Friday, June 30, 2006

Pretty: Names

Click. Click. Click-click. The Doctor had one of those cheap retractable ballpoint pens that usually have some kind of advertisement printed on the side. Maybe he stole it from a store clerk, or after signing for delivery. Pens like that want to be stolen, so they can spread their message around. At any rate, he was somewhat fidgety. Her eyes narrowed as she looked at the pen. One click would toggle the pen into writing mode, and another click would toggle it off. It would have to be a fairly simple mechanism that made it work, otherwise people would worry more when someone walked off with their five-dollar, hand machined pen. Definitely a spring in there, the ball point was retracting up into the pen body, defying gravity. She had a few ideas about how the pen might work, but just by looking, there was no way to tell for sure. Perhaps if she could get it away, take it apart.


The Doctor was talking to her. That was what everyone called her, Leah. She did not really think of it as her name, but it made interactions easier, giving people a word with indexicality, to have something people can wrap their mind around. Much easier that way than thinking or saying, "That woman, with shoulder-length red hair and a heart-shaped, freckle-dusted face, who seems to always become hyper-focused on the smallest details", and so on.

"Leah, are you here now?"

"Yes, yes. I am here, sitting right in front of you. Can you see me? Perhaps you could loan me your pen while you make other observations as regards my existence?"

"It just seemed as if, your physical self notwithstanding, it seemed as if your mind was miles away." He made a brief note on his clipboard. Probably something like, Subject exhibits a sense of humor grounded in sarcasm and literal interpretations. Notes like that never have names, just numbers at the top of the page that get tied to other numbers in an arcane filing system. The observation protocol explicitly requires the observed to be referred to as "Subject". Something to do with privacy, but Leah thought it could be an indication that the problem she had with names was more widespread than a unique little feature of her own mind.



Things change. Times change. This place has become stagnant. It has become stagnant in part because I have found new and exciting outlets for my creativity. So, time for a new thing.

I'm embarrassed to say, but I have been trying to write a book. I think trying might be an overstatement. Anyway, from here on up, I'm going to try and serialize stuff from the storyline I'm working on. It could be that it sucks. It is likely that I will have to change things. But it will be fun.

The working title for the book is "Pretty". So, future posts will be something like "Pretty: Word". I'm going to keep the word theme going as long as I can. Posts without the "Pretty" tag will be normal posts that don't fit in the story (for the time being at least). The posts are also going to be roughly chronological, but it is actually hard to write a book in one sequence beginning to end, so there might be chronological jumping issues. Hold on!

Thursday, June 01, 2006


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