Finals week rebirth

The time is 4.50 am and outside the morning birds have taken cover from the creakling rain that started coming down in a gentle staccato. I sat on the same, back breaking blue chair for the past 12 hours and have eaten two and half french fries dipped in a too-sweet, too-salty kind of barbeque sauce; since I woke up too late for lunch. I was also simply too lazy to get my ass to dinner, the library is a good 5 minute walk away from anywhere serving free food. Finals week is here and adderall is running strong inside me. Towers and Spires was originally concocted as a way to spend time constructively instead of doing drugs and spending too many dollar bills at the vending machine. Well, as our single digit audience can tell, we haven’t been very diligent in delivering material—I know y’all are very disappointed. But, with all the inevitable time we will spend not doing work, maybe we can bring this back. If not, whatever. Yolo.

Thanks to my brother and his friends who click on our blog thinking it has something to do with Clash of Clans.

Deuxes

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A feel good feel soothed playlist to end 2013 with a light heart

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The Pastels > ‘Illuminum Song’: http://www.soundcloud.com/dominorecordco/illuminum-song-the-pastels

No Doubt    > ‘Settle down- Baauer remix’: http://www.soundcloud.com/nodoubt/sdbaauerremix

Banks    > ‘Warm Water- Snakehips remix’: http://www.soundcloud.com/snakehips-1/banks-warm-water-snakehips

Flume    > ‘The Greatest View’: http://www.soundcloud.com/flume/flume-the-greatest-view-feat

Beach House > ‘Norway’: http://www.soundcloud.com/beachhouse/norway

Arcade Fire   > ‘We Exist- Night Drive edit’: http://www.soundcloud.com/nightdrivemusic/arcade-fire-we-exist-night

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teeth

My dream lion, unseen since I was nine, lives still in the terrifying dark of my bedroom on Freemont Street, slathering rancid breath, teeth poised over my belly. He emerged on a school night from the dark after a sermon on Daniel in the Lion’s Den and a Missionary Convention slide show- the white man ministering in the Belgian Congo showed the remains of three children and a witch doctor gutted and gnawed into the meat they were. It had been a she lion of course, but mine was the King of Beasts, mane ruffling inexplicably in the deadly silence of my room. Jesus, in the wings, scarred and gleaming, instructing the faithful on the prize of the afterlife, “They’re only teeth,” he said. 200,000 years of straining to transform our mud huts into skyscrapers, and yet the jungle still pulses, tooth on bone.
 
-R.M.
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About a guy who’s generally insecure

He smiled when he spoke. And what he said was believable—one could very well reason it to be true. In fact, he was prepared to sit down and argue its validity. It would start with a candid opening phrase and it would be followed by structured points and poignant rhetorical questions and even the occasional childhood anecdote. But as he finished he found it impossible to really submit to his own truth. Something similar was true when he would look through a window at the top of a sky-scraper. He knew he was not in danger. But when he would look down at the street from the dizzying height, he was afraid.
 
-X.P.

 

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Late night playlist: for those moods, everybody gets them

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IAMNOBODI- C A L I: http://www.soundcloud.com/iamnobodi/c-a-l-i

Jaël – LoveLude & Floatin’: http://www.soundcloud.com/ja-el/ja-l-lovelude-floatin

Jeremih – Fuck U All The Time (Shlohmo Remix): http://www.soundcloud.com/shlohmo/jeremih-fuck-u-all-the-time

Stwo-One: http://www.soundcloud.com/stwosc/one

Kartell-it’s you: http://www.soundcloud.com/kartell/kartell-its-you

Stwo-Cryin: http://www.soundcloud.com/stwosc/cryin

Esta- No One But U(I Get Lonely) (Birthday Exclusive) : http://www.soundcloud.com/beatsbyesta/no-one-but-u-i-get-lonely

The Weeknd – Loft Music: http://www.soundcloud.com/music-blog/the-weeknd-loft-music.

Jaël – MIB [Clip]: http://www.soundcloud.com/ja-el/ja-l-mib-clip

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Mute

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The boy was a mute. And not from some medical deficiency or lack of vocal chords, he just chose not to speak. I looked after this boy while his mother ran errands, and even while I thought I had forged a close relationship with her, I never found out what she did for those few hours each day. The boy would sit in the corner and play with his blocks. Occasionally, he would come and snuggle into the crevice of my shoulder while I read either to him or in silence. I knew that he did not need me to read to him, his eyes would follow along with the text and I could tell that, even at his young age, he understood the words he was seeing. One day, I found him on the floor reading a book, from end to beginning, and when I asked him why he was doing that, he looked at me and said nothing yet I could tell that it made more sense to him to know how the story ended before he knew how it began.

