mercoledì, agosto 24, 2005

The Dream II

The Dream II
By Eddie G.

The beauty about Dreams is that each and every one of your desires, however pure or wanton, is allowed to fester. In your Dreamworld, you are faced with the juxtaposition of being uninhibited by your conscience, yet at the same time bound by the whims and fancies of your subconscious. And only in your Dreams are you both participant and spectator.

It was just another day in College. I, by fate of some incomprehensible happenstance, was early and the only one in the Lecture Theatre. It shared distinct similarities with its Real-Life counterpart, yet held very stark differences. The tables and corresponding benches were aligned in one general direction, all except for the one in which I occupied. It was the third row from the front and, as the Good Book so aptly puts it, ‘let him who has understanding [make sense of it]’.

One by one the students began to stream in, and words of curt greeting were exchanged with each and every student who whisked by. No one seemed to notice my wayward arrangement, nor did they bother. It gave me the inclination to do likewise. I forgot their faces soon afterwards, for it made no difference. This Dream was not going to be about them.

And then she came and sat down right next to me.

I recognized her face. I knew it all to well. It was a face that riddled my College life with joy, sorrow, laughter and apprehension, sometimes all at the same time. As the lecture progressed, the line that separated Dreamstate and Reality began to waver in and out of conscious existence. My mind began to replay real-life snippets of whenever she had sat next to me. It wasn't long at all before I began to wonder whether I was dreaming or truly awake.

Until, that is, the moment when she placed her hand in mine.

Our eyes locked briefly, before my gaze swiveled down to where my hand was. Her hand was still there, holding mine. The feeling was indescribable, and yet it carried with it a rueful knowing that all this wasn't real.

But then again, what is?

Around us, the scenery began to change, almost like a systematic tear-down and build-up of an acting set. Everything, save for the wayward bench, had changed.

We now sat by the beach, facing the silverblack horizon, with soft moonlight bouncing of the silky ripples of the ocean. Immersed by the lulling rhythm of the crashing waves, she snuggled closer to me, not saying a word. I merely sat there, neither resisting nor reciprocating, reflecting on how I would have reacted had this all been real.

But it was real. At least for the next few hours. Her eyes, her hair, her perfume, her smile, they seemed pretty real enough. Her voice, when it parted from her lips, would in all its beauty put the Sirens to shame.

"You look scared," she said.

"I am."


"Because I don't know what to expect from you. I never do."

"But I told you not to expect anything from me to begin with," she tossed her hair playfully to one side.

"So why the sudden change of heart?"

"There never was a change of heart on my part," she warned, "I still hope you're not expecting anything from me."

I withdrew my hand from hers. "You're doing this to spite me," I said, the bitterness inherent in my voice.

She leaned over and planted a kiss on my lips, and then smiled.

"I'll never do such a thing to you," she said.

"How can I tell that you're not lying?"

"You can't," she said. And then she took my hand again. "What you can do, though, is savour the moment while it still lasts."

I squeezed her hand softly. For once in my life, the words that I've been meaning to tell her since the day we met found themselves.

"You're beautiful."

She smiled slightly, placed her head on my shoulder and said, "I don't ever want this night to end."

"You don't know the half of it."

I learnt that there's no point in trying so hard to make your dream a reality, when Reality, in itself, is already a Dream. And it really matters not which is which, because in the end, only one thing remains crystal clear.

You're beautiful.

I didn't want to wake up. But all good things must come to an end.

venerdì, agosto 05, 2005

How to Write a Good Chain Letter: Part 1

How to Write a Good Chain Letter
By Eddie G.

Eddie G. expounds the key principles of succeeding in the ancient art of Chain Lettering in easy, comprehensible steps.

