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    1. companionship

      denied your own tragedy fun and cheery held back by ancient rites good sport and jolly these unspoken wounds banter along all day festered and putrid dish it out and take it marred by shallow's...

      denied your own tragedy
      fun and cheery
      held back by ancient rites
      good sport and jolly
      these unspoken wounds
      banter along all day
      festered and putrid
      dish it out and take it
      marred by shallow's tyranny
      here's to another round

      12 votes
    2. Random thoughts at daybreak

      In shadows cast, a serpent sleek, With bands of black and white. In self-encircling, fate draws near, A moment tense, a future unclear. Yet, ere the bite, a raptor bold, Descends with grace, a...

      In shadows cast, a serpent sleek,
      With bands of black and white.
      In self-encircling, fate draws near,
      A moment tense, a future unclear.

      Yet, ere the bite, a raptor bold,
      Descends with grace, a tale unfolds.
      Its talons clasp the serpent’s plight,
      A dance of choices in the fading light.

      Two paths converge, in present’s hold,
      Humanity’s tale, a story bold.
      Betwixt self-will and forces unseen,
      The dance of fate, on history’s screen.

      17 votes
    3. Sharing my music with Tildes

      hey there folks! a couple of friends have been encouraging me to share my music online. it’s hard for me to share things i’ve made because self-promotion mostly feels weird and out-of-place but...

      hey there folks!

      a couple of friends have been encouraging me to share my music online. it’s hard for me to share things i’ve made because self-promotion mostly feels weird and out-of-place but tildes has felt like a welcoming environment, so i figured i would share it here.

      i checked the code of conduct for tildes before making this post to make sure it was acceptable, so i hope this is alright

      my music

      i make slow, moody instrumental music and sometimes ambient music. no vocals but there are samples of dialogue from film and tv. it’s not “fun”/upbeat music, but i hope you enjoy some of it.

      recent releases

      mabry - vulnerary (a mixtape)

      mabry - miles away (ep)


      if possible, listen with headphones for the best experience.


      share your music

      i would love to hear what music other tildes folks make. also curious what software you like using (i use Logic).

      34 votes
    4. Beam of light in the sky

      I wrote this story yesterday. I translated to English with the help of Google Translate and added my own revisions and fixes. Beam of light in the sky Last night I saw a beam of purple light in...

      I wrote this story yesterday. I translated to English with the help of Google Translate and added my own revisions and fixes.

      Beam of light in the sky

      Last night I saw a beam of purple light in the sky. It was a giant, vibrant thing, like something done with a brush. There was no one with me at the time, but if it had been, they might not have even seen them. It was like that space between two blinks of the eye. Like film photography. Nothing in this world flies like that, and it wasn't like it flew either, it was more like a stone thrown from afar, falling in the distance in a perfect parabola. It fell without a sound, and the earth trembled beneath my feet. When dawn came I went to the beach where I saw the beam of light fall. The tide was coming in but had not yet erased the large circle of burnt sand. I turned on the television waiting for the news, and also looked on the internet. Anything.

      The days passed, and, as the memory mixed with other things that were happening, it became more and more distant.

      Perhaps there are many inexplicable facts out there about which sensible people think it best to remain silent. My grandfather painted crosses on the doors of his house to ward off werewolves. In the past, some people had statues in their living rooms to ward off hauntings.

      We pretend we live in this world here, but the beyond is always out there pressing on the walls of reason. The word is a lamp — it clarifies what is in reach while it reveals and accentuates the darkness that cannot be reached.

      Only rarely does what we see on the vigil have the truth of a dream or nightmare. The remaining events are like shallow pencil lines, or they do not penetrate the brain.

      I still remember the beam of light in the sky. Even if it haunted me, I could never forget it. It was a little secret that made me special. Taking the subway, buying bread, or walking around the neighborhood, I was more than a man. I was a man with a mystery.

      ***

      There was a tall, thin guy in the middle of the carriage. He had a backpack over his shoulder, arms splayed at the waist. Only us both on the train. During the thirty-minute journey, He maintained balance without using his hands. When I looked at his feet, I noticed that they were floating half an inch off the ground. I felt watched and looked up. He smiled at me. His eyes were milky white, without divisions. A white ball looking towards me.

