Nervous

Dark

dark hallwayThis is the story of one brave (?) boy and his need to go to the bathroom.

The boy lay in the bed, sleeping soundly. His chest rose. It fell. It rose again. The rhythm of a slow pulse, in and out, the coming and going of waves on the shore. Unexpectedly, a sharp intake of air and his eyes, blurry from sleep, cracked open. He was awake, and dimly aware of  one of the most basic needs; the need to go pee.

The nightlight at the far end of his room shone a comforting light, a sunlike glow across the warm peach painted walls and the soft carpet floor.

First things first, under the bed. The boy carefully got to the side of the bed, and like Spiderman hung his head carefully over the edge of the bed. Unlike Spiderman, he realized he did not have sticky hands and began to slip, causing him to scramble for a handhold anywhere on the loose duvet, which of course he didn’t find. A short tumble later, the boy was secure of two things:

  1. No monster under the bed.
  2. He was very awake.

Carefully picking himself back up to avoid the creaky parts of the floor, the boy snuck across the floor of his room to the door bordering his land, and the land of his brother. He guided the door open slowly. The door made all the noise in the world, much his chagrin, but his little brother slept soundly… for now.

Still, the boy knew what to do. He had a lot of practice with these floorboards, the hardwood a path of solid and creaky places to walk. Imagining himself a dashing adventurer, like Indiana Jones, the boy tip toed across the floor avoiding the noisy spaces like his heroes avoided the trapped squares.

*creaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaak* went the floor.

The boy stood stock still. Halfway to the door on the opposite side of the room, and he made the loudest noise he possibly could have, practically thunderous. His brother would surely wake up.

As luck would have it, the brother slept along, and the boy stood still for a whole minute listening to his brother breathe. Just to make sure. Couldn’t be too careful around sleeping people, he thought. When the coast was clear, the boy made sure to be more careful while stepping around.

After carefully navigating the rest of the room with all the agility of a heavy set sumo wrestler on tip toe, the boy finally made it to the door. This part, however, was tricky. Very tricky.

This part had the Dark.darkness-7

On the other side of this door was a long hallway, where the brother’s room was on one end and the parents on the other, both on the long wall. Next to the bedroom the boy stood in was the washroom, not more than 3 feet distance. One small step for man, but several small steps for the boy. During the day, this wasn’t a problem, but at night… the risk was great.

Down the hall, at the very end, lived the Dark. Again, no issues during the day; the Dark had to hide in the closet hidden in the wall next to the parent’s bedroom. This was fine, the boy thought, except it didn’t stay there. At night, the Dark left the closet and swallowed the end of the hall whole, creating nothing but pitch black emptiness there. The boy gently peeked around the door frame, just his eyes, to see if the coast was clear. It was not.

Even in the briefest second, the boy could tell the Dark saw him, and turned its unknowable being his way. It was aware; not only that, the boy could tell the Dark was famished, too.

The boy hadn’t seen the Dark eat anyone. He didn’t need to, because it was obvious to him what the Dark would do to you. The boy broke into a slight panic. He felt very uncomfortably hot all of a sudden, and his palms began to sweat. Unseen eyes stared at him through the walls, making his skin crawl. It was waiting for him.

With all the care he could muster, the boy pulled the door open again, edging towards the boundaries between where it was safe and where he knew it wasn’t. The moonlight from the window across him lazily illuminated the area in front of him, showing the short-but-altogether-too-long distance between him and the washroom door. Sneaking a peek leftwards again, the boy could see the Dark preparing to move. It already lapped greedily at the moonlight, like a cat licking a bowl of milk. Still, its eyes were set on the boy. and the boy knew that once he’d made his move, he’d have to be fast.

Breathing deeply, skin crawling, the boy counted to three in his head. On one, he locked eyes with the bathroom door. On two, he checked the end of the hall to make sure the Dark was staying still. On three, he made a break for it.