1) Make sure your Chain Letter is not messy, poorly spelt, and riddled with grammar mistakes that even a five-year-old wouldn't make.

aLlMosT evRy ChA in Let TeR cOnTeIns Tr ACEs of Ab ySSSmEl EnGr IsH. AnD, hIDEoS As i t mA y Be, fOR sOMe SiCk rEaa SoN, dis Hae pens tO attra cts many pPer son, be Coz GoOd hA lf-hOUr Wou ld bE spENded tr YinG 2 fig uures Out wHat the fUc k iT's trys to SaY. A nD s IncE yOu alReAdy Are Co Mes dis FarR, y noTt fInNish rEa DiNG tHe hOle tHi ngs lar!
(But surely someone of your intellectual capacity wouldn't stoop to something as base as this right?)

2) Make the plot of your Chain Letter as interesting as possible

For some reason, your standard issue Chain Letter always talks about people getting raped and petitioning for signatures to solicit support from the otherwise apathetic public sphere. In all honesty, this doesn't change the situation one bit, assuming that the bugger really did get his ass probed in the first place - I mean the dude gets fucking raped and all he gets is shitloads of people signing his metaphoric E-cast with time-honoured witticisms like 'better luck next time, stud', 'hope you can sit properly soon' or 'pepper spray, man! how many times do you have to get analed before you finally learn?'. Of course, nothing gets done about it, because nobody really gives a rat's ass that poor Bernie got shagged by a donkey last weekend because he tried to milk it.

Rape incidents constitute about 49% of all Chain Letter subjects. The other 49% would consist of people dying of chronic and/or terminal ailments that they picked up while horsing around somewhere in Zimbabwe, or about a poor little girl who's dying of leukemia and needs your support. For added effect, an MNC is dragged, often innocently and unwittingly, into the fray. "McDonalds has taken pity on this pour soul and have pledged to give her a Big Mac for each signature collected here" it would normally say. And people sign it willingly and unquestioningly, without ever stopping to think what a Big Mac can do to a perfectly healthy human being, let alone someone with leukemia.

The last 2% entails threats on how, if you don't send this to 5,362.16 (go figure) people in the next 48 seconds, your girlfriend will dump you for your brother because he's got a larger phallus and makes so much more money than you do.

The point I'm trying to make here is that your typical Chain Letter is so bereft of imagination, and sorely lacking in substance. I can assure you that in your entire cyber-life, you'd probably never have seen a chain letter that goes. "Hey everybody! Guess what? I got a raise! That puts me higher up on the social ladder where I can gloat at you nitwits from the securities of my newly attained bourgeois status. Send this to 5 other people just so as to make them feel inferior!" Why not be the first one?

3) Appropriate use of Subject Headers

With a little practice, the use subject headers can make your Chain Letter more irresistable to people like Weapons of Mass Destruction are to George W. Bush. Headers like "FREE PORN" work ocassionally, but are so cliche (plus the fact that it seldom really is "free") that they often wind themselves up in the Trash unread. Good subject headers are thought provoking and intriguing. Examples like "McDonalds to sue Nursery Rhyme teachers for copyright breach and defamation. Ee-ai-ei-ai-oh!" are good because everybody knows McDonalds and "Ee-ai-ei-ai-oh!" is easy to pronounce.

Refrain from using reverse psychology. While they normally work on intellectuals who contemplate the purpose of every blasted thing with relation to the Greater Cosmic Balance, you must realize that there are many, many others (unless you're a blonde or the aforementioned Bush) who are much dumber than you are. For these people, they tend to take everything at face value (which is why some Chinese keep goldfish because they think its a great bargain) and hence Headers like "You Wouldn't Want To Read This" would bounce off them like squash ball.

Also, you might want to add a few "FWD:"s to make it all more authentic, almost as if it really has been passed around. A good example would perhaps start with "FWD:FWD:FWD:", but do not be too liberal when using "FWD:"s. If you're not going to open a mail whose subject header begins with "FWD:FWD:FWD:RE:RE:FWD:RE:FWD:FWD:RE:FWD:FWD:RE", then don't expect anyone else to. Not only is it annoying, but nobody's going to believe that you're that well-acquainted anyway.

More to come in Part 2...