aye, there's the rub

so i got word from the good people at the trademark department with the federal government that it would cost me another grand or so to get conquered nation press trademarked. but i've decided to let it go. "abandoned" as they would consider it in the world of trademarks.

why? i've come to the conclusion that a) i don't want to spend the money on trademarking a company name that i don't really have the time and energy to devote to anyway. b) i want to spend my money on travelling. c) writing isn't that important to me anymore.

there was a time when i was purely devoted to the craft. but that was when i had nothing else going for me. now, i've sort of got a career going, i'm getting recognition at work and being rewarded for it, and i've got a future laid out for me in finances and investments. definitely not where i saw myself a couple of years ago, but then, i was still the idealist working a minimum wage job thinking i could change the world with my writing. or at least get famous and get chicks.

but sooner or later eventually reality hits everyone, and those starry-eyed fantasies and dreams go the way of the dodo bird. it was nice to have them while they lasted; writing surely got me through some bizarre times. it's very much a solo venture, but you eventually get bored with yourself.

there are many reasons why i've chosen to stop, reasons that don't really mean anything to anyone exept myself. but all that need to be known is that i haven't finished giants yet. nor do i think i will. i mean, technically i could possibly end it where it is, but that would leave absolutely no closure, and it's really not where i want to end it. so it has been shelved indefinitely. the realization came to me about a week ago that i just didn't have it anymore. no more ideas, no more plot twists, no more of anything. and to tell you the truth, i don't feel bad about it either. a couple of years ago, i would basically torture myself in trying to get a novel done. now, well, it doesn't really matter. i don't feel bad at all shoving it all aside. perhaps i will turn to it again some day, but it just feels like the right time to let it go. whatever the reasons, i don't need to write like i used to; i don't need it to live. it doesn't define me as a person.

that being said, politik1 will probably focus less on writing, and slowly morph more into a political blog (as if there needs to be another one) but i'll still post music i like and do some movie posts. this blog will also retain more of a pulpy feel. there's no need to be so serious all the time, even in the face of mind numbing human catastrophes. after all, i can pretty much laugh at anything. you're looking at a guy who was making tsunami jokes the day of the tsunami. does that make me a bad person? probably. it's a good thing there's no hell. ha!

i'm just going to finish off this posting with a bit from giants. it is the first few pages of the book. i posted this in one form or another in the past, but this is pretty much the best start that i have written to any of my novels. (at this stage i would warn you that there is some bad language in the piece, but no one gives a shit about books, so it's all good. it's why as a teenager, i could purchase the most violent, gory and sexual book, yet still couldn't go into an r-rated movie. go figure.)

- - -

Scene. Her thong is a good a place to start. Black. Dangling from the silver towel rack. And her arms, the next best place to start. Tight around him. Her face, buried close against the nape of his neck. Her chest tight against his back, her legs draw up behind his with her knees snug, locked into the back of his. Her long, wispy blond hair is in her face, with her eyes fluttering behind closed eyelids. The eyelashes are long and black and thick. Her skin, pale and lightly freckled with golden spots. Her nose is small. Her lips are pink and slightly parted, breathing evenly, warmly against the back of his neck. She’s soft, young, her body still clinging to what little teenage fat she still had left. The room, white, bright, and empty; she clings to him amongst the white sheets, an island amongst a sea of rough, worn, hardwood floor. Her long, naked leg is exposed, twisted in the covers like a Pirelli photo. Four in the afternoon, babies don’t sleep this well. The pursuit of pleasure is tiresome. In the warmth of the room, the blinding whiteness, she stirs and opens her eyes slowly. She sits up and looks at him, with his slightly long, shaggy black hair. She slips out of the bed carefully. The bra, the only article of clothing she’s wearing, stands in striking black lines that cut through all the whiteness. Contrast. Stand out. She goes to the washroom, long white legs and all, and sits her bare bum down on the toilet. She finds her black panties hanging from the towel rack and slips them on when she’s done. She wanders back to the bed and snuggles up behind him. She looks at the nape of the strange neck before her. Light, sparse black hair along the neck. It’s unfamiliar but she presses her face against it. The pursuit of pleasure. It’s tiresome.

