Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Mental Snack (23)


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"It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does."
~ William Faulkner

What do you rely on, dear reader? When you write or read, are you more interested in the plot or the characters? If you are a writer, are you plotter or a pantser?

Plotter: You outline everything about your book. Character traits, how scenes take their course, and you know the end as soon as soon as you begin to write.

Pantser: You write and don't outline or plot anything. You just follow your characters or the plot and let them lead you.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Off-Tune: A Poem

(Credit for the title goes to Rafi, Shantay, and Melissa. Thank you!)

Right now.

A deaf woman doesn’t hear the sound,

While everyone screams so loud,

Tears and shouts,

As the bomb exploded,

Yet, she still heard the same.


While the corpses piled,

The ash sprayed,

The building collapsed,

Yet, she still heard the same.


The blood splattered on the walls,

She didn’t hear any of the calls,

The sirens waned,

Yet, she still heard the same.


Children cried,

Grasping teddy bears tight,

Glass shattered on the floors,

People opening the emergency doors,

They looked at her in shame,

Yet, she still heard the same.


She saw what had happened,

But did not hear the cries,

She thought she was in a dream,

But she never felt so alive,

When the blast came,

And people began to fly,

She continued walking,

To save her own life.


She passed through the clawing hands,

The dead,

The women and men,

The cries, the sighs, and the rest,

Not thinking about saving them.


She could not hear,

For she was deaf,

But did that excuse her?

Did that make her immune?

So soon,

In the blink of an eye,

Or a toss of a dime,

The bomb exploded,

On a subway train,

Yet, she still heard the same.


She was actually glad she survived,

She did not regret saving anyone’s life,

She was happy just to be alive,

She was glad that the bomb ruptured the drums in people’s ears,

For now, she was not alone,

She wasn’t the only one who could not hear.

They deserved it,

For ignoring her all these years.


She smiled and walked away,

With a silly smirk on her face,

She was the one,

And yet they did not know,

She stepped on the same ground,

She smelled the same smells,

Yet she did not hear the same sounds.


All she heard was nothing but the same,

They did not know what she became,

A hidden monster among sheep,

Another leaf in a tree,

She was like them,

But also not,

For she was the criminal,

That they all sought.


“Goodbye and feel my pain,”

She said as she stepped out of the subway,

Still hearing the same,

The void that filled her ears,

Never was so clear,

In her mind,

She knew she brought fear,

To the rest of the world, to all of humankind.


She dropped the bomb,

Not caring for the daughters or the sons,

She did not care for the sounds,

For she never heard them at all,

She only heard the same,

For the rest of her days.


Right now.

A girl smiles,

Walks out and never goes to trial,

She walks on for miles and miles,

Running and not hearing anything but the same,

They did not know what she became,

But she did.


A monster in sight,

A monster brought to the light,

When she couldn’t handle the calls with no voice,

That haunted her eyes,

Until she finally realized,

She picked up the hotel room’s phone,

And began to dial,

Nine-one-one.

Then, she cried not like a monster, but like a child,

Until they took her away,

They shouted her name,

But she didn’t hear anything but the same.


The same, that beautiful nothingness,

Which was pure bliss,

For she couldn’t even hear her own cries,

But she felt the tears in her eyes,

That caressed her cheek,

She continued to weep,

“Why am I still alive?”


She didn’t hear the answer,

And only the same.


What's the worst atrocity you've ever seen, dear reader?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Egged On


“Vatche?”

“Huh?” I looked at the house smothered in a new color: yellow.

“Don’t tell this to anyone.” My aunt looked at me from the corner of her eye.

I was still half-awake, half-asleep. I rubbed my eyes and couldn’t imagine who could’ve done this to my home, especially at two o’clock in the morning. I was filled with anger and hate as I saw some of the yellow drip onto the cement floor of my driveway. I stepped on white shells that cracked underneath my feet like bones. I was disgusted by the thought of people doing such a thing.

Why egg my house?