He dared not look back as he practically lept to the washroom, and slammed the door behind him. He wasn’t sure, but the boy thought he heard the silent whisper of shadows slashing at the door. After a few moments, the sounds stopped and the house was deathly quiet again.
With that done, it was a normal routine. A wisp of moonlight peeped into the bathroom through a tiny window high up the far wall. The light bounced around the mirrors that covered almost every surface, allowing him to see many versions of himself in a row. Behind him was another version of him, his face unchanging, and another one behind that until infinite. The boy dared not say a word; in every reflection, the dark of another world hung behind the boy like a shadowy pall. He stared down, away from the disturbing mirrors of other worlds. A quick trip to the sink to wash his hands, and then it was time to go back to bed. scary mirror

He crept to the door and opened it a crack to see the end of the hall. The Dark was still there, waiting for the boy to dare to cross its territory. Little by little, the boy could see the darkness move towards him, and the hallway got darker by the second as the light was swallowed by the nightmarish monster.

Although no one else would hear it, the boy heard the Dark make a hollow growl, a tenebrous noise that chilled his heart. The boy had to move. Now.

He threw the door open and dashed for the bedroom. The Dark pounced, its deep murky threat instantly replaced with sharp, pointed malice as the shadow devoured the moonlight in the hall. Sprinting, the boy ran as fast as he could over the creaky floor of his brother’s room. He felt the cold touch of the Dark on his ankle, a near miss. It chased him still, snarling, swallowing any light in its way.

The boy practically dove into his bed head-first, using his duvet to create a protective dome around him, drawing all the little holes closed and securing any possible weakness. Just in time too; the Dark slammed into duvet, repeatedly. In the dark of the dome, the boy was alone, surrounded, and faintly crying to himself as the assault continued for what felt like hours.

Eventually, the beating at the walls stopped. The boy lay curled in a ball, breathing in his own fear and stress. The lack of oxygen was causing him to feel dizzy, but he dared not lift the duvet. He could still feel where the Dark had touched him, his ankle numb, empty and cold from the experience. The boy would stay like this for a while before finally being forced to surface for air, and eventually start the process of falling asleep again in the glow of his nightlight.

The following morning, the boy’s father would get up and walk to the bathroom. He would look at the door, and with an exasperated sigh make a mental note to grab a can of white paint for the three gashes in the door.5jr64

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Fluidity in Life

Relationships are fluid.

Tonight, I went and celebrated the proper opening night of Todd’s show. Tonight was the advertised opening night, free for a fee to the public. Since I went last night to the private free show, I made sure to spend tonight relaxing and getting ready for his big cast party.

The cast parties are something we’ve always shared. It’s a party held on opening night of a play, used to show the accolades of the cast and crew of the show, and then drink copious amounts of booze and dance drunkenly with everyone. Back in first year, when Todd was just scratching the surface of these shows, he’d come to show his support for the upper years. Not only that, but it was a good excuse for me to go out once in awhile when I wasn’t shackled to my computer talking to Lorelai on screen. The tradition continued, with Todd and a number of other friends going out to enjoy a few beers, and dance the night away to awful music.

The past couple of times have seemed different, however. See, it’s been 4 years already. 4 years that were far too long, and way too short too. Time slogged past me it seemed, but in reality it was flying. And here was Todd, once a first year dramatic arts student, now a trained actor. He climbed to the top of his class, where so many had failed. Tonight was his night, the opening night of the most virtuosic work he had done to date. He was the lead in a 2 hour long show, where he was present in every scene and decided the fate of the play. He did excellently, and tonight was his &%$#ing night to SHINE.

I got to the cast party right on time; just as I entered, the whole stream of cast and crew rampage forth from the side door, whooping and calling, blowing bubbles and blowing kisses. The speeches were loud, emphatic. Full of energy. Nothing could go wrong tonight, no sir.

There was a big difference in how it all worked out. Todd was the life of the party now: he was the lead. He was a King for a day, a dream for so many people, or a distant truth from a long time ago for most. He was lording in it, loving it, and making sure that tonight was the best damn cast party he ever had, as it was truly his last within that setting. He had every reason to “max it up” as it were.

Here I was, however, sitting in the corner, nursing my pint of Keith’s (which was watery, funny enough. Maybe it’s because I’ve been drinking Okanagan beer so much lately) and feeling… resentful?