He acted as though he was living in a cocoon; wrapped inside his own body and only willing to extend his spindly arms when something interested him. I wanted to pull him out from under his bandaged exterior and allow his soft insides to spill out, but I knew I would only ever experience his affection when he curled into my lap to read along with me. Some days he would point to the cupboard and have me prepare him a snack. Once I had done so, he would take the plate and rearrange everything on it and hand it back to me, his large eyes glinting with pride and then he would tear up. As tears ran down his face he would look at me and expose a kind of deviousness, as though he walked behind a sheath of deceptive fabric; yet I desired his affection. As his momentary caregiver, I felt pathetic for wanting his approval, but his tears fooled me. I would take the plate back and admire his work of art and congratulate him on making something so wonderful. But one day I fought the urge to do so and as I grabbed the plate from his seedy little hands I dropped it to the floor, allowing it to shatter into a thousand pieces. I looked at him and smiled, and his little fangs glinted; he knew I knew—and he liked it. He bent down and began gathering the shards of ceramic plate and placing them carefully into a jar. The large chunks of uneaten sandwich lay flaccid on the wooden floor like a torn-to-shreds rag doll. He began layering the chunks on top of one another and smashing them into the jar on top of the broken ceramic. Once he had finished, he handed me the jar and I took it gratefully.

I knew nothing of this boy other than our few hours together each day. I could decode his mannerisms and movements and translate them into orders. And even while his strangeness made him quite unlikable, I felt a sui generis maternal love for him when he would sit at my feet and poke my toes or braid my hair. There were days when I would take him to the park and he would run around in the grass screaming and flailing his arms; it was the only time he ever made noise. All the other children would simply stare and their parents would usher them away saying with concerned urgency sweetie, don’t go too close to him.  He would sit for hours and rip out the grass until it was just mud, or snag the swings and bare his teeth at passersby. And I would sit and laugh, for he was like a monkey in a circus, and the other children would sit and stare until their parents told them it was rude.

One night his mother never came home so I tucked him in and I said goodnight, and I looked at this boy with such distaste. I slammed the door while he sat on his bed, naked and crying, but his cries were silent, and his tears were gravid. I scratched my name into the coffee table with a butter knife and left the television on static, and as I walked out of the kitchen I stepped on broken ceramic and let my foot track blood across the floor—unconcerned about the pain or the mess.

 I opened the front door and settled back down onto the couch to watch the static and hoped that maybe, one day, the breeze would sweep this silent phantom away.

-from our friend Monique Alden

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“That’s why choices scare me, they are a burden that becomes heavier the more you believe in them.”

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This is taken from a conversation I had on a recent plane trip:

I was on a twelve hour flight from New York JFK to home, when from the end of the aisle someone calls out my name. It’s Jessica. Our face lit up, a skilled airplane runner, she quickly stumbles over bags, squeezes through the queued crowd and turns to give me a hug.

“How you been?”

“Great I guess”

I didn’t see her since last winter. She looks tired, with her high cheek bones dropping low and dark shadows settling under her glistening eyes. Yet she smiles nonetheless, eagerly asking questions of how I’ve been doing and what she’s been up to. I ask her if she’s happy at Wesleyan, she beams.

“I love it. I really do, I was scared when I made my choice but I think I made the right one.”

“Scared?”

“You know, I am scared of choices. Especially the ones that I know will change who I am.”

“But making choices is the only thing that allows us to have a decent say of where we end up”

“Exactly, I am a firm believer that we make our own destiny, that’s why choices scare me the most”

“What if the choices I am making are all but the wrong ones? It’s terrifying.”

“Yea but come on, there are no wrong choices.”

“You’re a prick.”

“Everybody makes choices, As you said, we choose who we are, we choose where we go. Its an inevitable process.”

But she is adamant. “Have you heard of the ‘Learnt Helplessness Experiment’? They put two groups of dogs in cages and subjected them to pain through electric shocks. Group one’s cage had levers the dogs could press to cut off the electricity, but for the latter, the dogs had no mechanism to independently stop the shocks. So the dogs in the lever-less cage soon learned they could not end the shocks regardless of how hard they tried; They barked, they bit the bars, hopelessly attempted to run, but they could not escape. Eventually, when the cages were lifted, allowing both groups to escape, the dogs in group one chose to move out of the cage. The dogs in group two did not move. They chose to endure the shocks quietly. They had learnt helplessness, they lost hope in choices, they now believed everything was exogenous.”

She takes a sip of the complementary water, before staring at me,

“Many of us, me and you included, come from places we know our choices matter. We are privileged in the way that we can make our choices count. Many don’t, for many the outside factors play bigger roles in their lives.”

“That’s why choices scare me, they are a burden that becomes heavier the more you believe in them.”

I wasn’t sure if I fully agreed. But this made me uncomfortable

Also, poor dogs. -142

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