Dorian at Aerynd University

While attending Aerynd University I avoided most social circles, believing they’d peak beneath my mask and judge me inappropriate – or worse, inadequate.  Around friends, I remained shy as if they were strangers because facades kept everyone at an arm’s length.  It was simpler to cover my self-consciousness and inferiority beneath masks, that were fashioned for inclusion by adopting specific friend-interests, and sub-cultures, and abandoning my own.  I made myself look like a light skinned gypsy with the manners of a gentleman.  I brought what I learned from Blithedale, to be a person, anyone could share their sordid family life with.

I attended Aerynd University’s art’s conservatory, The Waterfront Annex, from 2047-2051; none of the traditional professional studies interested me so I constructed my own on graphic fiction.

While attending Aerynd University, in Biell, I appeared in final project student films “Noh” by Johann Tronberg and “Chimera” by F. Rohrbach.  I began dating Jeremy Schwach.  While I studied graphic fiction, Jeremy majored in music & production to be a DJ.  At the Annex 2051 Graduation Show, Jeremy’s composition “Megalodon,” retold the global environmental impact of the Monolith’s electromagnetic storms in 2012 & 2103.  The depth of his work became the talk of the University, which had promised him a serious future that failed to materialize.  Instead, my graduating short story cycle, Snow, was a collaborative effort with Ian Jimenez, who provided static and sequential mixed-media illustration for my stories, yielded a Tilael Publishing contract for my original graphic-serial Babalon’s War; Ian’s woodcarving illustrations garnered him an agent.

The success of Snow gave me the ability to move into the Langham, in Caentibiry, amongst vagabonds, ecchi, socialists, and anarchists; rather than go home after graduation.

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Dorian & Brent

Immediately after my sixteenth birthday, I left the flotillas and headed to the family estate in Pentapolis of the Valley.  I was determined to attend Aerynd University’s Waterfront Annex conservatory.  I backpacked my way across Bharat, working as an Bliethdale artist’s model; I never considered myself the prettiest, but I smiled deceptively locking myself in another mind.

As I crossed Bharat I met an Ascomanni, Brent, who acted as muscle to protect models from overly amorous artists and auteurs.  He was a a few years older than me.  Brent had a strong secure beach body, that had a thick mat of auburn brown chest hair.  Brent was different than the flotilla boys, he engaged in rough-housing, and the closest I knew that summer to camp-adventures.  Overall, being in his company made one feel protected no matter what.  Brent made me feel as if I could tell him I was ecchi and not be thrown in the trash.  I never told him but I like to pretend he knew and was kind to help me.  I wouldn’t have minded if Brent was my first kiss (he wasn’t).

Since Brent was Blithedale security we were all able to go at night, and play in the bars and clubs without being molested by Bharat’s governing class.  With Brent around yacht-parties off the coast became available to us, and were regularly indulged because of the ability to easily procure poppy java and salvia cigarettes.  On one weekend, a group of us models and security were invited to dine and sunbathe on the Blithedale local chairman.  As we were walking the deck to lunch inside, Brent ran up and grabbed me around the waist, to throw both of us into the pool.  I’m a good sport and laughed after catching my breath.  I was flustered and flushed that Brent had been so close to me – with his shirt off no less!

The Blithedale Chairman asked Brent if I was as much a paper weight as I looked.

I was hurt – my emotional high did not even get to last a full moment, let alone minute; I had never heard the term ‘paperweight’ before.

Brent chuckled.  “He’s as light as he looks.”    Brent picked me up again, this time cradled in his arms (swoon!) and – saying “Fun to throw around!” – he again threw me in the water.

After Bharat, I took an ocean-liner back to Biell, in The Valley.

