CALIXIAN // Long Tails & Boozy Tales

Write drunk, edit sober.

I look at those empty cans in the trash bin. Then I look at the empty screen with its blinking cursor. So far it’s three to zero for the cans. Words are trailing far behind. But I won’t give up. It’s only a matter of time and patience. I open the next can.

“So, it turns out that the average number of blinks made by someone getting their photo taken is ten per minute. The average blink lasts about two hundred and fifty milliseconds and, in good indoor light, the camera shutter stays open for about eight milliseconds. Exciting, huh?!”

Oh, shit, really?

“This way, photographing thirty people in bad light would need about thirty shots. Once there’s around fifty people, even in good light, you can kiss your hopes of an unspoilt photo goodbye. Listen now, this is the most interesting part…”

Gosh, what a load of cack!

“To calculate the number of photos you’d need to take for groups of less than twenty, divide the number of people by three if there’s good light and two if the light’s bad. Hey, Calix, buy me a camera? Please, pretty pretty please! I’ll take a photo of you and Darwin!”

I take my eyes off the screen and point them at the tank sitting on the book shelf. The goldfish goggles at me from there, its own eyes pleading, magnified through the dirty glass.

“You got a smartphone at Christmas, didn’t you? Use that!”

The goldfish pouts and turns its luxuriously long tail towards me. I give a nonchalant shrug and get back to the throes of creation. I don’t have time for silly chitchats. It’s about one in the morning, four to zero for cans, and I’ve still no fucking idea what I’ll write for tomorrow’s advice column. Nasty egoistic sprat! Instead of babbling various nonsense about blinking and winking, it would be better if he helped me with the task at hand.

Absently, I pull a book from the shelf and open it at a random page.

He called out to the golden fish
and the fish swam up and asked him,
“What is it, old man, what do you need?”

Yes, I know what I fucking need now, but where can I find a bloody talking golden fish? This is life, silly Calix, not Pushkin’s fairy tales! I gloomily open the next can. At least the beer is real.

My last thought before my head droops on the table is that I need to wake up early and take out the trash. I don’t want Darwin seeing this mess. After all, every accomplished woman of letters has her own little secrets.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2018

BUT IS IT ART? // Medicate (Be Happy or Else)

 

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TATI: Tony, Tony… they say that female’s logic cannot be explained. But now can you explain to me your bloody male logic?

TONY: Okay, what have I done wrong this time?

TATI: Mascara Baby. Some pink-yellow mess with a vague hint of a vagina. NSFW. Chelonian Devil. A cute blood-stained tortoise with pretty questionable aggression. NSFW.

TONY: Aw, come on now! They’re nice, wholesome images, don’t you think?

TATI: Medicate (be Happy or Else). A frank picture of a woman’s genitals which do what they are supposed to do. And… antidepressants, art, depression, disappointment, failed expectations, hard choices, lemons, low self esteem, medicating, sexuality, shame… blah-blah-blah. Everything except your beloved ‘NSFW’. What happened? Did you think this bare ass IS really safe for work?

TONY: Well, I suppose it’s a little bit confronting…

TATI: Do ya?

TONY: Okay, it is, but I had a point to make. And I think I made it quite well!

TATI: Yes, Tony. You made a pretty bum point.

TONY: Wow. You should be a stand-up comedian. I’m laughing so goddam hard right now. Someone get me a roll of gaffer tape. I need to stop my sides from splitting.

TATI: Oh… that’s the most strange compliment that I’ve ever gotten. But I love it.

TONY:  It’s not a compliment.

TATI: I wonder if a girl is told she could be a stand-up comedian, can it be considered a compliment?

TONY: I was being sarcastic.

TATI: Okay. So, you pictured the birth process of the most perfect, happiest being? A lemon?

TONY: No, it’s my take on the whole “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!” thing. It’s an expression that I don’t think much of.

TATI: And now you sound like a christian anarchist, Tony.

TONY: Christian anarchist?

TATI: “All good men are Anarchists.” Do you agree, Tony? Can you call yourself an anarchist?

TONY: Hm. I think I’m much too conservative to be an anarchist. And what do you mean by christian? I’ve not been one of those for quite some time.

TATI: Tony, when you quote someone, you should be aware of whom you quoted at least. One beautiful day you may find yourself quoting Hitler or SpongeBob SquarePants. Quoting is a tricky thing, you know.

