pictures appeared before his eyes. It all made him really sleepy at first.
Soon he would realize that he was able to hear and see things others would never even understand. Soon he would realize that he could hear conversations of hunters, miles, miles away from the valley. Soon he would have revenge. Okay, maybe just save the life of the prettiest cow in the valley.



It was his favorite scarf. It reminded him of the time when his 's had to cover his mouth to be able to breath while riding his horse through the dusty valleys of the area.
Now the silk around his neck was there to protect him from the curses of the women, whom he did not allow to mistake his scarf for a leash.
Those who understood his story, were welcome to untie the knot...




George never thought he would end up as a playing card. The number one? An ace? He was not really a player, he really was not. He was an ex-general, an ex-president, he wanted to be a consultant, he was a free-mason.
... one of the most wanted guys out there.
(At least he was not the only one...)



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Jack loved to tell stories about the sun. It was the really hot, medium sized star, in the center of this planetary system. It was the source of all life here. It was also the source of incredibly romantic sunrises and sunsets. Stunning stuff. Really.
There was not a sigle fish to watch him, down there, deep on the ocean floor.



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The passion began with a single stamp. It was not even a high denomination. It was not a big stamp either. But is was soo good. It was just wonderful. And the envelope. Oh, incredible. Shivers. Electrifying. The ice cream was just too much to handle. The lollypop pure passion. All other senses did not matter. This was it. She found her goal in life. Her tongue became her eyes and ears and hands and nose and of course taste, of course taste.
That was in the beginning. This was before the accident. Before the overdose of this refreshing new breath paper.
Some say they have seen her recently in the fields, licking the dew of the grass halms... Some claim to have seen her on the road. I do not want to believe such stories. I would rather ask her in person. It is so often better to find out such things first hand...



Why did everybody think this was a costume? Why would they keep taking pictures with him as if he were employed by a theme park. All of his life had he been treated like a toy. His size has changed over the last 10 years, of course. He wondered if they would still find him as cute as they seemed to find him now when he would finally reach his adult size of 30 meters.
He kept a list of those who liked to kick him. And that little boy that peed on him, was going to experience the surprise of his lifetime, once there would be the appropriate revenge. In a few years, my friend, in a few more years...




And it did not even bother her so much that she was not even able to reach those front teeth with her hands. It was not even that she was not really able to see things straight sometimes. Nobody understood the natural painting of her face. (It did change its color, but only at night.)
What bothered her most was the knowledge that in a few million years there would be little monkeys everywhere, collecting bones and checking them out and taking them away from their places. And she knew that they would find her skeleton and especially her skull and that they would use their little monkey brains to interpret the content of her incredibly well wired system. And they would of course not understand even a tiny portion of her very well distributed knowledge and wisdom and emotions and all the other things for which the monkey writing this has no words. They would probably assume that she also had only one brain, just like them, or that only her brain was used for her thinking (though they used more than their brains for thinking without being aware of it... silly compartment-monkeys...). That was all a pretty sad knowledge to have. She also knew that the archeologists would probably assume that she was everything but the soft spirited kind teacher to the little bird. They would probably assume that she was an angry predator and that the little bird was the next link on some evolutionary chain. Or they would not even find the little bird, because it would be gone by then... hmm...
All this made her really sad. And the little bird could not understand what she was saying, because it did not understand the concept of future, but she, she had to suffer... all of her life...
She even considered jumping into a place where the soil was moist, to dig herself in, maybe, make sure those bones liquify. But the idea was to provide the little bird with more food over the next few years. And they had been such good friends...
If only she were a stupid, greedy predator, things would be so much easier...




It probably makes perfect sense that I am listening to the wonderfully layered music of My Bloody Valentine as I am posting this. The 360x360 series posted of daily drawings is now at 27, it contains about 30 drawings on the server. My Illustrator file has about 60 layers or so (not all drawings get posted, you know). As I was switching from layer to layer it occured to me that it woul be interesting to just quickly turn on some of the layers to generate something like remixes of the files posted and of those not posted.
Here we go...







the greatest, the wildest, most daring, dangerous. High above the ground, with a face painted to scare the crows. Look, look, there he goes again.
It is good to be filled with hot air.



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A lamp, they called him a lamp. How dare they. He was a dancer, a secret ballet dancer. For hours at time he would spin and jump and express ideas, and other amazing things... until the cord was entangled, until the plug was ripped out of the wall, until it was completely dark again. Until the next night, late night.
Nobody knew about these activities of course, except for the hasty drawing of a taxidermy experiment. But that was certainly a completely different story. For now.