I walked inside the house as my brother came out with some soap and gloves. We switched glances. “How many?”

My brother stopped in the middle of the threshold of the front door. “How many of what?” He looked as tired as I was. We had to get up early to clean up the mess, which was never supposed to have been created.

“Ponies,” I said sarcastically. “How many eggs are there on the house, Varen? Duh.”

“At least fifteen are on the house and maybe six are on our cars.” I started walking away to get some breakfast. My feet felt heavy against the wooden floor. I felt heavy with thoughts, memories, and suspects. I heard the water from the hose spray the walls of the house.

“Second time this month,” I said to myself. “Who in the hell hates us? Who in the hell hates me?”

My brother pops into the kitchen, “I think it was just someone random. Some punk ass kids or something,” he snatched more soap from the kitchen cabinet.

“Don’t go looking for wolves among sheep, eh?” I told him.

“Basically,” he slammed the door to the kitchen cabinet and went back outside.

I poured my cereal and thought of all the grudges I held, all the fights I’ve had, and all the hate I’ve collected over the eighteen years of my life. I stared at my milky reflection in the cereal bowl.

What did I see?

I saw the darkest moments in the whitest waters.

I saw fists thrown, trying to escape the waters they were trapped in. They tried reaching for my neck, for my face, for me. I saw the coldest of goodbyes. The darkest, bloodshot eyes. Arguments in alleyways. Backstabbing. Friends becoming enemies. Backs turned. Yelling. Screaming. People hiding in corners.

I poured the rest of the milk down the drain. I couldn’t stand looking at it any longer. The darkness of my life. Then, I remembered something I read last night in a book, “We were put on this earth for a reason. We were put here to experience happiness. Remember the happy things. Don’t focus on the hate in this world.” It was something along those lines.

Last night.

I remembered that I twisted and turned in the heat of the summer night in white sheets. I heard laughter. A chuckle and something hitting my wall. I dismissed it though. It had to be them. It had to be those kids, who threw the eggs at the house.

A hand woke me up and back to reality. “Vatche?” It was Clara, my aunt.

“Huh?” I stared at her eyes that have probably seen worse than this. She lived in the time of the Revolution in Iran. She must’ve seen at least some bloodshed. I remember hearing stories from her about a man being carried away in a coffin and people tearing that coffin into shreds.

“Are you okay, Vatche?”

“I’m fine. I’m just— frustrated.” I noticed the yolk on her clothing. The slime that covered the towels in her hand. The color of hate wasn’t red, but yellow.

“It’s okay.” She walked off without another word. I saw the anger in her face, as well. We were victims of some prank. I saw the darkness not only in the random act of throwing eggs, but also in myself.

“You shouldn’t think about it too much.” My brother smiled as he walked into the house. “So what? Some kids threw eggs at our house. There’s worse that could’ve happened. There was no shooting, no one died, nothing happened. So, we have a mess on some of our walls. Big. Freakin’. Deal.”

“I guess, you’re right.” I took the towels in his hands and threw them into the washing machine.

“Finally,” my brother flipped the switch, “you understand.”

The towels twirled. My eyes fixated on the water rising, the bubbles foaming, and the darkness in the water disappearing. Everyone has darkness in his/her past. It’s what makes us human. We don’t only live on successes, but also failures. Failures in friendships, relationships, tests, obstacles, and everything really. The only thing I have to do is fix all those failures. Someway. Somehow.

The water swished.

“Are you coming to wash down your car or what?” My brother called out.

“I’m coming.” I put on my shoes and ran.

“Screw the darkness.” I whispered underneath my breath.


How about you, dear reader? Have you experienced pranks on your home? What's your opinion on the darkness in human hearts? Do you ever 'forgive and forget' or do you tend to focus on past mistakes?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Mental Snack (22)


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"Remember: when people tell you something's wrong or doesn't work, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what's wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong." ~ Neil Gaiman

Have any of your readers told you that something was wrong with your writing and needed to be adjusted in his/her way? How do you handle a situation where something is wrong with your writing? Do you ever use the advice given to you?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Your Own, My Own: A Poem



Do you mind if I steal your first kiss?