- - -

John grabs the clear plastic jug and rinses it out in the sink. He scratches his bare stomach. He goes into the refrigerator and grabs a can of frozen raspberry concentrate. Opening the can, he spills the contents into the jug. The log of juice splatters against the bottom of the jug and there’s blow back. He flinches as the red stuff flies up to splash him in his eye. He blinks rapidly and rubs the back of his hand into his eye, smearing the juice around further. He glances at his reflection in the stainless steel silver toaster. There’s blood in his eye. After mixing the drink, he wanders back to the bedroom where she’s still sleeping. He takes a second to look at her, the sharpness of her chin, the curious familiarity of strangeness. He pours himself a glass and sits down on the bed, causing it to shift slightly. This is enough to disturb her. She opens her eyes and turns to him. Gazing. He accidentally spills some raspberry juice on the white covers and watches with dismay. The red splotches grow deep and expand. Circumference increasing. Fight the fabric. Winning. Here’s to all the rivals. She just looks at him, watching the expression change on his face.

- - -

Free space. Sean touches her face and examines the large image framed on the wall behind tepid glass and boxed in by clean, black lines. The image is white. The image is three feet by two. The framed image is completely blank. White. One dimensional. She buttons up her shirt, his shirt, charcoal grey with pin stripes, and touches the clean glass, leaving fingerprints. She gathers up the shirt that hangs bulky off her slender frame, and wanders across the ocean of hardwood and takes a seat at the table. She watches him drown the little brown coco bits. A tsunami of white, creamy milk. They bob in the fluid liquid and it makes her smile. Obviously. Man overboard. One of them pops its head up over the milk and she reaches over to plunk it back down. He pours her a bowl of cereal and then peers inside and pulls out a shrink-wrapped prize.
- Pass the milk? Sean says. What’s the toy?
- A truck.
- That’s nice.
- Got a winch on it. He touches it.
- What’s it do?
- Winches.
- It’s red. I don’t like red. She scrunches her nose.
- It was free.
- With a purchase.
- So?
- At least you can eat the cereal.
- So?
- Never mind.
- What are you doing today?
- Gonna dream of a world beyond diamonds and gold. She smiles.
- That’s nice.
- Diamonds are forever.
- False. Diamonds eventually decompose.
- What?
- They’re unstable on Earth’s surface ‘cause they’re formed at very high temperatures and pressure deep below the surface. Everything has a half life. Even God.
- Jesus, how un-sexy was that?
- Sorry.
- Don’t apologize.
- So… He pokes at his cereal with his spoon.
- So…?
- What’s your name?

- - -

Tonight. Sean takes a sip of the champagne, sparkling golden hues with frothy, bubbling head. Alien nation. It’s the theme of the event, the art show. People wander through and around and beyond the photos that display faces, some overexposed, some underexposed, all black and white, all displaying one emotion: apathy. the photos are headshots, blown up so large that one can see every single visible pore. Heads, blown up six feet tall, four feet wide. This one, the one with the young blond girl with the slightly long nose and wet, slicked back hair is called grace under pressure. Another, a black and white of a young man with a patchy beard is fire it up. Another, a man wearing a toque, is called head space no space. And so on and so forth… In the background, the music of Interpol plays, with the echo from Next Exit’s droning vocals and hymn-like rhythm slowly filling the empty spaces of the gallery. Going all over. Every square inch. It’s killer filler.

