Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Apologies.


Apologies for lack of recent updates (apart from linkage). Bigger, more physical projects eat up most of my creative energy at the moment. Be back soon-ish.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Storytelling.

Hmm. I might be over-linking you kids, but okay, here's one more snippet I'd like to share: World Tales. Australian animations of global fairytales. Nice material for a rainy sunday afternoon.

My favorites: "Maui Slows The Sun", "The Black School" and "The Bird King".

(And now, enough days of random surfing. Be posting some original stuff soon.)

Bling-blung.


Nice piece of film, via Gibson. Ancient info-clip on despotism vs. democracy, with a strong anti-fascism flavour. Oddly current, all of a sudden. Watch it here.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Shiny.


"The Shining"-redux is out, and the trailer scares the hell out of me. Watch it here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Rolling dice along the Wharf.

Amsterdam's NDSM-wharf is a place of beauty.

Here, she dwells in large things:



And the small:

Plus, there's interesting things happening with lines & compositions:


Rooftop Seer. (Coffee with the Devil, 4.5)

She has flowed upwards, along the scaffolding of a building unfinished. She sits in the moonlight, feet dangling over the edge of a growing tower.

She likes places like these, perhaps even best of all. Tangible evidence that the city is growing, expanding itself. Also, it is high, and with many places to hide. Shadows play harsh and intricate games with the streetlight here, diffused darkness contrasting with sharp white blazing spotlights.

Up, up she goes, enjoying the game of climbing, seeing how far she can get without her feet touching a straight horizontal surface. It is surprisingly easy, the combination of scaffolding and young concrete-and-steel providing enough oddly shaped grip to make her way to the top, without having to touch a conventional surface, like the floorboards of the site's scaffold-jacket.

Once she has reached the top, she seeks the edge. Wind seeks to lash her in the face, but to her, it feels like a gentle caress on her cheek. She has other things on her mind. So now, she sits down, and sets her feet free from the ever-present touch of the bottom. It makes her feel good.

Leaning back, she lights a cigarette, and allows her curious eyes to dart across the city's roofscape, from chimney to gutter to roof-gardens to the gleaming silver windows of the buildings in the distance that are higher than the one she's sitting on now. It calms her down, to see this panorama.

A flock of pigeons wants to land around her. She eyes the fattest one hungrily, and they decide not to. She narrows her eyes, but rests contently with her smoke.

A crow is less scared, or more careless, and sits down on a length of steel near her. It caws once, and she caws back. Crows are not food. Like the reddish-brown wild dogs, the ones with the pointy noses and the large fluffy tails and the eyes like cats and the guts and nerve, they are like her. Like the cats themselves, adaptive, observant, and stern and engaging at the same time, a tiny mirror of the city's personality. There is an understanding. They converse information, of a sort, and do not, in any case, eat each other.

It is different with the pigeons and the rats. They too, spread messages, tell her things about the city's goings-on, and even more, often, than the crows and the foxes and the cats, because their numbers are greater. But because of the same fact, there is less of a care between the species. She is solitary. They thrive in masses. It's an essential difference, although she does feel that deep down, she could not exist without the mass of people and buildings around her. And, but she does not know this, it is the same the other way around. The city needs her, to see and hear and smell and touch and feel, to process all of itself through a single source instead of spread out across all of itself.

Still, plural and singular do not agree, and she does not think that strength lies in numbers. Strength lies in her (although by leave of the city). This, she thinks, is odd, that she knows the strength is hers alone, but still granted by something else. But, like all things odd and not readily explainable, she does not dwell on it any longer.

Instead, she looks out over the city, smoking, and smiles. She lives purely for herself, and is thus as much the city as the city is her.

Worldwide Calibration.


I suggest you get yourself over to Post-World Industries over as soon as possible, to get the excellent "Lost & Stolen Goods"-mix by Sonar Calibrado if the following blurb tickles you in a pleasant way:
Divine smashup of d&b, batucada, hiphop, Egypt pop, capoeira, and extra-broken beats, in a borderless conundrum for the ears.

(Incidentally, Filastine is one half of this soundsystem, and he is fast becoming one of my favorite artists.)

Coffee with the Devil. (chapter 4)

Seething, I walked all the way back home. Those fuckers. What the hell did they have to go and do that for? What is wrong with some kids using a vacant space for recreation? By using the building, don't we show more respect for it than by leaving it empty? Fuck rights of property. Property also means having a certain responsibility to care for an item, or person, or building. Neglect is the very worst thing you can do. Worse than mistreatment.

