Lazy Luddite Log

19.11.10

Gumshoe Telepath: Drunk

Here is yet another chapter of my slowly developing futuristic detective story. The last chapter had action and this one presents action of a different kind...

As we sat in the car, still panting from our rushed escape, I reflected on our last dizzying half hour. It had been amazing and humiliating at the same time. Or, to be more accurate, Kristen had been amazing while I was humiliated. Why? Well, we were making our escape from the O'Leery Estate, having snuck in so that Kristen could do a vibesweep of the crime scene. We were almost to the ocean-view cliffs at the rear of the grounds, and a scrambling climb to freedom, when, just a few metres short of the cliff face, I tripped!

There I was, splayed on the lawn, with vicious guard dogs almost upon us. Kristen acted immediately by turning to face those hounds and what she did next was, as I say, amazing, and more than a little disturbing.

Kristen crouched low in a primal pose drawn, so it seemed, from ancestral memory, and began growling at the dogs. I knew that this pantomime was only the outward refection of some telepathic acrobatics Kristen was performing. It worked. The dogs stopped short and, whimpering, ran off back towards the O'Leery Mansion. Kristen then turned back to me, and with surprising strength, lifted me to my feet, and we got away before the human guards could get to us.

So, now we were sitting in my 2010 vintage Camero, having driven to the closest shopping centre carpark to take a rest and ensure that nobody had followed us. Kristen was sitting, staring out the window, and saying nothing. I decided some of my finely honed banter would get her talking.

"So, um, so..."

I decided to have another shot.

"Thanks for, um, for..."

I wanted to thank Kristen for saving my hide from nasty canine attentions. I was just embarrassed. I was the street-wise member of this crime busting duo. I was supposed to use her unusual skills while insulating her from the gritty aspects of the job. I was...

I suddenly felt warm, wet lips locking with mine. Kristen leaned into me from the front passenger seat and was all over me. I was astounded. For years now Kristen had snubbed my overtures to her, and now this? What had happened? Why did I even care? Danger does interesting things to those who experience it. That was it! She had finally admitted her attraction to me because we had risked our lives together. Go for it Derrick, I thought, live in the moment.

As my left hand strayed from her waist to her hips, I felt lips caressing my earlobe, and as my right hand felt for bra strap I experienced the thrill of those same lips sliding down my neck. She was one hot dame I can tell you. And then there were grazing teeth... and a guttural growl from the solar plexus of Kristen... and it dawned on me.

It was the telepathy that had done this. Kristen never made telepathic contact with animals because the act of thinking at them, thinking like them, altered her mental state and with it her behaviour. She was acting like a carnivore in Spring because she had made telepathic contact with dogs. In other words she was drunk... drunk on telepathy rather than alcohol but drunk nonetheless. There was only one thing to do.

We were kissing once more, but you can only do so many things with your mouth, so I started talking, asking Kristen to cool it, reminding her that we had just escaped from the home of a crime duopoly. For a moment she looked like she wanted to rend me limb from limb, then her face went blank, then she sat back in her seat.

Staring forward once more, Kristen mumbled “take me home then go away.” That is exactly what I did. As I left her door, I told her I would ring in the morning and then we could discuss her telepathic findings. She looked exhausted. I was too. I got home too tired to think but too stimulated to sleep. My dreams were haunted by kaleidoscopic images of the night I could have had. Sometimes the images of human forms would be replaced by those of dogs... snarling rutting dogs.

* * * * *

The next morning I rang Kristen, hoping that she was her normal, reserved, human self. She was, her image on the holo-projector even gave me a wan smile, which relaxed me.

“Thanks for taking me home Derrick.”

“Well it was the end of a long night, Kristen, and that’s what we do after a job.”

“Well, thanks anyway.”

“Had a chance to let the vibesweep percolate in your noggin?”

“Yes, and, Derrick, this is gonna blow you away…”

I had other things on my mind that would blow me away, but we were back on the case now, and Kristen seemed over her canine mindset. She told me that, at both the O’Leery and the Masonite residences, she had sensed the same presence… the same personality… that had killed both crime bosses. Witness accounts told a different story – that both crime bosses had killed each other and at the same time in different locations. What Kristen was now telling me seemed like an impossible answer to the impossible question of our case.

“How can that be, Kristen?”

“I can only think of one thing, Derrick, and it's bloody insane - telepathic twin assassins!”

“That is bloody insane! We gotta work on this – meet at the Roundtree for lunch?”

“Sure, see you then, and bring an open mind."

As the image of Kristen faded I sat there mentally reeling. If anything could take my mind off my still buzzing hormones it was this – life had suddenly gotten like some kind of science fiction novel. And for the first time I wondered whether we were biting off more than we could chew.

