creative writing fiction

Long live the King!

Parliament based on columns, Vienna

This medical morning, for the King, started in a Vojda Space Cab. It surged through a private subterranean concourse, along a 500 km track, nonstop to Brussels. Technically, he was dead, long live the Queen.

Images of the plane wreckage were shared everywhere. The world sat down to look. “Surely, no one survived the impact,” agreed the comments.

Conspiracy theorists weren’t having it. They leaked reports of advanced stem cell research. They explained mitochondrial nanorepair kits. Available in portable spray cans, a generous spritz regenerates cells from the inside out. Over time, nanorobots rebuild nerves, blood vessels and tissue. Surgeons supervise them over WiFi.

365/17 - Banned by Justice

Hours earlier, tributes labeled the monarch, “Guru of a pampered and oblivious sect.” But a news anchor tearfully reminded everyone that Lear was a single father. He’d done a great job, if his youngest daughter capsized the world’s oldest monarchy. When the forty second eulogy was over, the King became an icon of equality and fair play.

The conspiracy theories remained unbelieved until some atheists tweeted prayers. Minutes later, temples, synagogues, churches and mosques around the world were crammed with supporters.

“We forgive you,” pleaded the congregants. “Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!”


Long live the King | SB
…continued from Lear

Photo credits: Parliament based on columns, Vienna and Banned by Justice from Dominik Bartsch via Flickr.


Marina (I like the same boat)

Melsaka, a smart yellow boat, docked [i] Parked, at the marina. Do you like yellow?

o  o O

Two styrofoam fenders to protect the boat from damage [ii] Fenders (filtered). I almost fell in.

o  o O

Lucia, black boat, viewed from the back, with a view of the dock [iii] Miss Lucia. The temptress.

o o O

Yellow boat, again, with a view of the dock [iv] Deck view.

o o O

Closer close up to adjoining boat, with a large metal protrusion that looks like a diaper pin [v] Bobby pin.

o o O

+~__~`_ …..

I played with the word “monochrome” and translated it to “one thing” and “chrome stuff.” These photos were taken in July, August and September from a favourite hangout spot. I focused on one boat, because of her pretty colour. It was windy and overcast after I arrived this afternoon, so I had some fun with filters. And just so you know, the boat owners are as cool as their vessels.

Sail back soon x SB



(All languish in, sane, his palaces of lore
where truth floats stills by memory’s rigid lane

Indisciplined, he seeks
hot anguish to defeat?
His upswelled heart
burns charcoal at the core!

“You must,” he says,
“my fallacies endure;
feel me everything
then hand me
all your more.”

about me People

Thriving as a normal, friend type

Whenever I hear a woman cursing a man, I try to find out what kind of relationship they had. At one point, I placed some of the responsibility on women who have cultivated unrealistic expectations via  Ego Butter Barbie. Later, I objected to men using S/M bedroom games as an excuse to physically torture women.

Since then, I have come to understand that quite a few women have a high tolerance for mistreatment from intimate partners. One label does not fit every woman, but it is my understanding that they get a high from retelling the worst moments of their relationships.

I will never advocate for a woman to stay in a relationship with a man who mistreats her. Hearing such stories causes me a great deal of stress, so for me, there’s a fine line between unburdening to a friend and forcing that person to experience abuse vicariously.

Specifically, I would like to discuss when this unburdening happens after it is clear what an entanglement is all about: Banana milk. When milking is over, some women say they deserve a huge helping of chocolate and cry because it was not offered to them. They refuse to see the man’s passive aggressive attempt to extract himself from the situation. “Hey, I don’t like you. See, I’m treating you like garbage. Get it? I’m politely ignoring you. Take a hint, go away.”

There’s a difference between feeling let down and failing to respect the other’s right to choose to be in a relationship. When the latter happens, I feel that some women offer up dignity and sanity, hoping to bribe chocolate out of a cow that can only provide banana milk.

Take my batchmate in university, for example. She had a fling with a fellow dorm resident, who was engaged to a law student residing in the UK. My closest friend and I sat her down. She was in love and imagined that he was, too. We told her that if he has a girlfriend and they’re engaged, that’s a non starter. His love was only in her imagination.

He graduated at the end of the semester, cut off all communication and got married in London two weeks after that. I agreed to give her my telephone number, thinking that she was a normal, friend type. On the phone, she sighed these words over and over: “I miss him. He dumped me, you know. But I miss him. I love him. I miss him so much. I love him so much. I really miss him. I really love him. He left me. I miss him.” She was talking to herself and I was obliged to overhear.

In person, she would ask how my day was going. I only said it was okay because on cue, she would continue from the middle of the thought I interrupted with my presence. Out of context, she’d continue with, “After the trip there he said he was going to do that thing we talked about.” He, we. There, that. She was not content with driving herself bonkers. If she had her way, I was headed there, too.

Broken hearts feel bad. I was nursing a breakup, myself.  Fortunately, I saw that past the point of helping her to unburden so she could move on, I was enabling her unhealthy choices. The fix was easy. I gradually spent less time listening to her. Today, I smile because I realise that she might have burnt through several potential friends in this way.

