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Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Story in the making - statue

Before I get started with the intended post, two things. 1) I'm still failing miserably at attempting to start conversations with EBF and 2) I'm still quite jealous of N1. As a side note, CtW didn't take the money today because I offered early but she hoped to see me late after our last class and I went to look for her but she wasn't there and I called and it turns out I called the wrong number. Put off until tomorrow.

We get a chance to write a short story or an analysis of two short stories. To be honest, I figured I'd go for the analysis straight away and didn't even bother raising my hand when our professor asked who would be writing a short story by show of hands. I'm tempted, though, so it can't hurt to give it a go in the blog and see if it's any good by the time I'm done, right? After reading Cortázar's take on short stories and how they can be manifestations of fights against demons, I picked my poison and started thinking of stories to tell that would include a fantastic element. Here goes, then...  a first rough draft.

Inanimate objects are hardly inanimate at all, you know. You would know, as it's likely enough you've found yourself talking to a picture, asking a favour from an icon or wishing any of the objects around you would suddenly react to your thoughts and inner monologues. If you haven't, you're a liar. You should at least admit you have a friend of a friend who does such things and agree with me that such things happen on a regular basis.

If you still don't believe me, believe in the literature that backs up my claim. For one, there's the story of a young prince who was appointed as the pupil of a rock. Why, you ask? Well, if you'd had a rock as your teacher you'd already know that: so he would learn not to ask questions. For a more modern example, there's the story of a hallow who made friends with the statue of a prince. The exchange between the two revealed that the statue could actually feel for the hallow and for the people around him. Ah, but you don't really like literature... What about history, then? Diogenes of Sinope was known for begging money from statues. To get used to the rejection, they say.

I take it that you believe me now. Now that you believe, I can only ask you to understand. If you can't understand, it will only be polite to listen.

I used to believe, when I was little, that all statues were like the statue of the happy prince: living beings trapped in an impossibly rigid shell. I used to wonder if they got lonely and sometimes talked to them to keep them company. I wondered if maybe they would some day break out of their shells and be free, and I wondered what it would take to make them free. As all children do, I learned that such ideas are complete nonsense and gave up on keeping them company just like I gave up on ever learning to fly. Nevertheless, I sometimes comfort myself pretending they can hear my thoughts and confide in them, imagining their responses as I go along. I try to imagine what their personalities are like and frequent the ones I get along with the best. It's the adult version of an imaginary friend, I guess.

There's this statue in particular... one that seemed to understand me better than the others. I could swear I saw the expression of its face change, reacting to what I thought out loud. I could fill in entire conversations between us, and I grew so close to the statue I felt like I could tell it anything, like it would, too, let me in on its innermost secrets. I grew attached to the statue.

This one time we sat there and talked for hours. More than before, there wasn't just a gleam in its eyes, or micro-expressions on its face, it was genuinely interacting with me and taking as its own the words I imagined uttered by its lips. We talked for hours. We shared secrets. We grew close. When we stopped talking I filled in the silence with a kiss and left. A few days later I made my way back to the statue, eager to talk again, eager to talk about the kiss. When I arrived at the spot where it used to stand, all I found was a small pile of rubble, accounting for only a fraction of what would have once made the whole statue. Days went by.

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