No, that wasn’t it. Todd obviously is my friend. I’m not going to be resentful of his shining moment. I was sad though, and it took me a while of sitting and drinking to figure it out.

Every good friendship has a core. That core is unshakable, and once founded is really hard to break. That’s why people can be friend over massive distances for huge spans of time. It’s essential to every good friendship; however, there is more. Around that core is a fluffy layer of contemporary thought, A.K.A shit that’s going on right now. Friends who hang out a lot have a lot of that fluffy part, whereas friends who are far apart have only the core holding themselves tethered to one another. It’s not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but it does happen.

I could feel it happening. The fluff? It was going or already gone in a sense. Things were already different. Todd was celebrating his time alright, but it wasn’t with me anymore, or the rest of the guys. Not the same way. Can I blame him? Of course not, but it still taught me a valuable lesson.

Relationships are fluid, and depend entirely on context.

That might not be how things OUGHT to be; my claim is meant to be descriptive, not normative. Relationships can change quickly based on what context they’re being put into. Right now, Todd’s relationship with me was a core. Nothing more, nothing less. Honestly, it makes me sad, though it shouldn’t, and not in ways most would expect.

Since I know that I can’t be mad at Todd for what he’s doing, I am sad because I know it signifies the end of something we had. We had a tight knit relationship; but after 4 years of university, he’s graduating. Meanwhile I will still be in school, and that status change alone will cause our friendship to be something different, whether I like it or not.

All of this thinking relates to time. A common theme for me these past couple of weeks has been time; the passing, the coming, the going. My time with Todd’s friendship as it stands is coming to an end, and I can feel it. It’s almost palpable. Time seems to keep… flowing, going, dragging with it a lot of things that I will never have again. Nothing (Save for Nothingness, I suppose), with time, is solid and stable; unless you believe in a God of some sort, but since I can’t do that, the only thing that will be guaranteed to be stable is me and whatever/whoever else I can place my trust in not to. Even then, I will change too, and already have I’m sure.

This change is nonstop. You can’t rest, even if for a moment, and you won’t as you’ll see change all around you can there will be nothing you can do to slow it down. I can handle it. I know I can; but sometime, it just feels like it’s too much.

People told me that time was gonna fly, that change was going to happen, and that people would go in and out of my life. This shouldn’t be a surprise to me at all.

I just wish it all a bit slower, that’s all.

It’s Gettin’ Close…

It’s that time again.  The time when the air goes cold, large yellow buses terrorize the neighbourhood, and even the trees have the good sense to think, “fuck this shit, I’m going to bed.”

Yes, it’s getting close to fall boys and girls.  A season which would be much more majestic and beautiful had it not been for the horrifying return of our most feared institutions: the school.

So with that in mind, we have to remember to take everything we face with a grain of salt, and a sense of humour.  Today, I present to you probably the most comprehensive guide to surviving a university environment in a vivid, colourful format.  Please take the time to watch it carefully. (WARNING: NSFW, or young ears!)

Tomorrow Might Or Might Not Be Awesome

I haven’t decided yet.

On one end, I have the promise of a Band reading, with free food, followed up by a visit to a friend’s house where I will likely play HoN and Smash Bros. ’til it’s no longer healthy.  On the other, I have a really early lesson, a class, and the a theory midterm that I am no longer confident for anymore.

So I’m not sure if tomorrow will be awesome or not.  It’s not that it will be bad, but if that mid term doesn’t work out, it’s bad news bears.

On my lawn, eating my garbage, chewing on passing dogs before the city zoo catches them and puts them back in the cage.

Here’s hoping my studying pays off!

On another bunch of notes, I know I owe everyone a scathing review of a movie.  I know that I owe everyone some more podcasts, and a wicked YouTube video.  Here’s the thing: the movie review? It’s long, and I don’t know how I left off the way I did anymore.  I’ll need to rewatch that movie first, maybe sometime this weekend.

The YouTube video? I have no idea what I can do on it right now.  I don’t have a camera aside from the one on my computer, which means the video would have to be, in essence, a video podcast.