Thriving, in the context of emotional health, is a complex set of conscious decisions. But to begin, we feel that something is not right and do something to mitigate a negative spiral. I thrive when I’m around self confident people, even if they don’t feel great at the moment.

Professionally trained listeners are paid to witness hand wringing and repeated retells. They may say that this is a healthy way to recover. They might object to my method of thriving after a breakup, calling it love on the rebound. On the contrary, I prefer to remember, while my batchmate was strumming her pain, I was happy recovering with the delectable coach of the water polo team.

fiction poetry

Leaving Melancholia

Bingo! A failed attempt, first time ever
Is it a great night if it hadn’t put you in melancholia?
No alternative in your mind
Guess I was delusional but we see
Vodka wasn’t helpful in childhood
Tequila ain’t into you, boss
Scotch really made me smile, at last
Not feeling egotistical
I am too lazy to evolve
But let me know a good reason
Still need some solid part of you to hate



For you, Zoolanders, for gracing the cover of your own LIFE.
Thank you for your support and have a fabulous weekend.


The Gap

I’m not a child but I’ve had imaginary friends. They are flesh and blood humans; needy, self centred, fickle individuals who vanished when I needed them. I’m an advocate of neediness and vulnerability. You can’t build meaningful relationships without these two important elements. I’ve done my fair share of giving to needy others and I’m sorry but sitting with me at a meal is not the same as supporting me.

I’m not a child, so I don’t want plastic friends. Miserly, grasping, superficial people who only care about your net worth. One plastic friend is loved by the manager in her employ. He is the description of what she says a man should do and be for her. She trusts him implicitly. She won’t be with him because in her fantasy scenario she pays him a salary and if they get together he can’t afford to buy her expensive gifts.

It’s crazy. Her dream is to build a branch of her business in Spain. She has everything she needs to start right now, including a partner like him to stand in for her. Instead of expanding her brand, she’s holding out for an imaginary friend and lover who owns an island near Bali.

She can’t have him (and his moneymaking island) because he’s the plaything of a different plastic woman.

It is good to be self centred. Discipline and diligence are two positive effects of an inward focus. We can’t achieve anything meaningful without putting our best interests first. I am alive today because I excluded things that weren’t good for me.

People aren’t things. Real life situations are messy and we negotiate our way out of tight spots together. We give each other the benefit of the advantage and ask questions when things seem out of place. Trust and mutual respect are key elements at play. I say, take a spill but I’ll be there for you when you get back on your feet. The Winans would call it standing in the gap for a friend.

Avoid me when I’m physically ill; say “ignore that” because you don’t want to hear what I’m feeling, and so on. Then call up when another imaginary plastic person mistreats you. You’ll find that this time around, I have no time to spare.


Essential Michael Bolton


Michael Bolton is squealing.
Gonna take some time, love…woo hooooo, woo hoo, hoo hoo! (I counted)
Everything was sadder than it seemed, you know, ’cause…
It was love and I thought my world was over.
Michael was right, the hurt won’t last forever.
I shook off those sad blues.
Now, your world is going to be over, honey.
Your luck’s gonna change.
The hurt will last forever.
And baby, just remember this:
I needed some tenderness.
Not that cold chicken broth you threw on my passionate flame.
But it’s cool because I won the Champions League and now?
It’s raining men.
(That is a different effing song.)

about me men women

Love vs Love (2/3)

When I say I love someone, I actually do. For most people, love is a salary for a high stress job and you need to do lots of things to earn it. It’s wrapped up in some velvet purse, and it’ll only come out when the right recipient appears.

In truth, the deserving one will always remain elusive. Don’t vie for my love, you thunder and roar. This is Mount Olympus. You’ll never get there. Complete the form and submit your fingerprints for checking. Finish all the tasks on this list.

But you’ll never qualify because, as summer college flings proclaimed, “you are not a blowup doll” or “your legs are too long”. Rubbish. That’s not why. You want what you can’t get. When these boys eventually got their precious listed items, they were sorely disappointed. Out came another list, and another. More and more women were needed to make up the right one. I was overjoyed to learn of their misfortunes.

Love is not a tangible quantity. We can’t hoard it. It has to stay always at the surface or our consciousness, as an offering of goodwill to all, even those that don’t make our cotton candy, soda pop shortlists. When I love someone, I know that the more I give, the more I have left over for myself. Love is not a muscle you can touch but it needs to be stretched to places that are hard to reach: Backstabbing friends who abandon you when you’re sick, gossipy clients, untrustworthy and self obsessed colleagues, suspicious neighbours.

I got loved in spades over the past week, from people I never expected to receive it from. Last Tuesday, while recovering from an autoimmune flareup, I went to the office to organise my work projects for the year. I was carrying a heavy tote and caught my foot on a box. I tripped and slammed face first, full body weight into a doorknob. I gashed the side of my face a half inch away from my eye. My Gucci frames saved my eyesight. They don’t have a scratch on them. However, the skin on my left palm, knee and a small area near my left eye, are held together by tape. I also have to visit the hospital every day to check the healing and change bandages. Today, I’m finally able to bend my knee and move my face.

The colleagues who scraped me off the floor, who rushed me to hospital and waited patiently for me to be released, are the people I loved anyway.