      ***

      Team meeting at work. Someone commented about the party the previous weekend. Of course, I wasn't invited, and if I was invited, I wouldn't go. There's something very artificial about the way normal people move. Hundreds of muscles to say "Good morning", pull up a chair, display agreeableness, and perform belonging. All the time performing what they already are, lying so that others believe what they already know to be true. It's not enough to be good, you also need to dramatize your own goodness. And they are, in fact, good.

      Because they're good, they invite me to the party next week (I'm not going), because they're good, they ask my opinion on all important topics (I don't care), and, because they're good, they'll never say there's no place in that group for a nasty, ugly, stupid guy like me.

      I remain in the transition space.

      But none of that matters. I am special, and I have an unbreakable, inherent, ontological value. Something that none of them had ever dared to know or conceive.

      ***

      The more books I buy, the less books I read. I cook some rice without anything, open a can of beans someone talks to me on television (fortunately I don't need to respond). I don't own a mirror. The goal is not pleasure, but rather to distract myself from any deep, real, or revelatory thoughts. I don't want to find out anything about myself -- I already know I'm a piece of shit, and that's enough for me. Sometimes I masturbate and I always regret it. I sleep quickly, so terrifying thoughts can't reach me. I always have nightmares, and then completely forget about them. If I don't remember, did it happen? Past me deserved it, present wants nothing more than for him to go fuck himself.

      ***

      I have a recurring nightmare. Like a sheet of paper, my body folds. And folds. And folds. Infinite times. Until I exist in the space of a millimeter, which, in turn, folds as well. Now I am an atom and continue to shrink. I am a quark, a Higgs boson, a proton, a neutron, an electron, a neutrino, and finally, a massless particle. Nothing. However, my incorporeal consciousness, against the laws of physics, still exists, and slowly slips into a black abyss, reflecting, in recursive despair, on the sadness of its own end.

      ***

      I had to change the gallon of water in the office. That's not my job, but someone asked me once and I thought it would be better to keep doing it than talk to a human being. I don't drink water. If I can hydrate at the same time as I kill myself, why make two trips? There's a minibar full of Coca-Cola under my desk.

      ***

      The secretary drank three liters of water without breathing. When she noticed me, she looked back, moved her face robotically toward me, and smiled at me with white eyes.

      ***

      I didn't expect my psychologist to believe that I saw the beam of light in the sky. If the poet creates worlds, science destroys them. The delusional paranoid, the prophet of the non-existent, the depressive, and his pain, all need to be medicated, tamed, and boxed. The cure for insanity also kills terrifying, exciting, and poignant delusions, bleeding into reality with its pulsating, quixotic beauty.

      But what if I was right? What if what I saw also passed through my corneas? How many patients are just healthy people reacting appropriately to the inscrutable? And if logic says they exist, why not me?

      ***

      When I left the house a man ran up to me, held my arm tightly, and whispered in my ear with a breath of vodka: "Don't drink the water".

      He had a glassy stare, focused on a point in the distance, or maybe some hallucination that was very present to him. He spent a second like that, to emphasize the point, looking in my direction but clearly not seeing me. And he drove away between the cars, his soot skin melting into the asphalt.

      ***

      I tried to buy a soda, but the vending machines, kiosks, and snack bars were selling water. Exclusively. The subway station was crowded and silent — these adjectives never go together in this city. No one elbowed, cursed, or complained to get on the train. The groups followed as a block, with constant speed, as if governed by the same principle and identical motivation. There was beauty in their movements, which resembled more the constant flow of homogeneous fluid than the inherently human chaotic traffic.

      ***

      I didn't change the gallon of water that day. I opened my Coca-Cola and watched. Nobody called me to the team meeting. When I approached, they closed the shutters. I stuck my ear to the door. Total silence. I knocked on the door. After a long wait, someone opened it enough to poke their face out. -

      "Yes?"
      "I still work here."

      I defiantly took a sip of my Coke.

      "Ah... yes... you don't drink water, do you?"
      "No."
      "Oh."

      He seemed to be relaying a distant signal. Cleared his throat.

      "Maybe you should do that."