If I take it away and make it my own?

Love you forever and never let you go?


I always got lost in your eyes,

Your smile always brighter than the sun,

And your hair and the wind always were one.


Is it selfish if you want the same?

If you know the truth, but do not speak,

You wish not to be broken-hearted again and to seem weak?


We are soul mates,

Hand-in-hand,

Whispering careless thoughts into each other’s ears.


Flowers were no comparison,

The clearest lakes couldn’t match your eyes of blue,

And the red lips of roses cannot kiss me like your kisses do.


The clock’s pendulum swings and I age,

Yet you remain the beauty, you remain the same,

Who should you or I blame?


Do you mind if I amend,

By letting you kiss me and hold my hand until the very end?

But this time you make my last, your own.


“I will never leave you alone.”


At what age did you get your first kiss? Have you found your soul mate? Is there such a thing as a happy ending?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Versatile Blogger Award



So, this week I was awarded my first blogger award, the Versatile Blogger Award, by Amparo. Then, mid-week I was awarded with it again, but this time it was from Nicole. Then, yesterday I was awarded with it for a third time by Bec. I would just like to thank all of them for this award. Their blogs are awesome so, check them out if you can, dear readers.

There are rules to the award though that I must follow or...I will be attacked by several ninjas, pirates, robots, zombies or a ninja-pirate-robot that happened to turn into a zombie.

The Rules:

1) Thank and link back to the person (or people, in my case) that gave you the award.

2) Share seven things about myself.

3) Pass the award to fifteen bloggers, who I have recently discovered and who I think are fantastic for whatever reason. (In no particular order...)

4) Lastly, contact the bloggers that I've picked for the award.

Ok, so now I'll share seven things you probably didn't know about me and then I'll list the fifteen winners of the award.


1) I am a neat-freak. When I went to Armenia with my friends, they even said, "Vatche, you know the maids have a job for a reason. Stop being a neat-freak!" I really just can't stand being untidy sometimes.

2) I am a very friendly person and will listen to anybody, which is why my parents don't let me answer the door at times, because they are afraid that I'll bring a Jehovah's witness or traveling salesman inside the house. All I want to do is listen to their stories of being a Jehovah's witness or a salesman really.

3) Though I'm talkative now I used to be very shy.

4) I've had several nicknames while growing up, but I've finally got a permanent nickname: Stitch.

5) I'm named Stitch because apparently to my friends, I do the same crazy things that Stitch, from Disney's Lilo & Stitch, does and I have his hair, except it's not blue.


6) I'm born on March 17, 1992, also known as St. Patrick's Day.


7) Stephen King is my idol, since he persevered through so much and has become a famous icon not only in the literary world but also in pop culture. I want to be like him someday though our writing styles are very different.

Ok, that's it for the seven things.

Now, the Versatile Blogger Award goes out to...

1. William Michaelian for always being there for me.

2. Terresa for her constant support.

3. Imola for her awesome feedback and her philosophical posts.

4. Ashelynn for her funny and awesome blog posts.

5. Falen for her cool advice and telling me about writing-tech stuff like Wordle.

6. Patty for her great book reviews and for always emailing me to start conversations.

7. Angelique for her cool blog on not only vampires but also tofu. (Just kidding there is no tofu involved, only concise and well-written book reviews.)

8. Owning the Words for her enticing, raw poetry and intriguing posts.

9. Karen because like her blog, she is always "write".
10. Cruella for her laugh-out-loud posts on all things writing or not.

11. Creepy Query Girl for her fantastic site that always keeps me entertained.

12. Rachel for her thoughts on all books such as Arabian Nights and Dubliners.

13. Simone for her taste in fine art and her fine poetry.

14. Angel-Star for being thoughtful and having thought-provoking posts.

15. E. Elle for posting up fun reads on her blog.

Thank you everyone for everything. Now, share the award and follow the rules or pirates, ninjas, robots, and zombies will attack!