Sean folds her slender arms and turns to Norm, who admires the photo for all it’s worth through a pair of thick, large lens, horn-rimmed Rayban sunglasses.
- What’s the deal with this one?
- What do you mean by that?
- It’s torn. The corner. He touches the bottom right corner of the image of an elderly woman.
- Oh, that. One of the interns dropped it. She leans over. Anyone asks, it’s a statement on the breakdown of civilization. Empires crumble.
- You smell good.
- I know. She leans over and kisses Norm on the cheek. Don’t kill me, but you look sexy.
- Shouldn’t say such things, babe.
- I can’t see your eyes. Don’t wear your sunglasses at night.
- It’s so I can, so I can see the light that’s right before my eyes.
- That’s funny, Normandy.
- Don’t call me that. Only my mother calls me that.
- I’m naming my first child that.
- Where’s John Doe?
- Oh, he’s around. She brushes her fingers over his shoulders, flicking away a few pieces of lint on his navy blue suit.
- Yeah? So what’s his deal?
- He’s preoccupied with his own history. Just stay away.
- Beware of dog, ha ha.
- Fucking rabies, baby.
She turns back to the photo and takes another sip of her champagne. She picks at her dark brown dress that fits close and strapless against her frame. She pretends to watch the photo stand still but really has her sight on Norm by the corner of her eye. Norm tilts his head to the side and sniffs and she offers him her champagne which he finishes. He puts the glass down on the floor and walks away. She asks him something but he doesn’t respond. Sean doesn’t watch him go. She hugs herself. She stands there until a blond walks up next to her and asks,
– What’s the deal with this one?

- - -

Going. Along the wall, the beetle crawls. Going. Into the corner the beetle scurries. Going. Down the crack it squeezes through. Gone. Legs and blazing armour and all. A long way down town. Absolutely gone. John rubs the back of his neck as he watches Sean lean over and kiss Norm on the cheek. This is a wasteland now, he thinks. Sean is wearing her favourite color: chocolate brown. A girl comes over, decked out in a white blouse with black vest and slacks with a black bow tie, carrying a tray flat against her upturned palm. She’s got his scotch on the rocks. He takes it and watches her walk away in her heels. John takes a whiff of the sweet vanilla liquid before taking a sip. The ice presses against his upper lip, contrasting a chill against the warmth and eventual burn of the scotch.

He watches her, Sean, moving amongst the crowd smoothly, consistently. As if on ice. He watches the expressions on her face, or lack there of sometimes; how she could seem a bit cold at times, expressionless. Her finely sculpted cheek bones, her frosty blue eyes that would examine you lazily from under finely plucked eyebrows, razor thin. Her blank looks made you feel she was indifferent to you; stuck up. Like you didn’t matter. Non-existent. But then there would be that moment when all of a sudden there is a burst of expression and affection in her face, how she’d laugh and those fine eyebrows would arch upward and her eyes would emote all that she is, burning away the frost. If only for a brief moment. And how confident she seemed; to know everything at such a young age. How despite some extra weight in certain areas, she is not self conscious at all. Like she knows and is in complete ownership of every square inch of her flesh. He notices that she’s wearing the silver ankle bracelet he likes so much. Next he’s thinking of taking it off her ankle. Hand rubbing down the calf. Slowly.

She chats with a blond, a hard body. No doubt someone who’s here just because. Because is the perfect reason these days. Because I want. Because I can. Because… just because. She glances at him from over her shoulder and smiles at him, giving him a childish flick of her wrist. Sometimes he forgets just how young she really is. But talent and looks sometimes intersect, sometimes in someone young, and when it does, it’s tough to let that ship pass by. Get on it. Especially if she’s willing. Hungry. Naked, she’s a peach. Smooth. It’s how she does it. Those fucking lips. A lifeline she is in his memories. He often wonders how it is she found her way to this windy city. Because you can see California in her hair.

All the others, suits and cocktail dresses, emphasis on cock. They talk about everything yet nothing at the same time. Talking about who haute couture and if there is a comeback. Talking about if the Left will ever get it right. Talking about a man found under the bridge with his head, hands and feet missing. And through all this, they meander on by. Not a care in the world. Like this world is better than the next, like the next doesn’t even exist. Like werewolves. Or vampires. Phantom planets and phantom pains, but with real, real death. Baked on existence. A yuppie gang-bang. Circle. Jerk.