Dorian After the Blithedale Scandal

Dorian After the Blithedale Scandal 1I turned my time with Blithedale into the novel Vagabond’s Ways, which was met by critical acclaim.  The novel presented readers with the outre challenge of piecing together the history of an unconventional polygamous experience, far removed from social and political expectations.  Despite detailing experiences outside of readers’ experiences Vagabond’s Ways’ popularity caught Tilael Publishing unprepared.  My success overshadowed Ian Jimenez’s painting career that to had sputtered due to political controversy.  Eventually the stress of divergent career trajectories led to their break-up, which I responded to by throwing himself into work at Ego’s Own.  At the time, I thought we were different but we weren’t.  Ian smiled to confuse, and I talked; he was egocentric, and I thought myself unique.

After the Blithedale Scandal, friendship and old-fashioned dating were off the table.  Alone, I would smoke salvia walking through Caentibiry and wondered if my ex-boyfriends wondered about me the same ways I’ve about them?  I was sure they hadn’t because when I dreamt of ex-boyfriends, I gave them the relationship that wasn’t possible with me.  I omnisciently observe their typical day: wake up, go to work (recording or art studio), then happily home to husbands.  They were good boyfriends, just not good for me; they were someone else’s happy relationship.

When I haven’t been in a romantic relationship, the friendships I had with unattainable men quickly fizzle.  He did not need to be the most attractive, but needed to be surrounded by the most.  I relied on presenting myself as the ice cold, eye-rolling, label-less one.  The bonds that were attempted consistently had an expectation of friend with benefit situation.  I found those that took that route to be overbearing, as shallow as I pretended to be, or what I used for a mask was their true personality.  Do straight women need to flirt to begin male friendships?

For the next two years, I curated a collection of coffetable autobiographic fiction by Huxia artists, which detailed the Genesis Revolution’s effects on their ecology and culture. Continue reading “Dorian After the Blithedale Scandal”

Dorian’s Want for Birthday Parties

The power went out on my block last night, delaying yesterday’s Vagabond Ways themed post.

***

Growing up I wanted a surprise birthday party a home filled with joy and people that wanted to be there – like what I saw in my mom and dad’s old blu-rays.  That dream never come true, even in grade-school when it was mandatory to report to a classmate’s birthday.  What I feared was not getting older, but that no one would come to a birthday for me.  My parents’ constant migration following the Huxia Rejenys flotillas, based upon access to knowledge and culture that would help them in their accumulations, kept my social circle small and intimate to just myself and my books.

While in Huxia, my parents celebrated my sixteenth milestone two months late because they couldn’t be bothered to take time off from research and worship.  I stopped sending invitations and chose to ignore celebration, taking enjoyment only from cards – and then settle for Facebook birthday posts.  My birthday became where I learned to exist within the cracks, becoming the excuse for wanting to avoid any fuss that would draw attention.

Eventually, at 16 I left the flotillas and headed to the family estate in Pentapolis of the Valley, working my way across Bharat as an artist’s model; I never considered myself the prettiest, but I smiled deceptively locking myself in another mind.  After Bharat, I took an ocean-liner back to Biell, in The Valley.  Having graduated high school early I treated what would’ve been senior year as a skip year.  During this time, I hung with the freaks and the wild ones, drank and got into drugs.  I lived hard in every moment. I joined Blithedale, and met Michel Caillois, who I wanted to teach me how everything worked.

At Aerynd University I avoided most social circles, believing they’d peak beneath my mask and judge me inappropriate – or worse, inadequate.  Around friends, I remained shy as if they were strangers because facades kept everyone at an arm’s length.  It was simpler to cover my self-consciousness and inferiority beneath masks, that were fashioned for inclusion by adopting specific friend-interests, and sub-cultures, and abandoning my own.

The Vagabond’s Identity Part 1

My father owned the third largest architecture firm, that was contracted by The Society to redesign Caentibiry Alley.  My mother was a classically trained dancer and teacher.  My parents’ wealth allowed me to grow up in the privileged district of the City of Flowers in Biell.

I spent my childhood in Vargaria and Huxia, where as a family we converted to Rejenys.  Growing up I wanted to be a graphic fiction writer, with stories published in genre collections and periodicals. At 16, I worked my way across Bharat as an artist’s model.  I never considered myself the prettiest, but I smiled deceptively locking myself in another mind.

