Monday, 15 February 2021 I am home now..., for Kimya

... so I am home now..., for Kimya

There is a familiar shadow breathing in the top left corner of the bedroom. Inhale nightlight patterns, exhale purple and blue and green-gold. Dream colors sink into your blankets so you wake up warm even when the heating has been broken for days. 

When your lungs hold the light, your eyes can delight in the listening.

That is this creature. 

They are small and they cling. They cling in a friendly way they cling like geckos playing with gravity like jump rope before dinner in the summertime. They are a prism. They take the one thing, that one last thing that makes you feel safe enough to fall asleep and they project it across the horizon in more than our rainbows, in colors only birds can see.

They are a friendly old sentinel. This animal has seen stuffed animals and photo frames and posters and guitar stands dance around the room, waltz in and out and into obscurity or childhood legend. They live in many small rooms across the world at once. Weaving the smallest secrets into an extra dimension of space for you to grow into. Many, many animals take up space in beautiful ways. We rarely see one for whom it is a by-product.

This animal was born curled up, huddled in a litter and it remembers this in the figures crowded into the bedroom some nights at the end of a party. Gentle lamplight still dancing on the walls and someone you had a crush on dreaming of a pirate ship smashing through the wall to take us all on an adventure. This animal thinks, remembers, concludes family is the people you choose to come with you. So they don't mind being adopted all alone. Sometimes going with is also simply waiting for you to get back. Still, they are just beginning.

When someone goes to bed alone, this creature sings. This is rare. We usually have ourselves to sing us to sleep and thoughts to spill over our quilts and comforters and into the dusk, littering the street. Sometimes, one of us goes to bed truly alone. Something has gone quiet or was worn out of us and we cannot keep ourselves company. 

When this happens, the size of the room no longer matters. They cling Deep. Our research indicates that to them, it feels like digging their toes down into warm beach sand. They dig into the empty space and they find you in your alone room. So now it is not an alone room. Now they are singing in all the spaces and you can sleep. Even those of us who are no longer sure what is and is not alone.

We thought we might name them after a constellation, but it turns out we all call them different things. Who knew. For an adoption agency in an uninhabited galaxy, our navigation charts are excitingly disparate. 

You can name this creature. Again and again and again, if you like. Names slip off like gecko tails to feed hungry strangers. Each one grows in different.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Japanese tea ceremony, for Ben

This is a post-rubble animal. It lives where no one remembers a disintegration. Chasing dust motes and imagining the breaths between fall and settle and crack and shift and particle clumps tumbling off edges. It doesn’t quite breathe.  

There are loads of trails on caves and under the sand so when you make a castle on vacation it gurgles from underneath. It burrows down and invites all the things that might have been buried under asphalt elsewhere to come and play. The small insects dance along behind it, but it cannot quite break them out of the amber. Other, smaller ones, gather around and it shows them into between layers. Sheets on your bed, limescale edge on the showerhead that sprays water over the wall, layers of pudding in your parfait. 

It listens to you sleep in order to practise closing its eyes. Again and again and again and again, and it blinks the night away. Someday, we hope it learns that nobody has earned the stars. Bright and dark and sweaty backs and glimpses out the window to the trees that are only shadows. 

Whispers over your shoulders and pressing on your walls that you only dream of on the overpass.

Petrarch on the hill, for A. T.

It is a very small protozoa and it burrowed deep into the ground and it watches our pans sizzle and our beds get made and our kettles boil and our infrared calls to other places and different animals mostly like us.

It thinks that it can grow flowers above the ground or disintegrate titanium to build ghostly aircraft.

So far, it only makes us wonder if the last popcorn kernel could have been nice to eat without setting off the fire alarm.

why hugging makes us feel better when we're sad, for Kate

An animal lived next to me for a while. We just observe the animals, I know. But one did live next to me. 