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Mental Snack (21)


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"If you are a writer you locate yourself behind a wall of silence and no matter what you are doing, driving a car or walking or doing housework you can still be writing, because you have that space." ~Joyce Carol Oates

Where and when do you write?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Death Note: A Review

Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata

Published by Viz

Volumes: 1-12

$7.99 each


What is the most dangerous weapon ever created?

Some would say the atomic bomb, because of its destructive power.

Some would say guns, because they’re easily available to the public.

Some would say alcohol, because of the many deaths it has caused.

Some would say the Notebook. The Death Note.

Imagine killing anybody in the world just by writing his or her name down in a notebook with that person’s face in mind. That is the power of the Death Note. Death Note is a manga series of twelve volumes created by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata. It begins with a high school genius named Light seeing a black notebook float down from the sky and hit the floor of his school’s yard.

He believes it to be a joke at first. Wouldn’t you, dear reader?

But once he tests it out, there is no turning back. Once he writes that first name, he couldn’t stop. He continues to write the names of criminals, who he believes to be evil and not deserving the right to live. His goal is to become the God of a new, clean world. Soon, the whole world is in chaos about the killings of criminals by heart attacks. Yes, heart attacks. If you write a name in the Notebook with the person’s face in mind without any specific thing about the death, the person simply dies of a heart attack. Light can even specifically choose what type of death a victim can have: run over by a car, murdered, cardiac arrest, or even suicide.

How does Light know how to use it? The Death Note comes with a set of rules. Light learns that there are several rules written down in the Notebook, but dozens of unwritten rules, too.

Where did the notebook come from?

It came from another world. A world of shinigami, death gods, or known to us in America as Reapers. Each notebook belongs to a shinigami and the shinigami that drops his/her notebook in the human world must follow that human around until he/she gives up ownership of the Notebook or dies.

All of this so far only happens in the first few pages.

The world of Death Note is a very intricate one, full of twists and turns, but also full of literary value.

Is it okay to kill someone who murdered a family?

Is what Light doing right or wrong?

Is it wrong to use the Death Note?

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants an adventure and go through the ideas of good and evil. For once, a book takes the view from an anti-hero perspective, which is very “out of the box” and creative.

If you want to check out Death Note, there is an animated version of the manga that you can probably find streaming online or in stores. If you want to dive deeper into the realm of Death Note, I recommend getting the manga first and then watching the animated series.

Here’s a trailer of the animated version of Death Note for those of you who are interested.



Now, here are some questions to you, dear readers:

If you had the Death Note would you use it? What did you think of this review?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

95


“Ninety-five pounds. That's a big number.” My doctor took a second look at me.

“Yeah, I practically lost a person.” I laughed a bit nervously. It’s always like this ever since I’ve lost all the weight. People get surprised, including my own physician.

“So,” he looked me in the eyes, “how did you do it?” I noticed the man was a bit chubby. He wanted advice, probably. “I bet that I’m not the first one to ask you.”

“Yeah,” I took a deep breath, “you’re not. Well, I just dieted and exercised until my butt fell off.”

“Literally or figuratively?” He checked behind me as a joke.

“Well, figuratively.” My doctor’s eyes fell off me and went to his clipboard.

“It’s good that you did it the right way.” He scratched his balding head.

“Well, though I wished I didn’t have to suffer through that whole year of running and whatnot. And instead, I wish I could’ve just cut myself open and stuck a vacuum to clean-up all the fat, I’m still glad I did it the right way even if it was harder.”

“So, what’s your secret?” The doctor put down the clipboard, readjusted his glasses to his face, and then crossed his arms.

“Well, I guess soda was my biggest enemy. I used to drink it throughout the day, but I replaced soda with water, which helped a lot.”

“How did you stay so focused?” He started looking, no, he started analyzing me.

“I’m a very determined person, I guess. My friends could vouch for my patience on things.” I laughed.

