Tears Do Not Heal Scars

22 01 2009

Act I

A tall thin man brushed through the backstage curtains and stepped onto the old wooden stage. His eyes looked tired, but he wore a grin along the face. Slowly, he bowed before the buzzing crowd and grabbed a long spear from the floor.

There was no spotlight, but the crowd of men, women, and children sitting of wooden chairs began to turn silent. The frail man then touched the tip of the spear’s steel head with his finger and showed the blood trickling from the tip. He smiled, sucked the blood with his mouth, then used his right hand to grab the spear’s shaft and swiftly throw it into the stage floor. The sharp edge drove through the wood and made a loud thud. The crowd was startled and went silent.

With his hands free, the thirty-something aged performer calmly took off his shirt. Although gradual, it didn’t make the spectators feel any less awkward. People gasped as the man’s frail body was revealed. Once done and wearing only pants and shoes the man dropped his shirt on the stage floor and smiled back at the frightened eyes and mouths across the hall.

He understood their widened pupils. After all, his scars covered his torso and back. Some were small and revealed only a small portion of elevated skin, but some started at the shoulder and ended at the hip. Other scars formed weird drawings, some X shaped, others went zigzag. It was impossible to determine whether all or some of them had the same age. Though unlikely, there were so many scars it was hard to tell. To the audience, the scene was disturbing at least. Either a lot of people wanted that man dead or he enjoyed pain.

As used to it as he seemed to be, the entertainer blushed. His grin widened even more, but his eyes expressed a slight shyness. He cleared his throat and spoke the following words as his hands freely strummed through the air:

Good evening dear audience, ladies, gentlemen, boys, and girls. Tonight, I, the one without a name, will be executing an astounding feat. I’ve wept enough throughout my life to know this by heart, but…as all you should know,

Tears Do Not Heal Scars.

Please pay close attention to this lesson, because during the following days I will perform my greatest act. Many people call it disgusting, some consider it insane, others refer to me as the undead, but I’d rather dub this as the “Healing Act”.

I will not be interrupted during this process, no matter the consequences. Feel free to eat, drink, leave, and come back during the spectacle, but please keep in mind the show must go on. Kids, don’t try this at home, but do watch closely if you want to learn something.

With that said, the entertainer (if one could be called that way), picked up the sharp spear and placed its base vertically in a tight gap between two slightly old wooden planks from the stage. Once having tested if the spear would not move accidentally, the man started tilting its tip towards his chest. Viewers did not understand the scene. Some frowned, others leaned forward, and a few leapt from their seats when blood started dripping.

Slowly, the head blades crept toward the heart. Blood curled along the spear as it hit the skin. The flesh cried as muscles and bones were violated. Red tears poured across the floor and slid through the maze of scars. All of them glittered, but none of them seemed to get any better. The pain was visible, as the man’s face agonized with contorted expressions.

My god! He’s killing himself!

Women started screaming, some men laughed, families left, and a few creeps remained. Among the “so called” creeps, two beings stood out: a young bearded sir who constantly wrote on his notepad, while balancing his chair on two legs and a small boy naively biting his lower lip and observing with large curious eyes. Unlike the remaining spectators that seemed to enjoy the gore, those two actually tried to learn something from the spectacle.

Finally the whole head pierced the man’s body and among the river of blood, only the spear’s shaft could be seen. What was once brown polished wood, now resembled a dark wine-like taint. Somehow the man still breathed and he held the shaft with both hands, constantly pulling the spear inward and playing a morbid tug-o-war with death.

The pain was indescribable. The man’s feet trembled and barely managed to support the half-alive body. The man’s eyes began to close and he embraced darkness in his thoughts. Suddenly his hands lost grip of the shaft and began to dangle lifelessly.

Act II

The crowd had somehow refreshed. Children weren’t a common sight, but a new batch of men and women sadistically observed the impaled body sluggishly descending on the spear. Many did not notice, but the body came to a halt when the spear’s head hit the skin on the man’s back, from the inside.

After a few minutes still, the tip of the spear head popped at the back accompanied by the sound of tearing flesh. The long forgotten pain woke up what seemed like a day-old body. The man’s eyes opened and his mouth widened as if desperate for air. His neck stretched as far as it could and his right lung, which was still intact, begged for air. An almost silent inspiration followed by an excruciating scream.

The dry blood on the floor boards meant to many in the crowd that the entertainer was long dead. That resurrection meant, nevertheless, that he never died and it startled those men, except for the young boy and the writer. Their eyes never faltered and their attentiveness as well. They paid close attention, unlike many who saw the performance as a mere act of entertainment.

