The first thing they did was sound proof the Observation Module. Even babies with astronomical IQs are still babies. Babies cry, a lot. Dr. Johnson, the childless child psychologist who identified the ‘Johnson Quotient’, designed the enclosure. It was all clean lines and glass, not quite monochromatic but close enough for discomfort. If it were not for the location, it would be unfit for human habitation. However it was located the northeast corner of the last nature preserve. The last 300 square miles of unspoiled terrain left on the planet. The need for isolation made the location ideal. The location made the dome idyllic. A small number of staff would live on site for the duration of the experiment. Their living quarters were in the Observation Module. While Dr.Johnson’s design was ascetically pleasing, it was acoustically a terrible choice for housing 50 babies.
They always arrive in groups at solstice. Five or more at a time. One year, the solstice brought 16. It was good for the economy. Her uncle was right on that account. She had counted 8 banners over two days. It took them two more days to get their camps established. Thousands of people. So many of them. It was a bad sign. There would be a lot of death.
Hippolyta was tired of death, but death was the choice they left her with. Is it really a choice if there is only one option? The old men would knock soon. They would make their opening statements. Present their opinions on how valuable her life was. Her worth. How many lives she could save. The cost was always the same. The cost was death. Her death or their death. Her people or their people. Her coffee was cold. She threw it back anyway. The tapestry rustled. Jane arriving with a tray.
I miss light on the Pacific at sun set. It is both the place and time I miss.
The slowing hour when sand becomes painful, skin smolders, the check arrives for your day in the sun and sand and surf.
The time of gathering up, of family packing and leave taking. Adults with their small versions of themselves, angry at the loss of time yet grateful for the complaints. A hard days’ work loaded into secure boxes for safe travels home. Their exhausted young imitating crabs. They reward them (and themselves) with DQ.
There is a pact between parents and their young in this light. The pact that says, “you did good work at being today. I did good work at letting you.”
A shared secret between creators, the true lesson for offspring.
This day was hard, all days are hard, but in this light, we are grateful for the living.
We prepared for an apocalypse. Some prayed for one, they hoped for it because the aesthetics would be pleasantly homogeneous afterward. They worked at bringing one forth. It was easier than cohabitating with eclectic personalities, the inconvenient poor, the dissenters. They put their faith in God and forgot the words. They forgot how to trust, how to care, how to love. They pointed to the sins of others as justification for their self loathing. They didn’t understand the words even as they screamed them, even as we screamed. With all that screaming, who had the opportunity to listen?
August 21, 1998 (CE) San Diego, Ca. Honeymooners Find Sunken Treasure Off Baja Coast, Local Tour Captain Missing.
A Spanish galleon, complete with treasure chests, was discovered by a group of tourists awaiting rescue off the coast of Baja last weekend. The four youths booked what was supposed to be a two hour fishing trip aboard the Pez Tesoro early last Saturday morning. They returned with chests that possibly contain Aztec gold.
Spelling has always challenged me. I can tell you why. It’s because rats don’t eat ice cream. B-e-c-a-u-s-e. Be and cause. S-h-a-m-e. Shhh me. Stand and recite. Copy, use, repeat. Order the letters, not that way, this one. B-e-c-a-u-s-e there is a write way and a wrong way. You are doing it wrong. Makes you look stupid, even if you’re smart.
The lipstick was gross. Sticky yet dry, a bitter wax in ‘Fire Engine Red’. It was orange. I was an expert on Orange thanks to my gang on Sesame Street. Grover and John-John did a side by side analysis of red to orange just this morning. The lipstick was orange. Miss Not-the-Teacher was instructing me to kiss the paper, “with your mouth.” She was making weird shapes with her mouth as she said, “mouth” and pointing to the center of the page. There were a lot of rules about where one should and shouldn’t put their mouth. Paper was on the “no” list. I was only three but I knew you weren’t supposed to put paper in your mouth. Between her insistence that the lipstick was red and wanting me to put my mouth on paper, Miss Not-the-Teacher was losing credibility by the second. How does Bizzy stay here with this strange woman?
Equipment: Sun, Sand, Surf, Towel, Bikini
Ingredients: Cookie, Seasonings, Oil
Set temperature to 85 degrees F.
Rub Cookie with oil and seasonings to taste. For best results, marinate Cookie in oil and seasonings for 15-30 minutes before placing in sun.
Place towel on warm sand two feet above hide tide line at approximately 33.0478 degrees N, 117.2979 degrees W.
Bake on towel in sun for ten minutes on each side.
Brine Cookie in surf for 30 minutes until cold then return to towel.
Place Cookie in sun until dry. Baste with oil & seasonings. Repeat process until Cookie is golden-brown and delicious.
For best results, baste Cookie every hour or every time you brine. Process may need to be repeated for several days before browning occurs.
If Cookie burns, remove from sun and rub with aloe.
It was a terrible misunderstanding that started with a misspelling. Knowing you are the victim of vocabulary is of little comfort or redress when you are chained to the wall of a dungeon awaiting your pyre. The knowledge does not sate your hunger. It does not ease the aching cold in your bones or soothe the burns on and beneath your skin. The truth does not stay the hand that holds the hot poker or dull the pain in your ruined, nail-less digits. Your mother always told you words had power, which is why reading is forbidden, but you didn’t listen. You ignored her words and set off to find your own. Now she is dead. Your father is dead. Your farm was burnt to the ground and you are soon to follow. All because of a book and a regional spelling variant.