Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Round of Words Update

My word count has not been what I would like for it it be, but there has been steady forward progression.  Sometimes as writers, hell as people, that's the best that we can ask.  I'm running into an odd situation, though, and I'm wondering if anyone else has faced this.  You see, here I am introducing good things into this character's life.  She has her little mouse.  She has a great job.  She has just reunited with some old friends.  She is about to meet her first love.  She is healthy and happy for the first time since her mother started abusing, and letting others abuse, her.  But here's the thing: I'm going to have to take it all away.  After all, that's the premise of the book.  I knew that going in.  But I find myself rooting for this girl, hoping she will be one of us to make it out, knowing that she won't and that it will be at my hands.  I'm finding I'm just not sadistic enough for this.  Does anyone else face that?

Here's another excerpt. 
There are so many words, so many terms, concepts, that have become commonplace for me since the day that I walked into the cool chrome waiting room in Center Circle.  Cyber-Bio Compatibility.  Intracranial transplant.  Bineurology.  I’ve spent the last few months in a bubble in which these terms are tossed around as easily as profanity at the docks.  Medical professionals, and certainly scientists, seem to look upon it is some sort of self-degradation to talk in anything other than terminology, and so in self  and so by necessity all of this worked its’ way into my vocabulary just as the electrosynapses wormed their way into my nerves.  Naturally, thoroughly, inseparably.  And so I forget that a season ago they were just as foreign , perhaps even more so, than any of the dozen or so languages spoken here in Flower Town. Today, though, I was reminded.  If I’d caught on to what was happened any more slowly, I think I would have lost a lifetime friend, our friendship would have rotted slowly from the inside out, killed by frightened glances and awkward silence,  and so I’m so thankful that I realized what was happening as soon as I did. Poor Don.
I was so excited to go to work, to see Don, to meet whatever lost soul like me had found refuge in his place.  As soon as I arrived, though, I could tell that something was wrong.  My hair has started to grow back since the surgery, but right now it’s this wild untamed mass of tiny corkscrews pointing this way and that, that , at least in my mind, draws attention to rather than kids the scar that spans my head from ear to ear. So, I decided to wrap my head in a colorful scarf, the same one that covered Rosie’s’ cage when the techs first brought her to me.  Don was friendly enough when I came in, I suppose, but I could tell that something was wrong.  There was ho hug, customary after what he called “my little vacations.” There was no humming as he kneaded the dough with his gnarled hands.  There was nothing.  Just silence, and distance and the nervous glances that he kept shooting my way when he thought that I wasn’t looking.   I chalked it up to time; it has been a while since I’d been  in, or maybe he was irritated by being pressed by the Facility into rehiring me. I’m sure that they are paying my salary, but still Don shares the outer rim’s inherent disdain for anyone Circle Center, which may or may not include me.  I decided not to address it, just went about my day, doing all of the tasks I used to do.  The way I saw it, he would talk about it, or not, when he was ready. 
            By the time lunch came, though, I was feeling the strain.  My shoulders were locked into tension knots and I was beginning to wonder if Dr. Stevens and Basanti have been right about this being a mistake.  We made it through the rush and flopped down in the old mismatched chairs back in the break room.  I took Rosie out of the cage that I’d gotten to keep her in while I was at work, and let her run around for a little bit on the faded no-color Formica while Don scratched away at one of his endless books filled with crossword puzzles, muttering to himself as he worked out the answers.  I’d been sweating; the kitchen of the caf√© was hot even in the winter, one of the reasons that I loved it, and this late in spring it was sweltering.  My head itched under the scarf and so I reached up and unwound it slowly, bunching it into a ball that I then threw on the table with a sigh.  It took me a few seconds to realize that the muttering and scratching had stopped.  I raised my eyes to find Dun staring fixedly at me, his eyes and mouth wide. 
“I’ll be damned,” he said, “It’s really you under there.”
We were both silent for a second, and let out matching guffaws, the sounds echoing off of the cinder block walls and just like that don’s was familiar, home again. 
“Fekegalo, Don” I exclaimed.  “What did you expect?” 
That’s when he told me that he’d had no idea what to expect.  Basanti had showed up one day, jingling and beautiful, and had starting spouting off all of those words those words I’ve recently come to know, and had left him thinking that I’d be I know don’t what – a robot/  Some freak with wires or even a whole brain hanging out of my head.  I think I realized then that I have become a part of that other world, to some extent.  Will I ever be able to fit in here again?  Is dual citizenship simply too much to ask?  I haven’t heart form any of the old friends yet.  I don’t know how they would handle me even if I did ferret them out.  How they would react.  Would they be happy for me now that I can really be happy too?  Or would the distrust of anything Center Circle, a deep seeded distrust built of hears of hunger and filth, extend to me now, too?  I don’t know.  It broke my heart to see how Don had shied away from me, that’s for certain.  Still, though, he let me come back.  Even believing that I was some fiber optic medusa, he made a place for me here.  I have to remember that if things get tough.  Even with all of that, he let me come back. 

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