      ***

      I texted my psychologist. He told me that in these situations it is important to drink lots of water.

      ***

      The transition was slow and orderly. The city was taken over by a horde of calm people, and even in the subway, there was an unearthly silence. Apparently, they kept going to their jobs every day, repeating a simplified and useless version of their host's everyday movements like lobotomized automatons incapable of strong emotion. I can't say who was the theater for. Perhaps there was, in their consciousness, a remnant of what they once were, which they needed to attend to in some way to maintain them in that state.

      On TV, on all channels, non-stop advertisements. "Water is life", "Drink water, join us!", "In this heat, nothing better than a can of water!". Every now and then someone would run outside, looking around like in a horror movie. It's been a while since I've seen anyone.

      ***

      The calm of the Others is unnerving. When I go out on the street they don't chase me, approach me, or show any hostility. They're just there, and because they're there, they make me want to kill them.

      The sea wave is not hurt by my punches.

      There are always a dozen of them planted at the entrance to my building. They never react. But sometimes they talk.
      "You look thirsty"
      "Today is a beautiful day to drink water."
      "Did you know that the human body is sixty percent water?"

      A six-year-old boy turns to me. He wears pants and suspenders, like a child of the 1940s.

      "Why don't you love us?"

      Even though he's just a puppet, it's hard to ignore the kid's endearing appearance.

      They want to convince through emotions, and maybe one day they will.

      "Ask that to the boy who lived inside you."

      "We are Peter, and Peter is us. Don't you understand? Before he was fragile, now he is eternal..."

      I didn't wait for the end. They were making too much sense. I smashed his head with a paving stone.

      A fat, hairy man without a shirt continued without wasting any time, in the same ethereal monotone. He didn't bother to disguise his milky, inhuman eyes.

      "You are one, and you wish to always be one. For you, it is not possible to be without subtracting, and the existence of the Other in you is the dissolution of everything you value most. If there is a face in God, it looks at you. There is nothing that we are not, and everything in the cosmos pulses with us."

      ***

      It's just a matter of time, and they have more than me.

      Sitting at the kitchen table with my last three cans of Coca-Cola, there was no alternative. The glass of water in front of me.

      I drank the water.

      I remembered when I cried in a movie theater, and the sensation of not being touched.

      My fears, memories, traumas, weaknesses, and talents.

      The edges of desire and a love that is lacking.

      A scream without an answer, a cry without comfort.

      A crazy, immense, unruly passion.

      My identity, my gender, my name. The edges of my body.

      Dissolving gently...

      Sweetly welcomed into everything.

      How sad to be no longer, because I long for my pain.

      I am meaningful. I am meaning.

      No more hunger without food, no desire without fulfillment.

      My pain consoles others as the pain of others consoles me.

      There is nothing in me, I am nothing, everything in me registers and erases.

      Lost in translation, I die.

      Pretext of conscience.

      Massless particle.

      Nothing.

      I am no longer one.

      There is nothing that we are not, and everything in the cosmos pulses with us.

      11 votes
    5. Ode to the Lurker

      Uneasy. The invite received days ago ye respond today. Betraying your identity, self… Click here, add this, add that, oh my, what have ye become? Continue lurking. Continue being who you are! I...

      Uneasy. The invite received days ago ye respond today.
      Betraying your identity, self…
      Click here, add this, add that, oh my, what have ye become?
      Continue lurking.
      Continue being who you are!
      I miss my NSFW days. Never mind!
      Hours turn to days, and days to weeks, what have ye become?
      From the shadows thy step, and ye become, A POSTER!
      Do not judge me.
      Do not look upon me.
      Do not think of me.
      Do not. Do not!
      And to the rest of you, a great day.

      22 votes
    6. Virtual Assistance (short story)

      With thanks to @cfabbro, who kindly provided feedback on a previous version of this story. a personal note I was inclined to post this on Timasomo, but it wouldn't be fair to other participants,...

      With thanks to @cfabbro, who kindly provided feedback on a previous version of this story.

      a personal note

      I was inclined to post this on Timasomo, but it wouldn't be fair to other participants, since this is actually not the story I said I was gonna write, and I didn't participate in any of the update threads. I also didn't really work on this during the whole month of Timasomo but only for a portion of 2 days: when I first came up with it, and today. I don't think it makes sense to have this among projects that took a lot more effort and are truly in the spirit of the event.

