April 14th, 2011

risk

the super-ego and the id

we're so lucky that we got out of there. i mean, what were you thinking?

okay, we didn't get in, but oh, that was so exciting! ah, i'm so pumped full of adrenaline that i feel like i could, like, throw a car or something.

i can't believe you told them i was the chancellor of the exchequer. what even is that? i--

see, the universe sensed your hesitation. that's why we didn't pull it off. you gotta be--you gotta be committed, like i am. i mean, this dress was five hundred dollars.

wow. just--just excuse me for second.

hey what's goin' on with you?

look, the student loans i get. and the travel. it's just these unpaid parking tickets and the five hundred dollar dresses is irresponsible. you're digging yourself deeper and deeper into a hole and how are you gonna get out?

hey, c'mon! i haven't had my big break yet. it takes years and years for an artist's work to become popular. i mean what am i supposed to do in the meantime? just stop livin'?

what if your break doesn't come?

what if it does? c'mon. if you always make the safe choices, nothing exciting is ever going to happen to you.

i just think that you have to consider reality. okay, i don't wanna be the one to tell the dreamer to stop dreaming, but, uh, maybe it's time to stop dreaming.

okay, look. i-i am who i am, and you are who you are, and maybe we can't find common ground on this one.

wow. did this conversation just get really serious all of a sudden?

oh, you mean more serious than you telling me the way i live my life sucks? look, i-i'd like to say i'm gonna change, but the truth is i probably won't. i'm always gonna use the pennies in my pocket to, you know, make a wish on a well, not feed the meter.

you know that you can't put pennies into a meter, right? also at some point we should discuss the merits of throwing your money into a well.

you know, i borrowed this dress for you, you jerk.








after the ego

look, i did some thinking about what i said back there. not my best work. i love that you're passionate and that you live in the moment, and i think that you're a great photographer, i just worry that the rest of the world's not going to appreciate you the way that i do.

yeah, okay, that was pretty good.

professional magazine writer. but, you're the best thing that ever happened to me and you make my life wonderful and nervous and interesting and without you i'm just a dumbass with big glasses.

you're not a dumbass. i mean, you're right, i don't do well with money, but that doesn't mean i want to give up my dreams.

i don't want you to. i want you to be exactly who you are.
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robots have feelings

hypnerotomachia poliphiliphilia

the palace great is builded rich and round,
and in the centre of the inmost hold
there lies a garden sweet, on fertile ground,
fairer than that where grew the trees of gold:
the cunning sprites had buildings reared around
with doors and entries false a thousandfold,
a labyrinth they made that fortress brave,
like daedal's prison, or porsenna's grave.

"their den, as the royal fair called it, being securely closed and guarded by their sable attendants, she was under the necessity of contenting herself with seeing, and laying aside for the present the still more exquisite pleasure of being seen.

it was then that, for the very first time in my life, i heard myself addressed in english--the speech of my secret choice, of my future, of long friendships, of the deepest affections, of hours of toil and hours of ease, and of solitary hours, too, of books read, of thoughts pursued, of remembered emotions--of my very dreams! and if (after being thus fashioned by it in that part of me which cannot decay) i dare not claim it aloud as my own, then, at any rate, the speech of my children. thus small events grow memorable by the passage of time. as to the quality of the address itself i cannot say it was very striking. too short for eloquence and devoid of all charm of tone, it consisted precisely of the three words 'look out there!' growled out huskily above my head.

it proceeded from a big fat fellow (he had an obtrusive, hairy double chin) in a blue woollen shirt and roomy breeches pulled up very high, even to the level of his breastbone, by a pair of braces quite exposed to public view. as where he stood there was no bulwark, but only a rail and stanchions, i was able to take in at a glance the whole of his voluminous person from his feet to the high crown of his soft black hat, which sat like an absurd flanged cone on his big head. the grotesque and massive aspect of that deck hand (i suppose he was that--very likely the lamp-trimmer) surprised me very much. my course of reading, of dreaming, and longing for the sea had not prepared me for a sea brother of that sort."

"oh! it was he whom we used to call the system," cried bixiou.

"say no harm of him, poor fellow," protested malaga. "d'estourny was a good sort."

"you don't say! well, i ce'tainly appreciate the honor you did me in stopping to take me on." his slight drawl was quite devoid of concern.

"but you had no right to flag the train. can't you understand anything?" groaned the conductor.

"you explain it again to me, sonny. i'm surely thick in the haid," soothed the intruder, and listened with bland good-humor to the official's flow of protest.

"well--well! disrupted the whole transcontinental traffic, didn't i? and me so innocent, too. now, this is how i figured it out. here's me in a hurry to get to tucson. here comes your train a-foggin'--also and likewise hittin' the high spots for tucson. seemed like we ought to travel in company, and i was some dubious she'd forget to stop unless i flagged her. i hope you will come and see it on your way back, though it is not as fine as it appears from a distance. it would be very pleasant after all these years to talk to an english gentleman again."

then we parted, i rather offended because he did not seem to include me in the description, he calling after us--

"stick close to the path through the patch of big trees, for the ground is rather swampy there and it's getting dark."


***

we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all persons are created equal, that they are endowed by their nature with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

the Unknown

she displays no gaudy colors, no open-worked stockings, no over-elaborate waist-buckle, no embroidered frills to her drawers fussing round her ankles. you will see that she is shod with prunella shoes, with sandals crossed over extremely fine cotton stockings, or plain gray silk stockings; or perhaps she wears boots of the most exquisite simplicity. you notice that her gown is made of a neat and inexpensive material, but made in a way that surprises more than one woman of the middle class; it is almost always a long pelisse, with bows to fasten it, and neatly bound with fine cord or an imperceptible braid. the Unknown has a way of her own in wrapping herself in her shawl or mantilla; she knows how to draw it round her from her hips to her neck, outlining a carapace, as it were, which would make an ordinary woman look like a turtle, but which in her sets off the most beautiful forms while concealing them. how does she do it? this secret she keeps, though unguarded by any patent.

as she walks she gives herself a little concentric and harmonious twist, which makes her supple or dangerous slenderness writhe under the stuff, as a snake does under the green gauze of trembling grass. is it to an angel or a devil that she owes the graceful undulation which plays under her long black silk cape, stirs its lace frill, sheds an airy balm, and what i should like to call the breeze of a parisienne? you may recognize over her arms, round her waist, about her throat, a science of drapery recalling the antique mnemosyne.

oh! how thoroughly she understands the cut of her gait — forgive the expression. study the way she puts her foot forward moulding her skirt with such a decent preciseness that the passer-by is filled with admiration, mingled with desire, but subdued by deep respect.

our Unknown jostles no one. if she wants to pass, she waits with proud humility till some one makes way. the distinction peculiar to a well-bred woman betrays itself, especially in the way she holds her shawl or cloak crossed over her bosom. even as she walks she has a little air of serene dignity, like raphael’s madonnas in their frames. her aspect, at once quiet and disdainful, makes the most insolent dandy step aside for her.

her bonnet, remarkable for its simplicity, is trimmed with crisp ribbons; feathers demand a carriage; flowers are too showy. beneath it you see the fresh unworn face of a woman who, without conceit, is sure of herself; who looks at nothing, and sees everything; whose vanity, satiated by being constantly gratified, stamps her face with an indifference which piques your curiosity. she knows that she is looked at, she knows that everybody, even women, turn round to see her again. and she threads her way through the city like a gossamer, spotless and pure. the women you will see later, looking a little like her, are would-be ladies; while the fair Unknown, your beatrice of a day, is a ‘perfect lady.’

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