“Now, Vatche,” he grabbed his clipboard from his desk, “this is my last question before we're done, but you don’t have to answer it if you don’t want to, of course.”

I shook my head in agreement. “It’s ok, doc, ask away.”

“What was the trigger to make you start all of this?”

“My…trigger,” I repeated the words and tried to recall the memories. The few memories that came to mind were how I was teased for being chubby, my parents were disgusted with my habits, and how the only second look I would get from people was of horror. “I guess that I was just tired of it all.”

“Tired of what?” He wanted specifics. I bet that if he didn’t want to be a doctor, he would’ve definitely become a successful journalist with the questions he was asking me.

“I was tired of being the fat guy. I was tired of carrying that other person, that ninety-five pound person, on my back. I used to way over two-hundred and forty-five pounds and I knew it was unhealthy! I knew I wasn’t living my life the right way, so I decided to change. I started to control myself. I started to control myself because—” I paused, “because I didn’t want to—to die.” The last word was almost a whisper.

The doctor put his hand on my shoulder. “It’s ok, Vatche. I completely understand. Now, just take it easy. I didn’t mean to push your buttons like that.”

“I know, doc.” I sighed.

“Good. Now, get up and live your life outside of this crappy hospital.”

“So, we’re done with the check-up?”

“Is there anything wrong with you that you didn’t tell me?”

“No.”

“Good. Now, just go down that corridor right there and ask that lady with the blue dress to give you your shots.” He smiled.

“Wait, shots?! I don’t like shots.”

“What happened to that determined individual I just saw in there?” The doctor said as we walked outside and he closed the door behind him.

“Screw that, I don’t want to have any needles in me!” I started walking away (brisk jogging) and noticed my dad coming up behind me as I tried running away from the lady with the needles. “See yah later, doc,” I waved my hand and tried looking for the nearest exit, "thanks for everything."

I always hated shots.

How about you, dear readers, do you have anything you're proud of? Any success stories out there in the blogosphere?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Mental Snack (20)


Share your thoughts...

"I don't think everyone wants to create the great American novel, but we all have a dream of telling our stories--of realizing what we think, feel, and see before we die. Writing is a path to meet ourselves and become intimate. Think about it: Ants don't do it. Tress don't. Not even thoroughbred horses, mountain elk, house cats, grass, or rocks do it. Writing is a uniquely human activity. It might even be built into our DNA. It should be put forward in the Declaration of Independence, along with the other inalienable rights: 'Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness--and writing.' " ~ Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Feeling the Writer Within

Why are your stories important, dear reader? Why should the world listen to them? What makes your voice special from the rest?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Mr. Martin



If I said, “I knew I wanted to be a writer ever since I was born,” it would be a lie.

I actually wanted to be several things while growing up and being a writer wasn’t any of them until I was fourteen. I wanted to be a firefighter, an artist, a doctor, a lawyer, or all four at once. Dreams and aspirations moved and changed just as much as pebbles on a beach. Four years ago, however, that’s when I decided to be a writer. There were several reasons why I wanted to pick up the pen instead of a scalpel,a fire hose, a paintbrush, or a suitcase. One of them was because of my English teacher.

What he shared with me was not only knowledge, but also the power of the written word. He showed me how writers changed society, how they carved ideas into minds, led revolutions, and created worlds of the greatest kind.

This teacher’s name is Paul Martin.

Mr. Martin didn’t exactly give me a free A on any test. On the contrary, he gave me a D- on my very first test on a book titled The Catalyst. I actually hated that book so much that I decided to write something I thought would be better than some eighteen-year old girl and her stupid life problems. I thought I would write an epic adventure about something I was interested in and not about some girl and her desire to get into MIT. I wrote the first chapter and handed it to Mr. Martin, who said that it was “interesting,” while also marking it with a black sharpie that bled through the paper. The paper had more marks on it than Freddy Krueger’s face. I was devastated to think that something with so many mistakes could even be considered “interesting.” So, I went back to my desk, sat quietly, and thought.