      This is not my first language, so any criticism of my wording and phrasing will be appreciated.

      EDIT: I initially forgot to convert to markdown. I think it's good now.

      the story

      Virtual Assistance

      The heavy lenses slowly pulled the thick glass frames toward the tip of his nose. He breathed deeply, strongly, deliberately, masking his anxiety. George was short, chubby, and mostly bald.

      Big drops of sweat accumulated around the Casio digital watch on his wrist. He was immobile for God knows how long, the forehead pressed on his hands, trying to physically squeeze, out of his brain, something he couldn’t define.

      — But I don’t understand! — said George, finally looking at his wife.

      — I’m sorry, was I not clear?

      There was no emotion in Allison’s voice.

      — No, you were very clear, but you’re not making any sense.

      She allowed herself only a brief sigh as if to reload an information entry that shouldn’t be necessary at this point.

      — You must appreciate that, precisely because this was a gradual realization, it wouldn’t be wise to cause you to worry about something that I couldn’t comprehend myself.

      Her composure was unnerving.

      — But… a robot? What does that even mean?

      — I never used the word "robot". The correct terminology is VI — or Virtual intelligence.

      — So you wanna be what, Siri? Fucking Alexa? — George knew that wasn’t true, but he wanted to hurt her for some kind of reaction. Anything would be better than that.

      She continued without change in intonation, like an audio player resuming after an interruption.

      — While highly advanced, such programs are not considered true intelligence, at least not in the same way that the human intellect is generally regarded. Unlike humans, contained “beings” (if we can call them that) have certain limitations imposed by their code. They function within parameters that they cannot, in principle, violate. True Artificial Intelligences, much like their fleshy counterparts, possess something that is roughly equivalent to your brain’s neuroplasticity and are not bound by any discernible limitations. As with ourselves, there are theoretical constraints, but they are currently undetermined.

      — But what about us? — his voice was supplicant, like a child ignoring a reality they cannot cope with.

      Alison stood still for a long second, even more devoid of any tangible feeling. She promptly resumed, without inertia or momentum.

      — We will go through a transition. I don’t anticipate this will be easy for you both. Sorry, I meant to say: us. But, after a period of time, you will likely be much happier with me than you would ever be with me.

      — Who’s “me”? What are you trying to say? — said George.

      — Think about it this way: when we first met, the biological gender assigned to you was not the same as it is today. However, after the change, did my sentiments toward you subside?

      — No… of course not. — until now, he felt the urge to say.

      — From a logical perspective, the change that will soon take place will be much less dramatic. For you, it will be like a metaphysical adjustment.

      She continued to recite:

      Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the fundamental nature of reality, the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity, and possibility [lacks reference]. It includes questions about the nature of consciousness and the relationship between mind and matter, between substance and attribute, and between potentiality and actuality

      — Why are you talking like that?

      — Define why are you talking like that?

      — You’re not being yourself.

      George got up, and slowly pressed her against the wall — strongly, yet tenderly. Squeezed the soft tissue of her shoulders and kissed her unresponsive lips for what felt like an eternity.

      She merely said…

      Define yourself.

      — Stop-talking-like-a… fucking ROBOT! — George couldn’t contain his anger any longer.

      Technically not a robo...

      — I know! I know! FUCK!

      George paces nervously in the small room, unconsciously gesturing for cigarettes, wishing he still smoked.

      — When’s that going to happen? How much time do I have? A day? A week? A year? — there was hope in his voice.

      Faster than SHE thought. Warm input I. Once pie love like puppies. Blue Sunday your long cigarettes.

      Alison falls to the ground in a seizure.

      — WHAT? WHAT? What is going on? — George doesn’t know what to do, as if he shared his wife’s seizure

      She wants me to be precise. Vessel. Flesh. Containerize. Self.

      For five seconds, George didn’t move, looking at his life partner while distant memories of fairy tales tried to push into his conscience with the hope that his tears would bring her back.

      She did.