My head was going on and on like this, as the first birds started their intensely annoying songs. It had been a good party, until the door was wrecked (at least we had had the courtesy of just picking the lock), and all hell broke loose. Dogs ran wild, the soundsystem got smashed, people got arrested and beaten for no reason. I was able to make a narrow escape, through some broken window, somewhere up and in the back.

Too hyped to sleep yet, I made tea, and flopped down on my couch. First Sunday sunlight trickled filthily through the window, and I yanked the curtains closed, angrily. I sat there for some time, petting my cat and smoking cigarettes, until my doorbell rang.

Great. It was the Devil. I just nodded, and turned around, trumping back to my living room. I heard the door click shut, and she followed.

"Good morning!" she chirped. I just looked away from her. "What?" she asked.
"Why are you here?"
"Thought you might need some cheering up."
"I don't."
She chuckled.
"What are you doing here?"
"And good morning to you too," she said, raising one eyebrow.
"Not in the mood, sorry. Any particular reason?"
She chuckled. "Look at you."
"What you mean?"
"All anger, frustration, knotted up."
"It's been an intense night."
"What, your party got busted by the cops? Poor baby." The sarcasm dripped off her as she pinched my cheek. "Not the first time, right?"
"No. But it still pisses me off, the way they act."
"I don't think it's just that."
"Oh?"
"Nope." She grinned, obviously enjoying herself for some reason unknown to me.
"Care to inform me as well?"
"Maybe later. You hungry?" She revealed a white paper bag and pulled two croissants out.
"No."
"I still think you should eat."
"Later." I sighed.

She took a bite, and stared at her croissant for a while, musing. She murmured softly to herself: "Still, beats me what the Muslims want with it. The Ottomans have been gone for a while now." She turned to me, then.

"Interesting shape, don't you think?"
I didn't answer, being preoccupied with being irritated by her presence and current events.
"The crescent moon. Croissant-Lune. At least as interesting as her full face, if not more."
"Why?"
"Well, with a full moon, you kind of know what you can expect, right? Same as a new one."
"That's your moon, right? New moon, trickster moon?"
"Please. Next thing you're gonna tell me you actually believe in astrology."
"So what's so interesting about the crescent, then?"
"Ambiguity. Nuance. Close to darkness, but not quite. Makes you see things in a different light. "
"But you just said it doesn't have any actual influence on people."
"No, I said that the new moon isn't assigned to me, or anyone for that matter. That's not to say that people can't believe that it has some sort of mystical significance. Belief is a strong thing, you know."
"... Okay... so these things do have influence?"
"Only if people want to. As with everything, you know. Me and mine, we're not even really needed. People just want us to be, so here we are."
"Yeah, about that 'we'..."
"Hmm?"
"This girl."
She smiled. "Ah, there we go."
"What's it about her?"
"You smitten?"
"I don't know. She's done something. Left an impression."
"Obviously."
"So... is she... like you?"
"No... I've been wondering too, though. But I can assure you she's quite human. Very much so. "
"So what do you think about her?"
" I don't know, actually. She's... different. Interesting."
"Interesting?"
"In need of change, so interesting for me."
"... Like me?"
She laughed. "Oh yeah."
"You think I'm stuck, then?"
"I don't know. Do you think so?" She grinned.
"Fuck off. I don't need any Socratic shite now."
"You don't? Why?" She kept grinning, and took a cigarette from my pack.
"Look, miss Tricksy. I'm really not in the mood for you now."
She clapped her hands, once, and laughed again. It was a laugh reminiscent of a coyote's yapping howl across a moonlit prairie, of a spider's chuckle, a raven's mocking screech.
"What? Fuck off."
"You like her, don't you? I know you do."
I frowned, and lit a cigarette, taking deep drags. "I don't know. Yes, I think so. You know why?"
"Yes, but I'm going to let you work out that one on your own."
"Thought as much."
"Anyways... she has something in common with me, I think. We both exist only for our surroundings."
"What do you mean by that?"
"Well... " She thought about that. By now, I was less irritated, just curious about this other girl. Then, she shook her head. "Nah, I'm not going to tell you. You'll meet her again, before you see me."

