Breaking the Haze

21 11 2012

 

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

An endless haze of uncertainty.

 

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

As the rain pours, you try to piece together a confusing mist of intertwined past, present, and future.

 

Tick. Tock.

Unable to be controlled, unable to be foretold.

Time advances and, as a result of your actions, so do they.

It’s run or get caught. Unless change is stimulated, they will come for you.

And when that happens, not even destiny will be able to save you.

At this point, destiny is irrelevant.

 

Tick.

So what’ll be?

What’s done is done.

But what can be done now… is up to you.

 

Tock.

They’re here. Stop wasting time.

You’re already soaked.

Take action.

Go!





Ghouls Não Choram

11 02 2011

O conto que segue adiante foi elaborado para a “Promoção Conto Pós Apocalíptico” do blog Girls of War. Foi uma divertida oportunidade para escrever uma “fanfic” em até 4 mil caracteres (basicamente 1 página de word) sobre o universo da série Fallout. Contudo, por esse mesmo motivo, vale destacar que alguns termos podem ser desconhecidos àqueles que nunca jogaram ou não conhecem o universo da série, especialmente o cenário retratado no jogo Fallout 3. Os termos não traduzidos estão em negrito. Divirtam-se!

Desde a minha infância exibi potencial para desbravar as terras ermas. O fato de continuamente me esconder, de me mover velozmente e não fazer barulho são características que me acompanham desde que eu me entendo por gente. Quer dizer, eu e minha vila. Não foi nenhum espanto, portanto, quando me designaram como batedor. Há anos exerço essa função, e há anos corro o risco de morrer ao vasculhar o que restou das terras de meus antepassados por comida, ferramentas, armas e qualquer coisa que possa ser útil para a sobrevivência do meu povo.

Contudo, nem só de sobras vive o homem. Parte essencial da nossa motivação, conhecimento e entretenimento vem dos livros que arrumamos em nossas viagens. É inegável o fato de que aprendemos muito com essas compilações de papel marrom e tinta quase apagada. As histórias de como nossos antecendentes viviam em um mundo completamente diferente – sem água radioativa e garras-da-morte – sempre me intrigou. Não eram apenas momentos de escapismo, mas também de esperança, por serem obras que nos informavam de um mundo que os avós dos nossos pais conheceram, onde plantas eram capazes de crescer em variadas cores e a poeira não se infiltrava por qualquer fresta.

No entanto, ao passo que, em mim, os livros causavam a vontade de não arriscar minha vida passeando fora da vila, nos jovens os elaborados e fantásticos contos os deixavam apenas mais afoitos para se aventurar. Nossa biblioteca era reduzida, e as mesmas histórias, lidas repetidas vezes, continuamente inflamavam os espíritos de nossos filhos. Por isso, quando ouvi falar da existência de um suposto “livreiro” na região, não hesitei em procurá-lo. Era a peça chave para expandir o repertório de nossos leitores. Read the rest of this entry »





Primus Bacon: Primeiro Lugar na Mostra de Personagens PARLA!

5 11 2009
Primus Bacon no PARLA!

Primus Bacon no PARLA!

No dia 08 de outubro, durante a SB Games 2009 na PUC-Rio, teve início a mostra de Personagens PARLA!. Um concurso no qual o personagem Primus Bacon, criação minha em co-autoria com Larissa Fuchs, foi premiado com o primeiro lugar. Em meio à uma diversidade de conceitos e projetos de personagens Primus, o conhecido porco da casa de tijolos da fábula dos três porquinhos, se destacou. Não ganhou por ser uma versão reciclada da famosa fábula, mas por contar os fatos que sucedem a tragédia vivida pelo porco após os eventos da versão original de 1843 de James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps. O personagem está exposto em tamanho real, ao lado de suas pranchas (e os outros premiados), no Solar Grandjean de Montigny da PUC-Rio.

Medindo 1,67m e pesando 200kg, Primus Bacon é uma alma ingênua, instável e angustiada que vive no robusto corpo de um porco. Um ser que hospeda, em função do ataque do Lobo Mau que sobreviveu anos atrás, um palco de duelo espiritual entre seus sentimentos de culpa e a sua determinação em atingir a felicidade. É o único porquinho sobrevivente dos eventos da fábula original “Os Três Porquinhos e o Lobo Mau” e, apesar de ao final comer o lobo assassino em um ensopado, o porquinho não consegue evitar a morte de seus dois irmãos. O sentimento de culpa e de responsabilidade fraterna juntamente com a solidão da fria casa de tijolos levam Bacon a entrar em profunda depressão. Alguns meses mais tarde, ele percebe que precisa ocupar sua mente e deixar para trás o passado que o assombra. Assim, Primus decide se mudar do ambiente rural para tentar a vida na cidade grande.