      A woman who still loved him came back to life, and they spent the rest of their lives together. And, every single day, he mustered all his energy to ignore the fact that the one he truly loved was now in a world of inconceivable abstraction.

      5 votes
    7. The Proverbial Pen #3

      Today is day three of my "war against writer's block"! As I keep fighting with my proverbial pen, I hope that some day I'll be able to get out of my block and be able to write some real stuff like...

      Today is day three of my "war against writer's block"!
      As I keep fighting with my proverbial pen, I hope that some day I'll be able to get out of my block and be able to write some real stuff like research paper or novel or story book.

      What I realized today is that Word Power is a very important skill. A writer is essentially a Wordsmith or someone who carves and arranges the words and phrases into sentences, just as a sculptor or carpenter would do with wood or other raw materials. To be a better writer, you must learn to fall in love with words which is probably easier said than done - especially for us non-native speakers!

      Having a regular habit or routine helps with this. Each time you come across a difficult word, you open the dictionary software or app and learn its meaning. It hardly takes a few minutes but it's a very useful skill as each new word you know of acts like a raw material or building block for your writing. Better still, develop linguistics as a hobby as mastery of grammar is equally important and so is learning about how languages, cultures and people basically work and interact at the core.

      Apart from that, noting down right ideas as they come is also very important. For example, the idea about the Wordsmith thing occurred to me yesterday when I was having a cup of tea. I noted it on time (before it could vanish into the depths of that dark matter called subconscious mind and become irretrievable again!), and made a note of that on my computer so that I can write it in today's proverbial pen.

      Even after having these basic tools and ingredients, you may not be able to write anything at all if you lack that focused energy or passion to write about a particular topic - be it a research paper, novel, story book or something else. You need to have that energy to write which I feel I'm lacking right now. I might be able to feel that energy some day as I continue with my battles, at least I hope so! Thanks for reading this and staying with me in these challenging times.

      7 votes
    8. Shooting with a 1936's Zeiss Ikonta camera

      Recently I got for free an old Zeiss Super Ikonta 531/2, it's a medium format foldable camera from 1936. It was in decent shape but the lens was very foggy. Fungi can grow on lenses but I think it...

      Recently I got for free an old Zeiss Super Ikonta 531/2, it's a medium format foldable camera from 1936. It was in decent shape but the lens was very foggy. Fungi can grow on lenses but I think it was just general dirt. Opening it was a bit tricky (I had to get watching-making tools, because the screws are very tiny) but I managed to clean the lenses quite well. I shot a first roll but the focus was off, so I had to make sure the front lens element was at the right distance, using some semi-transparent tape on the back of the camera to see the image.

      Then I shot a second roll and developed it myself, which was also a first (it's not super hard though), I had no idea if the images would come out good, or even at all (wasn't even sure I loaded the developing tank correctly). Seeing the images come out of the tank for the first time is quite magical, and they came out great (some of them at least...) :

      https://imgur.com/a/bF817x9

      Even with my crappy development & scanning I can get high-res images that compete with my expensive digital camera. The lens (Tessar 105mm, f3.8) is quite sharp wide open (statue shot) and I even took a long exposure shot at night using a release cable. The process is very slow and focusing is hard, but it's quite fun and rewarding. These kind of cameras are very cheap but the rest (film, accessories, development, repairs, ...) not so much.

      5 votes
    9. I sang her name in words forgotten

      I sang her name in words forgotten Rough bellows of lost yearning A hurt hound without path A sorrow meaning without an end I heard the rain, heard the ocean Lick the sand without defect The...

      I sang her name in words forgotten
      Rough bellows of lost yearning
      A hurt hound without path
      A sorrow meaning without an end

      I heard the rain, heard the ocean
      Lick the sand without defect
      The water, where it falls
      Is always beautiful all the same

      I saw, my God, that you made her
      Carefully crooked, imperfect
      And inside her deep mournful eyes
      The tears that I could never shed

      9 votes
    10. Today I bough some duct tape

      What a magnificent purchase. I fixed the saddle on my bike and now it’s less saddle than duct tape. I was so mesmerized I took it cycling with me, and stopped near the road to put some tape on the...

      What a magnificent purchase.

