Posted in Uncategorized, Writing

The Price of Gentrification

The leaves glittered a pretty gold green color, the wind ruffling them gently in the breeze. Blue skies and fluffy white clouds and serene sidewalks and dark green lamp posts and the occasional wooden bench dotted the landscape punctuated occasionally by a eggplant colored trashcan and a black car.

Perfectly landscaped shrubs shielded an impressive wooden fence guarding an impressive building of modern architecture, all red and grey and covered in various angles and degrees. Very very edgy. Modern. Definitely modern.

Every plant and shrub and piece of cement was immaculate and like new. The place was perfect. Too perfect. You almost looked for the error, for the mistake, for the hole. The red and grey had orange panels between, but you can tell it was planned, it was no accident.  There was no graffiti, no broken pavement.

It was like an oversized doll house. It didn’t look like it had been used. It was too new. You almost expected it to have that new car smell. Kind of a weird rubber tire smell, the kind that says there is something plastic and shiny here that hasn’t been corrupted by human stink yet.

Totally mechanical, and unused. But the air was fresh, with a hint of lavender in the air.  The windows were all various sizes and different heights. It was like the building was trying too hard to be edgy. It had accomplished that all ready, yet it was still trying to one up itself.

Why? What for? What was the purpose for it? What need or use did this random patchwork angled thing assist in? Did this color scheme somehow make the building more efficient? Was it more economical to heat because of it?

This building was built by and for the city, an administrative building created with no expense spared to look as glaringly new and different as possible. It would not settle and become one with the buildings around it, oh no, it was an individual.

Housing for the homeless was torn down and moved and gotten rid of so this beautiful monstrosity could squat over the entire block, housing no one, only fitting worker bees inside a useful building with a flamboyance that was beyond useful or necessary. The bill of course being footed by the people and for the people, because they deserve the best, except for those homeless sods, of course they should just leave. They are no longer welcome here in our pretty perfect town.

No more emergency shelter for them, the city needed a sharply angled giant building plus plaza to take up the entire area, this was more important, and the building showed it. It looked important and impressive. It was large, and expensive. And there would be no beds in there. Lots of rooms, but no beds. Lots of benches too. And trees. And the sun was shining with blue sky and fluffy clouds.

And everyone could see the impressive modern building in all its multicolored glory, no remnant of the sad apartment complex that used to be there. All the living and breathing and dying and eating, all that living moved somewhere, anywhere else. Now, this looked unused, like new, there would be working here but no living, no dying, no eating. Just working.

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Posted in Fiction, Uncategorized, Writing

Que Sera Sera — What Will Be, Will Be, Or How Twisting Reality Can be Fun

Doris Day recently had a birthday, and of course that reminds me of one of my favorite happy songs. I love the tragic so much, it is nice to like a happy song once in a while since different moods are important to writing for me.

They can make or break a story. I listened to Muse for my last writing prompt, which was depressingly dreary. But, a few years ago I would have ended that story differently.

I wrote a short story that isn’t on here back then about a cool blonde in a cafe, calmly waiting for a bomb to explode. A terrorist without a conscious willing to die amidst chaos because she can, her reasons weren’t explained because she was a cool cold collected character. What made her this way? Hard to say. If I wanted to write a longer version I might delve into her more to see why someone would casually throw away her life and the lives of others.

This time I wanted to explore a would be terrorist that as a kid, would not be fully desensitized to people and could still be ‘saved’ in a sense from being part of the machine of senseless destruction.

I wanted to get into the thought processes and how one makes a decision like this that affects so many people, so many strangers really. We can assume a whole swathe of people is one way or like this or that. But, when we know individuals we realize this is a simplistic way of looking at the world and nothing about reality is simple.

People are not inherently bad or good, they are everything in between, and most people have a rationale for their actions. Whether this rationale is logical or not it is still that person’s rationale for their actions.

A lot of times this is based on personal experience and assumptions, sometimes it is based on information that is readily available via the media. The old adage that if it is on TV it must be true, or the newer version, If it is on the internet it must be true is part of this problem.

Either way, if any of my short stories sparks some thought somewhere, good. Then I have done my job as a writer. To illustrate and propagate ideas and hopefully thoughts that can awaken the minds of the sleepers out there.

Honestly though, I just enjoy getting into the minds of people that are far removed from me, it is like untapped characters are exciting and intriguing. I like to get out of my skin and into another. Same reason I love fantasy and Science-Fiction so much. I like to take normal on its head, and tilt it. I get a perverse pleasure out of skewing reality.

Maybe it is because that is a magical power of a sort. To be able to take something mundane, add in a dash of a little experience and somehow voila; it is something extraordinarily weird. That kernel of truth is still in there, way deep in the center of the acorn hoping the astute reader can get to it amidst the layers of shiny metal and fire breathing dragons.