TONY: Oh! Is it L. Ron Hubbard? He was the one who wrote about life, lemons, and fizzy drinks, yes?

TATI: It’s Elbert Hubbard!

TONY: Well, one of them isn’t a scientologist. I know that much.

TATI: Let’s get back to bare asses.

TONY: I didn’t draw a bear’s arse.

TATI: Tony, you’re not only deaf. You’re blind. I wrote bare. Not bear.

TONY: Are you sure you didn’t mean bair?

TATI: No, and I didn’t mean briar either!

TONY: Ouch.

TATI: Yes. Especially for bare asses.

TONY: Okay. Fine. Seeing as you’re so fixated on arses, what do you want to know?

TATI: Well, why didn’t you draw a picture of a funnel?

TONY: A funnel? How would that have gotten my point across?

TATI: I think this fair lady dispenses her fine urine a bit carelessly. A funnel would be more effective.

TONY: Less messy, you mean?

TATI: Yes. Have you tried to piss into a glass, Tony?

TONY: No. Have you?

TATI: Only when I underwent medical tests. I had to prove that I wasn’t drunk or stoned.

TONY: Oh, so this was in doubt at some point in your life?

TATI: Tony, don’t try to one up me. We’re discussing your freaking art, not the details of my private life!

TONY: So, your objection to this piece of art is not the subject matter or its themes, but to the fact that her urine isn’t being collected using the most optimal means available?

TATI: Tony, please, can you sum up the ultimate goal of this picture? What did you want to declare with this?

TONY: I think it’s the depression sufferer’s way of saying, “You want me to put on a false smile and make lemonade? Here’s your goddam lemonade!” It’s a reflection on how exasperating society’s unhelpful just-get-over-it response to mental health issues can be.

TATI: Oh. Fuck me twice on a Sunday. I give up! Yes, Tony, it IS art. Amen.

TONY: Oh my. Does this mean I win our little word joust this time? I can’t believe it. Fuck me twice on Sunday too!

TATI: Shut up. I’m googling ‘exasperating’ now…

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2017

Day 01

Damn! Quotes are such a tricky thing. Especially ones without a context. I’m always very careful with quotations. Yes, I see a question in your eyes. “Why is she whining here?” It’s easy.

I was recently invited by my friends to take part in the ‘03 days 03 quotes challenge’ party and I said, “YAY! Thank you! Of course, you can count on me!”

Prakash HegadeSheldon KleemanEthel Beckett
Thank you, my dear friends!

 

Rules:
1) Post 1 quotation a day for 3 days.
2) Nominate 3 other bloggers to participate per post.
3) Thank the blogger who nominated you.

 

But when I started to write my first post for this challenge I realized the scale of my problem. I’ve since changed my mind three times before opening my rough draft dated June 27 to write these lines.

Of course, it’s not a big deal to find some cool quotes from some cool famous guys and be happy with my own coolness. I even spent about an hour searching for them. But then I suddenly understood that hiding behind other people’s famous words isn’t something that I consider a really cool thing. That was my first thought.

My second thought was to use my own quotes from my various essays and poems. It’s not very modest but at least I could always take responsibility for this bullshit. I’m glad that I didn’t start to do this because I liked my third thought much more…

I don’t want to use famous quotes. I don’t want to use my quotes. My friends! My community! My dearest Writers and Readers! Let me use your quotes!

I was nominated three times, so I will take three quotes and their authors will be my nominees. All agree? Excellent! Let’s go!

 

Grandpa asked why
I talked to his veggies
said I didn’t know
Didn’t know
how to say
Veggies don’t hurt me

Michael Spahr, ‘Grandpa Had A Garden’

 

One day,
when it’s time for me to go,
I won’t cry.
I will look back on all these days I got to spend,
and I will smile.
I’ll be glad that I’ve had the chance,
to be alive,
and all in all,
that I’ve lived
a pretty good life.

PROSPERMIND, ‘A pretty good life’

 

Writers write for they are egomaniacs,
A fancy poem our soul’s aphrodisiac.
Spinning words, the most heinous temptation,
Desperation for eternity our only salvation.

Obsidian Visionary, ‘Writer’s Dissolution’

 

Hmmm… Yes!
The end.

 

by TETIANA ALEKSINA
© All rights reserved 2015