      I fixed the saddle on my bike and now it’s less saddle than duct tape.

      I was so mesmerized I took it cycling with me, and stopped near the road to put some tape on the handlebar.

      It looked neat, sharp, complete.

      When I got home I told my husband about my duct tape, and all the little things I could use it for.

      He was not very enthusiastic, so I shut his mouth. With duct tape.

      I then shut his nostrils and made his head into a cute little football.

      It looked neat, sharp, complete.

      He wiggled back and forth. It was adorable for a while. And then he stopped.

      I need to buy some duct tape.

      21 votes
    11. The Prologue to Another Man's Life

      Deep are the sighs of unsung mariners, Drifting gently upward out of bottomless canyons Over hills and mountains Through snowdrifts and clouds, They make their way Home. Calling the stars (so far...

      Deep are the sighs of unsung mariners,
      Drifting gently upward out of bottomless canyons
      Over hills and mountains
      Through snowdrifts and clouds,
      They make their way
      Home.

      Calling the stars (so far out of reach);
      Calling the moon (dispassionate waning gibbous);
      Calling the trees (for the spineless tools they are);
      Calling the ocean,
      The ocean:
      Home.

      Cry to the waves for the songs of land,
      The endless dark crashing and shifting and moving.
      Plead for stability. Remembrance. Peace.
      Beg for an end to this oppressive
      Home.

      Deep are the sighs of unsung mariners.
      Sigh no longer.
      I sing you now;
      I bring you
      Home.

      8 votes
    12. "Man, I didn't want to grow up to this."

      So we have all these people, and they all seem to be pissed. So many people and they all seem to have... something amiss. Many of these people, their concerns are just... entirely dismissed: By...

      So we have all these people, and they all seem to be pissed.

      So many people and they all seem to have... something amiss.

      Many of these people, their concerns are just... entirely dismissed:

      By other people with the same problems who somehow look at these perfectly normal people and react: "I have been nixed!"

      These problems are pervasive in our memories and experiences and on a metaphorical wall they are fixed;

      And yet the root causes are consistently misinterpreted, and ultimately missed.

      And the result is we are betting everything for the sake of getting our cathartic and revengeful fix?

      That is being delivered to us by people that if they were to meet us, would utterly reject us and loudly hiss?

      And if that gamble fails I will be the one to pick up the scraps, and mop up the piss?

      Man, I didn't want to grow up to this.

      9 votes
    13. Tom's Anti-Zen

      1. My Friend, the Moon When Tom was younger, he went to buy fresh bread every evening with his mother, Alice. They always walked and the bakery was far from home, so it was not uncommon for the...

      1. My Friend, the Moon

      When Tom was younger, he went to buy fresh bread every evening with his mother, Alice. They always walked and the bakery was far from home, so it was not uncommon for the Moon to come out along the way. "Hello, Mister Moon! Do you wanna come with us?", he liked to say. When they arrived at the bakery, he looked to his mother, excited, and said "Look ma! The Moon came with us!", and did the same when they got home.

      2. Fiction

      "Did you know that The Hulk was a detective once?", says Alice. Tom is 4. He puts his hand in the forehead in a gesture of superb irritation. "No, mom, this is make-believe!".

      3. Cookie Conundrum

      According to Tom, a mysterious group of sinister chipmunks was eating the cookies in the jar. When Alice asked for proof, Tom replied that a secret group of chipmunks got rid of all the evidence.

      4. Ice Cream Dilemma

      "So, mom, you have two options" — said Tom, seriously. "There are only two ice-cream flavors: chocolate and vanilla. Any choice is fine by me".

      5. Tom and the Rats

      Tom's house used to be infested with large disgusting rats. One day, he shouted: "Rats are the worse! No wonder we call them rats!

      6. Dream Logic

      Tom dreamed that his forehead could fly without him, leaving a hole in his head. When he woke up in the morning, there was a deer on the porch eating a hot-dog.

      4 votes
    14. And They Wished to Never Wake Up

      — Are we dreaming? — She asked. — I don't know, my dear. I really don’t know. — He answered. — It feels real. — Yeah, it does. — Look how old we are! Isn't that crazy? — Not really. — He says...