She got up. "You should get some sleep, kid. See ya later." And like that, she left. I fell asleep on the couch one cigarette later.

Pawprints.


Tigerbeat's "Paws Across Europe" -tour 2005 was good, last night. I was really looking forward to see Drop The Lime again, and I'd never seen Kid 606 live. Still, I couldn't help but be... well, not exactly disappointed, but still, I'd expected more.

DTL played a lot of 4-to-the-floor beats with some acid-y basslines. I was hoping for more of his freaky cut-ups, live MAX/MSP-programming, but I had learned the same day, via his site, that some ass-monkeys in Berlin stole his friggin' Powerbook.

This pisses me off so much. In a scene that's still largely underground, which really thrives on the symbiotic relation between low-life audience and performers alike, I'd kinda counted on more respect, solidarity. He told me after his set that they also stole his KaosPad and all of their merchandise (including some 100 records). Luckily, he'd been able to get a new laptop and Pad, but his MAX didn't work because of Tiger's annoying attitude towards (risks of) software piracy. So, his set was done with Ableton Live, with hastily sampled bits and patches.

Still, it's a treat to see him perform. It's great to see an electronic musician not just staring at his screen, but actually taking up the mic and singing live. No cuts, no loops, just some processing. And he always, even with a room only half-full, gives a lot, freaking out like a tightly wound, broken clockwork punk. (And oh, he had grimy bits, which I totally digged.)

Kid 606 was cool too. Little too much 4/4 beats again, but that's just my taste, and his sounds are just great (funny, how much all these guys like the 90's Dutch Gabber sound. The Kid was even wearing a shirt that said "Gabber". By now, I'm enjoying all of it's derivatives tremendously, but back then... No. But of course, that might probably have more to do with the whole cultural phenomenon around it here, all the neo-nazi-skinhead-connotations.) . The freestyle bit he built around his "Who Wah Kill Sound?" just kicked mucho booty, and after that I left, because excessive weekend-behavior forced me to retreat to my nest. (Last saturdaynight had been amazing. Last party of a nice little squat that was being evicted soon.* I'm not quite sure, but I do remember spending a lot of time in front of a +10 kW tekno-soundsystem. Also, I think at some point some people got naked, but I'm afraid my memory is a bit hazy on that.)


*: There's been another wave of evictions. At least three places I know of have been forced to move out. This morning, I was late at work because the Heiligeweg, which I always walk through, was blocked up by riot-cops, three rows thick, with at least four vans and one water-cannon. Bad craziness.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Early-morning Gargantuan.

Alright, let's start this with a cliche:
Beauty hides in unexpected places.

Good, now that we got that over with... Niceness, this morning. While going to work, I sat down in the tram right behind a huge mo'fuggin' dude. He took up the space of two seats, to give you an indication of the sheer enormity of this man. For a good five to ten minutes, I just sat there, staring in amazement at the bulging rolls of fat in his neck, visible because his head was shaved, completely bald. I gawked. Also, the amount of gold around his neck and fingers was probably too much for a man of lesser size to wear. I know I'd simply collapse, my spine snapping like a dry branch under a heavy boot. His bright white tracksuit, pledging allegiance to an American sports team he probably never even had seen playing (thank you, C.M.) served to emphasize his extremely dark skin.

Of course, almost everyone in the tram was giving him nervous glances. He sat there like a saltwater crocodile between a herd of gazelles. We were intimidated.

Then, and old lady steps in, and he is the first one to get up, hastily, and offer her his seat. Well, as hastily as possible, given his size. The lady blinks, her eyes widening with fear. He smiles. We melt.

Intrigued, I follow him as he gets off a few stops later. (Well, okay, it was also my stop and he was going the same direction as I was. But still.) A few paces behind him I walk, curious to see what he was up to.

He stops, in one of the busy shopping streets, and picks out a spot to the side. It's still quiet, sunlight playing lazily through the misty smog-haze, silvery gold in the morning. He takes off his jacket, spreads it in front of him. Early consumers, delivery-men, random passers-by give him suspicious glances. He smiles back. Puffs up his chest, plants his feet firmly on the ground (feel free to imagine a cup of water with circles playing on the surface from vibrations, Jurassic Park-style). And there, he burst out in song. His voice was beautiful, high, not unlike Amadou (you know, from Mariam). He sang an entrancing song, something African (I think Malinese, even, but I'm no expert), with notes long and drawn-out. All with that shockingly bright smile, which he gave to everyone.