Pranchas PARLA! - Primus Bacon

Pranchas do Personagem

O ambiente urbano oferece oportunidades a Primus e ao procurar por empregos ele é contratado por uma construtora. Diante a frenética rotina de trabalho, Bacon passa a ocupar seu cotidiano com preocupações urbanas e mundanas. A vida ganha um novo sentido e não resta mais tempo para pensar. A triste memória da morte dos seus irmãos é substituída por freqüentes atividades sociais incluindo encontrar amigos em academias, após o trabalho, e sair para bares em busca de álcool, música e mulheres. Bacon se torna em um ser dividido entre a dedicação profissional e a busca por integração social e seus irmãos passam a visitá-lo apenas em eventuais pesadelos. Contudo, certo dia, no caminho para o trabalho, Primus repara um lançamento de livro que ocorre no interior de uma livraria. Curioso e suspeito, ele entra e pega um dos exemplares com o título “Os Três Porquinhos e o Lobo Mau”. Ao perceber que a história relata os acontecimentos do seu passado que levaram à morte dos seus irmãos, mas de maneira deturpada, Primus tem um ataque nervoso. Ele se enfurece, perde o controle próprio e avança na direção do Lobo que alega ser o autor. Em meio ao agressivo debate, Bacon é retirado por seguranças e entra em um ciclo depressivo. O escândalo da livraria é publicado nos jornais e o livro sobe para os bestsellers. Ele se esconde da sociedade durante meses e passa a gastar todo seu dinheiro em bebidas para tentar esquecer o evento e o seu passado. Em meio ao seu arrependimento, Bacon faz uma tatuagem no braço em homenagem aos irmãos e passa anos seguidos trancado em seu apartamento se ocupando com brinquedos infantis ao tentar reviver a felicidade de épocas passadas.

Primus Bacon Rosto - PARLA!

Primus Bacon em um Momento Feliz

Meses depois, no caminho para comprar mais bebidas, Bacon se depara com a entrada para um novo consultório terapêutico. Ele conclui que precisa de ajuda para tratar seus problemas emocionais e psicológicos e decide arriscar. Lá encontra uma sessão de terapia em grupo com vários outros personagens de fábulas que passam pela mesma frustração que a sua: a de não ter a verdadeira versão de sua história contada publicamente.

A exposição do Solar da PUC-Rio vai até o dia 6 de novembro (sexta-feira),  então não perca tempo e confira as possíveis datas e horários.

1843 por James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps





My Legacy

5 02 2009

An old man, resembling your great grandfather, approaches you with a small black notebook in hand. He breathes deeply and blinks his eyes, like your grandfather would. Then, he opens his mouth, as your father did, and begins to speak:

And so, here we are. How many years has it been? Quite a few right?

You can’t hear as well as you used to. You can’t run as fast. Jump as high. Talk as eloquently.

But you sure can write.

Worry not, society has that habit of always confusing you, pushing you one way, then the other. You’re not really sure in what to believe. What to follow. Who to trust. What to long for.

It just feels…empty. A void that evidently lacks that special element. One that will never be found, not unless you truly understand what you are searching for.

Life is split into three moments. During the first one, you’re actually looking for a goal. Something to pursue. That special something that’ll show you life actually has a purpose and through it everything will fit into place.

That is, until you actually find what you’re looking for. Then comes into place the second moment. A time of sweat and despair in which you’re just doing your best to achieve that special objective you’ve already determined for yourself. The smile you attained by laying eyes of your life’s passion is only hampered by the thought of not achieving it, for whatever reason.

After many years, you finally reach the pinnacle of happiness. That sweet sublime stage in which all obstacles have been conquered and your career has surrendered to your skilful attributes and abilities. Or so you thought.

It was all a hoax and you weren’t ready for the shock. It was all and scam and you fell for it. Get real. What were you thinking? Life was your own personal hammock?

And so you realize that even after attaining whatever it is you thought would make you whole, you’re not complete. You’re missing something. You lack purpose. You lack essence. Thus, after wiping the sweat from your weary heart, you come to the conclusion that you’ve been searching for the wrong thing. The third moment, which could actually be identified as a repetition of the first one, then begins.

A totally newly repetitive phase you’ve seen before. Only this time you don’t have the same motivation and naivety as before. A shorter quest that holds even more responsibility that the first one.

Years pass. Decades go by. Before you know it, you don’t even know what were your initial motives and your final conclusions. In a blink of an eye you decide stop, either because you’ve given up or because you’re dead.

If there’s one thing certain about life, it’s that you won’t make it out alive. Because we yearn for more time to sort out our baggage, we crave immortality.

This is my way of achieving eternal life. Hold my journal in your hands. Read it, study it, and learn from it. Perhaps someday my legacy will unveil greater mysteries. Perhaps someday we will be satisfied with ourselves.





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.

Act III

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.

Epilogue

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.





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.





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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