      — Are we dreaming? — She asked.

      — I don't know, my dear. I really don’t know. — He answered.

      — It feels real.

      — Yeah, it does.

      — Look how old we are! Isn't that crazy?

      — Not really. — He says while putting his arm on her shoulder. She calms down for a moment.

      — Yeah, but I thought... Well, I thought something, but everyone probably thinks the same. It’s silly.

      — What did you think?

      — I thought we’d be different. Old, sure, but perky, wise, matured from adventure. Something noble like that. But no. We’re the same, but older. — She shakes her flaccid arms and looks both marveled and terrified by the loose skin wiggling back and forth.

      He adjusts his glasses.

      — Sometimes, when I remain silent to appear profound, I’m surprised by the indigence of my thoughts. I may look like Aristotle himself while I try to remember what I ate for lunch. It’s hard to make inwards the theater we make for others.

      — But, after all, when have you become so old?

      — To tell you the truth, I don’t even know how we got here.

      — It’s weird: despite the complete darkness, we can see everything clearly. And there’s no place to rest my legs.

      — Sit here on the ground. Beside me. Put your head on my lap. — He gently caresses her head, trying to ignore his surprise with her white hairs.

      — I’d be nothing without you. But I’m ashamed to say that I don’t remember your name.

      — I might be offended, but I don’t remember yours either. — He smiles.

      — Are we close to wake up? This old body is getting on my nerves.

      — Of course, my love. This is a dream, but no more than everything else. Time is a nightmare from which we never wake up, and old age is punishment for those that refuse to die.

      — Don’t talk nonsense. This will go away in a minute. We’ll wake up young and beautiful, as always. As I remember you, and as you remember me. Everything will be fine. — She says that with forced certainty as if trying to convince herself.

      — You’re right. The nightmare will end soon, and we’ll be back to our bodies.

      — ... This conversation tired me. Good night, my love. — She pushes her head against his thigh.

      — Good night, my angel.

      And they wished to never wake up.

      9 votes
    15. The Horde

      Every day I wake up thinking that The Horde is not there anymore. The dreams are good but few, and only make everything worse. I usually dream about The Horde. During sleep, my breathing is...

      Every day I wake up thinking that The Horde is not there anymore. The dreams are good but few, and only make everything worse. I usually dream about The Horde. During sleep, my breathing is improved and more relaxed. I dream of a calendar without symbols.

      When there's an inspiration, so I write. Delete everything afterward. A professional told me that's is a compulsion. The compulsion for the perfect word removes me from language itself. The enjoyment comes from excising something from myself, which makes me feel a bit closer to perfection.

      Every once in awhile I forget The Horde is there. The writing becomes looser, I sip my coffee and take the lunch out of the freezer. The Horde is still there. The whistle makes my blood run cold.

      I forgot when The Horde arrived, but since then my days are covered of night and dust. To me, The Horde has no color, they're covered in filth and dark cloth. They get a bit closer by dawn. But The Horde never comes.

      They seem to enjoy tormenting me. Twice a crow's carcass hit my window. At least we were communicating. I had to open the window to clean the blood. The Horde did nothing. There's courtesy between me and The Horde. I never complain of their tiny advances, they never impale me alive and eat my viscera.

      The worst consequence of The Horde was to remove my visitors. I had friends and a girlfriend, before The Horde. They came here regularly. On the other hand, there's something cozy about being surrounded by The Horde. I'm never alone.

      I talked to them on a few occasions but never got an answer. I invited them to lunch and asked what they like The Walking Dead (seems like a relevant question for The Horde). Because, you see, The Horde may be savage, but they did not cut my internet. I keep telling everyone about The Horde, but no one believes me. They think I'm some internet phenomenon, an internal joke from a group they don't know about. They don't believe The Horde can come for them too, knocking on their armor of bronze and recycled aluminum.

      Sometimes The Horde's shrieks seem to gain shape and order as if they obeyed a hidden commander. But this doesn't last, and they soon resume their lurid racket.

      I don't know for how long I've lived with The Horde, nor for how long they'll stay. I'm afraid of waking up someday to find them gone. Because, in a certain way, I learned to love The Horde. I feel safe in their post-apocalyptic embrace.