The man’s hands no longer dangled, but rather firmly held the spear’s shaft. He maintained the torturous process, pulling the spear inward and feeling it exit behind his torso. His breathing was heavy and constant, as if it took years of discipline to execute inhale and exhale steadily in those circumstances. Sweat mixed with dry blood dripped from his forehead. What seemed like an impossible task, also lifted many burdens, as the man’s faint smile could not be hidden.

After the entirety of the spear head had already traversed through the man’s body, he felt relieved. No longer would those blades need to rip his flesh anymore. Only the shaft remained, but the wooden cylinder occupied less room than the triangular shaped blade. Since the spear was firmly held in place by the stage floorboards, the man no longer needed to force the weapon inward. The man let go his hands and simply started slouching towards the floor. His movement was slow and resembled that of a near-death vampire with human-sized steak driven through one’s body. The steps were taken one at a time, but eventually no effort needed to be made any longer.

The man simply stopped moving and leaned forward, his body slid on the remainder of the spear’s shaft and the man’s face hit the floor. The loud smack of flesh and bones kept the audience on their feet, but after a while of apparent death, once again, they lost their interest in the presentation. Like sheep being herded, almost all of them left. A few booed and waited a bit longer, but eventually only two spectators remained, watching as the spear-driven corpse laid on the stage floor.


The sunlight made its way through the boarded windows in the auditorium. The rays hit the corpse’s pale eyes and brought back life to the flesh that almost became one with the floorboards. A few feet away stood the note taker and curious eyes, always watchful and attentive to any event.

The man breathed heavily, making out the most of the only intact lung he had left. Not even bothering to stand up, he slowly lifted his arms and grabbed the spear shaft that stuck out from his back. With what little strength he had left, the man wiggled in order to loosen the spear from the floorboards. He kept shaking it, side to side, hoping to detach it from the stage floor, but nothing happened. He kept trying and both the boy and the writer approached. The performer never stopped trying, but his eyes focused on both spectators. No subtitle was needed; both of them stepped back and silently watched.

After wiggling the spear in vain, the man decided to give one precise tug at the shaft. He tried holding firmly, though his hands were sweating, and without hesitating placed all his remaining strength into the movement. The spear detached from the stage floor and seemed to pop out. The man carefully pushed it away, avoiding the contact with any exposed internal organs, and relaxed. Every muscle in his body, even those torn apart, relaxed. Every inch of the man’s body stopped contracting and would have liquefied, if they could. What once were groans now manifested as deep sighs of relief.

After a few minutes of rest, the man got up. He slowly lifted his body and stood facing what remained of the once populous audience. Upon the sight of both a possibly a man in his thirties and a boy under eleven, the man smiled. He stepped toward the stage’s edge and squatted on his weary heels. The hole in the man’s chest made torn heart, lung, bones, and tissue visible, not to mention the pink curtain stage behind him. That scene frightened the man’s lonely witnesses, but luring them wasn’t hard. He placed his hand inside his pocket and from it retrieved two glittering white pearls. The small polished spheres shone in those red hands of dry blood.

For pigs do not deserve pearls, but you two are different. Here is my token of appreciation. Might you have any questions?

The young boy hesitantly raised his hand and asked:

What was the hardest part?

The man licked his lips as if preparing to talk. He glanced at the second spectator and noticed the man did not stop taking notes once.

Once wounded, there isn’t much one can do…except confront the pain. Once the spear head has already perforated your flesh, the best thing to do is drive it in and get it out. The problem is it will perforate you again, but once it has gone through your body, the final stings of the flesh cutting edges are the hardest. After that you’ll have to put the matter behind you, but many are not willing to do so. How long does one take to get rid of the pain and the problem? It depends, how far are you willing to pull the spear?

So the worst part was getting the spear out…- the boy concluded.

Indeed. Once the spear head is out, you know the shaft won’t hurt as much because it’s smaller. It’s a matter of putting issues and the pain behind you and preparing for what lies ahead, which inevitably takes time.

What about the scars? Don’t they bring back memories? – Asked the writer while taking down notes on his pad.

They always do. Every scar is a story, a show, a performance. But in time those memories tend to affect less your heart and mind. That is, if you’re willing to advance. Unless the spear has been extracted from one’s body, the scars will never have a chance to form. Though thoughts come to mind, time rewards those with disposition. Some, on the other hand, prefer to remain forever trapped in pain impaled by the spear. They don’t confront the pain and they don’t try to end it as well.

The man slowly stood up and futilely tried cleaning his hands by patting his pants.

I couldn’t ask for better viewers. You’ve been a great audience, the best. Value these lessons. Keep smiling and keep writing.