It is long. It has scales that sort of separate, all of them. So it suddenly covers small gaps over your gutters and little rain comes through. It just followed pipelines all the time. Gutters or trenches or ditches or little rivulets down the pavement. It splashes in them. Or it swims or drinks them or saves them and expels large quantities so suddenly all the grass is underwater and you can see all the pill bugs and stick insects and termites very clearly. Clear colours and sharp outlines and glistening exoskeletons and you don’t really see it, it just drifts. Always nearby.

When I was asleep, it would fill the room with water through the window, and the edges would all be split, and I would just be in the water. Cold or swiftly moving towards parked cars and underpasses and needles and stone and beach fires on the other side of a high drop. Or something below all the water. Pressure and ghost droplets and still. 

It is glistening and slipped disks and sustained spreading of webbed fingers. Calls through submerged telegraph wires. Twitching hairs in our ear canals, ink veins in sinews left by deep tattoo needles. Intake of breath with you, every time. Narrowing the frequency of your neuronic bandwidth. 

It is an every-shifting vibrating of still. Do you know that these animals don’t really end? But we do not try to catch them.

serendipity and its infinite sadness and joy, for tassos

Once there is a rock. It’s a friendly rock. It sits in the starlight or under the ice or in a meadow of warm sand. It doesn’t wish anything because it’s a very small stone. But it casts shadows. And the ice starts to melt on one side and not the other. Sand grazes on it and the atoms in it slow or speed even when the starlight is not directly on it. It took us so, so very long to discover this stone; anything that can hold on to something on this planet. That can stop something. That can cast a spell longer than itself to keep several centimetres of the pond frozen enough to skate on.

We have some very small animals that like to skate in the spring.

Some of our animals listen near the stone and some lick the heads of future animals that rest on top to rid them of moss spores and microscopic spiders. Because future animals like their outer molecules to ricochet a litter faster than the rest of them. Some of our animals we never ever found and the bravest of animals and the most technologically equipped of us suspect that those animals contributed to the rock. Jagged bits exposed by softer bits sing in the wind, and we see the lungs of something very invisible and very, very far unfurling.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Are the people who design cars aware that their designs look more and more like giant training shoes, for Emma

This will probably be a brilliantly coloured animal. They drink freezies from Wendys and they like to kiss lizards and they imagines they live in the moon, man the fucking moon. Or maybe they actually lived on Saturn. They also live here. They have made loads of burritos and plastic watches and small mechanical beetles that solve intricate mazes. We believe they intend to sell them to astronauts if they ever make it as far as Saturn, but for them, this has already happened, so they are just keeping the stock updated. 

Then run laps but they cannot operate stopwatches. They spend most of their time sitting and making ice cubes, really. We don't know how they do it and the ice cubes are way too cold, like, they'll freeze your drink. But we watch them freeze bits of dirt and construct pointilist math equations and very miniature zoos and we wonder what they're missing. 

The look out to the stars a lot through a telescope. Just a toy one. It's a long way to your place, they imagine. We tell them it's a long way to anywhere. They offer us a burrito. Sour cream and refried beans in the gear holes. They tap their toes and imagine very small creatures jumping from star to star to nebula to planet to asteroid, tracing geometric sentences all across the tiny plastic lens.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

practising the piano for years but never quite getting good, for Emily

This animal is grey. They are gradual. Like eating cereal on a dreary Tuesday morning. They smile, but not so you'll see it very often. They are kind. They clean the fireplace when you are not watching, so you can sleep without worrying about chimney smoke suffocating you. They arr mostly clean. You may pretend they catch mice. But they don't. They are methodical for stretches,  or they are resting, or they are building miniature cities out of sticks in the backyard.

We haven't seen this animal with many friends. But we can't see a number of our animals anyway, so we don't really know. They like raspberry wine in a saucer. Or wood shavings in a smile pile under its pillow. We'd suggest making them a very plush silk pillow. They will live for quite a while, we imagine. And their dreams etch the entire solar system with the sounds our segment of outer space would make if it wasn't a vacuum.