After Bharat, I took an ocean-liner back to Biell, in The Valley.  Having graduated high school early I treated what would’ve been senior year as a skip year.  During this time, I hung with the freaks and the wild ones, drank and got into drugs.  I lived hard in every moment. I joined Blithedale, and met Michel Caillois, who I wanted to teach me how everything worked. Continue reading “The Vagabond’s Identity Part 1”

Dorian & Lorelei

Dorian Iacchus sat across from Lorelei Saunders, respective cups of Qi’s poppy java between them.  Both forwent breakfast for smoking own salvia cigarettes.

Dorian leaned forward on the wrought-iron coffee table, his ankles crossed beneath the wooden chair.  His red hair was pushed beneath a brown knit hat.  Brown round-rimmed sunglasses sat atop his head.  Dorian had on a white t-shirt and an unbuttoned white, red, and blue flannel.  His black jeans were rolled above the ankle revealing his blue socks.  Dorian had on camel ankle boots; a leather messenger bag hung from the back of the chair.

Lorelei sat cross-legged heavily smoking her salvia, as she leaned back.  She had her blonde, pink, and magenta hair in a messy-bun.  Aviator sunglasses were on her nose, and a black and gold clutch sat on the table.  Lorelei had on a black romper, which was accented by a large orange-trimmed brown belt.  There was a matching colored silk scarf around her neck.  Lorelei had on Grecian heels.

The two had met in journalism ethics while attending Aerynd University, and then numerous classes until graduation.  They were inseparable.  While Ian and Jared filled his nights, Lorelei filled his days and weekends.  Often, the other was a great deal more pleasurable to be around than who they were having sex with.

Lorelei was the type of friend completely accepted another person as they are.  She’s the rare person that shares what she has, and the even rarer person who gladly gives up what she must to improve another’s standing.  Lorelei allowed people to drop their masks and be themselves.  In the instance of Dorian, he had found a person with similar proclivities underground Blithedale.  Both Dorian and Lorelei were voracious readers and deeply empathic, making each an ideal conversationalist for the other; smart enough to grasp references & allusions without explanation.  They remained friends through their successful endeavors: she became an associate editor/writer for FETCH magazine; Dorian became a popular graphic fiction writer and curator.

It had been just over three years since Lorelei and Dorian had seen each other.  The fault in their disconnection laid with Dorian.  After Jared broke up with Dorian it was a dark time.  He could no longer deal with people around, so he pushed all his support systems away.  Dorian had been convinced everything had to be done alone.

Dorian flicked his salvia butt into a drainage canal, pulled a second from his pack of 21, and lit it.  Exhaling deeply Dorian asked, “Interested in going to Huxia?”

Dorian on a balcony

Dorian stood on the balcony, a salvia cigarette dangled from his lips and a hot cup of poppy java was in his hands.  The sun was beginning to rise over the flotilla of interlocking boats.  The village floated around the remaining economic and political centers of Indonesia, as if spokes around a hub.

Beneath him, small merchant paddle boats navigated the space between the larger boats, bringing the quiet early morning to life.  As the merchants shouted their goods, the women came out to the decks of their homes and bartered for supplies.

Dorian flicked his cigarette into the green-brown water and sipped his coffee, watching the kiosks move on to the next large grouping.  Lighting a second marijuana cigarette Dorian went inside his room and got dressed.  Then Dorian went into his suitcase and grabbed a mat, placing it in his daybag.

Dorian left the boat, using the planks that connected each of the boats.  He stopped in the nearest aqua-square, and made his way to the large platform in the middle.  In the back Dorian unrolled his mat and knelt down, joining the other Jenysis practitioners.