What the hell am I doing wrong?” I started to bash on myself. “I’m never going to pass this class in a million years.” May I remind you readers that I was in ninth grade at the time, “I won’t be able to go to college if I write like this.”

So, I did not only do my studies, but tried writing a crappy novel. By the end of the year, I had known the reasons for my awkward sentences, wrong antecedents, and not to use the word “you.” I read all of Mr. Martin’s carefully placed comments, his notes in the margins, and his overall thoughts at the end of my essays. I wrote my first novel on the side and handed out chapters to my friends, who apparently enjoyed my terrible writing back then.

I finished my story after rewriting the first ten chapters twelve times and under fifteen working titles. I gave the piece to Mr. Martin over that year’s summer break and had it returned to me with a grim face in the fall. He told me that it was an okay story, but had many grammar mistakes. I had a lot of work ahead of me to become a writer and Mr. Martin was there to be my guide.

My first novel was crap. I still have it though with all its beautiful errors and some marks from Mr. Martin’s infamous black sharpie. One-hundred and forty-five pages of amateur writing now sat in my drawer as a memory and a reminder. I promised myself that I would write and continue to write until I was published. I don’t know what I was thinking when I first said the words, “I want to be a writer, ” but I knew it was the career choice for me ever since I said it.

So, Mr. Martin ended up teaching us, students, of the classics in literature and the modern marvels in the writing world. He showed us the power of poetry and the awesomeness of prose. He continued to teach us until the bell rang, while going on hilarious tangents about homeless people named Bosephus, working at Trader Joes, and a million other wonderful adventures that related to the things we were learning in class. He stayed up late grading papers for us. He read and re-read every one of his comments sacrificing sleep in the process.

So, now you, dear reader, are probably wondering why I write about Mr. Martin today of all days?

It is because my school, AGBU Manoogian-Demirdjian, is firing him from the school staff after many years of teaching there. I do not know the reason why, but I can vouch only for Mr. Martin’s greatness for being a teacher. He’s the example of a perfect teacher and what every teacher should strive to be. I’m going to Irvine soon and I will look for someone just like Mr. Martin to help me with my writing and create that same atmosphere that made me love the world of literature. I probably won’t have any luck in Irvine, because Mr. Martin was a one of a kind teacher, but I’ll still be on the lookout.

My brother or cousins, who go to the same school, won’t be able to have those same experiences with Mr. Martin like I did. I feel bad for them, because they won’t learn the same values, hear the same stories, laugh with Mr. Martin, or learn to be more of a family than a class.

Mr. Martin was one of the best thing AGBU ever had to offer and now that they fired him, they had lost one of the few things that made school life enjoyable for a student.

Thank you, Mr. Martin, for those wonderful four years of English. So, I am not going to sit around and let this happen. Instead, I’ll write about it and dare to disturb the universe, like a writer should.


Have you, dear readers, had any teachers that were memorable in your life? (Professional or otherwise.) What did you learn from your teacher?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Attack the Prompt: The Gift of Wings


So, I wanted to flex my fiction-writing muscles by answering a few prompts, so I created “Attack the Prompt.” Here is my science-fiction take on a prompt from Writer’s Digest.



I sat down at the table we were supposed to meet. We were going to talk at the normal place, the diner right across the street from where my apartment was. He had something important to say, obviously. Why else would Johnny call me up in the middle of the night? I thought as I stared at the diner’s clock on the wall. “Three in the morning, Jesus Christ,” the clock ticked and another second flew by.


A waitress with a nametag, which said that her name was Doreen, came up to me. “What can I get you?” She wore a baby blue apron that reminded me of robin’s eggs. It went well with her white dress. Her red hair was tied in a ponytail; a black rubber band tamed and strangled her frizzy locks.


“Umm,” I looked at the menu and really didn’t know. “What do you recommend three o’clock in the morning?” I smiled.