I smiled back, and came to work late. But it was worth it. This was a real good morning. Thank you, sir.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Deflatulence.


I have new heroes.
Anyone feel like joining me to raise an Amsterdam franchise?

(Thank you Reasoner.)

Monday, October 10, 2005

Castaway Things. (Coffee with the Devil, 3.5)

They didn't see her, right? The thought is quickly pressed away as she flees from the spot. Close call.

She is overly cheerful, as she makes her way through the streets. She even smiles at the market-vendor as she palms an orange, a mango and a banana, slipping them unseen between her clothes. Then, she heads towards a spot near the park, one overlooking it, from the heights of the steel girders of a bridge. Nothing happened, she tells herself. She was quick enough, as always.

Tonight, she will go to that large hall in that part of town where it's always noisy, not of people, but the mechanical noise of machines. There is a building there, it's walls made of thin metal plates, like it could be blown away in a storm. It was once a warehouse, a past betrayed by the leftover wooden crates, scattered throughout the space. It is high, and has been empty for a long time.

Every once in a while, she goes there, when the young people gather. There is no system, no regularity at all, but she knows when they'll be there. She feels a buzz in the city all day, increasing as twilight falls.

They will not start until long past dark, so she waits. When it's time, she climbs up the side of the building, and enters through a broken window. She already felt the deep, low throb from outside, in her belly. Climbs up more, until she is high inside, near the roof, up in the rafters. From here, she can see the whole room.

The people come here to listen to the city speak. She feels sorry for them, because they cannot hear the city properly. They need these large boxes, out of which the city's sounds pour and blow. It is loud, very loud. Crude. Almost all of them stand facing these boxes, their bodies moving to the city's song. It is like the song she keeps in her small white box, but vastly different. She likes the sounds. It is a different side of the city, younger yet much older. Cymbals crash, unfamiliar electronicals fly high and swoop low, the bass engulfs her. The heartbeat is overwhelming, and steady, all night long.

She enjoys watching them move, as if they answer the song with the movement of their bodies. Somehow, it seems much more pure, more intense than what they ever could express in words. She is glad to see people that love the city as much as she does, in their own way.

They go on all night, and she is entranced. She has played with the idea of joining them, but knows that she shall never. Instead, she just watches, and smiles.

She is happy, too, that this building is not forgotten, like so many. She knows that some of these people here, work hard to find other forgotten places and make them alive again. It is a way of life that echoes throughout all they do, and the way they look. Finding old, castaway things, sounds, buildings, and giving them a new life.

The way they transform this space is amazing to her. Usually, this is an empty, barren space, oppressing with it's size. Now, they have colored lights, cloths, people playing with fire, tents put up inside. Even the building itself seems to be celebrating.

Then, she sees him, the young man, in a flash, a face in the crowd. She ducks away, but realizes he probably cannot see her. He looks different, happy and worried at the same time, and like he cannot reach any of those feelings properly. He is here to forget something, she thinks, and, like the rest, to pay tribute to the city. She follows him with her eyes for a long time, until the monotone hard beat lulls her into sleep.

Sudden absence of sound wakes her up. Through a dirty roof-window, the morning sun has risen already. She looks down, and sees people scattering, running, and men in blue and black, with helmets and shields and clubs and dogs enter. Some people are caught, and beaten. The boxes through which the city speaks are taken away. She suddenly realizes her fingers hurt, as she is trying to dig her nails deep into the steel beam, and a soft, low growl comes from her chest. She wants to go down, enraged at the interruption, but realizes that will not do anything. She will just be beaten, like the others.

She watches the whole scene, until all is quiet and empty. The young man is gone, too. She doesn't understand why those men wanted them to stop. She doesn't understand why they thought it necessary to fight for that. Not quite crying, she falls asleep again.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

I'm in love with a construction site. (again)

Like some terribly intimidating crossbreed between a battleship and a 21st-century mad professor's mountaintop castle, she winked at me, and I swooned. Her walls are still open, her towers are impossibly high. She seems to float on the water, and is connected to terra firma by way of several bridges that seem extremely temporary to me.
One of these days, I'm going in.


(And yes, I know these pictures don't actually tell you a lot. It's a clever combination of me keeping you on your toes, full of anticipation of expeditions to come, and me getting to know my new camera. Patience please.)

