With the summer heat and the heightened anxiety levels it’s starting to feel like March 2020 anyway, so what better way to complement this deja vu than by doing another spring cleaning and nostalgifying with re-discovered remnants of the past!
First discovery: my high school creative writing essays. We had an “elective” subject back in high school, which wasn’t really an elective since everyone was required to take it. My first work, which still holds up well if I may say so myself, is a profound essay entitled I Want To Be a Cat. Even then I already had the makings of a future cat lady, and were it not for my horrific allergic rhinitis I would probably be a pet human slave of a cat by now.
On the first day of class our teacher told us that we should be able to express our thoughts on a sheet of paper freely and creatively, and to do so we need to possess a good set of vocabulary. Our vocabulary would be like a box, she explained, where we can pull out words that would transcribe our thoughts into written text. We need to develop a good reading habit, she further instructed, to enrich this box of vocabulary. Our perennially overzealous classmate Toules, who was of course sitting on the front row, raised her hand and asked: “When is the deadline for this box of vocabulary?” We at the back row condescendingly giggled as we imagined her decorating a shoe box with yarn, sequins, and cut-out pages from a dictionary bought from Lily’s Stationery Shop. We’ve become nicer people in the decades that followed.
This discovery, however, is not nearly as thrilling as the re-emergence of this gem of a short story set in the medieval times written by my good friend Paul Atreides aka Namtab Pots. It is about two women, Alicia and Darkin, who started out as friends, but by the second paragraph are eating each others’ cunts. It is like a precocious Mills And Boone-type LGBTQIA period piece that features profound romantic dialogue such as:
The things we discover in a pandemic.