The wings were there, the horse body was there, the good will was there. Yet for some reason, there was not much hope that he would ever fly. The wings were just decoration, the horse body was more of a joke, and the good will?...
The good will was there equally for all parts. With not a single priority set, there would be no takeoff, just a flappering flippering something. But maybe later, maybe this was justthe beginning of things. It is quite possible that there was some potential in parts that we did not pay any attention to. And it is very likely.



There were some doubts, of course. It was not a clear decision right away. Who was the better one, who had what it took to reach the higher branches, dig deeper, peek around more corners?
In the end they would probably never find out. It was the louder one who would win this one. And by doing so, he would let them both lose in the larger game. Or maybe not. Maybe there would be a similar meeting, just a few years down the road, or down the unexplored dirt path.
There were some major doubts, of course.



There they are, the plants the flowers, the ducks, the wings, the floating fish. The good kind of floating, of course. The right side up.
And suddenly it is middle of the night again and I should actually be sleeping...
and why don't I... good night. : )



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Not pretty enough for you? You feel intimidated by my wicked looks? What is it about you people that makes you fall in love while watching each other's brains poking through your faces, and just does not allow you to find a perfectly round thing like me attractive? Are you not intrigued about my dreams and hopes? Would you like to know what I think about this and that? How intimate can we get, on a first date? I do not have hands? Well, it is not like you are using yours this minute, are you?
So just relax, I am not dangerous at all. I am a friendly creature. I will not eat you or your friends, or anything that belongs to you...
Excuse me while I deflate.



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There was an idea, but wait, there was another one. Here comes one that is equally important. Do not want to let this one just pass by. There are moments of quietness and still contemplation and then there are times when there are just too many little ideas to fit onto a piece of paper or one side of it, or anything at the same time, now, please now, before I forget.
And the result of such bursts? Nothing really. Sometimes when the mind decides to gallop ahead, the hands and eyes just want to sleep and get ready for another exciting week ahead... hmm...
I am sometimes very thankful for being here as a human being, but often I would like to be something completely different somewhere else. Do you feel like this sometimes too? I mean wouldn't it be nice to be a cubic foot of water, somewhere, or maybe a sound, or maybe a good idea, or the hidden symmetry of an old tree, and be it a family-tree of a yet to be born species. Hmm...
Or something...



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Totem, to tem, tot em, tote m. Carved into a large piece of sponge, the sculpture enjoyed crossing oceans. How wonderful to be one with the elements and to scare the wits out of whales and all the other little animals. Barely visible water folk. Gosh, it is too late for writing here right now.
Glad I do not have a tv station. Here, only you and I get to read these fragments. At least this is what I like to think.




it is the hard shell, you see, the hard shell makes him apear as if he were not able to smell the less than obvious. yet inside of it, that hard protective shell, inside of it is a softer being, a more curious little guy. And this is it for right now. I will say more, just not right this minute... so please come back... there might be some change in store...




...majestically, sweetly, with love. She ran through the fields, encouraged by the wind. The scent of flowers with her, farther and farther away she went. She would later remember how her breath began to hurt, how her chest filled up with needles, how her head began to spin.
She woke up in warm grass, with no s anywhere but high, incredibly high above her. She listened closely to the tiniest sounds around her for hours, until she fell asleep again.
She dreamt of the green blades of grass and how they moved in the wind like the hair on the back of a running beast. Running majestically, sweetly, with love. Running through the fields, encouraged by the wind. The scent of flowers with her, farther and farther away she went. She would later remember how her breath began to hurt, how her chest was filled with needles, how her head began to spin.
She woke up in warm grass, with no s anywhere, except for the ones high, incredibly high above her. She listened closely to the tiniest sounds around her for quite a while, until she was soothed to sleep which brought her the dream of the blades of grass. The grass moved in the wind, slowly, as if it were the hair on the back of a magical creature of incredible beauty. Majestically, sweetly, with love she ran. Through the fields she ran, farther and farther away through the fields. Chasing, chasing the wind. The scent of flowers their companion... farther and farther away they went...




it is my fault... it really is... (but not really all of it?)