The teacher’s back revealed new scars that had been formed through the course of those few days. Though both spectators could see the man’s ripped dangling heart, they had no insight on his feelings. Leaving his bloody spear behind, past the stage curtains the frail man slipped, never again to be seen.


If scars bring back memories, so does the spear. Ever since I placed it on my wall I need only one glance to remember the notes I took on that fateful day. No grief or sadness could ever make those moments return. Ever since, I’ve carried a smile on my face because I know tears won’t help. They’re fruitless and they end here.

WGA’s Annual Videogame Writing Award

13 01 2009

For the second time, the Writer’s Guild of America is nominating games for its annual Videogame Writing Award. The most famous, or AAA titles, among those are Fallout 3, Tomb Raider: Underworld, Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

Sadly though, the selection process requires winners to be members of the Guild. Naturally this reduces drastically the number of contestants and doesn’t account for the majority of games released.

Nevertheless, games are a somewhat recent medium and if the event’s objective is to “encourage storytelling excellence in videogames, improve the status of writers, and foster uniform standards within the gaming industry”; so be it.

As a Bethesda fan and having only played Fallout 3 (at length) from the list, I’ll cross my fingers for it. I’m sure though all of the games contribute to storytelling in their own distinct genre and manner.

Credit goes to the games which did not necessarily come closer to traditional means of storytelling similar to other mediums (like film), but rather found their own voice and method of telling stories.

I would like to see Dead Space and GTA 4 participating as well.

EDIT: Micah Wright commented that actually, the Award rules only require that writers who nominate themselves join the WGA’s sister group, the Videogame Writers Caucus, and don’t need to be members of the Guild per se.

Source: Gamasutra

A Different Diagnosis

27 09 2008

The cardiologist came into the room with an exam in his hands.

He grinned, laughed in a comforting manner, and said it was normal. Said there was nothing wrong with my heart.

“Bitch Dependency” he called it:

A bleeding scar created after having that silk-smooth red carpet pulled from under your feet and hitting your face smack on the floor.

The biggest problem isn’t getting hurt, – the doctor went on – it’s being unprepared. Feeling the carpet shake a bit doesn’t give you enough time to foretell what’s to come. Not being able to do so leaves you in doubt and completely vulnerable.

Next thing you know you’re patching your forehead from the fall with one hand and trying to clutch your slippery pulsating heart with the other. Let me tell you: It pains. Making you wish it had never happened.

There isn’t really any cure for it and preventing it can be quite hard. Like a flu, it has to be transmitted by other people, usually those close to you, usually those that have the power to somehow affect your feelings and state of mind.

Women portrayed as “significant others” have commonly been identified as the cause of this pathology, but it has been reported to affect both sexes. When men are the cause though, the name remains unchanged. Be it because you’re dependent on a bitch or because you’re the bitch for being dependent.

There’s not much I can do except prescribe you this bottle of time. All you have to do is swallow it with a glass of truth and wait. It should taste like shit, but it works. What you do though, once you leave this office, is none of my business. I’ve seen patients drinking, some frantically searching for someone else to occupy the void, while others develop a tendency towards sharp razors and lofty skyscrapers.

Time is a treatment, not a cure. Be warned that side effects are involved and it helps to not poke the wound. Scars can’t form unless you leave them be and the more you play with them, the more they bleed and hurt. On the other hand, though, I know, touching the wound is not masochism, but rather a way to feel human.

It’s a process. In the beginning you were fearful of treading that imaginary red carpet of yours. Carefully, though, you stepped forward. Little by little you started walking down the path. Being surprised in such unexpected manner can stun anyone, but now you need to apply the reverse effect. Get up and start walking back. Some say, the quicker the better, but honestly, there’s no point in rushing it.

As for the side effects I mentioned, they vary. Thoughtful depression, extreme rage, and psychotic humor are just some I can think of. None of them feel as something you normally would, so you know it’s part of the treatment.

The problem is some people are affected by these side effects and end up hurting other people. It’s as if you were to become just as rotten as the person who made you come here in the first place. Heed my words, this isn’t healthy. Struggle to become someone better, not as rotten as whoever scarred you. The world definitely could use people who didn’t hold grudges and hatred in their torn hearts.

If you do choose to go against my advice, I won’t stop you. You won’t be the only one to do this and frankly, whoever you hurt becomes my next patient. Unethical to some extent, but it does pay the bills. Keeps the business running.

“The Scar Cycle” he called it.

Now please sign this waiver. Once you cross that door, what you do is none of my concern. Follow my instructions and you’ll do fine, otherwise, good luck.

The appointment was over.

“Next!” his voice echoed.

End of Chapter

20 09 2008

And so it ends. This chapter is over.

Turn the page over.