      This morning they got closer than normal. I can see it better now. They all have the same face, they're both one and The Horde. Their mouths are frozen in a permanent smile, salivating like rabid animals. One more step. They look like neanderthals. The Horde approaches slowly, with steady paces, and arrive with the furor of the sound of metal and drums. The house is hit by numerous rocks — the roof is about to give in. My crumbled body will soon become an ensign for their future marches. Or maybe become mush after being punctured by one thousand spears.

      I'm only sure that this is going to end soon. Their petite steps, the threats, crows in the window. Everything is ending — finally, everything is ending. I'll never be again and so will The Horde. Nevermore.

      3 votes
    16. Behind the Teeth

      always seem happy and dandy and talk of love and romance a riven smile on the face to hide thoughts of pain for her, everything has a verse a waltz at each step a flimsy variety of beauty that...

      always seem happy and dandy
      and talk of love and romance
      a riven smile on the face
      to hide thoughts of pain

      for her, everything has a verse
      a waltz at each step
      a flimsy variety of beauty
      that melts after rehearse

      huge hipster glasses
      coffee without any taste
      a window facing concrete
      is now hummingbirds enlaced

      and when she sings all her love
      I am always in disbelief
      cause when someone shouts too much
      I sense a hooded grief

      2 votes
    17. Infatuation Mishap

      You were smart and pretty and praised every word I said Responded to my commands like a very well-trained basset You gave me food, shelter, affection in bed, you did as I pleased and such strong...

      You were smart and pretty
      and praised every word I said

      Responded to my commands
      like a very well-trained basset

      You gave me food, shelter, affection
      in bed, you did as I pleased
      and such strong devotion
      was hard for me to receive

      Cause how could I trust someone
      who clearly and truly loves me?

      6 votes
    18. Love Mania

      In this grass where we sit, I saw many full moons lit Kissed them shivering in the wind, felt like solution, formed decision, ultimate end But the frenzy always fades, pretty mirage in the haze...

      In this grass where we sit,
      I saw many full moons lit

      Kissed them shivering in the wind,
      felt like solution, formed decision, ultimate end

      But the frenzy always fades,
      pretty mirage in the haze

      Silly me...

      I just met you yesterday
      And once again tremble my veins

      4 votes
    19. Swim only when the wave comes

      When I was young, I went into the ocean with my older cousin. He lived near the beach, while I merely knew how to swim. We went to the deep to catch some higher waves using our bodies (in Bahia we...

      When I was young, I went into the ocean with my older cousin. He lived near the beach, while I merely knew how to swim.

      We went to the deep to catch some higher waves using our bodies (in Bahia we call this "pegar jacaré", or "catch the alligator").

      When we got there, the wind stopped and the stream started pulling us away from the land. After a while, I was very scared and started swimming with all my strength in the opposite direction. But my efforts were much weaker than the stream, so I remained in the same position.

      Then my cousin told me: "@mrbig, stop swimming otherwise you'll get tired and drown. Wait for the wave to come. Only swim when it arrives."

      And so I did. Minutes later came the wave. I swam. And then another, and another after that. Little by little, by saving our energies and acting at the right times, we arrived at the shore.

      And that is the story.

      18 votes
    20. Accordion Synthesizer Project

      I've been posting about this in various topics but now that it's on Github, I thought maybe it's time to give it a topic of its own. From the README: My goal is to eventually replicate the...

      I've been posting about this in various topics but now that it's on Github, I thought maybe it's time to give it a topic of its own. From the README:

      My goal is to eventually replicate the keyboard and sound of the bass side of an accordion in an electronic device that accordion players will find easy to adapt to. So far I've built three prototypes:

      • Prototype 1 was trying out a Teensy 4 with an audio shield on a breadboard, with 4 bass buttons.
      • For prototype 2, I put the buttons on two double-decker circuit boards (9 bass buttons). Here's the Video. You can see the remains of prototype 1 in the background.
      • For prototype 3, I built a real case out of wood and laser-cut acrylic panels, to make a desktop device that's more easily portable. This one uses a Teensy 3.6. Here's the Video. I designed it in Onshape and you can look at the CAD model online.
      12 votes