She sits herself down on the couch next to John who manages a smile at her. She sighs and puts her arm around his neck, drawing her legs up. She’s slight and curved. She mentions to John how much she likes the charcoal suit and emphasises this by tugging on his collar. She thanks him for wearing it and he smiles like he means it. She examines him with a cool indifference before asking what he thinks of the artwork.
- It is possibly the most vacuous collection I have ever seen.
- Seriously, tell me what you really feel.
- I’m sorry.
- No you’re not. She turns away. Suddenly she’s mean and divisive. Ever not impressed, that’s you to a T. At least I created something. Can you say the same? You work in a fucking shipping bay. You stack fertilizer and dog food.
- Oh come on, I’ve been writing again. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a bunch of crumpled pieces of scrap paper. There are a bunch of illegible words and phrases scribbled onto the scraps. You have to give me that credit.
- Oh, right. This book that doesn’t exist.
- I’m recording life. I just need an ending. Besides, I thought this is about you, not me. Now you’re gonna pick me apart?
- You know what I mean. She’s examining the wall now. Somehow it’s more entertaining than he is. Her icy apathy drives him nuts.
- It’s good. It is.
- That’s almost the perfect compliment, she says dully.
- I love you.
- Now you’re being an ass.
- You’re beautiful.
- Don’t tease me.
- I never tease you.
- You do too. Go suck yourself off. She gets up off the couch. I hope you choke on it, she snaps.

John watches her make her way across the polished white floor. Imagine that, he thinks to himself as she laughs at a comment an admirer makes. Cold one moment, vibrant the next, like turning on a light. His eyes pan away from her to the other end of the couch where Norm has taken residence. He leans back in his seat and turns his large black shades at John and smiles. He looks like an insect. What with the glasses all dark and large and metallic. Shiny. Bug-eyed. A chomping bit of male vanity.
- Way to go, kimosabe.
- You look like Don Johnson.
- Should be careful with her. She’s likely to flit on.
- Is that a threat?
- Just saying. He takes a sip from the bottle of red wine he’s got in his hand. Gotta ask yourself if you’re up for it. ‘Cause she’ll be gone.
- That is a threat.
- Gone baby, gone.
- I wouldn’t blame her. She can’t help it. From her heights, you’re bound lose sight of the ants around you.
- You know, when you were graduating from highschool, she was just learning long division.
- You-sick-fuck.
- Don’t cause a scene, John.
- Yeah, well, she doesn’t want me. Not like that. God. Look at these people…
- You’re too good, John. Fuck ‘em. They’re all assholes. And you know what they say about assholes.
- No, what do they say about assholes?
- They stink.
Norm’s attention wanders. John follows his gaze towards a red head that’s wearing a thin brown dress that is slightly see-through under the bright white lights. You could see she’s not wearing any underwear.
- What are you looking at?
Norm touches his tongue across the front of his teeth and says:
- Dinner.

Mouth to mouth. Infinite verses and infinite worlds supposedly exist. Pretentious bullshit. Fuck Stephen Hawking, John thinks. Because that means there’s others out there, like him, living different but most likely equally useless lives. Playing Monopoly. Strumming folk tunes. Surfing broadband internet porn. Or staring into the water. Clear. Blue. A cool groove, the lights from the bottom of the pool reflect up towards the surface, giving off a hazy likeness. It bends, the light that is, darting over him with each ripple as he makes his way around the edge of the pool. And what does this mean? It means there are other Stephen Hawkings; just as brilliant, just as crippled. How much of the world could you possibly know if you can’t even go off roading? Infinite verses… 6 billion people suffering in infinite different ways. It’s all too depressing, really.
- Don’t go in the water.
- What? John looks up at Norm as he wanders over next to him. He’s still sucking on his bottle of wine. Or maybe it’s a new one.
- Don’t go in the water. I think someone pissed in the pool.
- How would you know? He looks at Norm who just smiles. You’re disgusting.
- Hey; if you can think it, someone has probably done it. Originality is a phantasm.
- How in God’s name can you talk properly with all that shit in your mouth?
- Get with the program. God is dead. The New York Times said so.
Norm fixes the sunglasses on his face and brings the wine bottle to his lips. He looks out at the dark sky and mentions how clear the night is. Sean comes walking up to them, arms folded over her breasts, hugging herself. She’s looking back at the people in the gallery. She mumbles how it seems like the gallery has a life of its own. As if the artist doesn’t matter. As if the photos don’t matter. As if they were looking for an excuse. And John asks:
- Excuse for what?
- Look at them. It’s like I don’t exist.
- Excuse for what?
- Just a flickering image amongst all the lame scenery. What gives? She says all this without looking at him. She’s hasn’t looked him in the eye all night.