I feel like this is a bit rushed but wanted to publish it nonetheless and can always polish it later. I feel I have both explored a kind of scene that is challenging to pen - an amorous one - while also developing the characters and story some more. And now I have the telepathic twin assassins concept I wonder what I will do with it.

The rest of this now completed story can be accessed via this listing.

Cross-posted here.

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5.11.10

2006-2010

In some ways writing this final instalment of my autoblography is the simplest and in some ways the most challenging. On the one hand all I have to say for the past five years is “look at my blog” since it corresponds to that time. On the other hand I feel the need to draw conclusions from the last few posts. I will try to both supplement existing blog posts and present some personal life philosophy too…

I wonder who I am following two decades of adulthood. I feel I have experienced lots of things and taken some surprising directions. And yet I also feel like the person I was in childhood – contemplative… sentimental… cautious yet whimsical. As much as things change they stay the same. Is that a problem? Sometimes. I think I will never change that much in fundamentals but I can and do shift the focus on facets of who I am. I tend to go with the flow but recently have gotten better – in fits and starts – at making things happen for me. This entry takes care of much of what I have done in recent years.

I decided that it is okay to just have work rather than a career. This is a controversial statement because of the popular notion that we have to be productive go-getting self-starters. Ultimately I want a good life and jobs are only part of that. I do have to work on motivation but I accept that I will never be an ambitious stress-junkie and that gives me a kind of freedom. Part of that involves developing non-work past-times.

Just recently I have put more concerted effort into the solitary things I have always enjoyed. And the ironic thing is that part of that effort has involved asking others to help me do that. This has had varying degrees of success. I made contact with some academics to ask them whether the ideological classification I developed in the Political Objectives Test warrants further exploration in the form of me returning to study as a post-graduate. For this I have gotten zero response and that includes polite reminders from me. How far can I go in turning “asking” into “nagging” or “cajoling”? I have never done those things all that well and wonder whether it is worth it. I prefer asking nicely.

I participated in Monash Wordfest 2010 by entering this short story. I also attended a number of writing workshops and in one the author-facilitator expressed admiration of my impromptu writing. This sort of feedback made me think my entry would be recognized in an award category but that never happened. It was a mixed experience therefore but one I will try on a regular basis because sharing what one makes is a good thing.

One of the best experiences in asking recently has come in the form of inviting some friends to pose for me to sketch. From those human sketches I then derive the basic lines to invent landscapes. Rather than just doodling now-and-then I have produced dozens of pencil sketches and have a modest folio. I feel I have got more than that, however, as those who helped me seemed to derive something from the experience, which is in turn gratifying for me. So much in life comes from positive feedback loops among humans.

A theme of my autoblographing has been that of my ‘solitary self’. I want to assure friends however that becoming a hermit is the furthest thing from my mind. As I stated here humans make me human even if solitude allows me to be me (incidentally the ‘doldrums’ in that post have been exiled for now). I am integrated into my life… my society… my world and I am committed to that. The form that integration takes has changed however.

Sharing solitary interests with others is one change. Another is that my focus on a civic life has narrowed to desiring to help improve the lives of those who are a part of mine. And yet another is my perspective on relationships. In this most recent timeframe I stumbled into three. Astounding given past frequency. Did I just get more attractive or did I wander into some kind of wonderland? I suspect choristers will say it is the latter. Such experiences enrich life but are also challenging and alter thinking.

Lest you think I am self-deprecating (which I can be) I stress that words in this paragraph are descriptive rather than judgemental. I am a good person but I am also lazy and selfish. I desire companionship but am now wary of partnership with its demand for regular indicators-of-progress towards some distant life objective. This may well set me apart from my peers at that coming class reunion. Mortgages… children… divorces… it may just be all too much for me. I prefer the meeting rather than the merging of lives. But even that is a want rather than a need. To be me and be part of a community is what matters and anything more is a bonus.

I have fantastic support structures… a caring if fractured family… a share home which allows me to balance comfort with economic simplicity… amazing long-term friends… amazing newer friends… you have opened doors for me and sometimes given me a push in the right direction… I have almost had moments of telepathy with you… thanks for who you are.

At the start of this set of posts I stated that we “are all alone - nobody will ever truly understand what it is to be me.” I stand by that but I also think it is an heroic undertaking to seek to combat that harsh fact as best we can. That is what friends are for so expect me to be the late-night conversationalist I have always been. And in seeking to understand you I will also do my best to understand who I am in isolation from you. Finally if I have drawn any conclusions from this let it be known that they are subject to change as life changes. I am still some kind of work-in-progress.

Cross-posted here.

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