Jumbo and Sumbo decided to think beyond their elephantastic horizons. They put their minds together and imagined themselves as the brain halves of a gigantic dog somewhere high on the roofs of a city yet to be built.
Jumbo wanted the dog to have fierce teeth, tusks just like the ones of a mammoth. Sumbo was thinking of a more beak-like solution.
This is where they developed some really strange looking design, but otherwise, their brainstorm turned wild enough for them to have some serious fun for days. Or at least this is what I was told and I am not telling by whom.




It is very tempting and very easy to be used by software. One could be under the impression that software is made to enhance our ability to create, it is often described as tool, or as a tool-set, but often software is an actual work of art itself and whatever is created with it becomes somehow just a little part of a bigger concept. It is just tempting to use certain effects that can be easily achieved with a certain code, while we shy away from those other things that would be very easy in reality but become a bit of a process in the virtual space.
I guess the trick to avoid the temptations of the tools given to us by programmers and the marketing departments of software houses. One should at least attempt to restrain the desire to use all the features, or the easy features, or the cool features of a particular program.
One could just forget that Photoshop lets us pick from a large color palette and use only two colors for example (The web helped design by forcing designers to reduce their pallets due to bandwidth... at least for a few years). One could avoid geometric tools in Illustrator. One could try to make things without ever using the scale function...and so on...
I think such work with computer systems is healthier than the "holy mass of software worship" many of us practice.

Having set this as an ideal, it is sometimes just nice to give in and be tempted and just press the expensive virtual buttons on some palette somewhere deep in the interface of a program and just let the programmers take over. Let them drive...
And then the results might be something like the little drawing below. (A first attempt to use symbols in Adobe Illustrator 10...)




Do you know the font FellaParts by one of the greatest and nicest men in the business and beyond, by Edward Fella? Just wanted to answer your question before you ask me what these symbols are that "explain" what happened to our little friend here.
Hmm. They do not explain anything? What makes you think that any explanation anywhere ever does?


Urgent Update: Our friend is not dead. He is only sleeping. Here is proof. Thank you. (And thank you for worrying.)


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At times, we would just not go anywhere, we would just stand there, not even sit. All this rushing, this jumping, this pushing and pulling and going places has somehow brought us here. But now what? What shall we do now?
Spread those wings again and make one more jump? COuld we keep pretending that those are not wings? Could we keep pretending that this is not a beak? Could we keep pretending that there is no voice in our throats?




And sometimes it is impossible for me to comment on drawings even when they are just drawn, just straight from the pen. (stylus.)
Why an octopus? Is it the longing to be able to talk with the entire body at all times, clearly, in shape-shifting ways? Is it the ability to turn into anything in just seconds. Or to disappear in a cloud of excellent ink?


And the whale knew now that he was not dreaming. It was another giant octopus traveling on the calm waters of the ocean as if they were hills of a drier landscape.


Somewhere in a completely different universe, a completely different creature happened to be doing the same thing. And there was nobody there to watch.


He could not hide his thoughts very well. As they glanced upon his consciousness, they would instantly appear als large letters inside and outside of his body. What could be done to prevent this? He wished so much somebody invented clothing already. Or maybe at least some undergarments.



She ran, quicker and quicker now. From wave to wave she rushed. Her back legs stopped touching the water some time ago. She did not think about it at all now. It was just her and the water and the night and the storm. They were all one, one being. Afraid, afraid to stop, afraid to change directions, just rushing, further, further and further away from the land. Towards the really dark water, towards the really deep see, towards the barely touched place.
She would run for another few hours maybe, not tiring at all, she never did. Then, when it was time to stop, she would. And the ocean would embrace her, cold at first, but then very familiar and warm and just good.
But for now...rush, rush, rush...




One advantage of posting the content of my moleskines is the distance I have to the images posted. I often look at the drawings and have to try to somehow interpret what it might have been that I really wanted to do. Where was I? What time of the day was it? I am a bit of an observer. And I can be lazy. I can just stop drawing for a week and actually even stop writing for a month and nobody might notice, including myself. I can just post the 70 pages or so in a month and not really be connected to the things that are happening around me. Hmm.
What if the drawings here were more of a live event. What if the drawings here were drawn on the day when they were posted. It would be much more pressure for me but it would also be more fun maybe?
I could scan some of the drawings I make in a (good) day, or I could just draw directly into software and post these images. (No scanning necessary.)
Hmm. Let's try that. It might just fail, it might not work, it might be too much pressure. I can not promise anything.
To make things as simple as possible, the images I will post will be of the same format, not pop up and... they might be either very simple, or be based on previous drawings. Could this be fun?
Let's see what will evolve here. Here we go...


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