And if you thought my radio casting was terrible already, I’m not much to look at either: however, if anyone has any ideas for the podcast, be sure to let me know.  I really want to put one together, it’s having an audience that gives a shit whether I do or don’t that’s giving me pause.

Oh well.  Either way, tomorrow should be good.

-Phil

I’m Baaaaa-aaaaaack

What the fluff is this nonsense?

Where am I? Who are you? What happened to my house? And why am I naked?!

Oh thank god, that’s my reflection.  Hey! Looking good after the holidays champ.  Now you look like a beached walrus.

Speaking of walruses… no, not speaking of walruses.  I have nothing to say about them.

Although I’m sure they’re about as surprised to end up in a zoo as I am ending up here.

Well, welcome back to school, me.  Let’s kick this pig!!! Walrus.  Thing.

A New Decade

Canada, mother^%$#ers! That's Parliament!

Yes, this is roughly a day late.

Happy 2010 everyone, and I hope that the year is looking as bright for you as it is for me!

You know those things, new years resolutions? I never really liked them.  They are annoying, hard to remember, and forgotten completely in a week.  Instead, I’m thinking of a list of goals.  Goal is a much more solid word, and it’s clearly defined, making it easy to write it down on paper and remember.

So, instead of paper, I’ve got this blog, so here are my goals for the new year.

1.  Practice Euphonium for 2 hours a day, at least 6 days a week.  Maybe then I won’t suck!
2.  Spend a maximum of 2 hours a day in the student lounge.  This is likely going to be the hardest one, since the lounge sucks you into it and never ever lets you go.
3.  Spend at least 1 hour a day in the gym, 3 times a week.  I need this, since I’m now getting… rotund, and I’m losing man muscle.
4.  Read 1-2 books a month.  I haven’t read a lot in the past… decade, and would like to learn to love reading again.  Any suggestions?
5.  Learn to play the main theme of the Carnival of Venice.  Since that shit is da BOMB.
6.  I really need to stay in contact with the ‘rents more, so I’m calling them once a week.  That should keep them occupied, right?
7.  My reading week will be a week of epicness.  What I mean is, anything I do will be done epicly: holding spooons, playing piano, playing cards, and even hugging Lorelai will all be epiced.  I even promise to do one epic video to post on YouTube.  It will be EPIC.
8.  My idea to use chopsticks instead of all cutlery? A little standoff-ish; however, I will use chopsticks instead of a fork, every time.  That should be doable, right?
9.  Make a CD of music I’ve played, and give copies to my family; but if you guys want some too, I’ll post MP3s somewhere.

So those are my New Year GOALS.  ^%$# resolutions… weak ass word anyway…

What about you?

Finals Are Like Megaman Bosses

If I had to categorize University Finals as anything, it’d be like Megaman bosses.

Why? Because they all come back at the end to kick your sorry ass one last time before finally letting you win.

This year wasn’t so bad, and could have been a lot better had I planned better, got on things earlier, and just been a better student; but I wasn’t, so I pretty much knocked myself over, beat the shit out of myself, tossed a rag on to my ragged, bleeding self and said “Clean yourself up.”

See, I’ve played concerts in the Wind Ensemble, taught kids how to play an instrument I had no clue how to teach, wrote a paper that was made of crap, created a presentation that never fully saw the light of day, and a theory exam which I’m sure is going to ambush my mark from behind and give it a new hole from which to excrete waste, to put it politely.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, compares to what is going to happen at 6 PM on December the 14th, which is today actually as of 26 minutes ago.

I am going to dress in a monkey suit, and grab Gary the euphonium, and then walk into a room with nothing more than a desk between me and 3 judges who plan on tearing apart my playing skill with the ruthless savagery of a Raging Kavu.

I cannot fall asleep, since I’m not even tired.  But I am.  Which is strange, considering I have had a long day so far and should fall asleep like that.

Damnit, didn’t work.

In any case, nervous as hell, and I’m really not looking forward to my jury.  At all.

Well, here’s to more posts from me in the near future, and an announcement of a secret project that might take a lot of time away from this blog, and put it into another idea…

-Phil