Common Disaster

Common Disaster (Earphones)Jeremy Schwach was born in 2029 in the sunny multicultural Revenants, an only child.  His father, a member of the Praetorian Guard turned Masonric Corp engineer, wanted a better life for the family so he moved the family up the Messipi River to the very poor Port Town, in 2035; because Mid-Atlantic and Appalachian Mountain tectonic plate convergent zones caused subduction impossible to mitigate, or, in some cases, even to live with.  Sea levels rose covering the Carolinas to the eastern city-states and inland to I-95.  The east coast water is completely toxic with unknown quantities of sewage, fuel, and industrial chemicals, which have killed all sea life; vandals have lit the surface slicks on fire; Boston burned until 2016.  Every coastal city-state suffered losses in the eighty to ninety percent range.  The loss of 15% of its territory to the ocean, the loss of some of the most populated, symbolic, and valuable coastal city-states reduced the NAU to a loose collection of anarchist city-states.  The government of the NAU relocated to Arapahoe, becoming buildings full of ineffective men and women, lacking a treasury, an organized military, a reliable communications system. Continue reading “Common Disaster”

The Lone Vagabond

The Lone VagabondI stood, dressed in a vintage 50/50 Merc-Tile shirt and Adidas track pants, in front of my leather lined full length mirror, holding both outfits critiquing for all flaws or compliments; examining and modifying for the best narrative.  The first was J. Crew dark jeans, blue Gant Rugger cardigan, denim grey colored shirt by Band of Brothers, and Ralph Lauren shoes.  The second outfit was all Sean John: a brown leather racing jacket, black crewneck sweater, dark vintage wash jeans, and white shelltop shoes.

It had been two years since Ian Jimenez; four years since ending with Jeremy Schwach.  I believed they were different, but they weren’t.  Both smiled to confuse, while I talked; they were egocentric, but I thought myself unique.  They were cowards asking opinions like collecting pebbles, demanding emotional risks from others.  I expected others to provide answers I was not willing to discover; I read greedily choosing pieces of others’ ideas to get through situations with a minimal guilt.  To help with this delusion conversations and gestures were considered foreign languages to be deciphered.  I had dated but remained perpetually single, only selecting those that were unavailable either emotionally, physically, or by lifestyle; there was no risk of fault or blame when everything went wrong; I only wanted the appearance of trying, that way people felt sympathy.  “Dating is difficult,” they’d say and stop asking questions, so I could stay safe by not including anything that wasn’t previously established.

Continue reading “The Lone Vagabond”

A Vagabond’s Ways

A Vagabond's Ways            Pentapolis of the Valley’s number one vagabond dancehall is Etica, populated by the alienated, underweb-hackers, punks and clubbers equally.

The exterior of Etica is an uncomplicated warehouse, like any in Noex along Wuthering Canal.  The area began as an extension of Parkfront, which had been a vacation spot until it was overtaken by the 1899 formation of Landing Alley, the Valley’s main shopping district.

Underneath the dancehall are large drainages, returning water from the end of the alley-canals.  The mini-waterfalls were loud enough to be heard on the other side of the dancehall, where the line formed at the door of the once abandoned building.  It was originally constructed between 1843 and 1846, acting as a distribution for dry goods, and turned into a taxi depot in the 1930s.  It remained a depot until it was gutted by a fire in the 1960s.  Afterwards, the space was occupied by a seafood restaurant, a movie theatre, a dance school, and a bagel shoppe before being foreclosed during the recession of 2011.  Artistes and hackers made the warehouse their home and park during the years the building was foreclosed.  The hackers decorated the main floor with neon graffiti espousing integration with the underweb. In 2014 the squatter groups worked together to collect technology, drugs, and experiences to create a 24/7/365 model of communal vagabond culture.  The two social groups hybridized into a new caste of vagabonds, state identified as citizens lacking education, employment, or training – CLEET. They see the future as currency, founded in a belief in amalgamation leads to a better whole. Vagabonds believe the future belongs to them, that they do not have to adhere to a median standard life. Vagabonds spread their ideology by utilizing The Stream, further cultivating a sub-culture and style that capitalized in their outsider status. Then in 2043 FETCH magazine did a holiograph expose, “Harbingers of the Future,” on the original CLEET graffiti, bringing to attention of a capitalist who saw its appeal as a vagabond dancehall, a utopia of meaningful fun.

[For The Compete Short Story Click the PDF Below]

(2054) Vagabond’s Ways, A