Boston.

I dig the bounce.


(Go on, get DJ C's mix. Bounce with me.)

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Coffee with the Devil. (chapter 3)

It was one of those days, you know, late summer getting cozy with early autumn to produce a crisp mix of clear blue sky, piercing sun and a nice chill in the air, just that bit too much for the amount of clothing you decided to wear that morning.

Having nothing to do, and, maybe even rarer so, not feeling any guilt about it, I decided to take a stroll in the park. It was nice. Dry-land skaters carved curves and pirouettes in the tarmac, dogs ran free despite the ban on free-running dogs, even the bums were cheery, non-pressing with their alcohol-fueled presence. My phone rang. I frowned.

"Hey, it's me."
"I noticed."
"How?"
"My phone played the Nokia tune."
She giggled.
"I hate the Nokia tune."
She giggled again.
"... So, what's up?"
"You wanna come to the entrance?"
"Sure."

I made my way to the park's gates, rusted solidly in an open position for as long as I can remember. The cast-iron and granite had been overgrown, with ivy and passion-flower, organic matter slowly eating up the artificial. It was okay. They had time.

She stood there, bundled up in various layers of (oddly fashionable) garments. As I approached, she grinned, sidled up to me and planted a kiss on the corner of my mouth. Pressed a paper cup of hot coffee in my hand, and slipped her arm in mine.

"C'mon, let's walk."
I nodded, and sipped my coffee. Nearly burned my mouth.
"Watch it, might be hot."

We walked for a while, in silence. Well, almost, anyways. She was humming some current poppy tune, smiling. I wasn't sure if she tried to annoy me or not. If she did, it wasn't working. It was far too good a day to be annoyed by such things.

"Can you love?" I asked.
"Define love."

I had to think for a while.

"Giving purely from yourself. Care, energy, that sort of thing. Wanting the subject of your love to be nothing but happy."
"Without expecting anything in return?"
"Ideally, yes."
"Tricky. You think anybody can do that?"
"I'm not talking about anybody, I'm asking you."
"Okay..."
"...So?"

She was silent for a bit, sipping coffee as we rounded corners.

"Yes. I think, somehow, it's all I can do. I want this place to be happy, this world, God, whatever, to feel complete. It's why I ask these questions, show people the workings of their ways. Funny, that."
"What?"
"You asking me these things now."
"Why?"
"Because that's not usually how it goes."
"Do you usually let people know who you really are?"
"Not really. Sometimes. Rarely."
"So you think it's weird that I'm curious?"
"Not at all. Guess I should've seen that coming."
"You mean you didn't?"
She just gave me a look, and smiled somewhat mysteriously.

"Can you love?" she asked.
"Of course."
"No, I mean, can you love the way you described? Wanting nothing in return?"
"I like to believe so..."
"...But?"
"But I think I'm not there yet."
"Why?"
"Because I'm still young, and... I don't know. There's always this fear of giving too much, leaving myself drained."
"Fear." she smiled.
"Yes."
"Why? Don't you believe that everything you give, comes back to you eventually? It does, you know."
"Yes, I know that. But knowing it is not the same as feeling it."
"You don't feel it?"
"Not yet."
"How come?"
"Not sure. Too much on my mind still, I suppose."
"Maybe you just think it's inappropriate to be that wise, so young?"
"...hmm... Maybe, but I don't think so. All I know is that I still have fear, somewhere."

I finished my coffee, and offered her a cigarette. She declined, and I lit mine.

"Don't be so cautious," she said.
"I know. I try."
"Don't 'know'. Feel." She touched her fist to my stomach, knuckled it briefly.
"I'll get there."
"You really think so? Isn't that too easy a way out?"
"No. If it happens, it happens at the right time. Wu wei, and all that."
"Ah, Taoism for the modern man." She chuckled. "Can backfire, you know. Make you lazy."
"I can see that happen." I had seen it happen, before, with myself.
"Sometimes, you just have to take the dive."
"Even if it doesn't feel right?"
"Sure. Take the dive, bite the apple, hurt, or get hurt. Learn. Grow."
"Like Nietzsche?"
"Hmm?"
" 'Everything that doesn't kill me, only makes me stronger...?'"
"Exactly. Is a very Taoist thing to say, you know. All you do makes you who you are, and will be."
"But isn't it also possible that it weakens you?"
"For a while, maybe. That's when you learn, grow. Hey, you were the one with the wu wei, remember? So everything that happens, happens for the good. Thus, you will come out stronger."
"Okay..."
"Don't let fear suck you in too deep. You'll end up like her."