John tries to kiss her but she pulls her face away slightly and he comes up short. She just looks at him, the indifference in her eyes makes him nervous. But only briefly, for the indifference turns to disgust. He backs away from her. She looks back at the people in the gallery where the Pixies are yodelling the song, Hey through the banging bass. He watches her for a moment before snatching the bottle of wine from Norm. He takes a big swig from it. It tastes a bit too sour. Grapes. With a little too much wrath.

But there’s nothing as surprising as spontaneity. It’s what she does best and soon she’s under, deep under the cool blue groove. Beneath the bubbles, beneath the water, Sean holds herself. Still. Freeze, don’t move. John calls after her but the sound is drowned. She’s a blur, a dollop, a smidgen of floating blond and brown. Her eyes closed. Her hair floating in a crown around her. Her dress tangled and rising about her, with her white legs bare. And just a glimpse of her black panties. A glimpse. The light from the pool reflects off her milky face. Her high-heeled pumps float up to the surface. And sooner rather than later, they come tumbling down around her. John and Norm, their bodies bombing through the water.



John grabs her by her waist and pushes her up first to break through the surface. Laughter meets him as he comes up for air. The sunglasses still on his face, Norm is barking at the moon. Sean is calm, her hair slicked back, with wet on her face. Pearls of it. John coughs, spitting out the burning chlorene. He’s treading water. He takes a look at her face. It’s hard to gauge her. He grumbles:
- That was vulgar.
Norm grabs her from behind, drawing her against him. She momentarily struggles, thrashing up water for a few seconds before giving in. He’s got his paws around her wet frame. The dress clings to her. With nipples clearly evident. He buries his face into the back of her neck and she yelps when he bites her. Playfully. Like some kind of monster. She winds her hand up in John’s tie and pulls him towards her. The guitar solo seers through the Pixies song. She’s close enough to smell the wine. Norm is already kissing her, nudging his nose against the back of her neck, his tongue running up the nape of it. She runs her fingers through John’s hair. A mass of wet. A mass of tangled. Like sinuous vines. He closes his eyes and tries to kiss her again. She pulls away in time for him to miss and lay one on Norm’s lips. Norm shoves his tongue into his mouth and they share each other before realizing what they’ve done. She’s laughing. The water laps up against her chin as she drowns her guffaws into the water. It bubbles up and pops at the surface. Norm quickly looks away. She watches the expression change on John’s face.

- - -

White flag. Sean lies on her back on the floor. She’s counting the holes in the ceiling. She’s there, white with black panties, in the middle of the apartment as he stands over her, shirtless. She’s younger than he thought. To be forever young. That’s masturbation. An elusive beast. She giggles, eyes glazed over. She stretches out before him on the hardwood floor, her bare skin a contrast to the cold floorboards. She brings a slim digital camera to her eye and takes a quick snap of him before telling him:
- I need a new life.
On the bed, legs spread, he goes down on her. She’s got her eyes on the dew building up on the windows. He licks and fingers her. All this without coming up for air. He climbs on top of her and starts fucking her missionary, then flips her over on her stomach and fucks her from behind. All this under the blanket moonlight. Freeze this moment. To be forever young. She’s so high on mushrooms that she doesn’t protest when he pulls out of her and puts it into her ass. Love, sex and madness; it’s all there. She starts to moan because that’s what he wants. When he’s close, she tells him:
- Don’t come, Elton. Not in me.
- What?
- Don’t. Just don’t.

- - -