“Coffee,” she said coldly. She wasn’t obviously a night owl like me. She had bags underneath her blue eyes and her wrinkles seemed deeper in the light.


“Ok, I guess I’ll have a coffee then,” I handed her the menu.


She snatched it from my hands and ran over to the coffee machine stomping her feet on the tiles that matched her dress.


Click. Clack. Click. Clack.


Noises filled the diner as she put the mug into the coffee machine. Clicks and clatters as people ate their breakfast or dinners with rusty silver ware. People coughed, sneezed, and attended their needs.


The silver bell on the top of the door rang and Johnny stepped inside with a determined look on his face. He searched the aisles and the rows for me as I waved my hand to grab his attention. He followed the hand and found a seat in front of me.


“How’s it going?” He asked as he grabbed a menu and looked down the entrĂ©es for anything that would wake him up.


Doreen slammed a coffee cup in between the two of us. Johnny didn’t flinch and only continued to look. “There’s your coffee, sir.”


“Thank you, Doreen.” I looked up at her and only saw her back as she walked to serve another customer. “Bitch,” I muttered underneath my breath. “What’s up? What is so important that you have to call me in the middle of the night—I mean, morning? It’s three o’clock and I can’t even think straight, why did you call?”


He searched and pointed to something on the menu. He fetched his wallet out of his pocket and saw if he had enough money. “I wanted to talk to you about you know what.”


“I know what? What do I know, Johnny? What the hell is going on?”


“I want to do it. I’ve saved up enough money when I heard about the surgeries that they did on people. I want to do it. I want to fly.”


“Johnny, are you serious? You want to become one? You want to be genetically mutated?” I looked at the outside world from my window. There were some who walked on the streets like normal people and there were others. Those gifted with wings, the wings of purest white, the wings of angels.


“Why? Why waste all your money for something like that? Don’t you ever want to have a family? Or buy a house?” I reminded him of all the other things he could invest his money in, but he would not change his mind. He wanted this more than anything else in the world and I could see it in his dark eyes.


He put his hand on the top of his head and brushed through his buzzed-cut gray hair. “I’m not getting any younger—”


“You got that right,” I interrupted as I sipped some coffee.


“—and you know that they don’t allow the surgeries on the elderly.” His eyes focused on a few old people in the diner. “If I can fly, I won’t need a car. I won’t need gas. Sure, I will have lost money in the short run, but in the long run I will have saved money.”


“I can’t believe you’re going to do this. You know about the discrimination. You know about the Clippings. Do you remember how the poor and the streets react to people who have wings?”


“I do.” He threw the menu aside.


“Are you still up for it even though…” I stopped to think of the next few words, because I knew this was important to him, “even though you might face the entire world.”


“Listen to me,” he grabbed my hand, “I wanted to fly since I was a kid. Back then, there were airplanes and helicopters that I wanted to fly, but now…Now, people can fly. I want to be a part of the skies just as much as birds. Just as much as airplanes or helicopters. As much as butterflies and bees. I want to be an Angel.”


I drank my coffee and took a deep breath. “Why did you call me here?”


“You know why, I need a donor. I need your DNA. You’re an Angel. You and I are a perfect match. I know ‘cause I took a sample of your feathers when I was at your place. Give me the gift.” He stared at my wings, then at my face. “Please.”


I dropped the mug back onto the table and thought of how much the world has changed since when we were kids. Now, it was possible for a few people to fly without access of machines; these people were mostly the rich. The only way to get the wings was by having a father who had wings, someone who was blood-related, or has blood that was the same as that of the street person’s. Johnny was my brother and I loved him, but can I really do this?


I told him my answer with a stern face.


His eyes filled with tears. He jumped and screamed, because now he was going to be a part of the skies. He would fly through the clouds and have a whole new life. A life filled with the same discrimination as mine, but with the same happiness for the power of flight. A life filled with the same hatred as mine for those who hated us, but with the same love for those who shared the skies. A new life created with my help, with my wings.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Mental Snack (19)


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