Turn the page. Turn the page.

Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page.

Turn the page already.

Turn the page dammit!


Now breathe.

Look towards the horizon.

There always is a rising sun to the east.

Human, You Are

9 08 2008

He left us without hesitation
He left us aching in pain

My dad told me:
My son, I’ll leave you
But don’t you think I’m insane.
Never give your life to a cause
If you believe it to be vain.

I thought at the time,
It made perfect sense
My dad had a lot to gain.

But time passed on
And wars flew by
And I grew weary.

My friends were dying
My family was lying
Mass destruction was going steady.

And lust,
They were all part of society.

And pride,
We all had a new deity.

Humans are trash.
We always were,
And I can’t shake the thought.

How despicable we are
How selfish we’ve been
To hold on to what we’ve got

It is our nature,
To be human it is
And lowly in every way.

A creature of mixed results
And crazy cults.

Whatever I do,
I do it for myself.
Don’t you try and disagree.

You’re just the same.
Worthy of shame.
Identical to me.

You’ll go to the end
To attain what you want,
Even if it means getting beat.

You’ll vow revenge,
Chop off heads,
And set the example on the street.

Don’t be shy,
I ain’t high;
I’m only being honest.

You’re just a piece
Of golden trash,
Among many others.

We’re all in a dump,
Which we call home,
Whether you like it or not.

Take a deep breath,
Swallow the truth,
And accept the fact.

To be or not to be
That is not the question.

For human,
You already are.

Life & Music

31 03 2008
Vodpod videos no longer available.

There’s no need to explain this video, but in case you’ve come to admire Alan Watts‘ words as well, check out the other animations made using his recordings.

And yes, in case you did notice the visual style, it’s from Trey Parker and Matt Stone, same guys who created South Park. Ironic? I think not.

Não há necessidade de explicar esse vídeo (embora ele seja em inglês), mas se você também passou a admirar as palavras de Alan Watts, confira as outras animações feitas com as suas gravações.

E sim, caso você tenha percebido o estilo visual, a animação é produzida por Trey Parker and Matt Stone, os criadores de South Park. Irônico? Creio que não.

Post Mortem

10 03 2008

I couldn’t think straight at all. Her words echoed in my mind and in no way they seemed to help. They were in fact the opposite; the reason of my torment and why my strength slowly left my muscles. The soft seductive voice that controlled my thoughts left me confused. I wasn’t pissed. I wasn’t angry. I was at her mercy when I shouldn’t be. With just a few words she made me stare in awe and conclude there was no other way of the describing all those years we spent together. It wasn’t a yes or a no. It was just a dubious response that could mean a sincere “of course” or an ironic “hell no”. Call me naive, but it left me harmless and made me feel helpless.

The agonizing part develops like a child in its womb. The essence of the pain is the doubt. An uncertainty that drives your mind through a never ending torture.

The knife’s blade felt cold.

It stabbed straight into my heart. Half-in and half-out always twitching and turning making the pain constantly remain. You’d think your senses would fade after a while, but they don’t. The knife hurts just as much in the mind, body, and soul.

The constant debate whether you’re right or wrong; whether you know the answer or not; whether there might be hope…or not. Almost as if you unwillingly wanted to grasp insanity.

My damsel…

She could’ve meant yes.

But then her words would contradict themselves.

I bet she lied. She lied and did it sarcastically.

That bitch…

You’ll easily switch between two absurd points of view with relative ease. Then you’ll resort to logic and none of it will make sense, because later you’ll conclude logic is useless when it comes to feelings.

The hole just gets deeper and deeper. The rabbit has fooled you into his trap and not even Alice seems to be part of this wonderland. Light and hope seem distant and soon turn into a speckle of illusion. A mirage of the dumb…and that means you.

After hours of mental collision and internal conflict your soul is where your heart should be, your logic where your soul should be, and your heart torn apart.

Few understood the process I went through and even less understood why I did it. They knew I wasn’t strong enough to overcome the obstacles and even more to conquer the evil disguised in grey. They found my bones alone. No muscles, no tissue. All of it was drained from me until it hit the marrow.

From that point on I couldn’t see a thing. Darkness mixed with a faint image of old wood. Outside the capsule I could hear many lamenting. Commenting what society had lost. Those interested me not, but the ones who mentioned they had lost a friend caught my attention. A few sounded true and even less voices I could recognize. Those close and loyal enough said nothing at all, they showed themselves true to the friendship by providing the tombstone engraving.

“R.I.P. dear friend, for only in death there are no thoughts: Only certainty.”

If she was there, next to the coffin, I heard not a word. All the better because her silence would not be deciphered.

As if cared.

I chose not to be.

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