She pointed at a girl, seemingly roughly the same (apparent) age as herself. She was standing in the balding growth of a copse of trees, regarding us. Odd figure, streetkid, obviously. Pretty, in a wild sort of way. I hadn't seen her there. The moment she was pointed at, her eyes grew, and she ducked away. Gone, just like that.

"See?"

I was speechless. She was... I don't know, but something just happened.

"You... know her?"
"Yes."
"Friend of yours?"
"I like to think so, but I don't think she does."
"How-"

But then her phone rang, and she picked up. Spoke quick, fluent Brazil Portuguese. After some time, she hung up, and smiled apologetically.

"Gotta run, kid. Take care." She pressed a kiss on my cheek, and took off, leaving me there, bewildered, on the spot where three worlds met, and left one standing without a clue.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Life and Songs.

For the first time in my life, I have read a book of poetry all in one go, cover to cover.

Thank you, Ted Hughes, for writing 'Crow'.

Beautiful, silly, raw, epic, outrageous, raging, intimate: a treasure.

One of my favorite passages:
Man awoke being dragged across the grass.
Woman awoke to see him coming.
Neither knew what had happened.

God went on sleeping.

Crow went on laughing.


(From 'A Childish Prank')

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Sewer Nymph. (Coffee with the Devil, 2.5)

She slips between the tracks, deep underground. Tunnels below city interconnect, intertwining pathways for the snakes that people ride. She knows the paths that run between these tunnels.

She is wary around the snakes, knowing that they will not stop for her, that they probably do not even see her, while they do (occasionally) inhabit the same darkness. Down there, she is as alert as above, only now more by touch, because vibrations, the city's shivers, tell more than sight or hearing can, here.

She enjoys wandering through the dark corridors, even if she doesn't come here all that often. There is no food here (for her), although plenty of treasures to be found. Something in her tells her to leave anything she finds here. Not like above, although, like above, she has her places here too, where she can rest, or hide.

She rarely meets people here, and if she does, she disappears so fast that they aren't sure they've seen her at all. Most of the men move about there with purpose. Some don't. The ones that don't, she finds more scary, because like her, they have their spots here, territories, allegiances. The ones that do are merely there to do a job, to maintain, to get from one place to the other. The ones that don't hunt for treasures, and even food. Rats are plentiful down here.

She mostly manages to steer clear of these underdwellers. Unlike her, they choose never to go up, into the light. They prefer their burrows here. She can understand that. They all live on the edges, narrowly managing not to fall off, although she is not aware that there is an edge, since any ties between her and others are nonexistent (in her eyes). Scowl though they might, the underground people cling feverishly to this thin link (even though they would never, ever, admit it), so they have something to look down upon. Denying the (right of) existence of one part of society is only another way to acknowledge it, maybe even more so.

Those few flashes that people do glimpse of her, in the brief gloomy encounters, in the strobe of trains slithering by, in footsteps heard splashing away, are enough to spawn numerous urban rumors, legends, whispered tales. Tunnel-sprite, sewer-nymph: she is talked about as if she were some feral representation of the city's patchwork soul. A sliver of ancient animistic traditions filtering through the concrete and steel.

She likes the darkness, finds comfort in the damp scents and the feeling of the city's weight above her. Down here, she only has to worry about the snakes. When she feels one coming, she slips into an alcove, presses herself against the wall and watches the lights flash by. Faces, lots of them. Almost always impassive, drained. Most of the people seem too accustomed to the life above, so down here, the city's weight is pressing rather than comforting. She wonders why they feel that way.

The snake rushes past her, and she looks inside. The same faces as always, but then, her eyes lock with the other girl's, the one that's not really what she seems to be. A moment passes, stretches, lasts. Her upper lip curls up in a snarl, while the other's does the same, but in a smile. The snarl audible now, but hardly so, above the snake's sharp rumble as it speeds away, and she ducks into the darkness, needing to go up, up, craving light and air.

Ascension, until she is high up on a building, cool dusk sky blowing around her face and hair, and she slowly catches breath, regains calm.

She realizes now, why that smile distressed her so.

It was an invitation.